Teammates: Erik O, Steve M
Was grateful for the long sleeve skinsuit as the temperatures dipped into the 60's as the sun went down, had to put on an undershirt to keep from shivering. Big change from the 80's last week.
There was a little bit of excitement before the racing as one of the portable bike stands blew over with Dean, DanHolla, and Jim's bikes falling to the ground. Jim began his warm up and the damage to his bike became apparent on his last effort as his carbon fiber bars broke in two near one of the curves where the STI levers would go. Apparently the impact with the ground cracked it. Fortunately Jim did not go down but had to withdraw from the racing.
8 lap scratch:
Attack at the gun, get the whole pack for a tail, pull up after 2 laps, Elliot goes in the next lap and we watch and wait. With three to go the whole pack eases up, and pulls up to the stayer's line or higher so I pull into the lane and attempt to bridge. With one and a half laps to go I ease up a bit so I can time my slingshot over Elliot, then Elliot unexpectedly gives up and swings up track with one to go. I was hoping I could get him to get on my wheel and hold off the pack but this throws a wrench into my tactics as I see his teammate Brian over my shoulder start a counterattack for the last lap on the home stretch. Doh. Oh well, at least got a decent effort in with a couple of attacks in 8 laps.
Miss and out:
With 11 riders we will ride ten laps. This is a bit harder to do solo but what the heck, must go for it anyways. When we start going fast after the start, every one moves below the stayer's line, opening up half the track for passing, I accelerate over the top and see Matias in the lane and Steve M on his shoulder while I go over so I hope Steve can get on my shoulder and pin Matias there when they catch up. After four laps on the front I am dying, and find Matias in on my shoulder. Ooops. The next lap Matias ups the pace and I cannot match it so I find myself on his wheel after he pulls ahead and slots into the lane and I am boxed in - feeling somewhat relieved that I don't have to kill myself but then wishing I was not boxed in at the bottom of the track. I last two more laps and am the last rider pulled before we score points so a whole lot of work for no placing.
15 lap points race, sprint every 3:
Since this will take about 7.5 minutes at about 30 seconds per lap, I decide to *not* attack on the first lap since I do am pretty sure that I can not hold off the pack for that long. I hope to score points in the later sprints. What happens is I find myself behind a long line of folks, feeling somewhat comfortable just sitting in and having trouble finding motivation to exert myself to move up with four riders a bit off the front, those four scoring all the points. Finally with six to go we catch them and other riders score points. At this point we slow a bit, I consider attacking then the pace picks up again. After the sprint at 3 laps we ease up signficantly and everyone in front of me pulls up past the stayer's line. Saved too much in the tank as I accelerate and pull away from the pack and stay about a half lap away for the last three laps. Winning a sprint is nice but with five sprints, I did not think it was enough to matter in the ranking but I got 4th in this race.
There was a crash in the keirin final where Don Langley and Gen Kogure appeared to touch handlebars and both went tumbling to the track, thankfully early in the event when the speeds are lower. Both got up under their own power but only Gen continued to race the keirin restart and the last event.
30 lap points race, cat 1/2/3, field 35:
After witnessing the keirin crash and with 35 people in this particular race, decided to play this a bit conservatively and surf the back. They said they were probably not going to pull anybody but they should have, some people who were lapped multiple times were kind of careless and not looking when they were turning to get on what they thought was the back of the pack and hooking folks. Anyways, only felt I had to work a couple of times to stay in the group. There was an immediate separation at the start of the race and Larry Nolan was in the back group, and I could see him go to bridge, and amazingly, the people behind him did not react. The one thing I know about racing with Larry is that when if you are behind him when he goes, you go, or your race is over and that was pretty much the end of it for everyone in the second part of the pack. We eventually caught the main group but this was after Larry initiated a move to catch the break that lapped the field(edit, thanks for correction AJM). I think there were only about 25 people left at the end. I perceived this to be hard but the data shows it was not - have done much harder efforts in other races. It was definitely harder than the 40 lap scratch race last week. The first half of the race was easy after the split occurred and I was tempted to pull the second pack up to the first half of the field but the second half of the race was a bit more like TT pace, and still DanHolla, Steve P, AJM, and Brian were able to lap us in the second half of the race.
Total riding time: 2:10
Total TSS: 171