Provincials - Day 2 -- Log
It's very late, and was racing until after 8pm, but what a great day!
As usual, warm and sunny (not too hot), slight cooling breeze..
Highlight of the day was the Madison; Tony Z (Zarsadias, very well-known racer from these parts!) asked me if i had a partner for the race, which is what i needed - woohoo! He's got National medals and Provincial gold in this event, so it was rather humbling to be asked by him...!!
He tosses me a Symmetrics jersey and says 'not many people get to wear one of these!' - no shit! If this were the US, it'd be like getting a Team Discovery jersey handed to ya! (Symmetrics, based in Vancouver, holds a great deal of Canada's top riders and is usually considered the 'best' road team. Scott Laliberte is sitting behind me, as usual, funny to see him in Coastal colors!) What a treat. So, while i've got the chance, there's me in a Symmetrics jersey..haha (Thanks again Tony!!)
Anyway, i'll recall the race below, let's go through the other events....
200m Sprint - i arrived at the track just as they were about to get ready, and due to all the set-up (including switching a pedal over) i got about 4 laps of warm-up...so my 200m was a disappointing 13.384 (ooh - thousandths of a digit shown!), which left me in 10th place. I'd hoped to crack 13 today..or at least 13:20.
Unfortunately, they only went 8 deep for the Matched Sprints, which i was really hoping to get a chance to do. Kinda sucks, because two of the guys aren't even BC residents..so aren't even in contention, and i would have had a chance being in the top eight. Ahh well..
The sprints were quite exciting to watch, and our local guys did very well!
20km Scratch Race - not a great race for me, they started off pretty hard..then, Vinko was at the front, with me on his wheel. There was one guy off the front, and Vinko picked-up speed to catch him. He peeled off, and i decided to maintain the speed..and that was a very stupid move, as i didn't have it in me to catch back on to the pack (another attack as soon as i pulled off), so i caught on with a couple riders further back, which wasn't very good.... They both dropped out about 15 laps in, and i worked my ass off to stay in the race, over half a lap down, until lap 30, where i was caught by the pack (and thus eliminated..) I think i did pretty well, staying ahead.. If i were to re-race that, i would have peeled with Vinko, and raced very conservatively....in that field, with the training i've had, i just need to sit-in at this point..
One funny moment was with Matt, as he just about took another guy to the rail during a slow section of the race. Matt's just going uptrack, but a guy is just on his wheel, and all you hear is 'Dude....dude..DUDE....DUDE!!!...DUDEDUDEDUDEDUDEDUDE!!!!' Very funny. =)
The ending was amazing -- Scott and Matt both got off the front, and actually lapped the group! They stuck back in, and the crowd was wowwed with a victory from Scott!! He took Matt long and hard (dropping the pack a second time!) and completely succeeded in shutting him down - i don't think i've seen anyone do that to Matt before, amazing!!
Talking to Scott afterwards, he said 'i think i was the only person that believed in me' - that's so damned important in this, or any sport: You really need to believe in yourself!!
Point taken, thank-you Scott!
Team Sprint - Rode this with Marcus and, amazingly, Scott! Team sprint is three laps, and they're timed (not head-to-head.) Each lap, the rider in front peels off, so the 2nd guy does 2laps, and the third does 3 total laps.
I'm the #1 guy, i have a good kick off the start, and can get up to speed pretty quickly.
We line up, and the guy asks if we're ready, but seems to ignore me, as i say 'no'.. He waves, and the gun goes! Damn! Somehow we get a false start..not really sure what happened.
We line back up, and get ready again... Clean start this time! I gun it, and get us off to a good start! I sit down, and Marcus yells 'GO! GO! GO!' - and so i push even harder!!
(This was another interesting lesson.. He pointed out that i normally get myself up to a speed, and then just maintain it...sort of a 'road' habit. But, he knows i can go even faster....so he pushed me! When he yelled, i jumped about another 5kph faster, which is pretty cool. I've got some fairly decent speed in my legs...just a matter of getting my brain to work with it!)
We came in 5th overall, out of 9 teams, and 3rd in the Elite category. Woot!!
Matt Barlee, Matt Chater(really cool, fast guy from Van) and Keith, stormed to a stunning 1:06.018 time, and Andrew, Clarkie and Vinko came in at 1:11.939, our time was 1:13.157.
Not too bad for our team, Marcus is the only guy who's even close to being a sprinter! Three strong, steady riders can do okay in this event it seems...
30km Madison - luckily, they dropped it by 10km! This is the race with Tony - what a pleasure to race with him!
He hasn't been training, but was still incredibly fast!
One goofy thing happened to me in the break before the Madison. It was open track, and as i'm riding by the infield, Tony asks if i have gloves. I turn back and yell 'yep...ohhhh..lookout!!'
Suddenly there was a guy in front of me, and i bumped him from the side, and took a spill!! I believe this is the first time i've lost skin to the track..!! I'm pretty sure i've never fallen before. I lost a little skin on my elbow and knee, but no big deal. Stephen, whom i ran into, was fine.
'Twas a little embarassing....especially while Tony was asking me a Q relating to our upcoming Madison..hahahaha.. Glad i showed him i'm no clutz!
The exchanges (riders sling their teammate into the race every lap or so, here's a description of a previous Madison race) were a little sketchy intially, it's a very technical race, probably the most technical of any bike race short of trials. I ended up down on the apron once to avoid exchanges, and another close call where i sped between two pairs of teams, but otherwise nothing nasty happened.
With 7 teams on there, initially, it was a pretty busy place, you had to be watching everywhere!! Also, keep in mind we're maintaining speeds of over 50kph!!
Tony and i got lapped a couple times, we weren't chasing too hard, and decided to just fall back and try and steal some points.
I'm not sure if he ever got any, but for a number of laps we were riding on a break-away with Scott, and i came in right behind him for 3pts...my moment of glory in the race. =)
A very fun race, we finished 6th (Clarkie and Vinko dropped out.) Oddly enough, the only Victoria riders to finish were Chris Reid and myself. (I believe Tony is living in Vancouver..if not, three cheers for Team Victoria!)
Tony told me i rode very well, which was quite encouraging. Very nice to hear that from a champ like him.
This is a great thing about cycling - you can actually compete with the 'big guys'. Not sure if something like the above would occur in many other sports...
Below are some pics, and i gotta sign-off - getting late! Hope you've been enjoying my Provincials debriefings!
Tony and me again during the warm-up.
Pretty sweet jersey, eh?
Here we are, about to make an exchange.
Note Clarkie's wild zebra-stripped shorts!!
They were definitely the best-dressed team.
Shot of me in the Madison..new shoes..pttt..
This was my best pic of the day!
Women's Keirin Finals, Sarah (top) surged to get 2nd (and BC gold!!!)
in a fantast race! She also completely DOMINATED in the
Points race. Kick ass, Sarah!!