After a few weeks of endurance training at DISC with ABOC, this was my first attempt at track racing. I signed up for the novice category as I had no real racing experience on the boards, but after warming up I was handed an upgraded race number, #1 A/B open category! I watched the novice category fight out their first race of the day, a 20 lap scratch race, wishing I was amongst them getting some experience before having to mix it with the track regulars. I lined up for our 40 lap scratch race with no plans in mind. Just race and stay upright. As soon as the race started I thought of a plan... to make them hurt! After a few rolling turns, each time I hit the front I hit the bunch hard. Of the 9 we popped 5 and were down to only 4 of us. Super high intense is the only way to describe the pace - knowing this I'll need to adjust my warm-up routine. 10 laps to go and I couldn't stay with an acceleration from Ricky Townsend so I rolled around and pulled out to watch the final sprint. I managed to both help smash the bunch and at the same time get smashed myself. A great introduction to wooden circle work.
The novice points score seemed to be a marathon, with a few HCC riders mixing it up and sweeping 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places. As we warmed up the lap counter ticked up to 160 laps(!). 40kms/160 laps with sprints every 10 was a little too much to ask of us at the first Sunday Roast, so it was agreed we'd run a 120 lap points score with sprints starting at 90. Round and round we go, the speed was tame for a while until Tim Watson decides to lay down some hurt - still 20 laps from the first sprint! The pace was high enough for me to start questioning my gear choice (yeah, I'm a trackie now if I'm worried about gear selection!). First sprint went to Ricky and I came around Tim the long way to roll him on the line for 2nd. Again I had no race plan, but staying with the front bunch and sneaking a wheel just in front of someone would mean points and not burning too many matches early on. The tactic paid off, soon we were down to four, then three, then from around 55 laps to go it was Tim and I head to head for the rest of the points. Tim got me on lap 50, but on 40, 30 and 20 I managed to slot my wheel just a touch in front of his. Again, trying to use the 'least effort' theory, but damn it still hurt! The two last sprints were the best of the day. Tim and I were swapping 1/2 lap turns while the laps ticked down. I threw in a full lap turn here and there just to mix things up. :) But when it came to 11 laps it was cat and mouse. No track stands on DISC with that crazy banking, so there wasn't much slowing involved, we just rode high lines waiting for each other to move. Being a roadie I'm no match for a track sprinter, so it came down to tactics. I'd had a fair amount of match sprint practice over sumer at the Trek Summer Sprint Series at Blackburn which really paid off. I had a nice launch off the bank and took the 10-to-go sprint by a few lengths.... totally toasted we both kept the pedals ticking over. While stamping out the final few laps I heard over the PA that Tim had to win the final sprint to take the win. Back to match sprinting again for the final lap and I managed to wind it up and pull clear. Woot! We'd blown the trackies off the track and had our own fun for this race! 120 laps, 46mins the Polar stats tell me, it was much more of an epic than I thought.
Official results here
More photos from JayWoo here