Monday, 28 January 2013

The Race, The Crash and The Dolan

Okay, it's been a solid 6 months since my last post. Since my previous post there have been a number of trips to Adelaide for sprint camps, milestones reached and Personal Bests achieved.

I am now officially an U19. This means that the gear restriction has been moved up to 104 inches. This also means that keirins and the kilo are events that I have the opportunity to ride. We also get to use Mavic Ios and Comettes to race with. (Carbon DISC wheels and 5 Spokes).

The sprint camps in Adelaide were over 3 days, usually a weekend. I think there were 3 camps that i attended this year. The first day the we arrive, a friday, would entail a light training session to get a feel for the track and also to make sure that all of our equipment is working. The second day, being Saturday, would involve match sprints and the Sunday would have keirins. For those of you unfamiliar with these races, A match sprint is a 3 lap race where 2 riders are paired up against one another. The racing is often very tactical as it is not designed to be a flat out drag race. The riders will move up and down the track in an attempt to move their opposition into a position which will allow them to sprint, whether they attack first or pressure the other rider into doing so. Kierins, on the other hand are very different races. The kieren consists of 6 to 8 riders who are positioned behind a motor bike. The motor bike will gradually bring the riders up to 60-65km/h. The motor bike, at 2 and a half laps to go, then pulls off the track leaving the remaining riders to battle amongst each other, jostling for position and race for the finish line.

In the qualifying of the match sprints I was showing continuous improvements each time. Can't be unhappy with that, can we? The race format for these events was a round robin event, which meant that, even if you lose, you still get a chance to race other people. Because this happened such a long time ago, I could not tell you results even if I wanted to. The keirins are something that I need to work on from a tactical point of view. I've raced a million match sprints but very few keirins, at least in comparison. This means that I have to spend some time watching YouTube videos so that I can grasp the key tactical concepts. Keirins are definitely something that I need to work on.

Leading up to a more recent event, some of my progress in the gym was quite promising. I achieved a massive milestone of 2x bodyweight for low bar back squat. It was a single repetition but It was a long time coming. Next on the agenda is probably to reach 100kg Power Cleans and Bench Press. I would also like to start seeing some bigger Dead Lift numbers.

The most recent event was the Oceania championship in Adelaide. The premiss for Oceania's is that it is a championship style event which pits Australia and New Zealand against each other.  We left for Oceania's on the Sunday, which was considered a travel day. The following 2 days (Monday and Tuesday) were just training days and light road rides. The rest of the time was spent chilling with the team. On the Wednesday, the first day of racing, we had the team sprint. A team sprint is a race beginning from a held start. The first rider is loaded into a contraption which is designed to hold the rider until the countdown reaches 0 before the rider launches out to start. In the team sprint there are 3 people (2 for women) and each rider rides one lap each before pulling out of the sprinters lane to let the next rider go through. The race is 3 laps long. I was in the gate, followed by Jay and Braeden respectively. Following our qualifying we were into the finals racing for third. Unfortunately we finished fourth. I did a sub 19 second first lap, which was a PB.

The next day of racing -Thursday - was the kilo, which I did not ride as I do not feel is going to be a race that I will be particularily good at. The kilo, as it says in the name, is a 1 kilometre long time trial and is generally run over 4 laps, depending on the length of each lap.

The Friday was match sprints. In qualifying, which is a 3 lap time trial where only the last 200 metres is  timed. I was aiming for anything under 11 seconds, so, 10.9 seconds. My time was 11.1 seconds. Although I did not break the 11 second barrier, it was still a reasonable PB (My previous time had been 11.4). I was happy with this time. There were also around 4 other riders who rode an 11.1 second time. Unfortunately, as a result of my time, I did not qualify fast enough to get a ride in the match sprints.

On the last day was keirin racing. The day started off as usual, got up had breakfast, went for a light road ride and then headed for the veledrome. When we reached the veledrome we started our warm up before being called up into the keirin. I was in heat 3. When we were sent out to race, one of the riders pulled a wheel which reset the race. In our second attempt of the race, thing started off reasonably smoothly. The motorbike came off the track which was when the position jostling started. We were coming into 1 lap, the first corner, a rider attacked. When he attacked he chopped down onto a rider which forced him to move up the track knocking another riders wheel out from underneath him. He hit the deck. There were two riders behind him when he hit the ground. The first rider that was behind him smashed into the first rider and went over his bars. The next rider, which was me, hit the next rider and went straight over the handle bars. My bike came up with me and smashed into the metal pole which runs along the outside of the fence, while I hit the fence. As a result, the rider who chopped, was disqualified. One of the riders broke his collar bone whilst myself and the first rider to come down lost a fair bit of skin. I also chipped the bone in my right shoulder and inflamed the bursa ligament. My BT also got pretty banged up, it was pretty much irreparable. Along with that was a Mavic DISC wheel and a Mavic 5 spoke broken.
Oceania crash (I am the middle rider).
Huge crack in right-side rear stay,
smaller crack in left side rear stay and unseen,
forming crack lower on right-side stay.
The crash resulted in me being off the bike for a little while, while I ran around getting patched up by nurses and had pyshiotherapy. After a couple of weeks I was able to start doing some road rides and efforts on the road bike. This crash also meant that I missed out on State Championships. After a few weeks, as a Christmas present, I received a Dolan DF3 track bike. I like the DF3 a lot and I haven't noticed and difference in stiffness or performance compared to the Stealth. The biggest difference is the price. The Dolan is MUCH cheaper.

Build stage of the Dolan.
Including 3T Scatto handlebars and Sugino 75 cranks.
Even though I missed states, I was still selected for the National championships. I was able to train for a few weeks leading up for the championships. 2 weeks ago (17/1/2013) I had to go to hospital to have an operation. This was not a foreseen operation. This operation has left me unable to ride a bike for the next weeks, meaning the I am going to be missing nationals. The Victorian State team left for Sydney today (28/1/2013). It's a shame that I am not going to be there, but there's always next year. Let's see if I can't get to Junior Worlds!


  1. Gee... didn't think you'd have any trouble reaching 2xBW! I'm still 7.5kg short of my mark. Good luck on everything, and hope you get back strong real soon.

    11.1 and NOT qualifying the sprint... you live in a scary country, man...

  2. 2x is a fair bit. I'm getting back into it now after some time off. I'll probably write something up fairly soon. I need to go sub 11. I don't know what i'm aiming for at this stage for a top age rider, probably somewhere in the mid 10s. Cheers for the support too.