Friday, July 27, 2007

NH Amateur State Games Race Report

On Wednesday I was finally able to get back up to the track and compete in the New Hampshire Amateur state games - which was essentially the same as every other night at the track, with the exception of a higher race fee and medals.

The night started off with the Kilo - a one kilometer race against the clock. I had already announced to my fellow Cambridge Bicycle teammates before I left the shop that I was coming home with a medal in the kilo, so I knew I had to throw down. Needless to say I was not nearly warmed up enough when events got under way. I elected to go early in the race to give me time to recover before the other events. You start the Kilo fully clipped in with someone holding your bike - which can be a little nerve wracking when they neglect to hold you straight. I got off to a decent start but swung too wide on turns 1 and 2 in the first lap. The banking is minimal on this track, only 14 degrees, so you have to really keep on your inside bar to stay in the pole. I held it together for a 1:24 finish - I had hoped to be under 1:20 - but it was good enough for a silver medal in the C race.

In the points race we did what we could to utilize some team tactics, however much of the race was spent avoiding the erratic moves of some newbies. I wasn't able to pull much together so I worked as a rabbit for Aaron and Erik. Erik ended up in silver.

The Olympic Sprint ( a three man race, raced in a paceline with 1 man pulling off each lap, time is taken as the anchor man crosses the line). I elected to ride second behind Aaron and in front of Erik. We had a smooth start, and were right up together until turn 4 on the first lap when I heard the smack of metal on pavement and expletives behind me. Turns out Erik had a pedal strike on his new IF. Luckily he stayed up, but had dropped out of my draft. I had no idea and continued to ride furiously. Somehow Erik pulled it together and we took Gold.

Last was the Match Sprint. Four guys start at the line, foot down, and there's 2 laps to go from the line - anything goes. I never thought this would be my event - I'm not exactly of the track sprinter build and on top of that I'm down about 12 pounds off of my winter weight-lifting weight (huge). Race starts fast, I've yet to be in a match sprint that utilizes a track stand, but given that there's 4 people to contend with its not the best strategy choice. As we come around to the bell lap I'm sitting in 2nd, and I decide to make a move. I come around to the front and drop all I've got, as I crest turn 4 I'm peddling far to fast to look back so i just hold it through the line, keeping about 2 bike lengths on second place. I was pretty impressed with myself, and ready to vomit, then I realized I had to go to the finals. So what do I do? Exact same thing - only this time, no one goes with me, thinking I can't hold the break twice, and I cruise into Gold. Except by cruise into gold I mean my heart rate hit 212.

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