Just a quick post as I am leaving this morning for Portland for the Madison 6 Day this week...
Had a excellent weekend in San Jose. Although the temps were record highs (103 on Friday, 99 on Saturday) I really enjoyed feeling overly warm to the bone. The nice thing about the heat is that the joints and muscles are already warmed up and good to go. Plus it makes the track faster.
The Hellyer velodrome is a 333m track with 22 degree banking. It's very similar to Marymoor except the straights are shorter. As I've learned - each track races differently and you have to know where to launch an attack to come around someone whether that be to set up with two laps to go (as you would on a small track) or come around coming into the final lap on corner 3. Gearing is different too - but we won't go into that - maybe later.
First up - Keirin heats. Two places advance to the finals. I made it into the finals the first try. Though I had the WORST case of cotton mouth ever. Something about that race makes my mouth dry up and gives me the fish face look. Later that evening we had our final - where Jen Featheringill handily won , though looking slightly possessed.
And last but not least that evening we had our 40 lap points race with sprints every 10. Proman was in full force - employing all of their squad to secure Shelly the win. And superstar Shelly handily won each sprint - though I was kind of expecting her to go off the front and try to lap the field. But only Larrsyn attempted such feats - and to no avail, we swallowed her up coming into a sprint lap. I managed to place in every sprint - placing me 2nd! Not bad!
We didn't get back to Rick's house until well after midnight - he had a super long evening as well. Thanks to his hard work - he promoted the event, obtained sponsorship, was the chief official and is leaving Monday for France for a month, returning on a Thursday right before the Portland AVC and then flying up to attend. What a life! But his passion for the event and sport was definitely a success - and I'm really looking forward to coming back next year. Make sure to mark your calendars....
Saturday we woke up and headed out to the track early for the sprint tournament. First up - flying 200m. I was near the end of the line up and went in it with no expectations and an open mind. Amara posted a fast time of 13.46 - and my fastest time that I could remember was a 13.63. I put on a monster gear, wound it up in the first two laps, then screamed in posting a 13.05, the second fastest time of the morning. Did someone install rockets on my bike while I wasn't looking? Holy cow! A personal best and it set me up nicely for the tournament.
Next up - Round one of the sprints with three ups. Two laps - winner goes onto round 2, second place goes into the rep (second chance). I luckily won my rep and then got to relax. Second round - against Heather again and barely made it. Third round (semi-finals to determine gold/silver or bronze/4th) and I got nipped at the line by Becky Lang. So on she went to the gold medal round and I went to third vs. Andrea Fisk. Session broke until the evening. (Wow - this is a much longer post than I intended!)
I hung out with the Boursaws (Grant and Amara both rode REALLY well this weekend!) in their AC hotel and laid down for a couple hours. Recharged the batteries and headed back to the track for the final evening session.
First up - our sprint rounds. In the finals it's the best out of three rounds. The first match up Andrea picked up the speed on the first half lap, pulled up track and I shot like a cannon out of the gates, going the long way and winning with a little bit of breathing space. On the second round - we made small talk during the first lap saying how neither of us were sprinters and knew what we were doing... and then charged on the second lap. Most importantly we had fun - and were happy to be done with sprints.
Our Miss and Out was next - and with a field of 25 or so - it's always smart to play it in the front. Although this time I wasn't leading out every single lap - but rather sneaking in mid pack and nearly getting nipped at the line a few times. As the numbers whittled down, I started to hang in the back, then accelerate over the top placing myself out of harms way. Next thing I know there's three of us contesting the finish. Jen was keeping a careful eye on us all - and as she looked up track, I hit my rockets and sprinted the last lap, winning the race. Later Jen admitted being absolutely cooked from the sprints (she had to go three rounds, instead of two). I was tickled pink. ;)
Last but not least - the 30 lap scratch race. We had tons of primes - a bottle of wine every 5 laps. At the 15 lap prime, there was another 16 lap prime worth not only a bottle of wine, but $75 and a massage. I was in great position to gather the first prime, but when Shelly blasted by me for the second one, I had no snap in the legs to chase. Then Larrysn took a flier and caught Shelly and then they worked together to lap the field. The final sprint came and it was all I could do to muster a 5th place finish. If you had taken my temp you would have known I was cooked.
All in all a fabulous weekend - lots of podium time and some cashola. Met some great people - including a lot of the locals who race at the AVC every week. They were so welcoming and super nice. And of course I got to hang a little with Beth - who is a riot. Next stop for the traveling circus? Portlands AVC. See you soon my friends!