I'm 17 years old and have been cycling for around 9 months now, I came into the 'cycling world' with little to no fitness and no knowledge whatsoever, I was dropped on the easiest club ride, constantly dropped by kids younger than me, rode most training sessions at the back, alone, trying to get back to the pack...however, I carried on and I've managed to build my fitness/knowledge and mindset, I no longer have this problem and am slowly, but surely catching up with other riders my age...My training is mainly based on the road, however I started track cycling about 3 months ago and racing at a nearby grass track,
I have found with track, I have the speed the other riders have, and can stay in the pack, but I have very little knowledge on tactics, and to be honest, a poor sprint, specifically racing on grass.
I'm competing in the Grass Track Nationals this Saturday, it consists of 3 events, a 1 lap (400m) Sprint, all out from start to finish, a 3 lap pursuit, and a 3 lap scratch race. I'll be competing against other girls who I believe, without sounding arrogant, I'm confident I can beat, I'm pretty much the same ability, but I know that with the added knowledge of tactics, I would have a great shot of winning.
The tactics I have used before now:
1 Lap Sprint: Slot into the pack somewhere, attempt to sprint in the last 50m (This, so far, hasn't worked, I always have bad starts, my fault because I have little knowledge on how to start from the held position, this means I have to sprint the first 50-100m to gain a place in the pack, and am usually burnt out before the last 100m)
3 Lap Pursuit (Never done)
3 Lap Scratch:
Stick near the front of the pack, but not right at the front, attempt to outsprint others in the last 150m or so (This gained me a 3rd place, however, I always find that the pace of these races in the first 2 laps are relatively slow, leaving the real sprinters with plenty of energy left for the final sprint, enabling them to easily outsprint everyone in the last lap.)
I've spent the past few weeks working specifically on my sprint, which has improved, but still isn't brilliant, I don't feel I have the acceleration or 'kick' other riders have, mine seems to have more of a gradual increase in speed...I'm quite slight and have been told I have the figure of an endurance rider, which is why I can't sprint...but I do believe I can improve, with time, just not in time for the nationals.
The bottom line of this is, I want to be able to do as much as I can, tactically, to not have to rely soley on the final sprint in the races, and somehow, be as efficient as possible, and do as much as I can without the 'kick' in the 1 Lap Sprint event.
I wondered if anyone has any tactics/knowledge/ideas that could benefit me for the 3 races?
I very much appreciate any advice I'm given, it really does mean a lot