Old bloke doing first ACT Track Omnium Championships

TonyB
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Old bloke doing first ACT Track Omnium Championships

Postby TonyB » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:00 am

I am an old boke (63) who took up track racing just over a year ago, I have previously only raced B-grade Track races with the local Vets club in Canberra, on the weekend I did my first ACT Track Omnium Championships, the Championships were in the form of a 6 events over 2 days.

My lead up was not the best as I spent the whole of January travelling overseas on a non-bike riding holiday, I had less than 10 days to prepare, I managed a couple of long rides but mainly concentrated on high cadence intervals on the trainer and a couple of Wednesday evening Vets Track meets in B-grade, at last Wednesday’s Vets meet when I mentioned the name of the other rider in my age group, Anton, I was told he was a monster on the track who has medalled at state and national level and that I was in for a tough time.

I turned up to Bundadome early, set my gear up in the Club tent and introduced myself to Anton, Anton turned out to be a very nice person who was happy to have some competition, he was more than happy to help me throughout the meet, Anton did turned out to be somewhat of a monster, 6’ 3” tall and about 105 kg and runs a 100” gear, I am. 5’ 11”, 76 kg and I run a 92” gear.

The older masters riders were on early, the first race being a 200 meter fly, I was the second oldest rider at the meet, the oldest. was Jim a M9 rider and was a former world champ, I was the slowest master rider at the 200 meters, unsurprisingly Anton beat me by about a second and a half.

Race 2 was a 7km (21 lap) scratch, the temperature was starting to heat up as mid 30’s were forecast. The Elite W, Masters W and 4,5,6,7 and 9 Masters M where all grouped together, I had raced against most of the other competitors at Vets meets and new I was going to be in for a tough race, especially if Anton could hang on to the faster riders, I put a 94” gear on, this was somewhat risky as I had never ridden a 94” before. The race started at a reasonable pace and I took my turn on the front, I was keeping a close eye on Anton as he was a couple of positions in front, just after half way the pace quickened, but I was caught behind a couple of riders who dropped off and I tried hard but I could not catch the bunch, but the good news was Anton had dropped off as well, the heat and a big gear took its toll, I got him by half a lap, one race each.

Race 3 was a 6 lap Keirin, I had never done a Keirin before, it turned out to be Anton’s favourite race, M6, M7 and 9 where grouped together, I drew 5 out of 6, Anton drew 1st behind the bike, I was doomed, even though there were some good M6 riders, Anton won, I came last again. After Day 1 of the Omnium points tally, Anton 4 points, me 5 points, but I was happy I got him in the Scratch.

Race 4, it was another very hot day, it was a 500 meter TT, again I was slowest of the master men, Anton got me by 3 seconds.

Race 5 was a 10k (30 lap) points race with bell laps 21, 14, and 1, by this time it was very hot and Bundadome was like an oven, again we were grouped with Elite W, Master W and 4,5,6,7 and 9 M, Anton told me that he has gone down to a 96” gear, I stuck with my 94”, I dropped off on the first sprint, Anton came 5th, just out of the points, he then dropped off and I passed him trying to catch the bunch thinking I might be able to get on to the bunch and get a point, I nearly did but faded, I saw Anton and a M5 rider started to work together so I backed off and let them catch me, under Anton’s guidance the three of us took turns to try and catch the group just ahead of us, but each time we got close the bell lap went and we lost ground, on the final lap I managed to pull away from the other two riders. According to the more knowledgeable club members, in a mixed points race if no points are scored in an age group the first across the finish line takes the win, if that is so then I am only one point behind Anton in the Omnium points. I did not come out of the points race good at all, doing 10k in the searing heat without drinking did some damage to my throat and I could not stop coughing, my throat was very sore and still is, I drank as much cold water as possible to try and make the last race.

As most reading this would know, in the Omnium rules, in the event of a tie, the best rider shall be determined by the lowest cumulated time of the time trial events, uless Anton DNF'd Anton could not be beaten.

The last race was the Elimination Race, again with Elite W, Master W and 4,5,6,7 and 9 M, Anton decided to help me stay in the race as long as possible, we both start at the front, Anton being very experienced got me to ride beside him and a bit wide to make riders work hard to pass us, this worked for a while and we lost half the riders before the faster riders passed us, Anton then slowed down and let me take the win, but the Commissionaires got things wrong and called my number instead, Anton sorted it out at the end.

