For those that are interested in racing on the track, PACC are holding their Winter Track season at the Superdrome on the 4th Wednesday of each month, April through to September. This Wednesday (April 24th) is the first of the season and kicks off with a mini-Omnium. Official info (including registration) is on the PACC Forum. I believe you require a CA racing licence to race. Alternatively, why not come assist the organisers or support the riders!
This will be my first night of track racing - nervous but really looking forward to it.
Great, stuck in Spain!
Riding at the Superdrome is super cool fun, racing would be a real heart stopper. I hope to be there next year!
That sucks! The Omnium was a hoot...
Winter Track Night #2 is Enduro night and its tomorrow night!! Details and registration are here.
Another awesome winter track night at the Superdrome. Enduro night was tough, with 5 events for each grade. Due to lack of numbers, A grade was combined with B grade, but there was still a solid turnout for B, C and D.
I rode C grade again, this time on new gearing (51-14) and a new saddle. Wasn't quite sure what to expect - thought it might not be able to get on top of the gear but it felt strangely comfortable during the warm up. The field was a little different than last time - there were a few (19-20yo) whippets I had to keep my eye on. As you can imagine it took longer to spin up than them but I had the better top speed so that made for interesting racing!
In the 14 lap heart starter (basically a scratch race), the pace was a steady 40kph until, with 3 laps to go, three whippets took off. I found myself having to bridge about 10 meters. I caught them as we came around the last bend, went high and took them on the line. Stoked!
The next race was the Team Pursuit, in which my team disintegrated after only a few laps... disappointing, but there were bigger events on the roster.
The 20 lap points race (with three point sprints) contributes to the season Omnium. There's a tendency for the field to pull up after each sprint to recover, so I had thought earlier in the week if I placed badly in the first sprint I'd try to push on and see if I could lap the field. As it worked out the lead up to the first sprint followed the pattern of the heart starter only this time I decided not to push to bridge the gap, took a point and rolled past the whippets and got into a steady 43-44kph ITT. After a couple of laps I looked over and could see the field on the other side of the track, but realised they were now lapping about the same pace and I wouldn't be able to bridge the gap. I was hurting pretty badly when I came across the line for the second sprint and pulled up monetarily to consider my options. Thinking they'd be hurting after contesting for the minor points, I pushed on albeit at 41-42kph. The last few laps were serious pain, and I could see one of the whippets break away in an attempt to chase me down, but I dug deep and crossed the line to win the race by 1 point! As it works out I was in zone 5 for about 6 minutes, something I hadn't thought was possible for me, but stoked.
Next was the elimination race. As soon as we rolled off I realised how heavy my legs now felt. Each elimination I found myself on the back of the group and having to pull out a painful sprint to stay in the race. After 4-5 eliminations I found myself blocked in on the black line, and with nowhere to go was eliminated. I learned an important lesson from the experience - sitting behind the lead rider on the black line is NOT the place to be for the elimination race!
The final race was a 12 lap scratch race, and I think the most exciting race of the night. There was a break away about 2 minutes in which seemed to stretch the field a bit, but then settled into a more normal pace. Fairly predictable now, one of the whippets bolted with 3 laps to go. As we entered the last lap I was in second place with no idea what was going on behind me and about 5 meters still to make up. On the back straight I could hear the cheers for the young fella to keep pushing. I got onto his rear wheel as we entered the last bend, on the exit hit the sprinters line hard, and took him on the line.
So... extremely happy with my second track night. I have a bit of work to do on the new gear to spin up faster. And I hadn't thought about the saddle all night so figure it did it's job. Completely addicted now, looking forward to track night 3 in June!
Thanks Darren, great write up and congrats on picking up a bag of wins! You'll be up to B-grade in no time. I really enjoyed the summer outdoor track racing at Edwardstown, although much more nervous now after my 8yo crashed badly in January (I now know what happens if you - or someone else- doesn't hold a line - serious ouch). So I am pretty keen to try the racing indoors on the track. Just need to find a cheap track bike,
Cheers. Not looking forward to B grade just yet! I train with some of them on Wednesday night and I know I still have a way to go endurance wise. The bigger gearing helped but it takes me too much time to get on top of it at the moment... got lucky in timing my chase downs this time.
Sucks about the crash... hope your 8yo is ok. The racing has been better than novice night because the riders are more experienced and much more predictable, able (for the most part) to hold a line and a constant pace.
I had been riding a rental at novice nights until I picked up a second hand bike in March (paid $700). I now have a range of gears, a new saddle and peddles setup perfectly for me - makes a massive difference! Pro-lite announced an entry level track bike on their FB page yesterday for $699, to be shipped later this year... looks good, may be of interest.
I'm going to make an effort to get out to summer track next summer. By all accounts it has a great picnic atmosphere. I contemplated it (partly on the back of your race reports) late in the season last year, but getting from work in the North of the city to Edwardstown in peak hour was the major turn off!
great write up Darren! That makes me really want to get out for a go at the track now! damn u! =) thinking i will rock up to one of the friday night sessions soon. Hope that you manage to get rid of the man fly soon =)
Thanks for the write up Darren - race reports always get my butterflies flapping and my heart thumping! I'm going ot have to get me a track bike - summer racing at Edwardstown was a blast so I really want to give the winter indoor racing a burl. The big adantage over road racing is that you dont have to worry about the weather, and you get to race a range of different styles of race all in one night. Road and crit racing is fun, but the track really concentrates the excitement into a few short minutes.
You're not going to like seeing this then!