A day off after a hectic Friday, I was hoping to be still racing today but Friday evening didn’t really go as planned. I didn’t leave the track on Friday not wanting to drive back and forth between my morning and evening schedules. We relaxed, had a buffet lunch at the velodrome and slept a bit in the car. Yeah, doesn’t sound comfy but it was. I got back in to have a more casual warm up time in the afternoon, first time of the week that it didn’t feel rushed. The warm up went good, feeling strong and concentrated on the efforts I needed to do so my first ride was against a Frenchman who’s 200 time was close to mine. I drew position 1, where I wanted to be anyhow. Staged and ready, 1 lap, 2nd lap he was leading me and above going a bit faster but still above me so he couldn’t come over the top of me so I caught him and took him up track in 3 and then dropped and sprinted with all I had as the bell started to ring, unfortunately I didn’t get a big enough gap and he was strong enough to get over around and drop me. His time was 13.04 so about what we did for qualifiers. This was a 1 ride only so next I was placed with two others for a one race only ride to determine who would come back Sat. morning.
3 up repechage, the losing 2 would go to the 9-12 four up race later tonight. I drew position 1 again, lined up and we were off, me against a guy from Japan and a Brit. We lined up and were off, the Japanese guy trying to get had of me, we came around turn 1 with 2 to go and I was passing him, my plan to be at the rail in 2 and ride off the front from 400 meters changing, I decided to move him up track as he was a on my hip and I had a wheel ahead, I moved up, heard him yell but he didn’t move, we got very close when I felt his pedal hit my right shoe and then grind away at my rear disc wheel, then bump, clunk, crash, the two behind me went down and I rolled down the back with a strange flapping sound from the back of my bike. I looked back and a chunk of carbon wheel was hanging out flapping against the seat and chain stays as the wheel went around on my bike. Double gun, race stopped, medics moving up to the track As I went down to change the rear wheel, a group of American racers that I’ve met rushed over to help me and I got my Rolf wheel gear swapped and the wheel on and headed back to the entry only to get sent to the commissar who told me I caused the accident and was relegated. I protested a bit but he said he was sorry and I was still relegated.
The other two got to race alone with and Japanese guy beating the Brit.
I’m now in the 4 up last race of the night to determine 9th through 12th. Lots of emotions and comments from the rest of the racers, a Brit bitching me out as I walked passed him and a bunch of USA mates telling me I was screwed but the end result was what the commissar decided.
The four up turned into a 3 up, Norm, a Canadian went off the front to try and kilo me and the other guy, I stuck to the wheel of the other guy and we blew by Norm but I didn’t quite have the power to come over the top, I was about half a bike length behind at the line, leaving the night with a 10th overall.
I eventually found both the Japanese and Brit guys and apologized for the crash, even though I think it was just aggressive racing. The Japanese guy shook hands, hugged and bowed to each other and things seemed OK. The Brit, who was getting medical attention for some scrapes and missed the 4 up event, didn’t think much of my explanation, not my problem.
Back at the velo now, Saturday morning, to use their wifi because the hotel one sucks and then off to a vineyard tour before some roller work and back for a points race tomorrow.