KGB wrote:Cossie Phil wrote:For my taste, I would like to see the derny going quick enough for the riders to work to stay on, if they arent working, I dont see the point in it being there.
I disagree here, although admittedly it was much better when the rules were looser and allowed more (any) contact and there was more jostling for position.
The early laps with the derny were spent fighting for position while the pace was gradually increased until the riders were launched into the last couple of laps. If they were "working" to keep up with the bike then there would be very little jockeying... I guess kinda like now! Oh well, its still good to see 6 fast blokes being launched into a 2 lap screamer.
Besides all that - they are sprinters remember. If it was hard work to keep up with the derny I imagine there would be plenty of Keirin races where the field just sat there watching each other and let the derny ride off!
There at least used to be a regular event like Cossie describes as part of regular club racing at Northcote velodrome. (Before they built the DISC so the information is a little dated). They called it a motor pace, but there was only one motorbike and the whole field would be strung out behind. The rules were that you could only do one lap behind the bike and you had to swing up at the end of the lap and go to the end of the line unless there was a gap (you weren't allowed to make a gap ). Typically the pilot would wind the wick up further and further as the race went on, so it would eventually become a test of high speed acceleration (to close the gap when the front rider pulled up) and recovery. As the pace got faster you had to be particularly vigilant in case the rider in front lost the wheel because there was only a small window of opportunity to get past and still be in the draft.
Ron Niewand was the regular motorbike pilot and he was a master at setting the pace to be fast enough that there were only 3-5 riders left to fight out the last lap and a half when the bike pulled off (333m lap). Lesser pilots would either have none or 15 on their wheel when they pulled off.
I used to love this event, it was the only time I preferred to use a 92" gear over my regular 88"-90".