Sunday was flying 200m qualifiers and match sprinting at Blackburn velodrome. This was my first track event so I had no idea how I'd go with gearing, in hindsight it was a little low. I ran a 86inch all day which just wasn't enough to jump out of the saddle when the crunch came. My flying 200m was 13.22, not bad but I wanted to crack 12.x. Depending on my training I might reach that goal next time. I qualified for A grade on the day and would be up against real trackies! These are the guys who I don't see much of at road events, they're too busy in the gym and eating entire villages of people. My first match sprint was great. On the line my competitor asked how I was feeling... "yeah, not that great given I'm up against you trackies!". I roll off, and hear "mate, you've got nothing to worry about - you're not lacking in the leg department". hah! I dig in off the last bank before getting the bell and hold him off by 1/2 a wheel at the end. Nice!
Match sprint 2 I was up against Man Mountain. I chose to lead out and told him to "be gentle" as I passed him. Then BANG! I put the hammer down from the gun. I had no chance but thought I'd give it a stab. I put a few meters on him which he closed on the back straight. Getting the bell I looked around to see him just about to devour me. I sat up and watched him blast away. Arh well, check the link above - his arms are bigger than my legs!
Match sprint 3 was my best race - I chose to follow for the first time and kept high on the bank watching for the acceleration. He went 80m before the bell and I kept on his hip. I snatched 1/2 a bike on him on the back straight has he looked to be fading, then he gets up out of the saddle for another dig. I was all spun out and couldn't dig any deeper - he holds me to the line in a close one (1/2 a wheel?). Best race yet... give me a larger gear and I'd have been in front. I didn't make the finals but I wasn't too worried, I'd made A grade and was competitive in two sprints.
Big thanks to Carl, Bev, and the crew for running these events. Now all I need is an upgraded track bike and a few more sprints under my belt. I'm still on the market for a sponsor who wants a road racing time triallist with a fair track sprint!!