There is something about Trexlertown, PA, that keeps drawing me back year in and year out to race and train at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center. I’m not sure if its the 40+deg weather that is always guaranteed at this time of year, or the abundance of international riders, or just the atmosphere of the track, but I always have a ton of fun in T-town!
This year the racing schedule worked out really well for me. The two big sprint races (International Sprint Grand Prix, and Keirin Cup) were both on consecutive Fridays, and fit perfectly into my preparation for Nationals coming up at the beginning of August.
I was pretty nervous for the first race, having not really tested my legs in quite a while. Training lately has been based quite a bit around getting stronger and more powerful, so the speed is lacking a bit. Anyways, the qualifying went well, considering I think I may have had the worst technical ride of my life in the 200m. Despite this, I went on to finish third overall, a pretty good result for me coming in front of riders from New Zealand, Poland, and the USA.
After a hard week of training and motorpacing, it was Friday again, which meant it was time for the prestigious Keirin Cup. Last year I came 3rd in this race, so I wanted to improve on this result. The first race went according to plan, qualifying me for the semis pretty easily. In the semi-finals, I didn’t get the push I wanted off the line, which meant that instead of my preferred position near the motor-bike at the front, I was stuck at the very back of the line. As soon as the motor-bike came off I got myself out of this position, but wasn’t able to come fully around the line of 7 riders. Crossing the finish line, I found myself in 4th, right on the boundary of qualification. It was a close race, with 4-5 of us in a very tight area. After crossing the line, the riders in front didn’t hold their line. I had nowhere to go, with riders right beside me, as my wheel got hit and taken out. I left quite a bit of skin on that track, but luckily all the injuries were superficial and should heal relatively quick. After some serious scrubbing of the wounds but the paramedics (and me ready to pass out), I felt like I had to get myself to the line of the finals since I had qualified and see what I could do. I probably raced a bit more timid than I usually would have, but found myself in a good position, and crossed the finish line in 3rd place again! I was happy with the result given the circumstances, but I know I could have done better had I raced more aggressively.
I’m back home now, trying to get this road rash healed up. It should be another couple days before I can really train effectively, but that should give me a good 7-10 days before Nationals to get me back in peak form.
P.S If you want an amazing pizza, we found a 30 INCH!!! YES THIRTY! diameter pizza at Joe’s in T-town. (It barely fit in the back seat of the car, and had to be put on an angle to get through the doorways at the hotel)