3 Jours d'Genéve: Final Wrap

The other Americans had a mixed time with the derny racing. None of us had ever done it before. Wiswell had a painful time at the hands of an inexperienced driver who wasn't very smooth and kept dropping him by surging the pace. Realizing how important the driver was, he went up to Jean-Jacque after his race and insisted that he drive for Jackie. Adrian and Jackie hung at the front for most of their race, but eventually one of the other leaders, Bruno Menzi attacked off the front and gained a lap. At the finish, another rider came around them, putting Jackie and Adrian in 3rd and 4th respectively.

I was pretty blown after the derny racing. Not surprisingly, a long 60 km/h motorpacing session is not a good way to start a set of races. My points race was an picture of suffering, and did us little good in points. The Swiss riders were beginning to team up against David and I, so we joined forces and did what we could while severely down on numbers. Adrian rocked out in his race though, and took a lap with a small group in addition to picking up a bunch of sprint points.

The elimination saw me pip Jackie, and David in turn pip me. Confusion ensued, as our numbers and colors were called out in French, and David thought that they had called him out. He was protesting, and I was trying to tell him that I had been eliminated, and that that was what the officials had said. A moment later it all made sense, we realized that he was still in the race, and I did what little I could to push him back towards the dwindling pack. The good thing is that by being at the rail and a little ways back, David had a sweet run at the back of the pack and parlayed it into a 3rd or 4th place finish.

The final madison of the 3-day had its share of confusion as well. No one bothered to tell us that there were no sprints in this race. The madison on day 2 had 3 sprints; day 3 had only the finish. In a manner reminiscent of the start of the derny race, we rolled off the rail, and I was left wondering why the neutral lap was so fast. Then I was wondering why there were 2 teams half a lap up. I guess it's acceptable here to forego a neutral lap if someone wants to attack off rail. Personally, I think it's crap. In every other race the officials were sticklers about the group being together before the race was allowed to start. Why would they change it now, without so much as telling us?

We ultimately brought the escapees back, no one managed to take a lap, and Wiswell and I went one two in the nonexistent sprint at 60 to go. Somewhere near the end, I glanced behind me, got caught under and exchange, which forced me under a second exchange that happened a moment later, just ahead in the line. It was ugly. There was a fair dose of bumping, the sound of bikes colliding, and some sliding around on the apron, but no one crashed. It was amazing. Jackie summed it up perfectly in describing it as "the super-submarine." Embarrassing... Coming to the finish, Jackie put in a perfect attack that was reminiscent of his scratch race win on the first night to take 3rd on the line.

When everything was tallied up, our two teams were tied. We were both two laps down, and both had 296 points. The decider? The final sprint in the madison. Simes and Wiswell took 4th, Adrian and I pulled in 5th. Not bad, and it was one hell of a race.