On Monday the 3rd of March Mum, Dad, Dylan and I made our way to Invercargill for an exciting week of racing at the 2014 Track Cycling National Champs. We got there to cold rainy weather and were pumped for the racing. On Monday we had our first of three sessions to prepare ourselves for the boards. We had another session on Tuesday and a short session on Wednesday before racing started.
I ended up in 21st position which I wasn’t happy with at all. I had Day 2 off as it was time for the others to compete in the Individual Pursuits which I wasn’t competing in. It was a real shame for Carne when he had to pass the other rider in his qualifying ride as the small difference in time would have seen him into the final against Campbell. I did get some time that afternoon to get in some practice time and ride some lines for the sprints. Sprint qualifying was Friday morning and I was really confident about doing well after the practise the day before. It wasn’t my morning as I didn’t get my ride right and although I did a good time when I improved on my P.B from home, the night before I had gone nearly .4 of a second quicker in training. I was very disappointed with 15th as only the top 8 qualified. This meant that I had no racing that night.
Day Four saw the scratch and points races. The morning session was qualifying and in the 5km scratch race, I qualified for the final by getting 6th. In the points race I qualified for the final, again in 6th place with a grand total of 2 points. I had to work really hard for this after Campbell took the first sprint points I attacked with 19 laps to go. Three others came with me and we ended up lapping it out for the rest of the race and Campbell coming back to the front to help me in the last lap. I was wrapped with these two results as they meant that I qualified for two finals that I did not think I would have. The scratch race final saw me finishing 11th which was gutting as my goal was to get in the top 10 after the mornings ride. The point’s race final was all tactics. I had two goals. The first was to finish and not end up in a crash and the second to help my team mates as much as possible. With all four of us in the final we rode a great team race to help Campbell get the Gold Medal with everyone doing big efforts at the front of the race. I ended up coming in 11th place which I was happy with.
Sunday brought all of the team’s events that we were all looking forward to. First up was team sprint qualifying (750m) which we qualified third. This was a disappointing result as I was looking forward to retaining our gold after last year’s result. Next up was pursuit qualifying (3000m) where we qualified second. That night saw the finals and we were riding off for third or fourth in the team sprint and first or second in the teams pursuit. The ride off for the teams sprint came along and we were all disappointed when we finished with fourth and no medals. With the teams sprint over and done with it was time to focus on the team’s pursuit. Although I had felt really good in the morning the effort from the night before I think caught up with me. I had a shocking ride with nothing left and after my turn decided I could have hurt the time if I just hung in. I was still very proud that we ended up getting a silver medal.
Even though there was good and bad on the track I had an awesome week with a cool group of people and had some great racing in there as well. I can’t wait till next year to go back and race even harder and faster.