A fine evening was just what Marcel had ordered and as the evening drew on the wind abated. The decision was made and the call went out to everybody that tonight was the night.
Marcel had done a lot of planning for this night. He had a schedule that mapped out his planned ride, how fast the first lap was going to be, and subsequent laps. He had helpers engaged in letting him know how he was doing. No special gear was required, he was aiming to set a record based on the same equipment as Eddie Mercx. Not even a skinsuit was allowed so it was pleasing to see him in his Bike Manawatu jersey.
The gun was fired and he was off. Sixty minutes. One Hour. THE HOUR.
The first lap was faster than he had planned. So was the second and the third. He had planned to do the first lap in 40seconds and then because that was from a standing start reduce to 37 or 38 seconds for the rest of his laps.
During the hour his times kept to a very steady pace – always in the range of 37 secs to 39 secs. As the minutes ticked by and the half way mark was reached he was up and out of the saddle. Sweat appeared on his brow, his head went down and the crowd that had gathered started to cheer him on shouting encouraging words from the side of the track and the grandstand.
And then the final count down begun. Ten minutes to go. The lap counter had been to its top mark of 30, once, twice and was on to its third time around, then the 91st lap appeared. And Marcel was right on schedule. Each lap was recorded on paper and by several supporters. Five minutes to go. His laps appeared to be going in waves. Two or three laps slightly slower and then a faster lap.
“ONE MINUTE “ was yelled across the track. We can only imagine what was going through Marcels mind at this stage. Dig it in – not long to go now – stay upright –nearly done.
“THIRTY” and everyone around the track was trying to figure out where he would end THE HOUR. The gun was loaded and the final count down as everyone yelled the final 10 second countdown.
FIVE, FOUR, THREE, TWO, ONE BANG.
Total score 96 laps plus 36.2m = 38.548km average lap time 37.5sec.
WELL DONE MARCEL.