Though the heat was a problem, I still enjoyed my first major Track meet, I came away realising if I need to lift my game if I want to compete at a higher level, as of the next Vet meet I am going to put myself up to A-grade and do a bit more Track specific training.

Tony

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Derny Driver
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Re: Old bloke doing first ACT Track Omnium Championships

Postby Derny Driver » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:02 am

TonyB wrote:....do a bit more Track specific training.
Tony

well done Tony, sounds like you did really well.
yes Anton W goes okay and would be a good guy to learn from.
In my opinion, the best gear for an outdoor track, for races of 20 or more laps, is 93. (52-15)
Many people over-gear. My son is 22 and a very good road and track rider, he uses 93 outdoors.
You shouldn't need bigger than that.
If you want to do well in track racing, stay out of the hills and do lots of track work.
We do heaps of derny paced work in our track training sessions.
Good luck with it.

TonyB
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Re: Old bloke doing first ACT Track Omnium Championships

Postby TonyB » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:47 am

Derny Driver wrote:well done Tony, sounds like you did really well.
yes Anton W goes okay and would be a good guy to learn from.
In my opinion, the best gear for an outdoor track, for races of 20 or more laps, is 93. (52-15)
Many people over-gear. My son is 22 and a very good road and track rider, he uses 93 outdoors.
You shouldn't need bigger than that.
If you want to do well in track racing, stay out of the hills and do lots of track work.
We do heaps of derny paced work in our track training sessions.
Good luck with it.


Thanks for the advice Derny Driver, after the weekend I realise I still have a lot to learn about Track racing. I got along very well with Anton W and spent a lot of time chatting to him and learning from him on the weekend, he was trying to talk me into doing the NSW Masters in a couple of weeks but even if I could put a late entry in I would need to improve a lot before I would go, I hope to start training with Anton and others soon during the week, I will also start turning up to Saturday afternoon training where they do motor pacing.

Tony

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Derny Driver
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Re: Old bloke doing first ACT Track Omnium Championships

Postby Derny Driver » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:09 pm

TonyB wrote:.... trying to talk me into doing the NSW Masters in a couple of weeks but even if I could put a late entry in I would need to improve a lot before I would go, I hope to start training with Anton and others soon during the week, I will also start turning up to Saturday afternoon training where they do motor pacing.
Tony

That motor pace training will get the legs going nicely. Ive been flat out pacing clubmates in the lead up to States.
A friend tried to get a late entry last week, was told flat out NO.

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foo on patrol
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Re: Old bloke doing first ACT Track Omnium Championships

Postby foo on patrol » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:51 pm

Well done Tony. Track is my favorite racing but remember one thing.......You never stop learning in this sport. :wink:

Foo
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
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TonyB
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Re: Old bloke doing first ACT Track Omnium Championships

Postby TonyB » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:22 am

Thanks Foo,

I am certainly enjoying Track racing. I was also impressed by the enthusiasm and the high standard of racing by the juniors on the weekend.

Tony

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Derny Driver
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Re: Old bloke doing first ACT Track Omnium Championships

Postby Derny Driver » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:51 am

TonyB wrote:. I was also impressed by the enthusiasm and the high standard of racing by the juniors on the weekend.

Young Dev goes good!
I called his pursuits for him at the State Titles the weekend before last.

ironhanglider
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Re: Old bloke doing first ACT Track Omnium Championships

Postby ironhanglider » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:39 pm

Excellent write up, and well done Tony.

Anton is the nicest kind of monster. He can also play the piano accordian very well... of course some would say that a gentleman is someone who can play the piano accordion and chooses not to.

I've got no words of advice when it comes to gears other than to suck it and see. One of the best nights of racing I had with John was when I thought I was putting the gear up with a bigger chainring, but actually dropped it because some idiot put the wheel on backwards and we used a bigger cog accidentally. We were all mentally prepared to work extra hard on the accelerations and didn't notice the extra pedalling speed with the excitement of being a bit more competitive. :)

A grade will be good for you.

Cheers,

Cameron
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