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Old 11-08-10, 10:44 AM   #1
Hermes 
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Race Report – Masters Track Worlds - Anadia, Portugal

This is the first time that I have competed in Masters Track World Championship. I had a great time at the event racing and hanging out with racers I know from Hellyer, LA Velodrome and others that I met at Masters Track Natz at the Superdrome in Frisco, TX. My results were okay for my first time at Worlds (bottom 3rd of the pack 23 entries) and it is a lot harder and more competitive than Natz. Also, traveling to Europe from California and competing is a lot more difficult due to the time changes and getting everything organized and ready.

My peak for this year’s track and road racing season was at the state/district level. Per my results, I have been on the slight decline since then. I started racing January 1st and it is a long season for me to go to the end of October. However, the racing at Worlds was a total blast. I did 3 races the 500 meter TT, the 2K pursuit and the 40 lap points race. I am a pursuit racer so the 500 meters was a chance to get on the track and practice in a race situation and the points race was just for fun.

My pursuit time was 5 seconds slower than my Natz time and yes there is a story to go with it. I lined up in the starting gate and everything was going well. The beeper sounded and the gate released and I got a great start. At 3/4 of a lap, the refs shot the gun. I had to slow and found my opponent had pulled his shoe out of the cleat. I rolled around to the start and requested some time to recover. The refs said I had to go again immediately.

In the medal table, the USA won with the most gold medals followed by Australia and the Great Britain. Results http://www.uvp-fpc.pt/pagina.php?id_...alidade_new=6#

My wife competed as well and won 3 silver medals – 500 meters, 2K and Points. There were two in her age group. She is the current National 2K pursuit champion her opponent was the EU Champion. The other woman from Finland was approximately 3 seconds stronger in the 2K. My wife won the points race but was relegated by the officials for passing under a slower rider in the pole lane being overtaken by the pack on the final sprint. IMO, it was a poor call by the UCI officials and a potentially dangerous situation. They put all the women 50 years and older in one group and scored them separately which is perfectly okay. However, the one 65+ woman was about 40% slower than the rest, was lapped 3 or 4 times and IMO should have been pulled or told to move to the stayers line for the sprints. She was in the pole lane between turns 3 and 4 on the final sprint. My wife had the pole lane but was boxed in and made a split second decision to go below her to keep from crashing. Her opponent agreed that she beat her by at least a bike length on the final lap and that cutting the corner made no difference in the outcome. Later, in the men’s races, the officials were pulling slower riders. My wife rode a great series of races and she and her opponent got to know each other, established a relationship and what will certainly be a long running competition between the two of them.

The trip – To get to Anadia, Portugal, we flew to Lisbon from San Francisco to JFK, Madrid and then Lisbon. We rented a large minivan to carry two bikes in hard cases, one trainer and luggage. The drive to Anadia was about 3 hours via toll roads. After the racing was over, we spent a few days in Lisbon sightseeing.

Here are some pics....Enjoy the show.

The floor below the track was organized by country with each one getting space. We were supposed to set up and warm up in our area.



British Invasion – A few Brits decided to use our space. According to them, their countrymen were too boring.

Here is a pick of me and one of the Brit’s mechanics / coaches. His wife was racing and he attended to her and her equipment. I was in a similar situation except I raced as well. He deemed us “bike b1tches”. In reality, I learned a lot from the Brits about equipment, tactics and training. It was great to have them with us.



His wife and my wife relaxing while we worked on bikes. The British woman won a gold medal.

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Old 11-08-10, 10:48 AM   #2
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Babeage. If they are rocking a track bike at the World Championships, age is meaningless.

Argentina





South Africa





UK



Italy



USA

500 meter gold medalist and racer from Hellyer



My wife.



Wife and friend

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Old 11-08-10, 10:48 AM   #3
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Nice report. I admire the hell out of your willingness to invest so heavily in something you love. Must have been a great experience.
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Old 11-08-10, 10:49 AM   #4
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There was a lot of great equipment and here are a few examples.









I will start with the points races.

This is the 45 to 49 group. These guys were really fast and had to do a qualifying heat in the morning and a final in the afternoon.





Here is my points race 60 –64. My friend who did the 45 to 49 race thought our race was very fast and I can attest to that. I used 92.6 gear inches and spinning 110 to 115 rpm 29 to 32 mph with sprints to 130 rpm 35 mph. Our race was fast from the opening lap and the Aussie went to the front and killed it. I would have to race with our Elite 1,2s to be able to practice at the speeds these guys maintained.





