Monday, March 8, 2010

Race Report: inter-club track at Edwardstown

I went to Edwardstown again today for the inter-club track day put on by South Coast Cycling Club. What a great event!

Things didn't look good initially, it was a drizzling a bit when we arrived and most of us were thinking that it would get called off due to the weather. Luckily things didn't go the same way as the Bendigo madison, and the racing got under way, despite a slightly damp track.

The day started off with a one-lap (485m) TT. I rode this on my 'warmup' gear of 86", mainly because my start seems to be my weakness in these sort of events. As a result, I started fairly quick but I might have spun out a little bit towards the end. But all good. After this I switched over to 92.6", which I used of the rest of the day.

Next up was the teams sprint, club vs. club. Teams sprint is three riders per team, each rider does half a lap at the front and then peels off on the straight. So the first rider does half a lap, the second rider one lap, and the third rider the full one and a half laps - their finishing time is the time for the team.

I got to do three of these! I rode with Ben & Richard for the first team sprint. I was the first rider, then Richard, then Ben. We got off to a bit of a messy start but pulled it together and managed to beat the guys on the other side of the track.

Shortly after finishing I lined up again to be second rider with Marky G and Logan. Marky G has a very quick start, and I lost his wheel initially. He waited up for me, then really wound things up once I was on his wheel. I was definitely in the hurt box by the time I finished my turn, and Logan finished things off nicely. I think we won that one as well -- I can't remember! It was only the times that counted though.

Ben, Richard and I had done well enough with our first attempt to ride in the final for 3rd place. This time we swapped Ben and Richard around, so that Richard would be finishing. I started again. We started together a bit better this time, and managed to win the race for 3rd place.

Next up was the team pursuit - 6 laps of pain, 4 riders per team. I rode with Ben, Bec and Logan (in that order, with me starting at the back). We started off well, maybe a little too hard -- perhaps we were still in team sprint mode! Logan put in a big one-lap turn at the front for his first turn. The rest of us rolled through doing half-lap turns. Unfortunately Logan faded a little on his second turn, and then dropped off the back with one lap to go - we kept going without him as the time is taken from the third rider across the line. Our team finished pretty well - although we were beaten by the Central Districts CC team on the opposite side of the track (who were all rather strong riders). I would really like to do team pursuits more often, there is a lot to them in terms of pacing and keeping the team together. I think they're an excellent challenge.

I'm getting tired just writing all of this up!

Okay, so the race after that was a graded scratch race, nice and simple. B-grade was a big field. About 2 or 3 laps in I put in an attack which helped launch Ben off the front of the group. Shortly after doing so my legs said to me 'Sorry, we're done' and I was spent! Ben managed to stay away out the front, but was beaten by Rob Laing from Fatboys CC who managed to bridge over to him.

Finally we did the 'Adelaide Cup on Wheels' -- a two-lap (roughly 1km) handicap, with a round of heats for each grade, and then an all-in final.

For the B-grade heat I was given a rather generous handicap of 75m -- I was starting off at the front of the race! I started okay and lead the race out until the very end when 3 or 4 riders who had been sitting on came around me. The top six of us went through to the final.

In the final I was given 120m, not a huge gap given that there was some serious A-grade talent lined up behind me (including Matt Glaetzer off scratch.. famous for his negative-angle aero tuck). Dallas Z from PACC was just 5m behind me, and as the gun went he got off to a much better start, and I slotted in behind him.

Dallas ramped things up - he was out of the saddle accelerating hard for the first half a lap! We quickly passed the front markers after the first lap, and then we were at the front of the race. On the final corner I came around him, I was the leading.... my legs had barely anything left in them but the finish line was within sight! With about 100m to go Mick Young and Kyle Franson got past me for 1st and 2nd. I came in 3rd place. Can't be too sad about that! Dallas gave us all an awesome lead out.

Suffice to say, I'm rather stuffed after all of that!

Central Districts CC managed to take out the club contest - I think that their impressive amount of junior riders helped them with that! Port Adelaide CC came in second place, with South Coast CC coming in third.

It was good to get some track riding in as I'm signed up for the individual pursuit at the track state champs this weekend. Suffice to say, my time will not be amazing, but I'm doing it for the experience and 'fun' of it! Looking forward to it.

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