After the Fourth of July break, it was back on the track. This week it was announced that we would have a night of Match sprints.
Here’s the ground rules:
- Riders will draw lots for position at the start; all riders will start on the rail with #1 lining up in front of #2 and #3 in the rear.
- Rider starting at position #1 must lead out until the red pursuit line on the backstretch on lap 1.
- Another rider may overtake (and thus assume the obligation), but the lead rider may not back-off to allow another rider to overtake (restart without offending rider if that happens).
- Once full sprint starts, all riders must maintain their horizontal position unless they are clearly ahead or clearly behind (i.e. no movements up or down track).
- Opponents can be of mixed categories.
This evening of racing was meant to be more of a fun event. I think with Nationals taking place at TTown PA, attendance was going to be down.
After a nice warm up, Alan started pairing us up for the matched sprints. Our Category 5 group were set to race after Category 4, which gave me some time to further figure out how this race worked by observing the slightly more experienced.
At last, I got called to race against Chase McElroy. Having previously raced him many times in past events, I had a good feeling I could beat him without having to kill myself. I picked the stick for start order. It showed position 1. Rolling off after the final pep talk by the official in charge, I was to maintain a nice comfy walking pace to the 200m line. Then, the race would be on. Once I arrived at the at the 200m line, I increased the pace a bit, hoping to stave off any sudden accelerations. It also would put me in a better place to spin up my 90 inch gear setup.
After crossing the finish line with the bell ringing for the final lap, in turn 1, I started my acceleration to get up to speed. I maintained it all the way to the finish, keeping myself in front of Chase.
An hour later, it was time for my second race. This time I was paired up with a much younger rider, probably half my age or less: Jeffrey Wu. Once again I pulled the stick for position one. Setting off, I kept the pace easy until the 200m line. On turn 3 I made sure to stay high up track, with Jeffrey pacing right behind me. Going into turn 4, Jeffery dropped down track and attacked. I was caught out by his attack as I was not expecting him to go with 500m left to race.
I shoved the bike down track to gain as much speed as I could and I started my chase. My only hope was for him to slow towards the end from the effort. I did manage to close the gap down a bit to a few bike lengths by the finish. But Jeffrey didn’t slow as much as I had hoped, and looking at the data, I also slowed a it towards the finish.
Since these races were taking a while to complete, that was it for the evening. Can’t complain about the results. I won one, and I lost one.