June 21/03 10:39 am - American Velodrome Challenge Race, Nas-track Madison Season Opener
Posted by Editoress on 06/21/03
American Velodrome Challenge Race
Courtesy Keith Bruneau
The Greater Victoria Velodrome Association would like to announce the Innaugural American Velodrome Challenge Race for our track from July 11-13.
There will be a minimum $5000 cash prize list plus merchandise.
For more information about the GVVA check out the website: www.gvva.bc.ca
Nas-track Madison Season Opener Detroit, Michigan
Courtesy Rob Good
A total of 9, 2 man Madison teams were entered in the first evening of the Nas-track Madison Series at the Velodrome in Detroit. The tight 200m board track is in it's 2nd season of providing bicycle racers, & race fans an action packed 2 hours of action.
The evening began with a touching tribute to fallen fellow racer & track announcer Michael R. Rabe, who was killed while riding his bike in May.
In Nas-Track racing the teams are arranged to even the playing field, all teams are matched on ability, each week the teams change, This week I was paired with a very good racer out of Toledo Ohio, Piero Eldonas.
A very respectable first night crowd of 450 spectators were in attendance to cheer on the riders, as well the Wolverine Blues Band were playing music all night..
To explain how the evening works, each team participates in 5 events different events & accumulate points throughout the night. At the end of the night the team with the most points wins the bike race.
Team Madison Pursuit: From a standing start, one member of a team begins the 4 lap dash, while his partner is waiting for the Handsling (exchange) which for the top & most experienced teams takes place at over 60 kph The second rider is handslung in & completes the remaining laps to the finish. In 2002 the quick time during competition was 55.8 sec. Last night with opening night jitters, the best time was 57.9, our team was a very close 2nd in a time of 58.2 seconds. Next week all teams will do much quicker times.
Second event is the 8 lap sprint race: One member of each team races in an all or nothing sprint race. Only the top teams earn the valuable points in these races. Piero had very good legs & managed a 2nd place finish in his heat. I wasn't as fortunate, Still spent from the pursuit I was up against 5 senior 1-2 riders from the Detroit area, (notice: you always have to have an excuse) needless to say I finished, no points.
Third event, the always entertaining Devil (Miss & Out) race: One of the toughest races in track racing because every 2 laps if you are last rider across the line is eliminated from the event, Our team was very well positioned and earned a very hard fought 4th place finish. This moved us into 4th in the points standings at the end of 3 events, Still 1 hour of racing was ahead.
Since it was the first night of racing, all teams were instructed to ride tempo 35 kph to get a feel for the exchanges & racing. The first 5 minutes were neutralized, the bell rang the race was on, The first hard Jam lasted over 7 minutes with the average speed over 54 kph Things settled down and 4 teams set the pace for the remainder of the Madison, with 12 laps to go Ripp'n Ronny & Dave Cassal jumped opened a little gap, which we closed after chasing for 7 laps, when I looked at my computer we were at 57 kph The last exchange for the final sprint went very well and we managed to stay in contention for the sprint points at the end of the first Madison. One Madison down & one to go.
All teams were winded after the opening 4 events, but the Show must go on, In the second Madison there is a Sprint at half distance, The final sprint of the night is worth double points, Tempo again for the first 5 minutes, then the race was on. This section of the night started like the first Madison ended, Hard ,Fast & a little out of control, Bike handling skills are at a premium in this style of racing. Lots of tired riders handslinging one another at 45 kph could be a recipe for disaster, however to the credit of all the riders lots of action no crashes. mid-way sprint saw Ripp'n Ronny nip Rick St. John at the line, for the points. Piero & I were still in the hunt, but losing those points meant we were racing for 3rd. The last 10 minutes were again very difficult, we were positioned well in third, the pace went to 55 again in the last 3 laps, we hung on in the sprint (not much of one) when your legs exploded with a 2 laps to go, The final exchange was good and we hung on to 4th in the final Sprint.
In the final points calculation we finished a very respectable 4th. All of the teams had a Blast, and we all will be back racing next Friday night at 7 PM
For more information, check out the website: www.nas-track.com