Thursday afternoon and evening and then Friday morning was nothing but relax and recover and try to adjust to the work load of a lot of days of racing. It felt good to just do nothing. Correction, Netflix has House of Cards and I have watched 10 episodes in the last day and a half. Yes I kind of feel like I should be productive, it’s my personality, but screw it, I don’t get many days to just veg out and do nothing. 10 hours of sleep, up at a reasonable time, 7 ish, free hotel breakfast at pool side (tiny outdoor pool, I haven’t even tried it) and then back to the room, legs up and relax. The only thing I get to think about is how to perform this afternoon in a 30 lap/10K Points race with all these old fast guys. At home, I work all day long and then head to the track for TNL and don’t dwell on all the different outcomes, today I get all day to think about it.
The afternoon session starts at 4 today instead of 2. My plan, leave the hotel at 2, get to the track, unload and set up in my newly found little corner of the free roller tent. Still trying to figure that warm up out but I got an early start to ride open track time in a warm up gear, do a few jumps and then switch to race gear and do some more. My plan was a 93 inch gear but it is really windy and it feels too big. I have just enough time to get to the infield and switch to a 92 inch gear. Back on the track for the last 5 minutes of warm up and glad I did. 92 it is. The True Trainers are also open so I can do some really hard resistance efforts right before my race other wise my regular rollers are good to keep warmed. Watching all the other events prior to mine, James Tainter is doing great in his Sprint rounds, go James! The Points race right before ours is run and then, not us, back to Sprint rounds. More rollers and then roll around the warm up track. Eventually they called bike check for us but right after we get a rain delay as it’s been really windy, over cast and threatening with sprinkles of rain. Lucky, only about 5 minutes of delay and up to the rail.
One of my concerns is the quality of riders in my age group, they my be fast but I don’t always trust how they ride. I have more trust in all my fellow racers at Blaine. Same start procedure as Blaine, line up on the rail, whistle off for a neutral lap and if bunched, a gun to start. That’s how it worked, I was close to the front but staying out of the wind, especially the home straight head wind. Sprints at lap 24, 18, 12, 6 and last lap. There are 11 of us, 3 are really fast, I’m not one of the 3. I get gapped some on the first sprint but get right back in the field. This year it looks like it will be fast at sprints and easier on in between laps. The sprints keep happening and I keep going off the back but dragging back on to the pack with the help of a couple of others. The laps are counting down, someone gets a lap on the field. With about 4 to go, there are two team mates who are trying to work together, one at the blu line ahead and above his team mate in the lane. I got on the back of the upper one and kept him below me by staying close enough and above him to trap him. He was a good wheel to follow. The laps count down and I was determined to stay on. My sprint competitor is below me and I have him trapped as well as we get 2 to go. One to go and I am still there and trying to sprint for a long lap finish. Coming through turn 4, I went up track a bit higher than I should have for no good reason and one guy got under and by me but I still finished 6th in the last sprint. Tough race, finished with the pack but gapped at every sprint but the last, no points but got 8th overall and at least felt some feelings for all the hard work since last winter.
Obviously, back to the hotel for a repeat of last night, early to bed, sleep a little late and be ready to race earlier tomorrow. One 5K Scratch race left and I feel better about how I can race tomorrow. I just need to be packed and ready to start driving home after that last race. It will be good to get home to family and friends and of course Max the pomeranian.