After having a conversation with a wise man on Saturday, I shall call him “Yoda,” I decided to use Wednesday nights for my experimentations. At least the temperatures were reasonable, and there was a little bit of a breeze. I changed back to my standard Kissena gear a 52×15, and I am still on the squishy stock wheels.
- Race #1: Men Cat 4: 6 Lap Scratch: Race runs the determined number of laps; top 5 taken at the finish.
I had a plan. We rolled off the rail, and when we got between turn one and turn two, the whistle came from the chief referee. I was staying high up the track. I gave myself two or three pedal strokes to wind up, then I attacked with all the power I could muster shooting down the slope and onto the back stretch. I was out of saddle all the way to the 200m line. I took my Flying 200m line and dropped into turn three to keep my speed up.
I am not sure at what point but one of the other guys from Deluxe bridged up to me. I looked at him as he came up next to me and I screamed over the wind to work with me. We got into a two man rotating pace line until Bryam Mora and Alyosha bridged up, now becoming a four man rotating pace line.
I must say that the ensuing six laps felt like never ending agonizing hell. I was pushing hard into your anaerobic system. Sadly, on the last lap I started to pay the price, and I could feel myself fading, losing contact with the other three. On the back stretch, two more riders had managed to bridge up and they passed me. With anvils in my legs I kept it going to the line.
At the end of the race I had some angry guys at me for blowing up the field. Miki’s video does not show the attack as it seems he started recording late in the race.
- Race #2: Men Cat 4: International Tempo: Following a bell after a certain number of laps (2) to be announced by the starter, the first rider across the start/finish line on each lap will collect 1 point until the last lap in which the points are 2 and 1 for the top 2 places. There will be a bell at the start of the points laps and for the final lap.
I was still feeling my effort from the first race. The first two laps were non scoring laps so the group appeared to be happy just parading around the track. Going into the bell lap for the first set of points, we were still keenly marking each other. On the back stretch, there was still lots of hesitation, I took the occasion and jumped, and launched my attack. I came onto the front straight with a good amount of speed. I noticed that I had a wheel coming up on me so I kicked harder and that kept the guys behind at bay so I got points on the first sprint.
In turn one I sat up, and the main group passed me by. I hung just off the back the field happy that I won one of the sprints. I figured if the usual suspects divvied up the points between them I would still come out okay, versus the rest of the field with no points. All I needed to do was to finish and not get lapped. In many cases, getting lapped equals a twenty point deduction.
And, once again Miki’s video dos not show my attack on the back stretch.
- Race #3: Men Cat 4: Elimination: Riders are pulled until 2 are left, and next lap determines 1st and 2nd place in the race (as judged by the leading edge of the front wheel).
By now I was really feeling my efforts from the first two races. I hoped to not get eliminated first and hang in for a bit. I was doing okay on the front, controlling the elimination process, but as per my usual, when were were down to about six I ended up in a bad place. I looked around and realized I was in imminent danger of being eliminated. I did not have the legs to push harder, and so, I accepted my fate with dignity and grace.
- Race #4: Men Cat 4: 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 the last sprint.
Yes, four races. This was going to be good. A few of us were hoping to counter after the first sprint for the points and maybe get some separation. One of the guys took a page out of my book and jumped right away and got the first sprint. We chased and in the ensuing sprints, I am not sure how it all played out.
I do remember that in the second sprint I got pushed up track coming out of turn three, thus negating me fighting for max points, I did come away with one point. I did finish fourth which yielded two more points, but not good enough for a decent place finish. By the end of the race, I was hurting so much that when I finished the race I felt like throwing up. I consider this a good sign that I left nothing on the table.