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 ***. 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.