Today, the Cleveland Velodrome ran two events: TT and Mass Start. The Time Trial events were the 200m flying lap, 1K TT, 3K Pursuit, and the 4K TT (ran as a persuit). Other events were offered such as Team Sprint and Team Pursuit for the local teams that were in attendance. This is my first actually racing the Cleveland Velodrome because the last time I came up, it rained (torential downpour) after I got in 10 laps of a warmup. The Clevelend track is a 160M steal structure wood panel track that is very smooth to ride on.
I did the flying 200M and the 1K events using my normal track bars and switched the the TT bars for the 3K and 4K events. I have not riden the TT bars on the track since sometime back in the winter at the Forest City Velodrome. So, it was a risk to actually use them because it could mean a slower time or worse, losing control. Luckily, that never happened.
Not bad overall considering I have never done a 3K or 4K effort on the track and never done a pursuit before. Top that offer with this is the first time riding aerobars on the track in months, and I'm happy with the experience. Technically, four events resulted in two podiums.
The mass start events were another story entirely. When I saw Martin Deveckio and his Pather teammate, I knew the CAT1/2/3 races would be very fast. I put myself in the CAT1/2/3 races over the CAT4/5 since I raced Bloomer Park in the A category last time and I figure the only way to get faster is to race the faster races. Boy, faster they were. There were three races: 50 laps scratch, Miss and Out, and a 30 lap points race. Ouch. The Pather boys kept the pace high for all races.
The 50 lap scratch got broken up something like 10 laps into the race. The Pather guys went off the front, and I lost track over who they lapped (I got lapped at least once) and who I lapped (which I did at least once). I thought about pulling out of the race, but the other CAT3 riders just stayed in, so then did I. Something I will never get used to: riders not wanting to rotate. It would appear it's a style track racing I just have to get used to. I finished the scratch race on the front of the pack for the last 2 laps....although the Pather boys lapped the field once or twice, so it didn't matter.
The Miss and Out was fast. I normally try to come over the pack and land on the front to be able to hold the front as well as set the pace. Unfortunately, everyone else had the same idea....and the pace just went to extreme. The pack was strung out a few times and eventually I got called out at something like the 4th sprint.
The 30 lap points race was a matter of trying to hold onto contact with the pack. I was in survival mode for most of the race, getting blown off the back during the first two sprints. In hindsight, I was just in the wrong place because I was on the back of the pack for most of the race, and never had a chance to react when the race went. For the last sprint, I moved up track with the Pather guys did, and went with them when they took off. I think I got fouth on the final sprint for a few points...the only point of the race. Lesson learned: tag the Pathers and stick with them if possible. I may try that tomorrow at Bloomer Park where they will apparently be racing as well. Furthermore, stay off the back of the pack and always know the number of laps to the next sprint regardless if in survival mode or not.
Of the eight riders in the CAT1/2/3 division, I placed fifth overall. I don't know how that happened, but considering I was racing against some top CAT 1 riders, it is a good result. I'll take it.
Sunday, I'm driving to Bloomer Park to do some more track racing. More fun.