On Saturday DISC was a sauna. 32 degrees and the humidity worse than when it was reportedly at 99% outside the day before. Getting into the new skinsuit was challenge #1 for the morning. I got 1/2 a leg into it easily, the rest would be considered a 5 minute yoga session. And in a strangely parallel coincidence to current events in Queensland and country Victoria, the men's urinal was flooded... held back only by the levy bank that was the concrete step in front of it. #DISCfloods was a hashtag we considered using when reporting on the potential infield flooding, but we thought better of it.
So to the racing - Masters 1. Three entrants only, which means we'd be combined with Masters 2 for the scratch races (small field means two scratch races and no points race). In M1 I was up against two trackies, McGinley and Rollinson. Rollinson taking the 'Champion of Champions' for Masters 1 at the track Nationals back in April last year. In Masters 2 there were only three competitors so the scratch races were not too stressful for a non-trackie like me.
Event 1: Time Trial (1000m)
No start gates for the day, so no slamming back into them for a rocket-launch take off. Instead it was virtual track stands trying not to kill our holder. Like any time trial, the start time is always 'still 20 minutes away', at which time 20 minutes flies by - and you're soon out of time for the planned warm up and running your bike to the start line. Without the start gates and no time at DISC in 8 months, I was aiming for a time under 1:10. I ended up with 1:08.7. 1st in Masters 1 for event 1. Happy with that.
Event 2: Flying 200m.
Not my favorite event as I'm a bit of an unco monkey when trying to sprint/spin out of the saddle at 120rpm+. I ripped around the first bend and swung way too high and washed off speed. 11.8, same as last year I think. 2nd place, only losing to Rollinson by 0.088 of a second! Bugger!
Event 3: Scratch Race #1
Six riders in the bunch for 5km/20 laps. This was two races in one, M1 and M2 each having their 'own' race, so we knew who we had to watch. The racing started politely. 1/2 lap turns, round and round we went.... an M2 rider threw in a short acceleration which we all hung on to... the pace then drifted back to polite turns again. Bugger this! I attack. One lap fast then back to polite turns... I attack again! This time I got a little gap but nobody coming across. Back to polite turns. And one more for luck, ATTACK - same deal shut down and nothing eventuated. Three laps to go, now there were gaps appearing.... two laps to go and I was out of reach of Rollinson who was on the front going hard. I sat on McGinley and sprinted him for the M1 2nd place. This was the first scratch/bunch race on the track I enjoyed, but I'm still no trackie... :)
Event 4: Pursuit (2000m)
Too many caffeine drinks was a perfect warm up for our 8th hour at DISC (yeah, it was 4:30pm!). Again the time warp happened with 20 minutes to go and we were soon sitting on the start line. I was currently in 2nd place M1 so was starting on the back straight, up against Rollinson (currently 1st) on the front straight. I didn't have anyone pacing me on the infield for the 8 laps, I wanted to see if I could ride it myself and put in some consistent lap times. I'd ridden a 2:19 last year, so with today's conditions I would have been happy with anything under 2:25. I had a good start, was into the rhythm early, then just tapped out a steady pace. I caught and passed Rollinson with about 1 1/2 laps to go at which point I pushed a little harder knowing I'd make it to the end.
1st with 2:17.381. My lap times (from 2 onwards) 16.48, 16.36, 16.45, 16.49, 16.47, 16.48, 16.17. That is on track for a 12 lap 3km pursuit well under the 3:30 I did at the nationals last year. So with some more time at DISC and a few tweaks to the TT/pursuit bike position, hopefully I can post a sub 3:30. I can't wait to give it a shot!
Event 5: Scratch Race #2.
Rollinson and I were equal on points, so regardless of where anyone else finished in this race the Masters 1 gold medal (and M1 state title) would go to which of us two crossed the line first. Early in the race there was an acceleration on the front that split the bunch with 12 laps to go. McGinley made the split and secured his first event win of the day if he held on. At the back I was marking Rollinson so we missed the split but we had our own race to focus on. Damien Harris (M2) was with us rolling turns but didn't interfere with Rollinson and I marking each other. 2 to go and I swung high ready to hit Rollinson with a two lap flier to the line hoping to hold him off to the line, but he saw the move and covered it. That was plan A gone... coming into bell lap Rollinson launched his sprint from the front which I held. I put in a short spurt to close in on him on the back straight but he held 1/2 a wheel in front as we entered the final bend.
If ever there was a moment time stood still, where things slow down so you can assess the situation clearly, this was it. Rollinson was a wheel ahead of me 1/2 way around the final bend, 60m from the finish line. My thoughts were: If I could spin harder, push harder, fight just that little bit more - it would mean something. It wasn't for sheep stations, we were all mates racing around enjoying it, but sitting at DISC for 10hrs in that heat wasn't for nothing - so for those few seconds winning was everything. After talking about only wanting to rip up the pursuit, I was told to go there to win.
In the last 20 meters of the last race, I did.
Final sprint photo: http://www.leannecole.com.au/index.php?do=photocart&viewImage=134457
Results: 2011 MMAS1 Omnium
1st Shane MILLER (HAW) 8 points
2nd Brett ROLLINSON (WGL) 9 points
3rd Ian MCGINLEY (CBG) 13 points
|Team Kosdown nap time. McGinley lacking tan!|
Leanne Cole has a ton of other awesome shots on her site, all categories and both days (men and women)... here are some shots of my races:
Scratch #1: http://www.leannecole.com.au/index.php?do=photocart&viewImage=133702
The socks were also a big hit. Time to update the cycling wardrobe with more high-cut trendy styles!