Saturday, May 12, 2007
First night back on the track at Marymoor Velodrome!!
Last night was the first night of pre-season racing for the 2007 track racing season at Marymoor Velodrome. This was also my first night back on a track bike since my accident on August 5th, 2005. It was also the first time I have had a chance to ride my new DeSalvo Custom Cycles track bike. During pre-season racing there are three catergories; A (Cat. 1-3), B (Cat 3-4), and C's (Cat 4-5's and some women). There were no Cat C's so they gave the Cat. 4's a chance to race for upgrade points! I self-seeded into the Cat. B race, consisting of a few top juniors and a few Cat. 3's, there were 5 total racers for the night in the B's. The A's were a bigger field but consiting mostly of Cat. 1/2's and way beyond my intry level coming back into racing. Since it was a big deal for me to be back on the track racing in over a season and a half Christie and the whole family came out to watch me race. Since it is Abigael's birthday weekend all of our North Carolina and Los Angeles relatives are in town. Jose and Sharon were also out at the track with Jose racing in the Cat. 4's and Sharon on Arlo duty. The Cat. B's raced a 10 lap scratch race, a 3x3 points race, and finally a 4x5 points race. Overall I felt strong and healthy on the bike. I was able to arrive early enough to get registered and warm-up on the track for about 30 minutes. During the 10-lap scratch race, which consists of riding for 9-laps and the getting the bell with one lap to go and sprinting for 1st thru 4th place, one of the juniors took off the front and stayed out front to take first while I threw down the mad sprint for 2nd place. In the 3x3 race, which is a sprint every 3-laps for points 3, 2, and 1 three sprints total, I took the first sprint and came third in the second sprint and blew up trying for the third sprint. And finally in the 4x5 points race, which is the same as the 3x3 just four sprints every 5-laps for 20 laps total, I took the first sprint, came in second in the second sprint, and came in second in the final sprint. I felt like I could recover faster from my sprints than I used to be able to and could hang onto the pack easier than in the past. I know I only race with four other racers and it will be different when I am racing fellow Cat. 3's but man it felt SOOoooo good to be back on the track. In the end I found out that I won the Cat. B omnium for the night with a total of 15 points!!! WOW I can't believe that talk about a self confidence boost!! Of course pre-season racing does not count for anything (no upgrade points) but it is great training and will help me re-familliarize myself with the track. Christie had her camera out and took a ton (143) of pictures of me, Jose, and the family. She took some really great action shots! I also got to meet one of my Viking Sport Seattle teammates, Richard Juntunen, he was seeded in the A's so we couldn't race together but I believe he is a Cat. 3 so we will be racing together through the season! The one major bummer I learned last night is that due to turnout the MVA changed to catergories this year so that there are no more Master A and B's there is only a Master's 35+ catergory on Wednesday now, I am racing age 34 this year, so I will only be able to race Cat. 3's on Friday nights. I had planned to concentrate on rebuilding my legs and racing ability in the Master B's as opposed to racing against the younger healthy Cat. 3's.... Oh Well!! Thank you to all that came out and cheered me on last night it ment the world to me! I saw Matt Bianchi and his girlfriend Jodi, Sharon and Jose, and even Bernie Hayden came out to watch as well as all of my in-laws and my dad and uncle!! I foresee amazing things for this year's racing season!! Watch out 3's here I come and I can still spin it up in turn three!!!