Viva el Presidente!
Last night was the President's Cup Track open at Dunc Gray Velodrome. I'm not sure which President and of what but no matter, presumably President of CNSW (my State cycling authority/administration). It was a new carnival on the track programme - it appears that the powers that be are starting to look at the major summer carnivals and create a series from the big events each year - spacing them out a bit better.
The Sydney 1000, Bankstown Open, President's Cup, Clarence St Cup - all big(ish) prize money events on the summer track calendar. I sat out the Sydney 1000, raced the Bankstown, and last night the President's Cup. Clarence St Cup is in a couple of weeks.
OK - back to racing - so we all get inside the velodrome very late as the Youth Olympics had been in the velodrome all day and we had to wait for them to clear out. Then the organisers generously gave us 15 minutes to warm up. Ha! Nevermind - it was the same for everyone.
The top seeded rider was Shane Kelly, who was off scratch in the wheelrace.
So the opening race is a standard scratch race and a qualifier for the Wheelrace final (click the link for an explanation of what a wheelrace is). I found myself with pretty favourable grading and promptly won the race, thereby qualifying for the final and picking up some prize money for 1st place.
So the new bike is one for one in open track racing!
In the other grades all my regular training buddies all qualified as well. Next up was - ah - another scratch race (imaginative lot these programmers) and this time I got pipped on the line for 2nd place. Not too bad as during the race I was forced to bridge a 40 metre gap that some dill in front created by not going with the attack and then I had to lead out the sprint. I'll never complain when a multiple world masters champion is the guy that gets you...
Then the Wheelrace final. Since all my club training buddies qualified for the final we basically had a plan to get one of our guys to the finish. It went perfectly, with yours truly being the final lead out rider for the big unit Andrew Burne, who powered away to take the win by eight lengths. We were way too fast for the back markers, even a rider of Shane Kelly's awesome capabilities struggled to reach our committed mid-marker train. So the big money came back to the boys - nice work!
Then one more race to finish off the night - a - you guessed it - another scratch race. Gee, there are so many different types of track races, you wonder if maybe they could have thought of at least one slightly different event but no matter. With legs still reeling from the wheelrace, I rolled around and as the race panned out, I swung off after a short turn and promptly slotted myself in front of two team mates, hit the front again with four laps to go and just started winding it up before the last big surge to give my buddies the perfect lead out for a 1-2 finish. Nice work again boys!!
So a pretty successful night for the new machine.
Next weekend I have the State Masters Team Pursuit Championships. I'm team captain (in my new club colours) and we have a good unit going. We've been training together for a few weeks, mainly to sort out the technique stuff and for me to make decisions about who will ride where (and who makes the team). It's one of my favourite events and indeed was the first ever race on the track I attempted many moons ago.
Will report in on how that goes....