Tuesday Night Track Enduro Omniums #1 4/12/2011

Posted: April 18, 2011 in Track

Presented by the indefatigable Hernando.

Oh Track hack, how I missed you…um sort of.

Track hack: [tr?k h?k] n. to cough harshly, usually in short and repeated spasms, after fiercely exercising on a paved, circular racing course. adj. indicating or characterized by elation you get from racing on the velodrome. Elation is usually accompanied by dry, hacking cough – the gift that keeps on giving.

It was a beautiful day to head to the track for the first race of the year. I LOVE Tuesday Night racing, though I don’t get to make my way down to San Ho during the week as much as I’d like to. My plan was my usual one, don’t get dropped, if things are going well, try for some points in the points races, if things are going really well, attack as much as possible, and if things are going impossibly well, get some omnium points.

I had plenty of time to warmup, for once, and things went fine, but I noticed that people were not holding their lines as well as they usually do. Everyone was a bit rusty which is to be expected in April on the Track. I did have one close call as the person who was leading the last lap of the warmup, not only sat up, but slowed precipitously once he crossed the start/finish, without bothering to move out of the pole lane. I was right on his wheel and didn’t anticipate he would slow that much and I had to cut across the apron to avoid any possibility of a collision. It is definitely bad form to crash in the warmup! Luckily I avoided that.

Race 1 –> 15 Lap Points Race

Sprints every 5 laps. Junior Dylan Drummond attacked from the gun and quickly gained 1/3 of a lap on the field. We organized quickly and chased him down in ~ 3 laps. Once the catch was made and the group bunched up, I moved to the outside, just in time to catch a wheel allowed me to roll to the front (4th wheel) on the bell lap. I outsprinted the 3rd place rider for 2 points, my first ever in a B-race.

After the sprint, I cycled back through the pack and that is where I first noticed how squirrely some riders in the pack were riding. Mostly it was minimally experienced cat 4s who were not up to holding their line while riding above lactate threshold this early in the season (if that doesn’t sound totally pompous, I don’t know what does). For the rest of the race, I tried to stay in the pole lane and move up, but that was not working and I had to take the wind to come over the top a couple of times to stay in contact. The last sprint I finished 6th and out of the money for the first race (Money being omnium points). (Avg. Speed: 27.4 mph)

After regaining control of my Track hack, funny how you can train for half a year, putting your body through all sorts of tortuous intervals, group rides/races and other obscene things, and one little 5k points race makes your body spasm like you were in some John Carpenter movie.

Race 2 –> 20 Lap Scratch Race

Again the Junior took off at the start, but we were ready and he didn’t get too much of a gap before we brought him back. We were bunched up for most of the early part of the race, then about half way through, I went out on the attack with another rider, hoping that a couple of others would bridge so we could have a decent break, but they all just chased and brought us back in after a few laps. I spent the rest of the race recovering on the pole lane. With about 2 to go, the pace picked up and I had a nice seat in the pole and we were moving up coming around the last turn when one of the sketchy guys started oscillating (there’s a geek physicist word for ya!) in the corner. This lead to some bumping and then he went down, right in front of me. Fortunately the oscillation distracted me just enough that a gap opened up in front of me, so I was able to avoid being collected in the carnage. (Avg. Speed 27.0 mph)

Race 3 –> 40 Lap Points Race

Sprints every 10 laps. This race was the best of the night, i.e. safest, as the sketch riders had either left or were fatigued, or figured out how to ride in a straight line. No attack from the Junior as we started the race at a pretty fast pace. Coming out of turn 4 to receive the bell for the last sprint, I was positioned perfectly, above the stayers line, ~mid pack, so I ramped it up to try and take a solo flyer for the points. I was caught just as we entered turn 3, but the bigger problem was we were approaching two slow riders. I assessed my situation. The pack was on my wheel and people were sprinting around me on the outside. As we were catching the slower riders, I started slowing and hooking my way out of the pole lane so I could come around the slow riders, and not kill anyone who was trying to come around me.  I made it through, but wasn’t too happy about it. That’s life in the first track race of the season! (Avg Speed 26.7 mph)

That’s it! I kept my skin, took some sprint points, got some attacks in, reconnected with a bunch of bike buddies, and hopefully got some speed in my legs. All in All a great night, just remember boys and girls, hold your line, don’t ride over your head, if you want to get fast, be like Stan and ride tempo on the front of the A group most of the night, and for god’s sake if you are off the pace on the last lap of a race, stop bullshitting with your teammate, take a peak over your shoulder, and if the pack is haulin’ ass after you, get the hell out of the way!

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