velodrome track race - kissena queens new york

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

First race as "cat3" rider

Upgraded to the 3's, here's my lame FBF race report:

I was pretty psyched see a guy in Team Bissel kit at the start line with us... racing with a pro!

The conditions indicated there'd be a break as it was very windy. The first few laps (in the 1/2/3 field) were much more aggressive than in the 3/4s, with hard efforts followed by periods of relative calm and me sucking wheels. I should have been much less active in the beginning. Joaquin was off the front for a while with a few others. I didn't have the legs to counter and realized that I'd spent most of my capital in the first few laps. Duh!

Around lap 5 (of 12) I decided no more chasing attacks or efforts, I ride as efficiently as possible in order to finish. But the field kept wittling down and it was impossible ride caboose, even in the middle I kept having to close gaps.

Around lap 6 a champion systems guy shouted in Spanish, "ok, let's get some training in" (it helps to be bilingual). They (champion systems) started riding tempo at the front and things got really strung out. On lap 7 I was expending over 4/wkg just to stay in a draft on the back stretch.

Lap 8, coming out of turn 2, the guy in front of me pops. I knew it was going to happen but was hoping someone else would make the effort to close the gap since there were a lot of us stuck behind him and champsys was still setting the tempo.

Willie Payton(?) passed me but he was going to fast for me to latch on. I started working harder to bridge the gap. Coming out of turn 3 I saw a rider whom I know from the velodrome up the road. He seemed to be losing steam so I shouted at him to come on, we can make it. As I passed, I noticed his front tire was going flat! I've never seen so many flats in a race. Horrendous attrition in this race: 47 started and only 16 finished. I suspect some guys carry thumbtacks to use at the most opportune moment - when they think they're gonna get dropped they'll bust a derailleur with a bit of fishing line, or pop a tube with a tack to avoid embarrassment. In the end only two from my group made it back to the group, and I wasn't one of them. I struggled to finish the lap while realizing the gap was getting bigger. So I survived 9 laps.

Funny thing is an hour ago when I started writing this, I was going to write that the race was hard and upgrading sucks. But I took a break for a phone call and some beer. Now I think it feels good to push hard. New things to learn and new limits to expose. Wiser tactics to unravel. In essence, a whole new piƱata of fun.


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