*** LONG race report warning *** What do you expect, with 5 races in a day?
Well that was a rather long, but enjoyable, day of racing. As it so happens, it was immediately after the Women's Omnium last year that I bought my track bike second hand from lunachik. Last year, I helped out with the timing, etc ... so it was good to be able to race instead. I'd found out earlier in the week that it didn't matter if I was lapped in the scratch or points races - I'd be allowed to continue. I was also told that if I was lapped, the officials might pull me out. However DNF = allowed to continue.
After much internal debate, I decided that desperate times call for desperate measures - so I opened up my rollers even though I haven't finished my work project placement yet. (Not often you have to resort to Plan C for warming up between races ... but I couldn't find the club rollers that I was allowed to borrow, and then the large family car that fits road and track bike broke down the previous day!!)
Now the rollers are back in the shed until I've finished my WPP report though.
When I arrived at DISC, there was lots of rollers/windtrainer warming-up action happening in the infield area - but no warming up on the boards. Yep ... the infamous leaking DISC roof had struck again!! So I had plenty of time to get myself changed and organised. I eventually found a spot to put my rollers next to the fence too - in the middle of the bend coming into the finishing straight. While I warmed up, Cam and a couple of other guys gave me much amusement ... cos getting to the drips on the blue line (and a couple above it) required them to take a run-up!!
Eventually, the rain eased, so the decision was made to start with the individual pursuit - rather than the flying 200 m. Obviously its much easier to just keep the sprinters lane dry, and it also bought some time before a decision was made about the non-individual events. So we were given 30 mins before the IP's started. Around that time, Dave (percrime) showed up - so he acted as my rollers spotter, so I could warm-up properly (holding onto the handlebars with BOTH hands) ... rather than having one hand on the rail and the other on the handlebar. At one stage, I rode on the rollers between the rail and Dave for 20 mins or so. So I guess that also counts as a PB!!!1500 m individual pursuit (shortened from 2000 m)
I'd only ever done one previous IP - over 2000 m ... but only the whole event timed, rather than each lap. I didn't have any idea what lap times I could do, so decided to not have a schedule ... and just ride it. After explaining to Dave how my stopwatch worked, he kindly timed my laps for me.
I'm always tentative out of the starting gate, but after several gate starts at JDP recently, I didn't feel too nervous in the gate this time. I got out of the gate cleanly, and after a a couple of pedal strokes I was able to accelerate quite well. After a couple of laps, I knew that I'd gone out too hard ... so made an effort to slow the pace down for the final 3.5 laps so I didn't completely blow up. I tried to lift over the last lap, but didn't manage to lift much - despite the yelling from Dave and Mr Drip-wipe-up.
Official time = 2 min 27.36 sec = 36.6 km/hr.
My previous 2000 m IP = 3 min 23 sec = 35.5 km/hr ... so a new PB in average speed for me in the individual pursuit.
Dave's timing of lap splits (whole laps, not the "usual" way of timing ... but definitely good enough for my purposes.)
Lap Split Total
1 27.85 27.85
3 23.46 1 min 13.53 sec
4 24.72 1 min 38.25
5 25.16 2 min 3.41 sec
6 25.09 2 min 28.5 sec
The 22.22 sec for my second lap proved what I knew part way through the event ... I'd gone out too hard
However I'm very pleased that I held a consistent (but slower) pace for the last 3 laps, so slowing the pace down before I completely blew up seemed to work
And in the process, I also managed to break my 500 m PB ... slightly. (Previous PB 50.34 sec, in Dec 07 ... so glad to erase that particular bandaged up ride from the PB books!)5 km (20 lap) Scratch race
By the time all of the individual pursuits were over, the track was dry enough to proceed with the normal program - so the scratch race was next. I'd considered increasing my gear for the scratch (and points) races, to increase my chances of staying with the bunch. However I spoke to Graham (JDP coach), and he advised me to stay with what I'm used to ... cos the jump from 81 gi to 86.4 gi would likely tire my legs too much. With the 81 on (U17 gearing in an Elite race !!), I knew that I'd have no hope to stay with the bunch.
