This past week has been a big week of training but I AM NOT HERE TO TALK ABOUT TRAINING. Really, who wants to listen to someone talk about training? (or practice for those who maybe are not up on cycling lingo). That is what Twitter is for! Or at least for a select group of individuals on Twitter who think other people actually care how many miles they rode that day. People want to hear about the game, or the race. The DRAMA! Take this classic and one of my personal all-time favourite videos featuring Allen Iverson. We ain't hear to talk about practice!
So let's talk about the game. Last night was another evening at the Alpenrose Velodrome
. The Men's A field raced a 60 lap (16km) points race. In this race, intermediate sprints on lap 10,20,40 & 50 offer points 4 deep (5,3,2,1); Double points are also available on laps 30 and 60, with a twenty point bonus for any rider who can lap the field. From the GUN! two riders attacked. By the time I released from the upper rail they had already jumped ahead of the field! A little courtesy guys, please.
Since they both had teammates in the bunch and I was stuck at the back, I just watched the race ride away. Quite discouraging I know, but it was a long race. By lap 6, following the first intermediate sprint a small group of seven riders had slipped off the front of the 20 rider field. Driving the front of that group was some dude in yellow riding an ORBEA. By this time, Steven Beardsley (Gentle Lovers
) and Jake Hansen (Word-RCB) were already sniffing the tail end of the peloton in their lap attempt. I launched out of the chase in a solo move to lap across but failed after 3 laps and dropped back to the six man group. A few laps later, the whole field came together on the track with Beardsley and Hansan 20 points ahead on the score sheet. I had to bridge.
So when Lap 30 offered big points, Beardsley and Hansen sprinted ahead and disintegrated the field, I launched a counter attack across the line. One Gentle Lovers rider stuck on my wheel in a defensive maneuver so that was frustrating but it fueled the fire. Eight to ten laps later (race average 23 seconds per lap so 4-5 minutes) the dire panic and seemingly-endless anxiety of the bridge attempt evaporated as I slipped once again into the peloton's slipstream. With only fifteen laps remaining at this point, the four riders on the lead lap: Beardsley, Hansan, myself and James Adamson (Gentle Lovers rider who hitched a ride on the bridge) all remained in contention for the overall win. At lap 50, I cruised to an easy 5 points but missed the lap 55 sprint. In the closing laps, lap 57 I believe, Hansan attacked Beardsley out of corner 4. Fortunately I had held a good position high on the banking in anticipation of such a move, allowing an easy transition up to speed behind the brutal attack. Now down to just five riders remaining, the final selection approached the finish line just about as rapidly as the officials could turn over the lap cards. With two laps to go, Hansen rode on my left, with three Gentle Lovers riders idling closely behind. I moved aside and over the line the penultimate time, Adamson led, with Beardsley, a third Gentle Lovers rider, myself and then Hansen in tow. I ramped it up through corner one and launched out of corner two onto the back straight, surging up next to Beardsley. With one corner complex remaining, he reacted and moved out, pushing me up the banking while his teammate (who needed to win the final sprint to vault ahead in the points totals) stayed tight and low in the red/black guided sprinter's lane. The transition out of corner four helped my surge for the line and although all three of us finished within a half wheel of one another, I was only able to secure second in the finale with a well timed bike throw (a little bit more complicated on a track bike).
Afterwards, I was told I finished 3rd on points for the evening. I really had no idea what was going on out there when it came to the nitty gritty points but I knew I had to get as many of the final points as I could. So it's all good. I'll take third! Here is video recap
from the Alpenrose Challenge in 2009 for a taste of what an evening at the track is like.
I also have a few pictures from the Cascade Cycling Classic to share with you at the end of this post but more importantly, I would also like to present the work of an old friend from Whitman College. Her name is Aisha Fukushima and she recently returned to North America after enjoying a year abroad completing her sensational RAPtivism Watson Fellowship
. Aisha embarked on an her extended trip in May of 2009, using her unique hip hop project to actively contribute to human rights and social justice movements throughout the world. Her enthusiasm for music and social equality made for a perfect combination and her Fellowship has garnered a strong following; which isn't surprising if you've had the chance to meet her - very charismatic and extremely talented with a microphone. I urge you to check out her blog and learn more about RAPtivism here
. I have also posted a link on the side bar to the right.
Enjoy the summer!