Canadian Cyclist


January 24/07 8:37 am - Symmetrics LA World Cup Report

Posted by Editor on 01/24/07

Symmetrics Track World Cup Post-race Report
Courtesy Symmetrics

Symmetrics took five riders to Los Angeles to contest the third round of the Track World Cup this past weekend (January 19-21), with promising results. Half the team made its debut in international competition, and despite a few wrinkles in the racing, things look good for future forays for top-level track racing.

Men's Individual Pursuit
National Pursuit Champ Svein Tuft's learning curve on the track continued this past weekend. Although he rode the Commonwealth Games pursuit "for practice" and did in fact win this past year's National pursuit championship, the powerhouse rider is still a relative newbie on the track. Tuft ended up riding a 4:39 for 13th place. He started out quite fast and his second kilo was still pretty quick but he paid for it later.

Here are some numbers from his SRM, courtesy of Jeremy Storie:
- First 55 seconds 575 watts average,
- First 3 minutes 540 watts average,
- Last minute and a half his average dropped to 440 watts.

As Storie noted after the event, "The positive thing is the learning experience and the hunger Svein shows to now do better. His opening kilo is right up there with all the top guys and even his 2 km mark was pretty fast so more work on pacing and better fitness for the discipline will make Svein a very formidable pursuiter. His numbers are well near the top in the world but he needs to measure them out in a better progression in order to become more competitive."

Scratch Race
In the 7.5 km Scratch race Marsh Cooper was in heat number 2. Marsh raced quite well for most of the race but ended up not having quite enough in the tank for the final push at the end. Cooper went with pre-race favourite Walter Perez of Argentina with 7 laps to go but everyone else had the same idea and that was foiled. Cooper got stuffed to the back with about 4 to go and was not able to contest the sprint so did not make the finals.

For the first third of the race Cam Evans and Christian Meier held their own near the front or in the front group but when the accelerations came it was too much and they were shuffled to the back. Near the 2/3 mark Evans and Meier rode pretty much by themselves with a little help from the Belorussians for 24 laps, about half a lap off the back of the main group. This meant they were sustaining the same speed but with only one team doing the work as opposed to 8 teams. In the end it was too much and Evans and Meier surrendered a lap to the lead group and did not make it through to the final.

Team Pursuit
The Team Pursuit went quite well. Although the S-Team did not break the Canadian record as planned, the team still went 5 seconds faster then they have ever gone before, this being only their second ride in competition, and third with a full squad. They were on pace to break the record until 3 laps to go. After some loose exchanges, the team did the last 1.75 km with 3 riders and that hurt them in the final laps. Still a pretty steady ride and good learning experience. With more practice the team should easily be able to finish with four riders and therefore smash the record and better their upcoming performances.

Points Race
After the Team Pursuit, Zach then suited up for his points race qualifier about 45 minutes later. He rode a very good race. In the second sprint there was confusion from the commisaires about riders taking a lap. Everyone in the building saw two riders as having gained a lap 3 laps before the sprint and Zach won the sprint taking what the team thought was 5 points and he could then cruise to the finals. The scoreboard showed differently and they did not deem the two riders to have taken a lap yet they showed them gaining 20 points on that laps as well as scoring in the sprint for first and second. In this case it has to be one or the other. Regardless, Zach would have then scored 2 points for 3rd but they seemed to have made another error. In the end Zach did not receive any points and it came down to the final sprint and Zach was top finisher that had no points securing 11th out of 12 qualifying spots. A little more work was needed but Zach was into the finals.

After a short rest Zach was back at it 2.5 hrs later. The earlier effects of the pursuit and hard qualifier made it a hard day at the office for Zach. While he was never in danger of getting popped there was very little gas in the tank to attempt any sort of aggression. It was not without trying as he did on a few occasions but while the mind said yes the legs said no.

All in all the weekend was a positive beginning for Canada's number one pro team's first foray into international track competition. With the Olympics on the horizon, the sky is the limit for the Big Yellow Machine...


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