Thursday, January 20, 2005

Westpac Velodrome (or how not to quit when you're ahead)

Not sure why it's the Westpac velodrome of CHAMPIONS but I'll get back as soon as I figure it out. Anyway, weekly track racing was last night, fun was had by all and it was the end of a fairly long day. Went for 3 hours of climbing earlier in the day, so the legs felt bruised just cruising around on the warmup. No worries though, racing here's not quite like the track pummelfests in Invercargill, more like an average night at Alpenrose (without Curry and the Kiwi crew). Before I continue, let me introduce Johnno. Johnno's real big. He's a big maori sprinter guy, used to be on the national team, rode worlds and all that cool stuff but tested positive and fell mysteriously out of favor with the coaches, the management and just about everybody from BikeNZ. Nowadays he drinks beer and eats too many pies so the usual sprinter's bootage is now much more significant. Either way, the dude can still go blazing fast and he's got wicked skills to match. OTHER PLAYAS: Catherine Sells: NZ World Cup endurance racer, fastest chick on the block. She hurt me in the warmup. JDD: It think this kid's name is Jamie, he's 15, goes faster than a scalded deer and he's not too smart. Seems like he does fine for most of the time untill his ADD kicks in and he does something wierd, hence JDD. WESTPAC VELODROME: Sweet track if it wasn't built on top of a hill, therefore prone to galeforce headwinds on the front straight ALL NIGHT. All board 250 outdoor.. not bad... It's not even Burnaby Glo-Worm "half board-half plywood" either. It's all one kind of wood, the good kind.
First we rode a handicap-ey scratch race-ey thing. It wasn't one or the other, just two groups starting at opposite ends of the track a la team pursuit style. 10 laps, GO! And we went, then I sprinted and won. Sweet. Next up, Miss n out, one of my least favorite events. Anyway, Cath sets a wicked pace at the front the whole time, so I'm chillin like a villain the whole race at the back popping people one at a time untill I get to one elimination left and it's either Johnno or JDD. I come up next to Big J on the back straight and he gives a little nudge to let me know he could flatten me if he wanted to, but alas, he's out, then I outsprint LDD and win. NEXT UP, handicap. My other least fav. event. I'm all by my lonesome on scratch with the front-marker 3/4 of a lap up and I've got four laps to work some magic. Meanwhile ahead of me the Two J's are both on 40m and Johnno tells the squirt "lead me out or I'll crush you" or something like that, so they start wicked hard, it takes me a lap and a half to catch and JDD commences the leadout. It's JDD, Johnno then me coming around getting the bell and this is chaos, there are riders everywhere and everyone is at different speeds. We're passing under people, over people, prectically right over the top of other people and in the middle of this, JDD's starting to blow so in the middle of the corner at about 40k an hour, while going under some guy, he takes his right hand off the bar to wave Big J through.... Boy are you for real? Johnno's obviously feeling a bit more comfortable with me now, because as soon as we get around everybody and I start to come around, he rides me to the rail, back to the apron, to the other side of town and back, then wins because I had to ride about 10k more than he did. This guy's got some skills. Good show.

This is where he packs up his stuff and leaves because "I want to quit while I'm still ahead."
Ahead? What? It's 2 to 1, you ain't ahead!

Oh well, needless to say the Kierin and the scratch aren't as much fun because I don't get to exact any revenge and no elbow madness is about to happen with this group. I won the scratch and here's the best part about the kierin: JDD rides the whole first 6 laps next to second wheel, completely in the wind, no draft at all, giving me a sweet place to hide then with 2 to go makes a hard right. Alright, that's cool daddio, so I wind it up from 2 laps out and show him why (as that carney guy says) "when in doubt, lead it out." I had time to sit up and chill on the home straight despite Little J charging hard out of the corner.
Afterwards he said "looks like you were getting pretty tired, I almost got you on that last one." Ha. Right. I didn't have the heart to tell the poor kid "no son, I just sat up."
This weekend is a four-stage two-day road race with (you guessed it) lots of climbing. Yee freaking haw. There is a crit however, so I'll have one chance to ride like a pirate and steal a little coin before the double whammy big last day. Oh. Also. Check out the links at the bottom of the little sidebar thingy to your right. I reccommend, well, all of them actually, but the Diary of a Wherewolf one is pretty funny stuff... DT

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Correction deano - big jono never test positive or anything, he just likes beer. and motorcross. and girls. - Brei