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Old 11-08-10, 10:54 AM   #5
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My wife’s points race. They put all the 50+ women together. This put my wife in a very fast group 50 to 54 (2:40 to 2:50 pursuit times). She had to either win some points or beat her opponent in a scratch competition i.e. The first one across the finish line after 40 laps wins. She got gapped around lap 10 by approximately 1/4 lap. I thought she was finished but she rode solo and caught the group after 4 laps. She caught them after a points lap sprint. She then went to the front and killed it on the last two laps and had the pole lane on the final lap leading her opponent for the win until she got boxed in and had to go below the slower women on the final sprint. It was a heroic effort for the gold but not this time.







Pursuit







Technical Inspection – The UCI did not enforce the 3:1 rule on bikes and aerobars. Supposedly, they will next year. You have to show up with your bike and helmet. They did not allow the use of any electronics for assistance. They would strip them off the bike at the start if you had any. My wife’s Cervelo with the sprint bars weighed 6.80 kilos and caused the UCI commissionaire to weigh it 3 times before passing it.



My bike was over the 6.80 kilo limit and no problem. At Natz, the commissionaires made me get on the bike because my aerobars were between the 75 and 80 cm range. Here they did not care. In addition, they did not check bikes for the points races.

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Old 11-08-10, 10:58 AM   #6
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The track. Initially, we thought the track was fast and pretty cool. Some racers were gearing up due to the speed. However, that proved not to be the case. The Brits’ times were 3 seconds slower in general for the 2K pursuit compared to Manchester. This track was made of stacked sheets of plywood on end. So we rode on the end grain. The good news is that it was not slippery and no one slid down the track. The bad news it was slow but the same for everyone.













Podium – I have no podium shots but my wife has 3. Well, that is the life of the husband and bike b1tch of the champ.



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Old 11-08-10, 11:06 AM   #7
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Thanx for the report and photos, Hermes! Some riders from our track (Burnaby) also went and did pretty well. Too bad about the "passing underneath" call, but that's pretty standard in track racing - you never pass underneath anybody in the pole lane, regardless of anything. Probably the only exception is if there's a crash, and going under the gauge line is the only way to avoid it. It's OK to come out of the pole lane in order to overtake a slower rider; in fact, the rider above should have left enough track room in order to effect the pass as long as she was still in second position. If she didn't, you could have appealed, and the officials should have noted who was ahead at the time, and if the inaction affected the outcome of the sprint. If that second rider had already overtaken your wife, then all bets are off. But who's got time to think about any of this stuff at over 50 kmh? It's just instinct and experience at that point, so chalk one more up to experience.

And yes, the riders who go to Worlds are usually pretty darned good. The last time I went, I was competing against ex-Olympian and British cycling legend Ian Hallam in my age group. He won just about everything, but hey, who's going to complain about getting his ass kicked by the best? In the points race, I just attacked him over and over. A real blast!

L.
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Old 11-08-10, 11:14 AM   #8
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That looks like a lot of fun. And the bike babes are a nice bonus.
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Old 11-08-10, 11:24 AM   #9
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Good report, nice picks and good commentary. Sounds like you had a good time which is the important thing.
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Old 11-08-10, 04:43 PM   #10
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Wow! Incredible stuff Hermes!

Am I normal for spending more time looking at the Bike photos over the Babeages?????? That Pinarello needs to be in my garage!
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Old 11-08-10, 04:45 PM   #11
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Wow! Incredible stuff Hermes!

Am I normal for spending more time looking at the Bike photos over the Babeages?????? That Pinarello needs to be in my garage!
I'm spedning a fair amount of time looking at both. The intense faces of some of those riders is pretty impressive.
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Old 11-08-10, 05:18 PM   #12
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Nice report - thanks for sharing. Beautiful venue. Great effort. I sure understand being off your peak, mine was last August - been getting slower ever since.

Interesting - the track construction. I would have never guessed that from the pics. I would imagine that would give really good traction but as your say, it would be a little slower. It must have been very expensive to build.
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Old 11-08-10, 05:36 PM   #13
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Great machines with smooth graceful designs and gorgeous wheels.

I liked the bikes, too.
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Old 11-08-10, 06:00 PM   #14
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Great report Hermes. Both you and your wife have raised the bar by going to Worlds. You must have a great feeling of satisfaction. I know what you mean regarding the peak fitness is in the past. Its time for some well earned rest and recovery before you begin the next season's cycle. I've experienced a significant decline in my placings in cyclo cross races and am taking November as a fun/recovery month.
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Old 11-08-10, 06:03 PM   #15
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Absolutely amazing to me. Thanks so much for sharing!!
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Old 11-08-10, 07:12 PM   #16
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What an experience. Thanks for sharing. You guys give many of us inspiration to go faster and harder.
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Old 11-09-10, 06:48 AM   #17
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Great to read about your experience and outstanding effort!
Congratulations to your wife on her 3 silver medals!!!
I love the picture of her walking her bike down the ramp;
she looks like more like a college age racer than a Masters!
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Old 11-09-10, 07:02 AM   #18
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Wow! That was awesome. How awesome? Awesomely awesome - that's how. Well done Mr. & Mrs. Hermes.
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Old 11-09-10, 08:03 AM   #19
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Thanks for the post and the great photos. I still can't imagine how you and your wife can achieve your accomplishments.
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Old 11-09-10, 02:18 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by cyclinfool View Post
Nice report - thanks for sharing. Beautiful venue. Great effort. I sure understand being off your peak, mine was last August - been getting slower ever since.

