The track infield was open early again, the officials were finally learning that we need warm up time before races, but the track was closed as per usual. Qualifying heats for some of the younger riders were to start at 9, the track finally opened about 9:30, uggh!. I was on the rollers for 25 minutes prior so I went off for some laps, did my 1st hard effort, came in for a gear change for the next “race gear” effort but riders were called off, dam. My race wasn’t until about 1 P.M. So a long morning of staying hydrated and fueled. Another new friend from Trexeltown missed out on his qualifier due to official miscalculation, sorry David, but Kris from Canada made his final. My race was getting smaller, down from 16 and people dropping out because they were tired or who knows why. Kim was out for here points race, 3 age groups together, yuck. She rode a good active race attacking when she could to get ahead of the other strong riders but could not get anyone to help her so, eventually, no points. Time for awards then the 5th, 6th and 7th race. Mine being the 7th. Rick from CA, was talking to me and helped me plan a miss and out like strategy for the race which I was thinking about the night before while on the rollers back at the hotel, stay protected in the pack until the sprint lap and then move up and over. The plan was a good one until the second lap when four guys went off the front, I tucked on behind them and the race was strung out in a line, so long miss and out tactics. 3 or 4 strong riders drove the field, it slowed slightly after each sprint but not much. I think I was 5th in at least 2 sprints, no points. One sprint, a Brit pulled up at the start of the home straight when I was flying by him and bumped shoulders with me, getting even, not really just very tired and happy he didn’t crash me or him. It was a good race for me as far as tactics, I stayed protected and went up track to take advantage of the banking when the pack slowed, there were just some really fast riders, the last sprint I gave it all I could and eventually took 6th overall, with no points. Saved the best for last again. Last year my best was 10th in the points so 6th was a good number for me.
The rest of the day slowed while I packed the bike for the road trip south, loaned my new Canada friend Kriz my front 808 Zipp because he had a flat and eventually said good bye to some officials I got to know and like as well as some competitors, including an Argentinian who seemed to become my best friend as I packed the car and even though we couldn’t really converse he wished me well and said, see you in Manchester next year. Does this mean the 2011 season just started?