...someone has to finish last.
Munich is done. Adrian and and I managed to scrape ourselves together tonight and actually race rather than merely survive. Things didn't look promising at the start of the evening. Neither of us brought rollers on the trip, as they're simply too heavy and massive to haul around. Today was the first time it looked to be an issue. There was some sort of concert going on in the track when we arrived to warm up, so we weren't allowed to ride. No big deal, it was only 5:00, and we didn't need to race until 6:40. Concert ends. Tear down begins. Everyone jumps on rollers in the hallway outside of the staging room.
Everyone except us, of course. So we wait. Eat a gel. Drink some water. Stretch a little bit. 6:00 rolls around, we grab our bikes and wander up to the infield. The service door (same kind as in Dortmund) is open in turns 3 and 4. So we sit some more.
6:20 comes around, and we're getting nervous, so we start to roll around the apron. The door finally comes down just before 6:30. Nothing like a sub-15 minute warm-up to clear out the legs after two hard days of racing. And it's not like things start out casually here. Even the neutral lap is full on.
Whatever. We take to the line and rail, roll off, and suffer like it's going out of style for the first 15 laps of so. Funny thing happened then. I started to feel good. So did Adrian. He made a big move over the top of the pack, got us some prime position at the front of the pack, and before you know it, we picked up some points in a sprint. Then we stayed at the front. No more tail-gunning for us. We continued to pick up a few points here and there, in one case actually exchanging as we crossed the finish line at the head of the pack (one team was off the front). Perfect timing. Things got back to suffering soon after that, but we managed to regain our composure and actually race like we belonged here.
When it was all tallied at the end, there was still something amiss. Munich isn't using chip timing the way that Dortmund did, and the scoring shows it. Last night there were people scored ahead of us that we lapped, and tonight was no different. Even our sprint points didn't add up the way they were supposed to. We were placed 12th, but should have been somewhere around 7th or 8th. Thanks once again to omnium scoring, this means we're last. 15th out of 15.
There was some redemption though. Even if we netted a big old DFL for our resumés, we picked up some compliments on a very good race from the coaches and riders of some very solid teams. While the absolute standouts like the Australians weren't here, the level of the field on whole was probably better, with national team riders from Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, and the US as well. If you're going to lose, you might as well lose to the best.