Tuesday was a big day for all the NSC racers. Timmer and Dan had a qualifying heat for their later that night Scratch race, Linsey was up for an evening 20 lap Scratch, my schedule showed a 500TT in the evening. Sam, our newest friend who is now staying with me and Linsey had a brutal 120 lap Points race, last event of the night. Feeling a bit selfish but knowing I have lots of races yet to do, I didn’t attend the morning session. Linsey was there and her report is both heat races were fast and hard but Dan and Timmer made it through. (They were each in one race, not in the same heat)
Evening session starts at 6, warm up time on the track from 5 to 5:50, a routine is forming for me at least. Leave the house about 3:45, arrive at track at 4. Set up pit area and rollers, get kitted up and ride rollers for about 20 minutes as a preliminary warm up. On the track in the second wave. Back in and switch to race wheels and gears and back on the track for another 5-10 minutes max sneaking in a few hard accelerations on the home straight, keeping it safe. Back to the pits for water and rest with some roller time about every 10 to 15 minutes to keep active before my 500, 1st race of all of us tonight.
A year ago I set a goal to be under 40 seconds in my 500 this year. So far that time has eluded me. I haven’t made it down to my fastest time yet this summer but tonight I have a last chance to make it happen. I start 4th heat, home straight. I have some of the same tingles as last night, so this should be good. There are chairs at the track gate to sit in and wait with your bike, this is my time to be very quiet and extremely focused. The count down starts at 12 seconds, a beep at 10 and then beeps at 5 on down until zero is the start. As I sit and wait I can practice my start and visualize how it will go, works well for me. The officials walk your bike to the start gate as you wait at the track entrance and once the bike is in, you can walk up and get on. They ask if you are ready and then hold a colored paddle up when you are ready, there is another rider on the other side of the track doing the same. Once both are ready the count down starts. If the count was longer, like from 15, which is what I’m used to, I drop to the bars at 10. Now, I am in the bars right away after saying ready. Watching time clock count down, I feel relaxed but twitchy at the same time, 2, 1, off the saddle and back, GO! out of the saddle heading to turn 1, humm, sponges in the turn, ride above them but stay down in the lane. I’m in the same big gear I used for the Scratch race, trying it out for the 500 as well and it feels good. (52/15) Down in the saddle entering turn 3 on the first lap, around 4, Linsey is SCREAMING at me to go faster, back straight, here is when it starts to get really hard but I seem to be mostly on top of the gear, 3, 4, home straight and then push to finish. As I ride around turns 1 and 2 I can see the results board, 39.856!!! YES, under 40, first time ever. For a while the time stands but by the end I get 5th out of 18. Great result for me, best time ever and best finish at a National or International event. No hardware but I am plenty happy with that. Big effort, can hardly walk back to the pit but very happy. Now some rollers to ease off the night and wait for Linsey’s Scratch.
Definitely a hard ladies Scratch race. Johanna, from Thunder Bay is also in this race. She was at NSC a few weekends at season end as warm up to this event and we met her and her husband. The pace is fast and hard right away, some jumps and then slight easing. Linsey is towards the back but staying with the pack in the draft, hopefully saving some energy. Everyone is riding higher on the track then we normally do at NSC and very close. 10 laps done, closing in on 5, Lins is kind of stuck in the middle. With about 3 or 4 to go she slips through a gap that doesn’t even look like a gap and gets to the front 3-4 riders. With 1 to go Linzilla comes out to play and does a monster sprint to the finish holding off the next ride back by only about half a bike. 3rd place and a chance to stand on the podium. Tell me we don’t have great riders at NSC, every one has hardware so far. Linsey can’t hardly walk after that effort as well. I catch her on the apron in 3 where you can exit the track to the infield. Water and help her back into the pit area to celebrate. Great race Linsey. A short time later she is on the podium collecting the medal and flowers.
I need to leave and get home for food and sleep, up early tomorrow at 6 to get ready for my 2K. The Scratch and Points race report is just hearsay. Both Dan and Timmer finish the Scratch race, Dan being marked all the time so no podium results . Timmer stays with the pack until the end as well. Dave, their Team Pursuit partner gets the gold I believe. Sam, who is trying to get more competitive in Masters races has a hard race and is off the back and out of the race due to an extremely fast pace.
Time for food and bed for all. Timmer is done for the week and going back. Just down to Dan, Linsey, me and Sam for the rest of the week.