Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Day 2: the Silverdome - yes, I'm still cycling, but doesn't it sound important?

The second night of racing proved to be as educational as the first – only this time my inner fire is starting to burn. With my self-confidence on the track returning, I was pleased to get to race in a most beautiful facility. The Silverdome in Launceston is an absolutely beautiful track – it feels incredibly fast and the atmosphere is awesome! The afternoon session started at 2pm, but I only had one event to contest – the Elimination. Now, anyone who knows the events, understands that tactics play a huge role – quite often more than fitness itself. I, myself, seem to have an interesting affliction of either doing incredibly well, or quite badly – my mid-range is somewhat limited. Unfortunately, this evening proved to be more of the latter. Off on the neutral lap, I thought that I was in good – sitting pretty in the top 5 girls near the bottom of the track, but the positioning was indeed too good to be true. Just before the end of the neutral we were swamped by the back half of the field overtop and I ended up in the back-half of the field – somewhere I didn’t really want to be with this kind of speed on hand. I managed to fight and play the devil for about 5 rounds, with my luck soon running out. On the lap I was eliminated I probably could have shot a gap coming around corner four between one of the Scottish girls and the field – but at the time I felt it was a little dicey, and didn’t really want to be known as the girl who caused the crash…but in retrospect perhaps I should have gone for it! :P
So, with the first race out of the way, I got to deal with the most exciting part of the evening – my new Kenda stuff has arrived!!! I’m super excited – nothing is more fun than new team stuff – so I got to sport it for the first time in the scratch race. After a more than humbling experience last time, I decided that I might as well try to give it a run off the front. Under the advice of a fellow competitor I also geared up – I believe that both the change in mentality and the slightly bigger gear helped me to fend for myself much better this evening. I did manage to pry myself off the front for about a millisecond – but the group was just moving too fast and I was countered immediately. However, the group did stay together and it came down to a bunch sprint. In the final lap there was some potentially bad clashing directly above me, so I backed off a little, but came around to finish 7th – not bad, but improvement is definitely being made.
Bring on the final event of the evening – the 2000m wheel race. Anger is the only way I can sum up how it went down. Off the line I somehow managed to drop the two girls starting on the 50m mark with me, while at the same time get more gapped by the rider on the 60m mark. Consequently, I ended up giving it my all for a lap and a half before the other 3 back markers caught up. By this point I was somewhat cooked and jumped on the back of their train. Unfortunately, despite the draft, Jessica Barry (who started on the 30m mark, and I can only imagine got a bit of a boost from the other two girls on my mark getting a slow start) road me right off her wheel. The whole experience was rather humbling, and needless to say, we didn’t make it up to contest the sprint. Therefore no final…but the positive part is that I was angry about it. How is that good you ask? Well, the thing is, the other day I was resigned to the fact that the other girls were faster than me, now I’m starting to get a little feisty and expect things of myself – I’ll be rocking by the end of the week! (because we all know that physiology can definitely change in a 7 day period…)Next it’s off to Devonport tomorrow – another day, another chance to get better…and I was to WIN! :P

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