Because I am a glutton for punishment and the lack of racing at T-Town for us plebeians during the month of July, I decided to take a vacation day from work and head back to T-Town and race their Super Tuesday event. I also had a bit of an incentive, in that my coach, whom I have never met in person, was going to be there racing in the Category 1 field as he prepares for Nationals later in July.
Amy was happy to join me on my trip, which made me very happy. Tuesday races start at seven in the evening with the venue opening around five, five-thirty. The goal was to arrive between four thirty and five, and with this in mind we set out from Smithtown at one thirty.
Unfortunately we ran into some diabolical city traffic due to issues on the George Washington Bridge, so diverted up north to the Mario M. Cuomo bridge and then back down into New Jersey and off towards Pensilvania. With the delays we arrived ten after five and that gave us time to load in our gear. My coach, John Croom was already on track warming up.
For this event, the only field I qualified for was the Men Category 4/5. Unfortunately a whole host of juniors were also going to be racing in my field as they are also preparing for Nationals.
2Km (6 Laps) American Tempo (Laps: 1, 2 points. Last Lap 3, 2, 1 points): As soon as we were up on track, and the gun fired, the pace picked up fast. It was obvious from the start that the junior teams were employing a full set of team tactics. I was clued in on this when one of them asked his teammates before the start about the plan. The few adults in the game were left with the task to break up their flow. I sat in most of the race waiting for an opportunity. However, this was only going to be six laps and I had to do something. Usually I am used to faster races with more laps. To my annoyance, at some point I had a shoulder rub with one of the kids on the track. With the last lap looming, I powered up and contested the final sprint. Unfortunately, Zak Andrews of Doylestown Bike Works p/b Fred Beans beat me by inches to the line. I ended up in third place in this race due to tie breaking rules. No complaints from me since I only was able to grab two points.
Miss-And-Out: Once again I had to face my least favorite race. I went in with the goal of trying to stay for as long as I could. I succeeded in staying upfront for a while. Even though I was eating some wind, my efforts were not as hard then if I was playing the devil. I survived ten eliminations. I feel back a bit and I had to contend with a kid that could not ride a straight line to save his life. Frustrated, and with my legs feeling the heat, I ended up bowing out in ninth place as things were getting uncomfortably choppy.
3Km (9 Lap) Scratch Race: Just like the first race the pace started off quick with a lot of jockeying for position. I tried to keep a bit up track and just off the front during this wash machine period. With four to go a Cuevas kid attacked at the front. I let a few riders slot in to help bridge the small gap that was forming ahead of me. I was not ready to commit an effort at this point. Just as soon as we were heading into three to go, another Cuevas Kid attacked. With two to go, yet another Cuevas Kid tried to attack, but coming into the bell lap, I passed this third Cuevas, and also a TTown youth, and I then tried to close down the gap to the leaders who were now getting away at the front. Unfortunately I ran out of track before I could challenge them for the win, ending up in third place.
By the end of the third event, I was shot and overheating from the high temperatures, and I was not in the mood to race the B Feature with all the Juniors. Thus I changed out of my kit and watched the last bit of races, and had a brief chat with my Coach once he was done. After a quick bite to eat, we headed back home and we were happily in bed by one forty five in the morning. After racing the Masters field, I must say I am a bit spoiled, and I did struggle to adapt to having such a large Junior presence. In the end, I finished third in the Omnium.