On the boards

Today was the second day of racing out here. Yesterday Hanz, Franz, DGC, and Captain Midnight took to the track, the first 3 competing in the 250 m standing lap time trial, and the latter 2 doing the kilo. The starting gate was none too friendly to Hanz and Franz, one jumping it, the other hesitating as to avoid just that issue. DGC seems to have it nailed though, and in the end, they all ended up with times within 5 hundredths of a second, in the neighborhood of 20.2 seconds. Ferris overcame his kilo demons of last year, and pulled off a 1:11.7, while DGC came up a bit short of his goal of going under 1:10, with a 1:11.1. All in all, not a bad day.

The session today was a massive one. Unlike past years, which have usually had a morning and an afternoon session, everything is being done in one fell swoop. And I don't really like it. We arrived at the track at 10:00 AM, got ready, and warmed up for a noon start. First was the men's pursuit. Then the women's pursuit. Then some women's kierin rounds. Finally we came around to men's flying 200 sprint qualification. Nevermind that this was at 3:00 PM, over 3 hours after warm-ups on the track had ended. DGC turned an 11.89 (I think), Franz was disappointed with a time that was in the low 12's, and Ferris was less than thrilled with his high 11. Was there any redemption, you ask? Quite. Hanz (aka Taylor) threw down an 11.4 and qualified in the top 10. That's more like it. He didn't fare so well in the heats, being dispatched by Ryan Nelman, but still, he made it into the rounds, and with a very respectable time at that.

After a few rounds of match sprinting, we finally got to the scratch race heats. While all sorts of reasonable logic would have the scratch race heats go early in the program, with the final at the end, but USA Cycling has forsaken that sort of thing. So the first heat took to the track just before 5:00 PM. Being in the third heat, I had to wait through 2 40 lap races before I would take to the track. DGC was in the second heat, and perhaps the rigorous slate of racing he made up for himself was taking its toll, as he left the race partway through. When my heat came around, my head just wasn't in it. My legs felt stale, and I had anything but a killer instinct going. I actually felt kind of drowsy. Not the state you want to be in at nationals. In any case, I made a few feeble attempts to get into breaks that would hopefully lap the field, but all came up fruitless. Only one rider made it around to take a lap, an in the mean time, I sat at the rear of the pack wondering what was wrong with my legs. The sprint came, I didn't have it in me to shove my wheel to the front (they were only take 8 of the 20+ riders in each heat) and I missed out on qualifying for the final. Oddly, I'm not too upset about it. The average speed was just below 50 km/h, and I hung in without much trouble. The problem is, I should have been doing much more than just hanging in. I know I can ride far better than I did today. Oh well, it's only the scratch race. The points race is tomorrow, and the madison is on Sunday, both of which I enjoy more than the scratch. Hopefully I can get my scheduling worked out, and not spend more than 8 hours at the track this time.