Silver will do ...
Club champs, HPV, club champs .. sleep!
A terse diary would say something like this
rainy morning so slept in because road skills were a washout
rode club champs masters scratch race, 2nd
rode club champs masters 500 ITT, 3rd
drove to Wonthaggi
rode HPV for 1hr 15 mins
drove back to Melb
club champs masters flying 200, 2nd (qualifier for sprints)
club champs masters match sprint vs Brett Curren - lost
club champs masters match sprint vs Nathan Larkin - won - 3rd overall
club champs 2km pursuit vs Alan Barnes, lost, 2nd overall in pursuit
finished 2nd in masters club championship overall
And that'd be about it. Even now (midnight on Monday) it seems a blur. The lads rode like champs - Richard was so unlucky not to beat me in the 500 ITT (0.05s margin, that's just human error), and I was a cunning rat to surprise and hold off Alan Doran and get 2nd in the masters scratch race (Alan Barnes was almost unbeatable, he won everything except the match sprints, the skill and cunning of Brett Curren was all that stopped a Barnes clean sweep).
The Wonth HPV was a disaster, the chain guard that had been burning a hole in my calf at the test wasn't moved enough, so I had to pedal twisted to one side to try and avoid it, so I bashed my thigh against the steering on both sides and I have a pair of very odd bruises on my quads, after 1 hr and 10 mins the seat popped out of its locating holes and I had to come in early, and when I got out I couldn't walk or sit down due to bruising or some muscle injury in my arse. My arms are blue from being bashed against the siderails too .... I let the team down in a big way and was very unhappy, but I was not going to get back in the thing. Vanders was almost as bashed about by it as I was but he managed to do his 3 hours. He's a tough nut. I couldn't do it, I had to lie on my side for the drive back to Melbourne and even now am having to sleep on one side to protect my arse! I owe Bev a big favour for driving me home that night.
Sunday I was hoping I'd be able to ride, bugger-all sleep and carrying injuries sustained at the HPV, I managed to warm up ok and do an ok time for a flying 200, I think it was a PB, but it was the first one I'd timed on a track bike, so who knows? Anyway, it was the second fastest of the masters, about 0.2 slower than Alan Barnes, but 0.05s faster than Brett Curren. So it's a raceoff against Brett to see who gets to race Alan for first. I know we're (Brett & I) about equal in terms of speed today, so it's going to be a very tactical sprint. Brett draws the low lane, and so he's got the advantage of control. I want to get behind him or better, below him so I can start the sprint on my terms, but he keeps me pinned to the fence for two laps, and I don't have the bike handling skill or confidence to get below him without him being able to close down any lane I might have. I throw a couple of dummy dives but he doesn't fall for such amateur moves, and then with a lap to go, we're away and although I manage to get onto his hip, I'm going the long way around the bend and he holds me off and wins safely. Bugger ... Brett goes on to win 2 out of three against Alan in the final, so that's good. I'm clearly beaten by a smarter and more experienced rider. It was a good learning experience and gave me lots to think about for next time.
We watch Rich easily win the raceoff for 5th. He's a sprinter, that's for sure. Very strong. With a bit more practice, sprint races will be his playground, and I'm sure he and Nath will have a fierce rivalry.
Barry 'Bazza the Wizard' wins the elite sprint over Jamie Goddard, Tom Leiper won the scratch race by a mile on Saturday, essentially turning it into 'everyone chase Tom if you can', reminiscent of Richie England's attacks a few years ago, while Jamie and THE Master M1 Stevie Martin played out a game for second, I think The Wizard won the elite kilo but am not sure, and Tom toasted everyone in the 4k pursuit.
Nathan's set the 4th fastest time in the masters flying 200's, so we have a raceoff for 3rd. I've got the low lane, and I'm feeling pretty trashed, I know I can go very early and most likely drop Nathan after a lap, but I'm not sure if I'd blow up, after the previous day's efforts I'm pretty cooked. So I keep it slow and gamble on a little more than a one lap sprint. I keep Nath on the fence, and as we come up to the bell, I jump and get clear, but Nath pulls a pedal. I sit up and roll around, this is not the right way to win a race. The rules say that I win, but it's not a real win, so I request a rerun and we get one. Good. This time I'm even more trashed, and I want the shortest sprint I can get. I'm low again, and keep Nath high, he doesn't want to be there and keeps surging to try and make me move too far forward so he can drop down behind me. I suck him down once or twice when he tries to sneak around the back to keep him honest, and as we come past the finish line, just as we start to roll up the bank I jump, hoping that he'll have started to ride up the bank and will be pointing up the hill and I'll get a gap. I'm not looking back, this is for a medal or nothing, and gun it as hard as I can with what I have left in the tank, and Nath can't come over. *phew*.
We have a break, then it's 2k pursuit time. I'm lucky, I guess, I'm seeded second (Alan Doran's not here today and Brett only rode the sprint), so get to get chased by Alan Barnes. It's only 2km, but I've never done a pursuit before. I've ridden an 88" gear all season, I'm not going to change it now. It's like doing the last exam in a 9 exam block at Uni ... just get it over with ... so away we go, and as the pursuit riders will tell you, it hurts like crazy for the last bit - I did my best to pace myself, but in the last lap I felt I had a bit left so I sprinted it (pride wouldn't let me get lapped by Alan!). I've never had a cramp in a VMO before, unique ... I still managed to get the second fastest time, so I'm pretty sure I finished second overall in the club champs for masters.
I'm pretty happy with that, it's my first season of track racing and I wasn't taking it at all seriously, as it's mainly been cross-training for winter road. I was very happy with second in the scratch race, early on in the season in C grade Alan Doran and I were pretty evenly matched, he had the endurance but I had top speed, but later on when we were both in B grade I struggled and he rode really well (and he gave me a lesson in sprint tactics! Always watch and be ready for a jump by an endurance rider, always!), but at this race I managed to control the pace for the last few laps and keep it low enough that I could use my sprint at the end, and although Alan Barnes was too strong, I kept Alan Doran at bay. They were too busy watching each other and I took advantage of that to steal second place. I think I managed to hold onto second for the masters track aggregate too, but am not sure. The BBN website isn't exactly up to date with the results and points ... so I can't be sure.
Bring on the road season ... I hope there's a flat Modella handicap this year, that's my favorite hunting ground ... For the hilly races, I'm a domestique for any aboc'ers that show up in my grade until the hills, then I solo home for the lantern rouge, but the long flat races are my playground. Bring it on ....