Well, it's Tuesday. And since the plane ticket in my hand says Monday August 23rd, that means that I must be in within a week of the Canadian Track National Championships in Bromont, Quebec. But it's all good since the team had a great weekend here in Portland and there were good sensations in the legs. I got the chance to test myself three times this weekend, once on Friday at the Portland Twilight Criterium, again in Longview for another evening criterium and finally on the track at the HeartBreaker track day presented by the Gentle Lovers Cycling Team. During that time the team had a few big sponsors come out but the highlight was definitely a visit from Mom and Dad. It's always very special to have them at the races so it was great to grab some good results during their visit.
As I mentioned in my earlier post, the team had a great race at the Portland Twilight. We animated the race, controlled the breaks to maximize our chances in the finale and when it came down to the leadout, Jas did an amazing job to ensure a foot-stomping TOP FOUR sweep. I finished 2nd behind Roman and was stoked to get back on the podium. Here is the Portland Twilight Video
+ Another One!
+ Another One!
(hint...they all have crashes in them!) and some extra photos I found yesterday.
OBRA's Luciano (on the loudspeaker) with Mike (in white) and I chatting about the end
Jason did one hell of a leadout
Norrene really wanted to win, so did we!
On Saturday, we took off for a short drive north of Vancouver, Wa with a reduced team to compete in the well-funded Longview Criterium. The venue was smaller than Portland Twilight but the prize money was very good so Roman, Quinn and I raced aggressively throughout the 60 minute event. The course was a 1 min clockwise loop around a small park in downtown Longview. The corners were quite shallow but the road surface made for some slipping sections that limited pedaling. The course was well-shaded from the afternoon's high temperatures (90 degrees) so the racing started with a bang. Within five laps, Quinn was off the front, drilling it solo. By the thirtieth minute, all three of us had taken unsuccessful solo moves off the front. Claiming a few primes (pronounced PREM) here and there, we kept the race animated with Roman launching one final solo move at 5 laps to go. Quinn and I marked the front (hanging out in 3-5th wheel...watching), as the Guinness and Word-RCB riders drove it in hot pursuit of the disappearing yellow dot that was the Kiwi. But over the line with two to go, Roman came back just as a young rider pushed Quinn into the curb. Quinn had to bust out all his tricks to stay upright and although he did stay roadrash free, his spokes didn't. With a bunch of broken spokes inside the free lap allowance (after 5-7 laps to go, a rider with a mechanical or flat tire cannot pit without loosing laps). In order to keep the peloton at bay I figured the best option was to go to the front and drive it at a pace that would discourage further attacks but would leave the legs fresh for the final lap, also allowing Roman to rest in case I blew up at the end. However, on the back straight on the penutlitmate lap, two Bike-Sale riders jumped up on my left. I thought "who the hell are these guys?" I hadn't seem them the whole race so they were definitely tailgunning with the hopes of stealing the win. Pretty angry about their disrespectful tactics, I aggressively split the two riders as they bid for corner 3 and took back the front position before corner 4; so with 1 lap remaining, I led with Roman driving up the inside from 9th wheel. Out on the back straight I attacked off the front as Roman sat on the front of the field along the inside line. After chasing my shadow along the short straight between corner's three and four, I was able to hold on and take the win. Roman dished it out for third so all in all - we took home some great prize money and some merchandise from prime sprints. Not a bad day at all. Norrene even snuck a Klondike bar in the ice cooler! Ya Buddy!
Scott Laliberte (Cannondale Westwood) won the Master's Race -
He was my team manager last year and it was great to catch up with him this weekend.
Who is that tailgunning? Bike-sale?
Quinn kept the pace hot when not off the front
Roman followed by Guiness's David Klipper
On Sunday, I took Mom and Dad over to the Alpenrose Velodrome for their first track race. It was a Points race put on by the Gentle Lovers Cycling team. The day also included sprint events like the Kierin, in which a motor bike takes 6 riders up to 30mph over 6 laps, before releasing them all for 2-3laps of absolute carnage. I decided it was best to leave that to the big guys - they can put out 2100 watts for over 10 seconds! Besides, the field in the Points race was going to be a bit more competitive than the Thursday night races as riders from all around the northwest traveled to Portland this weekend for Saturday's Elite National track qualifier events.
Fifteen laps into the 60 lap race (so about 7-8 minutes), various lap attempts had been made with small groups of 4 riders but none stuck. Represented in a few of these attempts, I was able to snag some points on the 10th lap. But on lap 16 my bike started to rattle and when I looked down across the start line, I noticed the left bolt on my front wheel was gone! AHHHHH! I quickly decided I was not going to go through the banking again and pulled down off the track, throwing down some mean resisting pedal strokes to slow myself down before the corner. I retired from the race and was happy not to have had a more serious incident. phew!!
I found out later that similar to a criterium, any mass start track race awards free laps to riders who suffer mechanicals or flat tires. The criterium standard is 2 laps, but on the track the total is extended to 6; however the total resting time is the same at approximately 2-2.5 minutes.
On the rail ready to go with Steven Beardsley and David Klipper
Well that's about it for racing news. Dad is coming back to Canada this week with my super light Cannondale from last season so I think he is pretty excited to rip it up around Whistler - Look out Team Whistler! I also have a real job at Contech Construction working as an environmental economic researcher investigating the external benefits associated with the installation of large-scale rainwater harvesting systems in urban areas. It's a part-time position through the end of the calender year that allows me the opportunity to work from both the office and home (or the road) so it really is the best way to combine full-time training and my area of academic study. Thanks Greg and Contech!
Leading into my travel next Monday I plan on racing a on Thursday night at the Track and again at the first annual Franz Bakery Criterium on Saturday night in NE Portland. The event should be very interesting as it is a Points Race format although it is a real road criterium - every lap, points are award for the 1st and 2nd riders across the line (2,1 respectively) with 15points awarded for the final lap (also distributed 15 deep in the finale - 15,14,13.....). So that means the racing will be very fast throughout the event.
The Track Nats Schedule is also out so I'll share that with you in my next post. Give a talk about the different events.
Enjoy your day!
Labels: Road Report, Track Report