Sunday, 12 February 2012


Prahran - Port Melbourne - Port Melbourne - Prahran:
I wanted to ride this morning, but felt it best to avoid digging too deep into my legs before the afternoon's track racing. So I rolled down to the SKCC Crits and asked for a marshal's vest, sitting at the back of D and C grades kept me out of the strung out A grade bunch.

D grade was hooking, at one point Floris Goesennin (also marshalling, was effectively lapped out when the small bunch he was watching was overtaken by the main bunch.

Sadly I didn't get to spend much time advising Steve in C-grade, I suppose that's good though, it meant he wasn't languishing at the back.

D: 87km
A: 65m

There was a blustry wind blowing up the back straight, enough for me to try dropping to a 102" gear, then get peeved at my time. I rode a 12.770, I feel with the work I've put into my legs I should be challenging my BBN PB of 12.384, regardless of conditions. To prove that point Jaegen Castles (J17) rolled a 79" gear to a 12.461. I was left with that niggling question of "could you have given more?". I hate that question.

In race one I was up against Nick Cockerell. Confident that I had him covered for acceleration and top end I was content to follow. He let me stay up past his hip while leaving the pace slow, we continued to roll around like that until ~250 to go at the club house. Having space over the top I hit first and quickly had enough gap to put myself in the lane. Coming out of the final turn into the home straight I started to soft pedal, a quick glance under my arm confirmed Nick was no where in sight. WRONG! Nick had kept chasing and was coming up my right (I checked under my left... in hindsight the stupidest place to look). I desperately threw for the line and managed to take the win.

In race two it was me vs Jerome Bechaz (J17), I was again confident I had the speed over him and was again content to follow. The pace was a little higher than against Nick, Jerome attacked first (I dont even remember where... 300m out in the home straight?) and I paused momentarily to let a gap open then went hard to come through and over the top.

Winning 2 from 2 still didnt guarantee my a 1v2 finals place, I needed to win race three against John Cochrane (J17). I wasn't confident about an knockout win against John, so when I drew the lead I decided to keep it and try to play on the accumulated fatigue he'd have from 2 days of state training. I sat my arse close to the lane, ensuring I held control and worked to steadily bring up the pace, removing any jump in his legs. at 330m out I kicked, into the headwind I got low and went all out, continuing to drive to the line (I wasnt going to make the mistake I made against Nick again). I'm not sure how close John got, my head and legs were buried in the effort from the 200m line.

The last race was the one I'd expected to occur all day, the 1v2 final against Jaegen. Jae had qualified 1st, I had qualified 2nd and both of us had won through in straight sets (James Dann also won through in straight sets, but was in the 3v4 final due to f200 time). I had the lead, and went for the same tactic as against John. It was more important this time, Jae has a wicked kick that I wanted to negate. 330m to go as Jae loses any chance of gaining / using the banking I kicked, then put everything in down the back straight at the time I assume he's coming off my wheel. Through the exit of turn 4 Jae was behind my hip, I put all I could into my pedals as he slowly gained ground down the banking. A pair of gutteral yells pierced the air as we both lunged for the line. I looked at him, he looked at me, neither of us had a clue who'd got it. I hoped my longer arms would be the winning difference but when we circled back past the line Sue the chief com signalled that Jae had snuck his tyre ahead. I was both gutted and happy. I wanted that win, but I was bloody impressed with how the juniors had ridden after a weekend of training. I don't see as much of Jae as I do of James, John and Jerome, but it's hard not to feel part of their success.

PMPW: 97kg

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