Last week when I registered for the event, I ended up registering twice, once for Masters and once for Category 4. I was not supposed to do that. Apparently once registered you can race in other fields, so my second registration carried over to this weekend. I decided not to double up and race two fields, because, honestly, I do not yet have the legs and lungs to attempt that at this point in the season. It is hard for non track people to understand, but four track races, even if short, in one race day does a pretty good job of trashing the body.
Due to low turnout at the track this year I feel that if I can race these events, it will help bolster the numbers a bit. I am also starting to turn up on the series leaderboard in both the Men’s Category 4, and Masters 40+ Category 1/2/3/4. I am a bit curious to see where I will end up by the end of the season. So does that mean I am hooked on the Vie13 series? Perhaps…
After having a discussion with the Promoter/Race Director/Chief Judge I agreed that I would race with the Masters 40+ to help bring that field up to six. The men Category 4 field was then folded into the Men Category 3 field, and the Men Category 5 had their own field.
- Race # 1: 9 Lap Win & Out: 3 sprints. 1st sprint determines winner of the race and rider may retire. 2nd sprint determines 2nd place rider of the race and that rider also may retire. Remaining riders sprint at the finish for 3rd place on.
My field featured some strong guys. In discussing racing with James Lyman earlier in the day, it turns out that he is a strong proponent of a fast race to string things out, which by extension prevents bunching up, thus reducing dangerous riding. Right off the whistle, he made a move and got on the front. I followed his wheel. The front straight was quite windy, and if a gap opens up there, it would be hard for me to close it. Of course, at the end of the the back stretch he pulled off, leaving me leading the group going into the wind. I tried not to work too hard here, and when I tried to pull off, the group behind followed my wheel, basically forcing me to stay on the front.
I was not having any of that, so I slowed up the pace up. The hope was to force the others to come around and share the work. I do not like to be the one towing the field around and then getting blown off the back later. But this tactic put me at risk from the explosive guys, namely Yves Allemann. And, as predicted, going into the sprint for the first place finish, entering turn three, he bolted past with a few others in tow. I tried to respond but I did not have the snap to get on, and then even challenge.
At this point our race was broken up. First, second and third were basically all wrapped up. I ended up in No-Man’s-Land, basically all by myself on the track with no shelter and no way to hide from the wind. By the time I would feel the effects of the tail wind on the backside I was back pushing against the headwind on the main straight. I put in about four laps like this. I wanted to keep my fourth place I was now holding.
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see James Lyman working to catch me. Wether he was or not, I do not know but it definitely gave me the incentive to keep going. On the last lap, I was drooling while doing everything to keep the bike going. I hit a max heart rate of 181 for this race. Thus I know I put a good solid effort in.
- Race # 2: 9 Lap Scratch Race: Race runs the determined number of laps; top 5 taken at the finish.
For this race, we all stayed together for a slow parade around the track. My intention was to keep Ben Noble and Yves somewhat boxed in in the hopes to prevent them from getting a good jump. Unfortunately for me, on the last lap, Andrew Wilhelm made a jump coming out of turn two, and he took Terrence Chioffi with him. I tried to follow and was doing okay to close the gap down. Going into turn three Ben Noble came sailing right by my right side. Ben is a very strong rider. In all my racing with him, he has always easily bested me. Once again, I ended up finishing in fourth place out of the four man sprint. This race gave me a one minute heart of 183 bpm, and a five second heart rate of 187 bpm, the highest of the year so far.
- Race # 3: 8 Lap Tempo: Every lap the first two riders score 2 and 1 points respectively; the final lap scores 3, 2, and 1 point.
This race ended up being a bit of a disappointment. Starting off between turn one and two James Lyman dropped his chain, and had to pull into the infield. The rest of the group was a bit disoriented in what to do. Push on? Or restart? A second whistle from Karl the Chief Referee, had half of us questioning if this was a restart or a keep racing whistle.
Terrence Chioffi and Andrew Wilhelm took off. I tried to chase them down surprised by the move while we were still confused about what to do. I looked back and Ben Noble was on my wheel. Going into turn three, I let him take the lead. I figured he is a very strong rider so I wanted him to do the work especially on the front straight against the head wind. That move backfired. No matter how much I tried, his wheel kept inching away from me. In the end I held onto for another fourth place, and although I got no points in the race, this would help count towards the omnium.
Race #4: The Feature: OneKnown: An unknown distance with a twist. Prior to the race everyone will write down the numbers of laps that they want the race to be. A prime lap will ring within the first 5 laps. Whoever wins that prime lap their card is pulled and that is the unknown distance length, a bell will ring the lap prior signifying the last lap. That racer and the officials are the only people that knowns the length hence the name – “one” known.
I think almost all the fields took part in this race. We all put numbers in the hat, and got up on the rail. Right away Matt Recchia, and a few others took off at the front. I think Matt won the prime. We then had about four or five laps to go. I was stuck in the main group trying to chase Tim Clark whom was stuck in No-Man’s-Land between us and the leaders off the front. Lucky for us, James Lyman towed us back to Tim. I then was able to get Daniel Spellman to do a good portion of the work on the front over the next few laps.
Closing in on the finish, Chris Salucci came by. I ramped up and put in the best sprint I could. In the process, I got the best of Chris and Daniel. I figure I finished in fifth place, but in the feature they only track the first three, so I will never know. This race featured a max heart rate of 186. Again it shows that I did not leave anything behind.
So, fourth, fourth, fourth, and fourth in the Omnium. Perennial fourth for week number three.
Still more to ponder. I am glad I raced with stronger guys. Even if it can be demoralizing, it ends up being a good push to ride harder and faster. On the other hand, I am still uncertain of my gearing. I find that I need a bit of work to get it spun up. I do not have the jump that others have, I am more of a ramp it up kinda guy. But once I ramp it up I end up sitting at 130 rpm which means I am maxed out. The rear disc wheel contributes to some of that, but once it is up and turning I have the benefit that I can better maintain that speed.
Special thanks to CJ Alan Atwood, CR Karl Dittebrandt, James Lyman, and the EMTs and all the participants for making these races possible.