Posted by Editoress on 08/9/09
Despite having lots of luggage and many bikes, everything went fairly smoothly with the Canadian Track contingent as they travelled to Moscow on August 6th for the World Track Cycling Championships. It was an early start, with a 6:30 AM departure and a few short connections in Chicago and Washington DC were all made without issue. Rob Good was waiting in Dulles airport and we boarded the plane for the nine and a half hour flight to Moscow.
Upon arrival we had a ten minute delay in de-planing as little ladies in white lab coats walked down the aisles pointing laser guns that looked like they were out of a bad 1960's sci-fi movie at everyone. Turns out they were checking for swine flu and they were temperature reading guns. On we went to customs which was fairly hassle free and out we came to find all our bikes waiting for us. In total we were missing only three bags, with Allan Leparskas, Ben Cowburn and Ben's mom Karen being the unlucky ones. It was now that we met up with post cold war Russia bureaucracy at its finest. An hour later, and after many forms were filled out, we were on our way.
Next up was Russian traffic. The 60 kilometre drive to the velodrome took about 90 minutes but we got there and got our bikes into cabin 5. The track itself here is unbelievable in scope and looks to have had the surface redone recently. The sheer size of housing a 9 metre wide, 333 metre long velodrome inside is mind-boggling. The building is 30+ years old and it does show in places, but everything is there that you need. After the long drive everyone was looking forward to the washrooms and Jake Schwingboth was the first to discover the stand up toilets. Jake has since commented he plans to take care of all business at the hotel prior to going to the track. With the bikes stowed away it was off to the hotel.
Much more rested the next day, we had our first day of training. We got a call that all the bags had arrived so Vincent Jourdain, the Road Coach, took Ben, Allan and Karen out to the airport to get the bags while Rob Good and I took the team off to training. At the track we arrived by shuttle and started to build up all the bikes and get set for our 5 pm training.
It was now that the Canadian riders knew they were at the Worlds. Bikes were set to go well in advance so we took to watching the other teams train. The French were up doing to team pursuit and a stopwatch showed they were riding consistent laps of between 20 and 21 seconds for flying efforts of 1 to 2 kilometres. This equates to 58-60 kph.
Ben and Allan arrived at about 4:30 so we all got on the track at 5 pm as scheduled. Our track session was shared with the Aussie sprinters and the two rider Mexican team. Our other shared teams of Spain, China and Hong Kong had not yet arrived. The first session was fairly eventful as butterflies could be felt by all riders. Jake, testing the speed of the track slipped off and had the Mexican team crash into him. All riders were up fairly quickly and as the session went on the Canadian riders became more comfortable on the track. After a good solid hour of spinning the legs out we packed up our stuff and took the shuttle back to the hotel for dinner. At dinner the Canadian boys became much more comfortable in their surroundings as the Dutch doctor asked the boys to come up and give birthday kisses to a Dutch girl celebrating her 18th birthday. All obliged.
The Canadian team's second full day saw everyone a little more adjusted to the time change and more comfortable on the track as we hit the boards for another two hour session. Kevin and Krista both did full pursuit tests with each riding PB's [Personal Bests] to test out gearing and pacing for this very long and fast Moscow track. Jacob and Ben did two 8-10 minute tempo sessions with sprints and our two sprinters, Allan and Scotty, did 2x100m's and 2 x 200m's flying efforts again testing out some race gears. Tomorrow will be registration day and final training day, and the team will be joined by Ryan Aitcheson and Flo Laplante Lamarsh, who just competed in the road race today [at Junior Road Worlds].
Courtesy Jeremy Storie
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