Sunday, 6 February 2011

Victorian Senior Club Teams Track Championships 2011

Racing DISC? You'll need one of these!
Track. Still a foreign place for me. I'm lacking choice of gear inches, leg muscle inches, arm muscle inches, and.... no, that's it. :P It was good to have a handful of people in the stands watching yesterday, but the majority of the visitors were the indoor bowlers and rain drops from the leaking roof. A few officials performed some ShamWow(tm) on the track before racing got underway. After club trials last Sunday night, I was selected in the Hawthorn CC Masters Open Team #1 for the Team Sprint (750m) and Team Pursuit (3000m).

Team Sprint - Cam Clamp, Stuart Vaughan, Shane Miller

Qualifier: Stu out of the gate, me 2nd, Cam Clamp on the final lap. Splits were 20.52, 14.92, 17.04. As I swung up from my turn I noticed Cam hadn't latched onto my wheel and had done the entire 750m solo, not our plan, but 52.491 was still good enough to put us in the Bronze ride off. Cam was motoring!

Final: Cam off first this time, Stu 2nd, me to finish it off. Splits 21.19, 15.15, 14.91. 51.265 final time. Our goal was to set the fastest time of the day in the Bronze ride-off. We missed it by 0.177secs, but we snagged the Bronze, a nice reward.

Team Pursuit - Vaughan, Chadderton, Fricke, Miller.

Qualifier: I had the start gate privilege. I love the gates. I wish every set of traffic lights had them out on the road! 5...4...3..bounce..back...GO! Sitting close behind a wheel on TT bars took a turn or so to get comfortable with. The qualifier was the first time the four of us had ridden a pursuit together. We kept together and set the fastest qualifying time with a 3:26.987. Compared to an individual pursuit, that felt way too easy. Maybe I should have chosen a bigger gear...... shit, now I sound like a trackie!

Final: In the Gold/Silver ride off we were up against Carnegie who qualified with a 3:33. We set out to repeat our qualifier, just faster. 60 seconds into the race we caught a Carnegie rider on the infield... then another... then... wtf? They'd pulled the pin? The timing board says we caught them and had won gold...? Nobody knew what was going on... adrenalin pumping, TT helmets on so we can't hear anything, officials dancing around, a few words about a whistle? What whistle? The red flag is the sign to stop.... whistle is a broken start... we were four laps into the race! Carnegie were awarded a false start... lucky, we were well up the road from the start. Race restarted, so back into the starting gate again... focused... fired up.... 5...4...3..bounce..back...GO!  *WHISTLE BLOW* from the opposite side of the track. "OHHHHH C'MON" wasn't what I was thinking, but luckily that's all that came out as we rolled to the inside of the track, again. Carnegie had broken their start. Gold to us, with a somewhat empty feeling. Focusing purely on the speed, turns, cadence, effort, I'd forgotten that there is more to the race than the final time. We'd won the final on a technicality.... But we still wanted to race our bikes, set a time, to challenge the other team! Stuart and I negotiated with Doug Armstrong a restart against Carnegie "outside of the competition" as the placings were already decided. Carnegie chose not to start. After our third start in 10 minutes, the four of us set a time of 3:27. That's what its about! It was awesome to be a part of a team of guys who stood on the start line with nothing to win or lose, but who rode bloody hard, and set a time - that's what we were there to do.

Other randomness...

Snapping a stem bolt before the Team Pursuit was quickly resolved by switching the stem with my road bike I had at DISC on the trainer as my 'warm up bike'. Pure luck I had the exact same stem on the roadie. A total bugger that my sweet -17deg stem is now a throw-out because of a $2 bolt, or isn't worth the time/hassle trying to extract the embedded  snapped boltage.

Being greeted by Doug Armstrong with "Hello Shane" at the start of the day was a nice surprise. I don't usually have much to do with the officials, rock up, ride, maybe get in trouble for some archaic rule or interpretation of... and speaking of, I was soon given a talking to about my team skinsuit by another official. I wasn't going to argue and asked them to fine whoever needed to be fined. $50 is cheaper than $180 for a skinsuit! Seriously CSV. Fine the people wearing ugly gear, fine the people wearing baggy Netti gear, fine the people with faded lycra. None of those promote cycling in a positive way! My kit was brand new and the socks were HIGH!.... and speaking of....

I was home by 4:30pm and dry roads meant I could get out for some road kms. Spinning along the Richmond Boulevard I saw two ladies/girls (what is the PC term for hot chicks?)... both had new looking bikes, one walking hers with the chain hanging off the big ring. I swung back around to see if I could help out. Just as I did a guy running on the path stopped to ask if he could help, one of the girls looks at him, then looks at me and tells the runner "Um, this guy looks like he is a pro, we'll be right". Best complement of the day! But I put this down to the high white socks. They're pro. The person in them isn't. So after getting them on their way I had to rip another interval... because that's what pro would do... right?

Speaking of pro's... Jono Lovelock sparked my interest in a 24hr spin on Watt Bikes - check out "The Spin Room Ride Hard To Breathe Easy 24hr Enduro!" That would be awesome fun! They've locked in the 26th of Feb which I can't make... buuuugggeeerrr. Love the idea. Epic!

Coming up on two wheels - Whittlesea 31km TT recon this week sometime. Pursuit intervals start in the lead up to states and nationals (aka spew-intervals!). Kew crit on Wednesday. Coburg crit Saturday. Whittlesea TT Sunday (Coburg ITT Series Round #2).... and a few other rides thrown in.

Track pick links:
One handed pursuits... so much more aero.
Team Sprint - HCC Bronze Start
Team Sprint - I'm on the V-Train!
Team Sprint - 14.91 seconds of GRRRR!
All official shots:

Other Links:
HCC Teams Track write up by Matilda Vaughan
CSV Official Results (and time splits)

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