Canadian Track Nationals day 3

The next morning, it was all about the team.  With only team events in the first session the day went by far faster than the other two days.  With little time between races, we only got off our bikes to change our handlebars for the different races, any other time spent was on the rollers.   

The team pursuit was up first, and we had a range of pursuiting ability on our team.  I was the team starter, and I’m very used to being a fast starter in my Individual pursuit.  I dialled it down for the team pursuit, but not enough.  My opening lap was about .6 faster than schedule.  Which is very far for me.  We settled onto a pace too fast for schedule, which didn’t help the weaker pursuiters on our team.  Of the four of us, I was to do two laps, Ethan and Quinn were to do one and tyler was to do a half.   Since I started too fast, near the end Ethan and Quinn were having difficulty holding the splits.  Realizing I was the strongest one on the team, it would be fastest if I just sat on the front for the last 3 laps.  We qualified for finals second which guaranteed us a silver medal.  

A short roller cool-down, handlebar switch and back on the rollers for warm-up once again.  We were ready for the team sprint.   Being defending champions we weren’t striving for a gold medal but a canadian record.  Because we had a slower avg speed at westerns (smaller velodrome)  we started on the back straight.  Not that it made much of a difference.   Ethan miss-timed his start slightly, but didn’t let that affect him.  Taking off eight tenths off his start from last year we were off to the races.  Tyler had a good exchange and was also a few tenths faster than the year before.  I layed off and rushed underneath, a legal exchange and finished for the team.  We hit the line with a time of 49.8, a new Canadian record by seven tenths.  We were all really happy with the ride, but still felt we could go faster.  


Bars flipped back again, and we were ready for our Team Pursuit final.  I started off slower in this ride, but the fatigue from the past 2 days of racing affected everyone’s legs.  We had difficulty holding the splits needed, and in the last 5 laps a poor exchange lead to one of our stronger riders getting dropped.  Needing three to finish, tyler, the kid who lasted longer than he should’ve had to finish. The moment he exchanged the red flag came out, meaning we were being caught so no more exchanges.  Being caught sucks, and with me on the front I was going make catching us as hard as possible, I picked it up as much as I could in the last 4 laps I was on the front.  They were still closing on us, but at least they didn’t catch us.  Team Ontario set a new Canadian Record, so we weren’t all that heart broken about a silver.  There was, however, celebrations for Tyler, we were all so proud of him for staying on we were all high fiving and smiling.


Back to the Team sprint and we were going for another record.  Ethan’s start was better and came out slightly faster than the first ride.  Tylers pull was where it all came together.  Taking off three-tenths he launched me into the final lap, where I held the same speed as ride one.  We finished 1.6 seconds faster than the other team, breaking our Canadian record and dropping it another three tenths.  


A short snack break, and the 500m was up next.  With such bright white lights and a dry 30+ degrees, just being in the velodrome is fatiguing.  We went down the stairs into the hallways below, where it must’ve been ten degrees colder.  We waited there, talking with friends from other teams and just being social while a parent or coach told us how long until u17 girls started.  Since we all knew how long it would take to warm up, and roughly how long after the u17 girls start was, we could determine when to go up. With about 45 minutes until my race I got changed back into my kit and started warm-up.  


This was one of the big events for me, and I wanted another Canadian record.  I had a long 25 minute warm-up, and a few dynamic skips, high knees, butt-kicks and A-drills before the race. With the start so important in a 500m Time Trial, I grabbed some weightlifting chalk from a small tupperware container near the ramp onto the track.   I tightened my shoes up as possible, trying to reduce any wiggle room in the shoe at all.  My start was good and intensity was high, I stayed out of the saddle for most of the opening lap until I was satisfied with my speed.  I sat down, tucked into my aero bars and continued to go max.  I crossed the line and saw my time as a 33.2, a new Canadian record, but slower than what I wanted.  Taking the time out of the picture, I was pretty happy with how the ride was executed.  My start gate timing was good, I had a good opening 150 meters, and I got into my aero position quickly.  I just wasn’t strong enough to go faster.


With the competition and photos done, I got changed into my pjs, went up into the stands and finally got to relax and enjoy watching the racing.  The madison, a U19 race only, was the last race of the competition which made for great spectating.  Once the competition had wrapped up, the bikes were packed and we were on our way home.


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