A sense of sadness came over me as I set out to Kissena Queens for what would be my last Track race of 2018. One of my original cycling goals for the season was to get into Track racing. I must say that I fulfilled that goal, as I had a fruitful Track season. I started the season with never having raced a Track race before. A clinic at the end of March set things in motion.
Last week I got to race the very nice track at T-Town, and yesterday, I raced as a Category 4 finishing fifth, and I also mixed it up with the Masters 40+, category 1,2,3,4 in the Delroy Walters “Mercks” Cup, 5 Mile – 20 Lap Scratch Race. I can say that I am quite satisfied with my season.
It was going to be a hot day. My data indicates that we were hitting 95+ degrees. The air was hot and humid. The track surface was an oven. Yet, we all soldiered on and raced. A big thank you to all the officials who came out and stood out there in those temperatures.
The Men’s Category 4 had eighteen entries, so it was going to be a decent field.
Our first race was a 6 Lap Scratch race. Fortunately, I was able to position myself decently and finish fifth getting one precious Omnium point. As hard as I tried, I wasn’t able to outsprint the Star Track kid for a fourth place finish.
The second race was going to be a 10 Lap Prime Race. Three Primes were up for grabs at random points during the race. Other then that, the race would be essentially a Scratch race.
I decided to forgo the Primes. I didn’t want to sprint and kill myself and then finish poorly. With two laps to go I was able to accelerate and stay in the top group. On the last lap I was once again in a good place and I surged trying to catch what I thought was position one and two. I didn’t realize that Ben Noble was off the front, and thus, I got a fourth place finish. That means I got 2 more Omnium points.
After the second intermission, the featured event was up. The Delroy Walters “Mercks” Cup, 5 Mile – 20 Lap Scratch Race. I didn’t have to do it, but I decided to dive in and see. If I got dropped I would have pulled out. By now, the temperature was very stifling. I need to learn the ice in a stocking on your back system to stay cool.
The race stayed roughly together in the first ten laps. A few surges were thrown in by the big guys to soften the field up a bit. There was a Prime or something around lap 10. A few of the top riders made a move with about five laps to go. I was too far back trying to stay out of trouble to be able to react to it, and of course the rest of the field didn’t react either.
I tried to stay with a group of riders, and do the least amount of work as possible. With two laps to go, they were ringing the bell for the final lap for the guys out front. I then realized they were close to lapping us. I wasn’t sure how I was feeling so I wanted to sit in a bit longer for the last two laps. In hindsight, I should have gone, but, I didn’t and ended the race in ninth out of thirteen. Still, a decent result considering it was my first time mixing it up with some of the big guys.
For our final race, we had a 12 Lap Points race (3 sprints). By now, I was feeling quite exhausted. I was hopeful to get some points, maybe the second set when everyone would be tired. Unfortunately I didn’t get in on the front group and I was gapped off with some other guys. So, we worked a fast pace line trying to catch the main group, rotating in and out, but it wasn’t enough to bring them back. I finished with no points.
I came off the last race a bit discouraged for not being able to accumulate anymore omnium points. But a glance at the final results, indicated a fifth place finish in the Omnium. A decent result if you ask me. Considering I categoried up about three weeks ago.
For this race day I retained the gearing I had used at the faster T-Town track: 49×14 (94.50 gear inch.) It was a bit harder to spin up, and more effort was required to keep it spinning but I don’t think it was a bad choice. I believe I just need to grow into it a bit, and then it should be a good gear for the foreseeable future.