Friday updates

The week must be coming to an end soon, Dan Casper packed up his bike yesterday afternoon at the track and this morning was off to the airport for his trip back. The rest of us are still here with Mark Stewart set to be a sprinter today. I’ve lost track of what else Dan Schuller is doing, maybe sprints today as well. I know the three of us are scheduled to do a Team Sprint tomorrow with qualifiers and finals. It is an over 135 age category so I suspect there will be some very fast teams. It should be a fun event for us, we have only done 2 training efforts at Blaine with all three of us together. We have been watching the British National team practice their team sprints so I am sure that will make the difference and make us lots faster. I have the room Dan and I shared to my self which seems a bit lonely, we had a great time rooming together for another race week. (first was at T-Town last July) Last night was my 40 lap points race. I finally have the warm up timing set with 2 races out of 5 to go. On the rollers by 4:20, in the first warm up line by 5:40, on the track at 5:05 for a few laps, back off for a gear change to race gear and back in line. Back on the track by about 5:40 for some hard laps and pace line work and then whistled off at 10 to for the races to start at 6. Then the big wait, second to last race of the night, thinking it would go off about 9 but instead off closer to 10! Rollers on and off all night to stay active and warm. There is a warm up ring that is part of the basket ball court that covers the entire infield reserved for riders to gather and ride slow just prior to each race. That allows the officials to locate everyone and make sure we are off together. (all the rest of the court is covered with carpet and metal dividers to allow “tent” areas for the riders) The entire NSC crowd was there for my race as supporters, which was great to see. Included were Verbs and Mike Smith up from London as well as my friends Andy and Kathy Shell from Mpls. Thanks to everyone for all the great cheering. Three victory ceremonies to roll around and then grouped, given instructions to roll out on to the back straight, do a lap and a half before the gun to start. No rail starts at Manchester. My plan was to stay close to the front and in drafts behind riders I thought may be fast. The pace was quick but not all the fast until about lap 33 and then it t ramped up, finding the first group I started to sprint on the back and as we came around on the bell, I got 4th for 1 point, alright ease off and recover some and re group. I rolled back, down into the lane and then moved up in the pack again picking my way through for a good position. The speed picked up and I found myself near the front again and sprinted to the line 4th again, one more point. This time recovery was a lot harder, rolling to the back and trying to claw back to the group. What I didn’t see was 4 off the front using the slower pack pace to eventually get a lap on the field. The next sprint was not for me, just recovering and trying to stay nearer the front. The laps counting down, I tried to sprint again on the last bell lap, not for points but just for the best finishing position I could eke out coming across the line 12th on the last sprint. (average speed of 43.431 taking just 13:48.9 time) It’s taken until late this morning to find the results on the web site, I finished 11th with 2 points. Looking back at more results, I have failed to mention Dan Schuller’s 10th place finish in his 2K Pursuit, 2:32:516 at 47.208K per hour average, congrats Dan! Scratch race for me tonight, just not quite so late, hopefully 7 to 8 P.M.