I feel a lot more relaxed, the Scratch race is done for this year, my first of the events. Last year I did really well in the scratch race, unusual race for me to get a great result. It was split in 2 due to a crash with about 7 to go and was neutralized for about 10 laps and then was back on again which suited my sprinter training. Last night was a different race altogether. Only 20 laps and the first 12 or so were at a comfortable pace. The problem with that is there were lots of crazy moves in the field without people looking so I had at least three body/bike contact incidents, one with only a few laps to go that probably effected my results some but not significantly. I worked my strategy during the race staying protected behind a body or two and then with 5 to go or so got in a lower open lane to try to go for the finish. Just didn’t have the same sprint as last year at the end.
The fast French guy is back from last year and everyone in our field now knows about him and he really dictated the race with everyone marking him which made most of the laps slower and sketchy. There were a few off the back as well that got lapped, good to know for future races. I’ll remember them.
Oh yeah, the French guy went off the front at the end again and had 30 meters or more on the second place guy like last year.
I’m back to racing the same gear I rode last year. Bigger is not always better, at least at the beginning of the week. My warm up worked out well. Early arrival allowed some roller warm up before getting on the track 3 different times for the 50 minute open session. This year you can stay out as long as you want, even the whole session. If you do come in, another rider from the que gets to go on. Allowed me to go through a gear progression and find the proper gear for me for that event.
Speaking of gear, even when you think you have all the bases covered another catch springs up. I was tightening my rear Zipp 808 wheel before going up and the inner flange serrated lock nut cracked. That makes the wheel unrideable. Lucky I brought spare wheels so I put my disc on even though it is a bear to get tightened properly and still have enough chain slack. Now the challenge is to get a spare lock nut. So far this morning it’s looking bleak. I keep thinking about the new spares I have back in my bike shop at home. Dam, need to add another spare part to the packing list.
The way the race played out, it was probably good I had a rear disc on, in at least one instance I felt/heard someone trying to jam a pedal into my rear wheel. The disc saved that from becoming a crash and a ruined wheel.
Garmins, not sure what to say about them. They have been good in the past but now with all the power meters, speed, cadence and HR sensors on everyone it is becoming almost impossible to connect to your own equipment. It took all of the 4:00 to 6:00 time to finally get connected and then the speed sensor still wouldn’t stay connected for any useable length of time. Garmin, add an option that allows you to save sensors to your head unit for future connecting.
Another new media option this year is live feeds of final events and victory ceremonies. The production company is called “A Crew of Few Productions”. You can google them and find the events if you care to watch. YouTube is where you will find them. We also get a bunch of alerts about start lists and results on Twitter this year. Seems like all the organizers are trying everything they can to communicate. It’s sometimes tough to decide which site to look.
2.5 hours before we leave for a big night of racing, 500TT for me and Scratch races for Andy, Jen, Sandy and Sam. I think Dan and Timmer have scratch races tonight too. (They had qualifiers earlier today)
Same mantra only shortened up; Safe, Fun, Pain!