Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tuesday night at the track

Tuesday, Joe and I went to Colorado Springs to do our first track racing of the year. On the schedule were sprints, tempo races and a 5 mile scratch race, in that order. As a really, really old guy, I signed up as a “C” category racer and Joe was talked into signing up as a “B” racer. The evening was a reasonable temperature, hot, but still comfortable. There was a significant breeze blowing from the south east as always seems to be the case on that track.

Seeding for the sprints was done by a 3 lap scratch race. The C’s went first. I wasn’t sure how I would do and was not expecting much based on last year’s experience. The race turned out easier that I expected and I easily finished 4th. Joe managed to do better and finished 3rd in his B race. The sprints were done in sets of three. The bottom set started first, with the top set of 3 going last in each group. I started in the middle of our threesome. The bottom rider took off hard from the gun and I had to chase to get on her wheel. I sucked that for almost a lap when the third rider in our group came around us. I jumped on his wheel until corner 3 when I started my sprint and managed to come around him before the finish line. As the 3rd placed rider, Joe was paired with the best 2 riders in his category. They did a bit more realistic matched sprint, but when they took off Joe couldn’t come around and ended up a close third.

As the 3 lap race seemed reasonable, I decided to do the 8 lap tempo race. With points available for every lap, I knew it could be hard. I managed to get near the front early and was able to win the 2 points available on the first lap. I stayed near the front and got 1 or 2 more points on the second lap. I then decided to fall back. Not a good choice as I fell too far back and was not in contention for the rest of the race. I didn’t hear where my points placed me in the race, but it was a good experience regardless.

Joe had a 10 lap tempo race. He grabbed the first points and stayed on or near the front all of the race and gathered the most points for his first Tuesday night track win!

I decided I was done for the evening, but Joe did the combined B/C 15 lap scratch race. (I knew I couldn’t come close to keeping up with Joe!) After the neutral lap the start featured one rider getting a gap without anyone chasing. When Joe and others started to chase, they discovered the leader had a partner in the race who was blocking. Initial efforts to chase him done were doomed. After Joe realized that they weren’t going to catch the leader, he made an effort to separate the best from the rest. He took off and brought two others with him off the front. Unfortunately, one of those was the guy who had been doing the blocking, so he didn’t help the group at all. Joe say that he was going to have to settle for second, so he waited until he thought he could attack and hold the lead until the finish. With about 2 laps to go, he took off and had a good lead, but relaxed too much just before the finish and got caught at the very end. I think Joe learned, once again, to not quit until after you have crossed the finish line!

It was a fun evening!


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