Interesting - the track construction. I would have never guessed that from the pics. I would imagine that would give really good traction but as your say, it would be a little slower. It must have been very expensive to build.
The best wooden tracks are made from Siberian pine planks laid side by side and you ride on the edge of the plank not the end grain. There are a couple of families that have the know how and experience to build a wooden track. The one in Anadia, IMO, is a cheaper version of the ones in LA or Manchester.

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Great report Hermes. Both you and your wife have raised the bar by going to Worlds. You must have a great feeling of satisfaction. I know what you mean regarding the peak fitness is in the past. Its time for some well earned rest and recovery before you begin the next season's cycle. I've experienced a significant decline in my placings in cyclo cross races and am taking November as a fun/recovery month.
The peaking aspect of cycling is pretty interesting. Although, I feel really strong and have a lot of endurance, my top end peak power is off. When I first got to Anadia, I was riding on the track with others and I felt really good. It makes sense that one cannot just keep increasing power month over month. If there were possible, it would be easier to obtain pro level power which is very much not the case.

So I am taking it easy and back in the gym focusing on weighs and core work. We get to do this all over again next year.
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Old 11-09-10, 02:50 PM   #21
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Great to read about your experience and outstanding effort!
Congratulations to your wife on her 3 silver medals!!!
I love the picture of her walking her bike down the ramp;
she looks like more like a college age racer than a Masters!
The women in my wife's family all had great skin. She has coupled that genetic gift with fabulous muscle tone and diet.

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Wow! Incredible stuff Hermes!

Am I normal for spending more time looking at the Bike photos over the Babeages?????? That Pinarello needs to be in my garage!
I am always amazed at the equipment at bike races but this event was amazing. It is not just the technology but the knowhow of which bearings, lubes, tires, wheelsets and etc are the best. In my wife's case she is about 2.5 seconds behind the Finnish woman and it became clear that we can find her at least another second in better equipment. At this level, one cannot give up any advantage.

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Thanx for the report and photos, Hermes! Some riders from our track (Burnaby) also went and did pretty well. Too bad about the "passing underneath" call, but that's pretty standard in track racing - you never pass underneath anybody in the pole lane, regardless of anything. Probably the only exception is if there's a crash, and going under the gauge line is the only way to avoid it. It's OK to come out of the pole lane in order to overtake a slower rider; in fact, the rider above should have left enough track room in order to effect the pass as long as she was still in second position. If she didn't, you could have appealed, and the officials should have noted who was ahead at the time, and if the inaction affected the outcome of the sprint. If that second rider had already overtaken your wife, then all bets are off. But who's got time to think about any of this stuff at over 50 kmh? It's just instinct and experience at that point, so chalk one more up to experience.

And yes, the riders who go to Worlds are usually pretty darned good. The last time I went, I was competing against ex-Olympian and British cycling legend Ian Hallam in my age group. He won just about everything, but hey, who's going to complain about getting his ass kicked by the best? In the points race, I just attacked him over and over. A real blast!

L.
You are completely correct on all counts. My wife knows about passing below when someone is in the pole lane. In reality, she should have pulled to just below the red line and pushed then pushed the other women who were boxing her in up track. I am not sure how easily that would have worked at 32 mph. The problem is that at 32 mph, they are covering 1/4 laps in 4 seconds. She was upon the slower rider really fast and had to make a split second decision and decided to go low. My beef is with the refs for letting the situation happen rather than relegation. If they would have been on top of the situation, they would have pulled the slower woman. She would still have received her gold medal. One is not supposed to criticize the refs but IMO, these guys were too inexperienced to ref a world championship.

I was really glad that everyone was safe. Medals are wonderful but not worth a ride to the ER.

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Nice report. I admire the hell out of your willingness to invest so heavily in something you love. Must have been a great experience.
The experience was one of a kind. I did not discuss this point but we were competing as Team USA. We hung out with the other racers from the USA and we cheered for each other during races. Team USA won the competition with the most gold and combined medals. Lining up and racing against the Brits, Aussies, the French, Germans and Italians was amazing.

At the medal ceremonies, they played the national anthem of the winning racer and it was a moving, emotional experience.
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Old 11-09-10, 02:57 PM   #22
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Thanks to all for the kudos and nice comments. We had a lot of fun and hope to do it again in the future.
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