October 5, 2007

Elite Nationals Day 2

Today was the keirin. Last year, it seemed that everyone did the keiren, whether they were a sprinter or not. This year, just the sprinters came out- all 12 of us. This was awesome, though because it made the first ride difficult from the start. Since there were only 12 riders, we didn't have heats. We went straight to a semi-final ride. I was in the first ride, with 5 others, including Anna Lang and Jennie Reed- 2 very strong ladies.

I drew lane 5 (like I have doing all season it seems) so for me to get anywhere near the motor was going to be hard. When we started, the girl above me, basically ignored that I existed (good move, really) and I was squeezed like a little watermelon seed somewhere near the back. I chose to give up the position fight early and sit behind Jennie, who sat behind Anna. This provide a great draft and I could see any moves they'd make.

The motor dropped us off pretty fast and in the first lap nothing happened. I thought about making a move over the top to at least surprise, but being that we were going a quick tempo, I wasn't going to be much of a surprise, coming over slowly or I risked getting gapped by losing Jennie's wheel just for a second to swing high and go.

The unfortunate choice was to wait for them to make a move, since reacting to either of these riders means you're too late. Somewhere in the fury, there was a crash the happened in front of me. It didn't effect me too much, but since I wasn't going to be one of the top 3 to go through to the finals, i let up, knowing that my next rider would been soon.

Gearing has been weird this year for me. I'm starting to think... well actually pretty sure that I want to go back to my 170mm cranks. This year, I'm stronger, my leg speed is faster... and I'm going slower. I have long legs. Maybe the longer lever is better for me. That's not so much gearing, but I did feel under geared for my 500m ., which ended up being the same gear I rode in the keiren. I decided in the final ride for 7-12, I'd go up and see how it felt.

Turned out that was a good decision. In the next ride, I drew lane 6 and there were only 5 riders! Yes, I still have the skills of getting the outside lane. Luckily Matt gave me a nice shove. I fought a little for the second spot and finally got there behind Emily. When to motor pulled off, she ramped it up a titch which was awesome. With two laps to go, I came around her and led for that lap. Good and bad. Many keirens that I have won or been in the top 2, I've led out, so it was possible that this would work. Going into the last lap however, another rider came around me, but not fast enough to clear my wheel. This forced me to back off a bit and I wound up on the blue line a bit. This is racing and I didn't think anything of it, but later she was relegated for this move. Mark the day that Phil Miller made a call on my behalf (inside joke for those that know some of the officials.) So although I came across the line 3rd, I was awarded 2nd in that ride and 8th overall. Later I went with the other girl to talk to the official just to see what he'd say. I guess they saw her come around as a bit more dangerous. Oh well, I think it's just racing.

It's strange because even thought I'm not doing very well in the placing, I'm having a good time. I'm not stressed and I'm enjoying racing my bike! You have to love your sport. If you don't love your sport, you have to step away from your sport- or at least be able to answer yourself as to why you're out there.

Today is the sprints!!!

Here are some pictures from yesterday. There is a short movie clip at the end of Emily in the scratch race.