As I write this I begin my third week here in T-Town, Pennsylvania. I’ve come down with the rest of the Canadian sprinters for some training and weekly racing. It’s amazing how much more fun training is when it’s with team mates.
The day before I made the 6 hour drive down to PA, I got a call, informing me that my brand new LOOK 496 bike had arrived in Oakville. It was a bit of a rush trying to get to Oakville and then get this bike built up, but it was definitely worth it. That same night I went out on the road for a standing start effort. As I clipped in my foot going down the driveway, I could already tell how much better this bike was than my last.
The first Friday night racing was all endurance events, so I’d rather not give too many details as to how that went. Instead I’ll just fast forward to the following Tuesday. Just as we finished our last motor effort in the morning, Marty, the head of the track, came over and told us that he was putting on a sprint tournament since there were so many international riders here. We knew it would be a long day, but we would never pass up the opportunity to get some good quality racing. After a slow start in the first round, I was put in the 4-up repechage. I was able to win my next two rides against Polish and Dutch national team riders to put me in the 3-up finals. By this time, my legs were really shot from the long day of training and racing, and it showed, with myself finishing 3rd.
Friday night was the prestigious Keirin Cup. Seeing my ‘odds’ of winning were 12 to 1 according to thevelodrome.com, I was determined to prove them wrong. After a slow start in the first round, getting caught behind some dangerous riding, I altered my game plan to lead out the next rounds. I qualified for the finals against a stacked field, including several Kiwis on the Commonwealth team, Polish, Dutch, and Italians. Again I lead out the race, and with one to go Eddie Dawkins, eventual winner charged over the top. I accelerated and held on to third place overall.
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