Saturday, May 13, 2006

Eric Kautzky Memorial 5/13/06

Alright! I’ve got a good one for you.

Went to the track today. The race was a three-event Omnium. We (the 4/5’s combined field… me being a Cat 5 trackie) did a paced points race, an unknown distance, and a scratch race. If you need a tutorial: this is fine.

In the points race there were four sprints (and “paced” means that lapping the field is disallowed). I took the first sprint, the second, the third and, to be a complete asshole, the fourth. I had everyone in the stands fighting not to fall asleep.

Between rounds, I talked to Candi (the officialest of all the officials): “I feel like a jerk. The guys in my field hate me.” “Well, would you want to scrap your progress and ride with the 3’s for the rest of the day just to see how it feels?” My face lights up: “I’d love to!” Having missed their first race, I’d basically be a sightseer, not a contender in the Omnium.

So, my first Cat 3 track event ever: an “unknown distance”. The racers start racing and an official discretely rolls 3 dice to see how many laps they’re doing. The pack doesn’t know it’s ending till the bell rings to signal one-lap-to-go. 5 laps in, Per Bjesse attacks and leaves us. I try to organize a chase. No go. Aaron Coker comes forward (side note: you’ve heard of Coker before in this blog as #519: the guy I was trying to follow into road sprints until he upgraded to 2’s. Bjesse is a dedicated trackie, so he’s new.). Coker and I can get him… but when? We trade off a couple of times and, by some miracle, the bell hasn’t yet rung after 13 laps (you do the math). Per is fading; a victim of fate. I’m pulling through, and right as Coker goes up track the damn bell rings. Oh mama. How lucky is that? By the time the steel ball thingy hits the inside of the bell a second time, I’m off the saddle and frigging drilling it. Coker’s misplaced, the rest of the field is nonexistent (= somewhere behind me… racing is funny that way) and Per’s backside is approaching quickly. I come around him up top in the final turn and take it by 2 lengths. Isn’t Lady Luck just something else? You couldn’ta beat that smile off my face with a brick. I was stoked, but it felt like a fluke.

Second race: Progressive points. Fifteen laps, each one worth it’s name in points. The pointiest guy wins the race. I ride the first 6 laps at second wheel, letting them go. Then it heats up. Aaron nearly kills me, but I squeeze out of it. Then he takes a lap. Then Per takes one. Then I take one … et cetera. It looks as though the final sprint (15 points) will be the race. BBC guy (sorry) comes out of nowhere and takes #14… and thinks he can get #15…but is actually just giving me the perfect leadout. Coker is behind me probably just marking Per. Per, on the other hand should have been more concerned with me, but he wasn’t there and I came over BBC to take the last lap and the race.

So, overall in the omnium: a DNS (Did Not Start), a first place and another first place was worth a 2nd place on the day. Coker, me, Bjesse. That’s the biggest I’ve smiled in a while. Got a trophy, a view from the podium, and some props. And for once Heather got to see me kick a little ass. Now THAT’S a good day of racing.


Blogger Little Package said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:25 AM  
Blogger Little Package said...

Two photos of your unknown distance race.

7:26 AM  
Blogger Mark Blackwelder said...

Awesome, thanks. I appear to be analyzing the sitch.

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Q said...

Hahaha, man that's awesome!

11:29 AM  

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