Madison Cup, evening session

Alright, it's been a few days...

Friday night saw the duration of the Madison Cup in T-Town. The racing was absolutely amazing. It was definitely some of the fasting riding I've ever done. I ended up racing with Josh Brown from New Zealand, while Soupy and Simon paired together to made a Kiwi Sprint Madison Team. Things were hard from the gun, with the Italians taking control. Josh and I missed two exchanged, and that subsequently went to losing two laps. With opponents this strong, there was no room for us to make any errors, because we couldn't just suffer through a double when we needed to. The opening race was only 60 laps, and the field immediately blew apart, with a select group staying together at the front, and the rest of us scattered around the track, off the back. While Josh and I weren't feeling too hot about having lost two laps, we faired better than Soupy and Simon, who went down five laps and were pulled from the race. They didn't seem too upset about it though... Soupy got to ride the invitiational keirin later in the night, and made a gutsy early move, though nothing ultimately came of it.

Next up we had a pair of individual events. A quick round of rock-paper-scissors determined that, against my desires, I would ride the miss-and-out, while Josh would get the scratch race. My race can only be described as "boneheaded." There's just no other word that does it justice. I couldn't hear the officials while we were at the rail, and was confused as to whether people were being pulled every lap or every other. The first guy gets called out, and I drift to the rear. Someone is still behind me. We go another lap, and no one gets pulled. Must be every other... Another guy behind me. I think I hear my name, and drift to the back. I guess I'm out. Wait. No I'm not. Not yet. The guy drifting back was no longer in the race. He had been pulled, but they had mispronounced his name, he hadn't realized it, the race had been neutralized for a lap, then restarted, and I got pulled. Oops. I was still confused as to what had happened while coming off the track, so I asked Butterworth on the infield, and he explained it to me. He also said that getting out nearly immediately and saving myself for the final madison was a clever move. At that point, staying on laps was a lot more important than scoring points. I just thought it was boneheaded, but what he said made sense. I guess I was just a luckily clever bonehead...

Josh spent a good portion of the scratch race off the front, first with a group, then on his own. The pack was content to dangle him out there, then come flying by with 2 laps to go. What a terrible feeling. Oh well.

The final 100 lap madison was a blur. More suffering, more chasing. We didn't miss any exchanges, but still lost two laps. My 48x14 gear was alright in the field, but too small the sprint and chase with. Oh yeah, and I was feeling blown. Somewhere in the middle of the race, it struck me just how fun this was. Even though I was suffering like crazy, and nowhere near contention for the win, it was fun. The crowds were huge and excited. People who be cheering for me as I was chasing off the back. Spencer Hanley had come in from Philadelphia to watch, and was yelling at me from the rail. I was getting tossed around by the world's best, and having a great time doing it.

I still don't know where we finished. We were four laps down, and had no points, but there were certainly a few teams that were worse off then we were. In any case, it was amazingly fun. I'm glad I got to do it.