CCCC Season Finale @ DISC report
The season finale for the CCCC track program was held at DISC yesterday - which meant that it was a CSV "Open". The juniors (U17 and below) raced in the morning in age groups and then the seniors (U19 and above) raced in grades in the afternoon.
There were reasonable fields in the M15 and M17 (well U17 with one NZ girl) and 3 riders in each of the U11, U13 and W15 fields. It was good tight racing - especially in the W15 field (two of the girls were just back from the Nationals). I certainly enjoyed watching it.
After each age group had raced in a scratch, sprint derby and point race, it was time for the combined handicaps. U11/13 were first, and then U15/17.
Poor Courtney Field (U13) had a minor stack just before the handicap (her dad went to catch her, and she wanted to stop and then be held upright). She was upset, so I told her to roll around for a lap, which seemed to do the trick
Due to reasonably low numbers, the Seniors were in two grades ... Callum Fryer and Peter Vlahos (U19) had to mix it with the likes of the V-Train and Tom Leaper in A grade, and the two C graders (Sue Cox and myself) had to race with the B graders for most races.
Scratch race - 30 laps (7.5 km)
It wasn't long before both Sue and myself had been dropped from the main bunch ... and it wasn't much longer before I got lapped by the bunch for the first time ... then the second. As I was off the back, I tried to keep an eye on the bunch so I knew when they'd be coming past me again. Needless to say, I was frequently on the duckboards (or the concrete) out of the way of the passing bunch before resuming "racing". I lost track of the number of times I was lapped
Sprint derby - 2 laps C grade
For the sprint derby, the officials decided to put Sue and myself in C grade, so we had a straight out final in between the B grade and A grade heats. (To give the A graders time to catch their breath after their 50 laps scratch race!)
I started higher up the track, and Graham warned me that he'd give me a big push ... which he did - he almost pushed me into Sue who was below me!! After correcting my line, I focused on accelerating around the first bend ... and then when I was up to speed, I slotted in behind Sue - as my tactic was to follow.
In the end, Sue was slightly stronger and faster than me so she won, and I came 2nd ... of course sprinting out of the saddle to the line
The B grade final turned into a "go slow" affair around the first corner ... so slow that the guy above was going too slowly and slipped off the track - taking out Appryl in the process! So I'm glad my tactic was to accelerate around the first corner!!!
Points race - 30 laps
The points race was much the same as the scratch race - got lapped many times
. The commissaires standing around the track were helpful and indicated when the bunch were coming close so I knew to get out of the way! Retrospectively, I made one error of judgement ... I heard the bell for the final sprint as I was down the back straight ... so I accelerated, hoping that I'd make it to the finish line and out of their way. NOPE!! Around the final bend they caught up to me (on the duckboard) ... so I had to stay there holding my line until the straight where I went onto the concrete.
I had a chat to Brad Robbins (commissaire on that corner) immediately afterwards, and agree that I should have gone onto the concrete down the back straight.
1500 m Handicap (aka Caulfield Cup of Wheels)
Initially there were going to be two graded handicaps ... then the organisors decided that it'd be an "all in" handicap. The thought of 18-20 riders on the track ... and eventually getting swamped and passed by the super fast guys was freaking me out (to the point of being in tears ... obviously lack of sleep and possibly lack of food all boiled over) - so I'd basically decided not to do it, considering I'm not confident at Packer Park handicaps yet.
Luckily Graham Fryer was able to convince them to run two Heats and then a Final for one simple reason: number of pushers available !!! This meant that there would be 8-10 riders in each Heat, which didn't sound so scary.
I was off 245 m, and Sue Cox was off 240 m. The commissaires told me that they'd warn me when the back markers (in our heat) were coming, so I could get out of the way. The plan was the Sue would come around me down the back straight ... but I must have accelerated well, cos she came past me down the front straight (so just before 4 laps to go). Then down the back straight everyone else swamped us ... so I ducked onto the duckboard/concrete out of the way. Then when everyone was safely passed, I accelerated back onto the boards to finish the race with a smile on my face
I normally race in B grade at the club level, so it was no surprise that I found B grade at the "Open" level - mixed in with stronger guys - much much harder!
However for me, just turning up and racing in my first "Open" was an achievement, so I don't care that I came last in everything - by heaps!
EXTRA - flying 200 m PB attempt
I'd be rather hoping that we'd have to do flying 200 m to qualify for the sprints. When we didn't have to, I asked Graham Fryer at the end of the racing if he could time me (and Dexter, one of the U19 JDP guys who likes sprinting) in flying 200 m - my first one at DISC.
So after the presentations were over and the track was clear, I rolled around on the track (on the duckboard) for a while to warm up, talking myself through where on the track I wanted to be at how many laps to go, a few times.
Then Graham gave me the go-ahead ... into the sprinters lane ... up to the blue line with 2 laps to go ... then accelerate down the back straight above the blue line (but not as high as the fence - yet) ... then accelerate out of the saddle with the banking, then down the banking to the sprinters lane by the 200 m line. Spin as fast as I can and hit the line. Certainly felt reasonably fast.
After slowing down, I called out to Graham "Time?" as I passed the finish line the next time I rolled around. "16.91" was called out.
WOOT !!! A PB (admittedly on different gearing, indoors) by 0.79 sec
So 18.98 sec at BBN (no warm-up) then 17.70 sec later in the day on 81 gi ... and now 16.91 at DISC on 86.4 gi. I'm getting faster
Then after the track racing was over, it was time for me to go to my friend's engagement party ... until tiredness caught up with me and I had to go home around 10 pm.