Edit: The videos went up last night after I went to bed. I just finished reviewing the videos of my races and I have to say that what there is some disparity between what they show and what I remember. I suppose my brain does not retain all the information while in oxygen depravation.
My observations of the races is that things loosely happened the way I remembered but at different points on the track then what I had initially thought. Besides that, the video shows I finished sixth in the last race, the Scratch race, which was just one place out for some good omnium points.
Last but not least another correction, my next race will be Wednesday night at Kissena before heading to T-Town.
Unfortunately, week six and seven got rained out, but we were finally rewarded with a nice evening for some good old track racing. The temperatures were in the high sixties to low seventies, but there was a swirly wind present at the track. The wind felt the most pronounced on the start finish stretch, but I could also feel some on the back stretch. While standing around, things definitely felt cool.
Getting to the track with an hour to spare before the start of the program for the evening enabled me to get a good amount of laps in to warmup. Being Wednesday night and with no lights on the track, the program has to move fast in order to finish before it gets too dark, so a good warmup is essential.
- Race # 1: 4 Lap Super Tempo: Every lap the first three riders score 3, 2 and 1 points respectively; the final lap scores 5, 3, 2, and 1 point.
The first race started off with a full neutral lap, although the pace from the front guys was a bit debatable for a neutral lap. Right away, a group attacked for the first two sets of points on offer. After the sprint for the second set of points, coming out of turn two, I saw that that lead group was not that far up ahead, and it appeared that they had sat up.
I took the occasion to launch out of turn two and bridge the gap. I assumed that the whole field would come with me, but I figured it was now or never. We had a relatively big field this evening which included some strong and capable guys. reaching turn three, I caught the small leading group. I figured they would hear me come and pick the pace back up, but they did not and I sailed right by. Exiting turn four I did not hear or notice any one with me. I crossed the line with the bell ringing and earned full points.
One more lap to go. I just kept my head down and motored as much as my legs and lungs would let me while trying not to bounce off the bumpy surface. Entering turn three my legs felt like anvils, and I knew my was speed was coming down. I was fully expecting the whole field to fly by. But only one other rider, Alistair Sponsel came around on my right. I just concentrated on keeping my legs going to the line. It paid off, as I finished in second place for three more points for a total of six. That put me in first place for this race with a total of six points. I was quite stoked from this outcome.
In this race I hit 181 beats per minute for my maximum heart rate, and I also topped out at 127 rpm on the pedals. Therefore I can consider this a good solid effort.
- Race #2: 9 Lap Points Race: Sprints every 3 laps; 5, 3, 2, and 1 point awarded for top 4 in each sprint. Riders gaining laps on the designated field will earn 20 pts; riders losing laps on the designated field will lose 20 pts. Ties in points are broken by finish of last sprint.
At the start, a small group got off the front and grabbed the first set of points. Right after, Paul Coluccio got on the front and set a decently fast tempo. On his wheel was his teammate and good friend Rodrigo Silva, an awesome sprinter. I parked myself third wheel of this group.
Approaching turn three heading into the sprint for the second set of points, a group caught us and came around. Rod moved off of Paul’s wheel and went with the group. I guess I had fallen asleep since I stayed on Paul’s wheel. By the time we were entering turn three, it suddenly dawned on me that Paul was spent since had done his work to tow his teammate, and was now fading. I moved out and chased to get back on but it was too late and I got no points on this sprint lap.
I am not sure what happened after that, but by the end of the race, I was just hoping for good placement for some Omnium points. I thought that Alyosha Smolarski pipped me to the line, but final results show me beating him and getting the last sprint point.
In this race I hit a maximum heart Rate of 180 beats per minute and a maximum cadence of 126. It is safe to say that I put in another solid race.
- Race # 3: 8 Lap Scratch Race: Race runs the determined number of laps; top 5 taken at the finish.
I was hoping for a decent finish in the scratch race, again I was keen on scoring well overall. Right away, Paul Coluccio tried some moves on the front, but it did not seem to have the desired effect.
At this point, I am not sure I remember much of how this race played out. I know that I worked to stay in the top five or so and with three laps to go, I ended up in front of the main group. With two to go, I pulled off to let some guys through I needed a bit of a rest and I also did not want to tow the whole field.
Heading into the bell lap, I was gapped off of a small lead group. I grabbed the wheel of John Alman, and stayed in his draft going into the bell lap. Exiting turn two is where I made my second mistake, besides the first mistake of letting the front group open the gap in the first place. At this point, I should have dropped the hammer and attacked full gas to try to bridge up and limit the damage.
Alas I waited until the two hundred meter mark, right before turn three, which got me me past John, but the effort was not good enough to break into the top five. I still put in a solid effort with 180 heart rate. My cadence suffered and I only maxed out at 118, but, being the third race, my legs were quite shot. In fact, exiting the track and putting my feet down, I had to sit on my top tube because my quadriceps were twitching so much that I could not stand up.
My efforts for the evening gave me a fifth place finish in the omnium. I feel that my track form is coming back and things are starting to work. I still have some things to try and work on, including a chainring that is in the mail. I believe the next track race will be at T-Town in Pensilvania. That is a great place to race, and I can not wait.
Special thanks to CJ Alan Atwood, CR Karl Dittebrandt, the EMS folks, Miki Moone for the videos, Victor Chan for the photos, and of course all the racers.