The Mid-Atlantic Regional track championship consists of four events over two days. The first day is for the 'sprinters' and the second day is for the 'endurance' riders. That is to say, the longest race on the second day is about 5 miles, but on the track that is considered to require 'endurance.' A definite contrast to road events: my longest road race this year was about 85 miles. This is mostly about the senior category, and it is what I sent out to my team, and my friends. I'd love to hear your thoughts...
Flying 200 meter time trial.
The track at Trexlertown, Pennsylvania is 333 1/3meters. For the 200 meter time trial you do two laps,
and they time you when you hit the 200 meter to go mark. The idea is to be going full speed when you get there, and just keep it there through turns three and four of the 'concrete crater.' It is a real challenge to keep the bike low on the track, and keep it steady. If you go up track, you add distance to your journey, and that costs you time. All the while you are yanking on the bars, and slamming down the pedals. Todd rode the fastest time, under slow conditions, at 12.4 seconds. It was windy and cold. I rolled in with the 9th best time, at 13.34 seconds. They only take the top eight for the sprint pairings, so I was pretty disappointed, as I was only 3 hundredths slower than eighth place. Todd said I wasn't going fast enough when I got to the timing point. The thing is over so quickly you have to be going pretty hard when you cross the line with a lap to go. Our 30 plus category teammate Nigel rode the quickest time in his category. But one of the top eight in my category was from out of district, and wasn't allowed to race the pairings, so I made my goal of qualifying. When I was there 9 years ago, I failed to qualify, so this time I just wanted to move on, and I did.
Kilometer Time Trial
This was also held under cold and windy, overcast skies. You go from a standing start and do three
laps. It is sort of like running 400 meters. You can't really be sprinting the whole time, you are just below
that level of effort, but you have to make it really hurt the whole time. I didn't get off to a great
start, and rode a 1:18. But, my goal was to come in under 1:20, so I did that. That was sixth fastest
overall, not counting that pro from North Carolina, who couldn't score omnium points. Todd was rather fast with a 1:15, and Nigel was also quick at 1:14. Next year I will make a point of practicing my starts, and see if I can get a bit lower, as my TT position on my fixed gear bike is far too high. I need a negative
rise stem. With some practice and a dialed in position, I'm sure I could lop off about 5 seconds or
more next year. I think Nigel's time was good enough for 3rd in his category, as was Todd's.
After lunch, we did the sprint pairings. Todd and I raced each other. He went low on the track at the
start line, leading, so I went up high, speeding up from the 12-15 mph pace he had been setting. In
between turns one and two of the oval track, I dove down the banking from about 30 feet above the infield, accelerating up to about 30mph in a few seconds. It was a great move. Most people wouldn't have matched my jump. But Todd did. And, he came off my wheel out of turn four. I think that move would have beat almost anybody else, but Todd is a tough nut to crack in the sprint. Nigel raced Bo Lee. Bo is a pretty good sprinter. He won the category 3/4 race at Wilmington, and was like 3rd behind me at Turkey Day. But Nigel made him look like he hadn't swung a leg over a bike in a real long time, just dusted him. I did a repechage round with Bo and James Bellora, one of the other riders from 5-8 didn't show. On the final lap Bo was leading and he jumped first, then James out-reacted me and got his wheel. I really made a
mistake there by not jumping first, as I think I would have done best with surprise and my smaller gear, but going first hadn't worked against Todd. So, I had to try to come around Bo in turns three and four. But although it was close, he got me at the line. Later I learned he was riding a huge gear, and my legs were just spinning as fast as they could with an 87 inch gear - thatís how far the bike goes in one turn of the pedals. Bo had about 10 inches bigger, which was a lot. However, I beat James, so that got me a bronze medal for Virginia, although 5th place would have been better, a silver and an Omnium point. You score points in each event and the winner gets the district championship jersey, with medals to the top three in our district, which is Maryland, Virginia, DC, and Delaware. The one through four sprint pairings were left for day two.
Nothing was left but the Team or Olympic sprint. Three laps, three riders per team. Each rider leads for one lap and swings off, with the the time being taken on the front tire of the final rider. I started well
enough, much better than in the kilo, and our team stayed together. Most of the teams we saw had their
first rider jump out too far ahead, and then had to slow down. I had a little problem getting out of the
way and getting up track after turn 4, and Todd had to come onto the asphalt a bit, but it worked out ok. We rode in 1:12.41, one team came in three tenths slower, but we beat the other four teams by quite a bit more. Not an official event, but still, way to represent for Evolution Cycling Club!
Day Two report to follow. Thanks for reading,
And thanks to New Guy for babysitting. Otherwise I would have
been stuck in Mobile with the Memphis blues again.