Race: Masters Track National Championships Day 3 and 4
Location: Rock Hill, SC
Rider: Jo Johnson
Day 3 is done. And another silver medal collected in the warm sun. This morning was the Flying 200 meter qualifier but then a very long 4 hr wait until the Match Sprint rounds. The Match Sprints were each a quick 3 laps each in a best of 2 competition. Different tactics and strategies were planned but it really depends on how it all plays out with your competitor. So much more to learn and practice.
Match Sprint: 2nd
Thank goodness the temps were not so high but the racing is fast and furious. Last night was the Scratch race, 20 laps of mass of riders all whipping up the pace then slowing it down. First rider over the line wins in each 5 yr age category. For me it is the 70-74 group. The younger group is 55-59.
The race starts from the rail on the home straight. I position myself first in line as I want to get off the rail quickly. The rest of the group quickly fills in around me and I am in the second row as we come around for the starters gun. Then we are off, I am holding my position well and find I am comfortable moving in and around the group. After 5 laps, 2 riders are off the pace and are riding on the lowest part of the track. A few laps after that I am leading but do not stay long and get off the front. My goal is not to expend too much energy and save it for the last lap. Then I position myself down the track some but find the slow riders will box you in. I yell “up” and the gal to my right moves up track just a bit which allows me to pull through and around one of the slower riders. After that there are a few more surges but I am quickly on them. Finally the bell lap, I look to my left and see the kit of my age group competitor. No way is she going to win this. I stay above her and keep my engine running, then on the back stretch we are neck and neck and I give a little more power surge and go around turn 3, I am just in front of her now. Coming out of turn 4, I am in perfect position to make the final surge which I do and hit the line a few bike lengths ahead.
Yeah! A National Champion Gold medal run.
The podiums are held the next day at the noon break as a lightning storm is approaching and we must clear the outdoor velodrome.
So much fun