Monday, 28 March 2011

2011 Australian Masters Track Championships - My Kilo/TT and IP

I made it to Sydney with the assistance of my iPhone playlist and a few good podcasts and went straight to the only safe place in Bankstown, the Travelodge that is part of the huge sports club. There are slot machines as far as the eye can see.... and it's pretty obvious who's winning - The facilities are very nice inside, with four or five restaurants and a dress code that I found out does not include Lyra when walking from the car park to the elevators. My adventure to find dinner that night was cut short after walking only one block from where I was staying. Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kew any more!

Wednesday cost $5 for use of Dunc Gray velodrome, not per hour, $5 for the whole day. After the session I rode over to Parramatta for lunch with Wayne Gebert who's now racing M2. After a few wrong turns, then a few more, I was back in the Bankstown bad-lands. Zero bike lanes around those parts and a potholes that would swallow cars whole.

Event 1. MMAS1 TT 1000m - All that glitters......

Only two MMAS1 entrants so we had rule 3.30 applied. In summary this means we have to ride a time within 105% of Australian Record time for Gold, 107% Silver, 110% for Bronze. Had just one more MMAS1 rider entered and posted ANY time, we'd have been competing against each other - not the ghost of some time set a few years back. Disappointing. I'm no kilo rider, I enter this event to get a gate start in competition, to hit the corners at race pace, and if I'm the best on the day, it's a bonus! A time under 1:07 was needed for the Gold. A big ask. I think it was lap 3 I caught other M1 rider and had to go around. Lap 4 felt good, but in the wash up it wasn't. 1:08.313. I had the win, and enough for the silver medal. Nobody went under 1:08 for the day. Even the monster motor of Andrew Gerber (M2/QLD) pulled out a 1:08.075 to win the M2 TT Gold. Everyone was a little off the pace compared to what we did at the Victorian champs a few weeks back. Slow track? Slow riders? Bit of both maybe...

So I won, but was awarded silver. Bugger. The presentation was a little uneventful, with people wondering how I'd set the fastest M1 time and was standing in 2nd place with silver.

Me and the TT gold medal winner.

Event 64. MMAS1 Individual Pursuit Qualifier/Final - Ice cold......

Not wanting to sit around all morning at the track, I estimated my start would be at about 11am. At 9:30am just as I'd hooked my bike on the rack from unpacking the car, I was called up to race. Opps. No warm up, no shoes on, no air in my tyres! Team Victoria got into action like an F1 pit crew and within 60 seconds I had my number pinned, tyres pumped, helmet on, and was in the starting gates! With three MMAS1 competitors I should be able to ride fast enough to get into the final, where I'd then have time to get my head into gear, a good warm up, then give it everything to see if I could go faster than the high 3:27 I set in Melbourne.

45 second count down starts. No idea how to pace myself cold. Go out hard? Go out easy and see what happens? We were then advised the third MMAS1 rider was a scratching and this was the FINAL. Ummm WTF!? 30 seconds before the start of the qualifier event they pull that on us? Were they serious? How about we hop off our bikes and go head to head in the final when it was scheduled at 2:30pm? No give from the officials. I politely let them know what I thought of that. No swears, just a very loud expression of disappointment. 5...4...3...2...1 Here we go....  Out of the gates, up to speed, helmet adjusted on one of the bends (too tight, issue resolved, back onto TT bars). 1:11 kilo... I could see I was up on the other guy by this stage so backed off a little before my cold legs blew me to bits. Tempo for the 2nd km. Caught and passed the rider at 3 to go. I got out of the saddle and cranked out a sprint to put the hammer down. Waaayyy too much in the tank and bad pacing, I did the last three laps flat out with whatever I had left. 3:33.027. A few seconds faster than I expected given the circumstances, but a few seconds slower than where I should have been with a warm up!

I found out later that rule 3.30 was applied to the pursuit as well, something we were not told before the event. Could this get any more stressful? What if I'd sat up after the catch? Luckily I had kept riding and come within 105% of the Australian Record, so I had Gold and the title.

Time to breathe out. It's over. Thank God.
I asked the officials if I could ride another pursuit when the MMAS1 final was scheduled to see if I could attempt to better my 3:27 in Melbourne which is still in the process of being approved (or not) as a record. No go on that either. So after 4kms of racing, that was it. With the TT/Kilo win/silver a few days prior and the rushed Pursuit qualifier that became a final, the podium ceremony for the pursuit was a relief more than anything. A bit bummed about missing an opportunity to have a real shot at a PB time. Next time.

Other random stuff....

Best legs of the meet - Julie Barnett (WMAS4). Amazing. Seriously I want legs like hers. So should everyone else.

Best unplanned dismount - 2nd place goes to all the riders who fell off their rollers trying to grab the moving fences for support, but 1st place goes to the MMAS5-6 rider who popped his rear tyre on the final bend in a match sprint, won the sprint, then surfed that bad boy sideways around the banking through to the inevitable stack and slide. Slow-mo-train-wreck spectating, we all knew he was going to stack, we just didn't know when. He fell to his right (the short distance way!) and only took off a little bit of skin.

Entry levels. Nowhere near what they were in Melbourne last year. MMAS2 is becoming thin on numbers as people move up into MMAS3. The typical old-school 'MMAS1 isn't a real category' attitude is ever present and is impacting entry numbers. Without change, old-school arrogance may win the battle. Less entries, less events, less interest in track. What was their point again?..

Sydney has some awesome purpose built crit courses. The one next to Dunc Grey (800m) is a bit of fun. Tom Leaper and I checked out the 2km circuit at Landsdale park. Smooth hotmix, banked corners, a few little hills, we had a blast there.

There were a few stand-out pursuit battles at the event, Martin Taube's win in the final against multiple world champion Graeme Allbon (a battle with more detail than I can write here!). Also Tom Leaper up against Andrew Gerber in M2 in both their qualifier and final. Gerber having just a little more in the final than Leaper, who had driven all the way to Sydney for just one event. 

All up Sydney was good, but no match for the championships last year in Melbourne. For now, the track bike gets shoved aside for the winter, again, it'll resurface for the Australian Masters Games in Adelaide in mid October.

Random Visuals.... and a bit of messing around...

This giant sheep has.......

Giant balls.

Do you think they have a measuring tape for short shorts?

A street sign, or a chemistry exam?

Ghetto washing.

I found the Zoltar Speaks machine here. It was broken. I was only a day older in the morning.

One button press = two pancakes. A winning formula.

Any marine object requires only one thing......

The Kate Winslet Titanic flying scene recreation. Hold me Leo, hold me!
....and thanks to CSV (Now CV) for the shirt!


Gus said...

You are a champion and crack me up "The Kate Winslet Titanic flying scene recreation. Hold me Leo, hold me!". Yes, it must be road season. Great work, Shane!

Anonymous said...

Masters grades and 20km TT at Canberra Tour this year - you should come!

GPLama said...

M1/2/3, nice! Will have a think about it. Any MMAS teams need a ring-in who'll have a good crack at the TT? :)