By Jeff, All pictures courtesy of Ed White
I had a great time on Saturday. A lot of rollers showed up and it was a long day in which only us sprinting dorks could have found interesting.
Flying 200 - 12.9. 9th top qualifying time. I'll take it. Leg strength (along with my fitness) is seriously lacking but I think I can understand why given my month of no training right before the whole, ya know, exploding internal organ.
Match sprints - Positive part is I drew top seed for Group B. 3 groups were drawn up: A, B, and C. Had I gotten the 8th best time I would have been in the A's facing Master's Nats Champ Jon Fraley (below) and his 11.7 (11.7 in May at Northbrook...). Upon that defeat I would have been in a 4 up sprint with Josh Ryan, Ed White (which blew everyone's minds), Nate Iden (STRONG track noob from Burnham), and/or Larry Stoegbauer (garner to xXx transfer).
Instead I got to pick apart 4 different racers in 1 up sprints to win the B group.
1 - Robert from St. Louis. Guy went out hard but I just chilled on his wheel. He was standing with 350 to go while I sat on him and came around in between 3 and 4. I should have practiced a proper slingshot out of 4 but I didn't want to risk it. Nice dude and it's always nice to have guests. It was nice to meet you and race ya, Robert.
2 - Aaron Harrison. The young gun likes him some trackstand match-ups. The kid's got some power. I decide to get him on a decent wind up from the whistle. I then slow up, commit to a jump, he goes, I half pull up and he eases so I hit it. Never gave less than 4 or 5 bike lengths. Restricted gearing is probably really frustrating that kid.
3 - Matt from ISU. This dude was a bit of a dark horse with the Dolan and Falcon disc. I took the early lead and did another half jump. He bites and I let him fall and go in front of me. In his confusion I ramp up the pace and take the pole position while he stays next to the rail going through 3 and 4 on the first lap. With the bell ringing, I held the pace up from stayer's line, taking away any surprise and angle he might have to the sprinter's lane. He had no move to make so I slowly crept up track to squeeze him against the rail. I eased the pace steadily and started to flick up track to shake him a bit. I did one quick flick and planned on him panicking when he had to either jump, run into me or elbow the boards. Naturally he backpedaled slightly and right then I popped out of the saddle and gapped him. He never broke 4 or 5 bike lengths and I made the final.
4 - Chuck Judy. He beat out Berger to make the final and he's an awesome pursuiter. I was pretty worried. He drew pole position and I knew he could make it a long one so I was ready to stay on him from the whistle. He kept it slow rolling and fell right into my race. Going around 3 and 4 on the first lap I decided to liven it up and did a jump with little commitment. My plan was to get him to bridge up, I'd pull up and then counter my original attack. When I looked back at the jump I saw he was sleeping a little and I had a gap. I rode through the sprinter's lane with the bell ringing and I committed. Bad move against a pursuiter. He bridged going into 3 but it was the perfect time because he went high to pass and had to go the extra distance. He burned out and I took the W.
Chariot - Generally my strongest event. I jumped out to an early lead and felt good torquing on the bike and then FOOM! a gust of wind and Ed White (pictured below) just fucking FLEW past me. I felt like I was on a 20 lap breakaway and getting hawked by a sprinter right before the finish. Except it was a 1 lap race. Apparently 47x14 is too light a gear. Heavier for the chariot. Go figure. Ed hit
39 38mph on his speedometer. Standing start. feck.
4 lap scratch - I got owned by the big dogs. End of story.
Fun times! It comes highly recommended. Results.