Saturday, August 30, 2008

Travel Time

Headed South today on our way down to San Jose for Master Track Nationals. Guy Tucker and I are making a big old road trip out of it and are so excited! We have a 13 hour drive ahead of us - but should be powered by lots of entertaining conversation on our journey.

Last night I raced track despite the looming and dark clouds threatening to sputter out rain. Even the forecast was shady with a 70 percent chance of precipitation. But low and behold we skated the weather and had a full night of racing even though it was down into the 50's by the time we got out of there.

First up - a scratch race. We had 18 guys show up - a pretty good field but not nearly as big as previous week's where they had to split the fields in half. Cucina did a great job of sending several of their guys off in a flurry of attacks - none of which lasted though. It's so much fun being part of a group that is really into racing. I didn't set myself up well for the finish but still managed 10th.

Next up - the Keirin. Top two advance to the final, 3-4 go to a constellation round. The motor wound us up to speed - sputtering here and there and completely stopping on the second lap, nearly crashing our entire field. I played this one smarter, taking second wheel and waiting for the jump to keep me out of the wind. Coming into corner 4 it was looking like I might not make it - but then I pipped two guys at the line to make the final. YES!

Keirin final - pulled the first position. Ian gave me a massive throw (thanks IAN!!!) and I easily got on the motor just past corner 1. It's easy sitting behind the moto and just letting it wind you up to speed. Once it pulled, I swung up track to be out of the wind for the remaining 600m and tried seeding back in, to no avail. I sprinted hard for a mere 5th.

Last but certainly not least, and much to my surprise because I thought we would be rained out, was a 30 lap points race. My instinct was on. Mark Coppa took a big flier in the first sprint lap - with me nestled nicely on his wheel. I got points in all sprints, with the exception of one. I even out sprinted Mark, much to his surprise, for 3 points. All in all I ended up 3rd. This consistent placing is going to get me an upgrade into the 1/2 field. YIKES!

It was a late night last night after Burritos and beers with Jamie and Christine. I slept in though until 7:30 and then started packing. Guy's trying to find a hitch for the bike rack for the back of his pimp mobile - and then we're off!

More stories to come from the road...

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