Thursday was sprint day for me, planned to and was my longest day at the track. Planned results were not quite what I would have preferred but it was still a fun day, just not a evening of racing in the finals. The evening ended in spectating for Dan and Timmer’s Points races. Sitting in the first row at the start feeling the “swirl” during 50 kph pack races. I’m just not sure why this isn’t a bigger spectator sport.
But back to a 5 A.M. wake up, breakfast, pack and go. Track opens at 7 A.M., 200 meter qualifiers start at 8:30 with rounds after between numerous other age events. My warm up went well, rollers pre track and then on track. The rear new tire felt good, front wheel this time was the FFWD four spoke because of the “other tire incident” with the I/O front. (in gluing process as of Thursday morning) Our group of 11 sprinters was narrowed down to 9 by start time. I was placed 3rd to the end on the start list for the 200. A little different start procedure to make it run smoother. All the riders lined up on the back straight inside rail and then an official would push us onto the track more parallel to the track then straight up as we do back home and at most other tracks. My 200 line and form was really good, time was kind of ordinary at 13.419 about .6 seconds slower than my all time PR but a PR for 2016. Even though my warm up jumps felt good the 200 felt hard, interesting, have to think on that.
There seems to be no way to judge how the officials will place the riders in follow up heats that I can figure. As it turns out my first ride is a 3 up (three riders total for 3 laps) Linsey is my helper today, thank you Linsey. Not having a helper is a BIG loss. If you can find a track helper they really don’t know how and what you want. Not good. Big push by Linsey to try and get me to position one, didn’t happen and as the ride played out my legs decided not to cooperate and I was off the back with a 3rd of three. 20 to 30 minutes recovery and I am up against the last place qualifier in a 2 up race. I got a good jump in turn 3 entering the bell lap and gapped him significantly for an “easy” win. Next up, a 2 up against an Italian. This race was more technical and fun, with both of us jumping in turn 3 prior to the bell, seems like a favorite place to go. Leaves about 350 meters to sprint, I was higher and got a better run, he jumped slightly before me but I grabbed the lane, barely, under him. Unfortunately, he came over me going through 1, 2 and the back straight to take the win. More recovery time during other events and then a 3 up again, winner gets to go to the finals in the evening, loses go home. I started in position one, Linsey gives me a great push and I get to first, a preferred placement for more than and maintain that for about two laps going into the bell but I can’t hold the two of them off on the last lap giving me 3rd of 3 again. No finals for me. The final results for this event only show the top 4 places but with my calculations it might be my best Worlds Sprints ever, placed 6th in the qualifier, placed 6th overall. Moving up from 10th place finishes.
And it’s only noon. Time for a hearty much at the attached cafe and a bit of relaxation. Back to the track to collect all the gear spread around the warm up square and get ready to go home. Oh, the bike store upstairs is open, might as well go take a look. Same place Jen bought her current track bike last year and besides Linsey has never visited the place. Lots of great Pinarello’s, track and road bikes, some slightly used, generally good prices compared to other shops. Another tempting road bike for Jen.
Oh, the British mens and women teams are training, might as well stay and watch some of that eh? An hour or two later we are finally out of there back to the house. Light dinner and now what? Well back to the track as a spectator for the Points races and a few other sprint rounds including a chance to watch the French guy in my age group win gold in the Sprint tournament. How many champ jerseys does he have now? Lots. Finally back home for a late snack and then down for the night.
Friday morning, late up, breakfast and coffee and of course Netflix, Sherlock Holmes for a few episodes. Points race tonight about 8 P.M. Leave here about 3:30 for set up and warm up and then sit around waiting to race trying to stay active. I’m looking forward to the excitement of the last race of my track season.