First up - Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.
I've just started a three week break from work and boy do I need it. I was getting a bit tired in the brain department, so a few weeks of riding, relaxing, watching some cricket and doing a few things for myself will be just fab! Just need to try not to completely stuff myself stupid on Christmas Day.
OK - it's 2 weeks since I wrote anything for the blog, so here's a couple of entries coming up. I was hoping to have a few more photos to attach but they're a bit thin on the ground.
Last weekend I raced on Saturday night at the Bankstown Track Open at Dunc Gray Velodrome, a national category 1 track carnival, meaning all the big hitters would be out to play and guys like me in the lower grades become "stocking stuffers" giving some time for the main riders to recover between efforts. World class riders like Ryan Bayley, Anna & Kerrie Meares for example. It was also combined with a number of NSW State Championships and the Keirin in particular was hotly contested.
Ryan Bayley basically took the front position in the heats and semi finals, making sure he got through to the final. Perhaps the efforts of those long sprints on the front told in the end as he was unable to take it all the way for he win in the final. Here's the final finishing places.
Not a bad field for your local State Championships! Look out for that Danny Ellis, he's coming up real fast.
One rider making his come back following back surgery is Commonwealth Games Kilo Champion Ben Kersten. Benny saved himself for the track carnival and ended up doing what he seems so good at, winning the wheelrace final in emphatic style. A few of my regular racing buddies took the minor placings but Benny was pretty awesome.
I had a so-so carnival but got something out of it in the last race of the night where I just missed winning the final motorpace race. Here's the wko for the motorpace race (click/right click the pic to see a bigger image):
The first thing to notice is the gradual rise in speed as the race is controlled by the motor pacer riding the derny (motor bike). No-one is allowed to pass the derny until it withdraws from the track, usually with about 625 metres to go. Then the pace dropped a little as the front rider slowed it down a bit, which saw one rider attack immediately, using the banking to good effect. Being the bunny left near the front with 2 laps to go, I just pinned the ears back and set off after them - see the rapid lift in power and resulting acceleration. It was then just a matter of whether I would overhaul them as no-one was coming round me. I got their hip in the final turn but couldn't quite finish it off - only a wheel rim in it but that's track racing. Nevermind - a few bucks for 2nd place is always welcome.
Photos courtesy of David Lane at Action Snaps