July 10, 2006

Alpenrose Challenge
Session #5-6
July 9, 2006

The morning began with the 200m. TT for seeding into the sprint tournament. My time of 13.34 seconds was acceptable, since it's my faster clocked time. Last year I had a 13.38. I didn't take the best line off the bank. This placed me second behind Becky's 13.2ish. The first round sprint was against Kele Murdin, a very esteemed road rider. I won this round and hung out to see who would repacharge through. My next victory sprint was against Andrea Fisk. I was going to be in the semi finals and at least in 4th place.

The afternoon began with the semi- final ride. I was matched with Auna- Brit. I was stoked to ride against another sprinter- one that wanted to play the game. I felt in control in teh first two laps. Coming around for our last lap, I purposely stayed out of the sprinters lane, which allowed me to move up to prevent a come around. This time however (unlike my race is C-Springs) I kept a close watch on the inside. When my opponent disappeared from site, I hooked up coming out of turn 4. I dug and dug to the finish- about a half wheel ahead! YEY!

"We have an announcement from the officials. Heather has been relegated for dangerous riding. The win will go to Auna-Brit." HUH? What followed was a little stress, a talk with the chief official, the thought of protest, the reading of the rules, and finally cooling off and accepting his judgement that I had made a sudden movement of more than the allowed 90 cm. with my hook.

Okie dokie- so I would be sprinting against Annette Hansen for 3rd. This time I rode a similar race, I stayed right on the red line and took the lane going into turn 3. There would be no calls against me, since now I was stuck in the lane. I won this ride, earning 3rd place overall.

At this point I was in contention for 2nd place in the omnium. I was originally going to ride the scratch race to pick up a few dollars in lap points. But Norenne pointed out that if we could finish me in front of Annette and Auna-Brit, I should finish 2nd overall. All I had to do was follow her around the track for 30 laps.

In the process, I picked up some dollars in lap points. Kele attacked us and eventually took a lap, so she would be the winner unless someone else went, which they didn't. With 6 or so laps to go, one rider went down. I was heading right for her, visualizing how I would fly myself. Luckily for both of us, she kept sliding further off the track, and I only barely clipped her helmet as I went by. Race still on, I continued behind my leader. Like we had rehearsed it, Norrene pulled up in turn two and I drove on, with Becky on my bum. She had to like the nice lead out as well, and overtook me easily I'm sure. I finished 3rd in the race, earning 2nd overall in the omnium. Norenne got the cash for the win, since essentially she won the race for me and I was happy with the omnium prize!

But wait, there's more! The flying lap was only about 30 minutes away. I rounded up a disc wheel from Donna, threw on Chuck's new swanky TT helmet and rolled out. With the cheers of my friends and teammates and the clickers in the crowd, I was ramped up enough to pull out a 18.22, which was a PR (over last year's 18.57) for me and a win.

I have never had so much fun and success at one event. I feel more confident in my skills and speed, less afraid of bumping and tight quarters. Granted, we were missing Jennie and Erin, but the supportive cheers on my home track provide memories and movitation to keep training and driving hard for the qualifier in Seattle in 3 weeks and Nationals in October. It's still a long road, ehr, track. Thanks everyone for your encouragement, cheers, compliments, and anecdotes. I picked up a lot of philosophy and various opinions, especially Sunday! This is much food for thought and tools in my bag.

Racer and announcer, Dave Campbell produced a nice write up for the Fixed Gear Fever website:


Amelia said...

Hey Heather,
Drop me an e-mail and I'll forward you that photo my friend took!