Unlike the B/C grade roll off from the fence at the Carnegie season finale @ DISC earlier in the year, I didn't get dropped at the roll-off
I managed to basically stay with the bunch for ~ 3 laps, before getting dropped - so I rode around the boards by myself until I knew the bunch were almost behind me and about to lap me. Then, having wrapped up last place, I pulled out shortly before I was lapped with 12 laps to go.
I'm ashamed to admit it ... but I actually paused my cool-down on the rollers to watch the end of the scratch race !!!Flying 200 m
There was a bit of confusion of the number of laps we'd have for this event. Turns out the U15 and U17 girls had 2.5 laps (starting down the back straight), and everyone else had 3.5 laps. PHEW!! That's what I've been practicing in training.
We ended up getting a push start from the end of the infield area. However, as I was being given a push I tipped to the left a LOT ... so I had unclip and start again.
This time, the push-off went smoothly ... and I went higher and higher on boards - almost all the way to the fence again
This time, I was out of the saddle as I did my entry, and it certainly felt fast again. After another light cool-down on the rollers, I went to find out my time.
16.99 sec ... so not a PB, but on par with my other fast times (16.91 sec and 16.87 sec.)30 lap Points race (shortened from 40 laps) ... with sprints every 10
Again, I was racing on an 81 ... preserving my legs for the 500 m TT later on in the day. This time, I was just off the back for the first couple of laps ... then riding at a comfortable tempo until I could tell that the bunch were almost upon me. With 2 laps to go until the first sprint, I again decided to call it a day, and pulled out and out of the bunch's way after 8.5 laps. This time, I was already on the rollers cooling down when the 2nd sprint (@ 10 laps to go) occurred ... and I'd finished my brief cool-down before the race finished!500 m time trial
This was the event that I was really keen for a PB in ... and being the last event of the day, I could give it everything. So I was keen for a sub 50 sec ... given I'd done 50.07 sec in the first 2 laps of my IP earlier in the day, and managed a flying 500 m in 44 sec a fortnight earlier at DISC. However being the end of the day, I had low energy - and had been feeling slightly dizzy while the younger age groups did their TT. So some more food, drink, and a very light warm-up spin only on the rollers was in order ... cos I needed my legs to be loose but not exhausted.
Dave Morgan called me up to the starting area a bit too early (well in Hilton's eyes ... given the U19 hadn't started yet), so I sat with my bike at the end of the infield instead. Finally, it was my turn. Cam saw me carrying my bike up to the starting gate, so took it from me and helped put it into the starting gate. When the bike was ready, I told him (and the two officials at the starting gate) that I was after a sub 50 sec.
After another clean exit from the gate, and another slowish start (need more gate start practice so I'm faster over the first 10-20 m) ... this time I was accelerating out of the saddle almost all the way to the bend after the back straight! (I started in the front straight.) No need to pace myself over 500 m - just accelerate, then spin, spin, spin ... giving it everything to the line.
As I rode out of the bend into the finishing straight on my first slow-down / cool-down lap, I saw Cam running to the officials table. He knew I'd done it - well not done it, but smashed it!! So as I was riding past the officials table, right in front of the PA system, the times were announced - mine first. Penny's time was 48 seconds
was all I needed to hear (I didn't catch the rest). I punched the air (one-handed) and yelled out "Two second PB" at the top of my voice
* Time riding on rollers with both hands on handlebars (well drops) without stopping = over 15 mins = PB
* 1500 m individual pursuit 2 min 27 sec (36.6 km/hr) = PB av speed ... and 500 m PB 50.07 sec
* 500 m time trial PB 48.01 sec = 2 sec PB (from earlier in the day)
* Flying 200 m = on par with PB
* Scratch and points races - not dropped at the roll-off, and stayed with the bunch for a few laps on a tiny gear (most were riding 88 - 94 gi, compared to my 81) could also be counted as PB's.
A very successful day (and weekend) of racing for me - 7 races in 2 days in total! I certainly don't care that I was last out of the Women who raced in all 5 events.
I'm keen to compete again next year when I'm fitter and stronger and riding proper gears. Here's hoping that I'll be able to stay with the bunch for longer!
Edited to add: Results have been promptly put onto the CSV website here (http://www.vic.cycling.org.au/?Page=35675
) and I came 12th in the Elite women with 64 points.
19 elite women were registered, 1 transferred to Masters, 5 DNS the event, and 1 DNS the TT = 12 women finished. I'm proud to be one of the 12.