Tuesday, 5 June 2012

5/06/2012

Brunswick Tuesday Track:
Track is back with a brand new mission. Yep, rather than stew in the funk created by a lack of a road bike, I've decided to rap out with my track out. Ok fine, that little music thing didnt really work. Whatever, your face is a little music thing!

Neil: Are entries for seniors open yet?
Volunteer: Yep
Neil: My name is Neil. A grade please.

And just like that I was entered into my first Tuesday night track race since the 19th of April last year... before that it was October 2009.

First up was a scratch race. I rolled turns until around 6 laps to go when Dave Kelly decided to just motor pace the entire bunch. Sweet! I was 3rd wheel and feeling just dandy. 2 to go and a couple came up the outside. Fuck, I was boxed or forced to go 4 wide. Greg Hogan (one of those 3 wide at the front finally kicked clear, opening space for me to come through everyone else. I gave chase, taking a wheel or two's length out of him, but not enough to overhaul the bike length he had on the line. Not a bad result but given how peppy my legs felt with 2 laps to go, I felt this one was mine to win.

Next was an elimination, I wasn't terribly interested in it, instead wanting to keep some legs in the bag for a final motor pace. I used the first 3 cuts to play with track bunch riding skills. Making position for myself (pushing up on a rider), watching and counting those around me. Sadly on the 3rd cut I was edged by two guys going the loooong way around.

"Final race is a points race."

FUUUUCK! The surging attack and counter attack nature of points races are brutal. It's no secret that I do not love them, but given I'd opted out of any serious racing in the elimination I was facing the prospect of a fairly unproductive night of riding.

I didn't have a specific plan for the race. Take a few points here and there, hurt a bit, and roll through to the line. We had 40 laps, and sprints every 10. I took 4th in the first sprint, then kicked for the second, losing out (due to assuming I had it in the bag) on a throw to Dave Kelly. He kept the pace on after and behind me I heard Skinny yell "YEP! GO!", I trusted this meant we had a gap and chased for a lap to get us on to Dave's wheel. From there my world turned inside out. Either I was miss timing my roll up the bank after a turn, or Dave was ripping through for his, because I had to close a gap to Skinny's wheel every fucking time. It hurt. It hurt a lot. There was a sprint that almost tore me apart, I faced a few wheel gap and a strong desire to call the race there. Just as I prepared to ease off the pedals a simple thought came through my brain. I was at worst, in for 3rd place, I had no place pulling out of a race while on the podium* so I gritted my teeth, put on my extra poo face and closed the gap. Some time after Dave rode off, leaving Skinny and I to swap off turns with help from the occasional lapped rider. Skinny kicked for the final sprint, putting a gap into me, but finally I knew what was left in my legs and drilled myself to close, all the break and pass sprint drills coming flooding back to give confidence that surpassed the pain. Whipping through the final bend I was around the outside, wheel just in front. The extra wheel length on the line secured me enough points for 2nd overall and a pursuiter's cough for the rest of the night.

Results.

Commute:

D: 9.7km
A: 167m

PMPW: 94kg

* yeah, there's not actually a podium

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