And here it is the highly anticipated race reports from days 1 and 2 at the last Canadian track nationals. I have a few blog posts to upload so it’s going to be a bit of rapid fire. I’ll start with this one, and hopefully get a few more up in the next week.
Canadian nationals Day 1
Team Sprint- Back in June when I was booking in to go out to Canada to race, I was told that the Milton International Challenge (UCI c1) was cancelled. I was gutted. I really wanted to get the most out of the racing, and I didn’t want to go over just to race the keirin and sprint. So I jumped on facebook and put an add up on a Canadian track facebook page asking if there were anyone who wanted to race the team sprint or if anyone know someone who might be interested. A few minutes later, got a hit. Didn’t know who she was, but I was just happy to race. Fast forward to the Thursday before I left for Canada, I woke up to a msg from my original team sprint partner saying she couldn’t get out of work. I was gutted. I went to work, and spent the day contacting everyone and anyone trying to find a partner. My eventual partner was Jamie Gilgen. It took a bit of convincing, but eventually I managed to say it would be good start gate training, and the partnership was born!
Race day- I went to the track early for the warm up and to try to settle my nerves. Didn’t work, the butterflies were unbearable. Spent most of the warm up doing skills and finished with a few jumps. I left the track, checked into my accommodation, ate food (well heated food up, sat down, looked at it… put it in my mouth. It felt heavy, tasted horrible. Worst. Meal. Ever!), rode back to the velodrome. Gee that feels great. It’s my usual routine. 1-3km easy roll outside on the race bike, perfect for clearing the head. When I got to the velodrome, I found Jamie woot! Phew! I’ve only ever done 1 team sprint with Ash back in 2011. It’s been a while. So I went over the changeover with Jamie. She does one lap. One full lap! Then gets out of the way and I finish it off. Easy.
During the warm up I do a few easy laps, couple jumps, then chill. I let Jamie do her thing. We decided it was easier not to practice a start or change over and to just wing it in the qualifiers. Just before the race I pranced, kinda, then it was show time. Team Awesome is ready to rock and roll. Into the gate, 5…4…3…2…1…GO! Ewww that was a sloppy start. Jamie got caught in the gate, but of a wobble and away we go! Go Lizanne, damn she has a motor. Hold the wheel, don’t get dropped. One lap down, time for the after burners. Yew let the legs go. 37.6 not shabby and into the gold silver ride off.
So Jamie and I have some time to chill. We went over start technique. She hadn’t been out of the gate since nationals last year. Not even a manual one. At this point I’m so happy I have access to an electronic gate in Melbourne and a manual one at Tempe and Dunc.
Right, round two. Didn’t warm up, the velodrome is that warm, I didn’t cool down. Sipped the last of my coffee and up we went. Helmet on, shoes done up, into the gate. 5…4…3…2…1…GO! Bam, heaps better. Go Lizanne, don’t watch the start, you’re gonna get dropped. On, one lap done, one to go… and throw. All done. 37.3 bit faster. Nice one. Silver for team awesome.
Canadain Championships Day 2
Good morning!— geez Louise legs, why you hurt so much! I hobble down stairs, eat some breakfast, and sip my coffee. This is stupid o clock. Why the early why the pain, and food why you taste no good. This is shit.
Session 1 starts at 8am with the sprints up first, so I plan to get there at 6:30 to warmup, get my gear together and set up for the day. I roll to the velodrome, its dark. Get inside, hellew, anyone here?! Nope, apparently it’s an 8 am warm up for a later start. Thanks for the memo. So I grabbed another coffee and headed to the lounges for a bit of a nap. 8am, the national team rucks up, by now everyone else is here thinking it was an 8am start. They got a msg the night before letting them know otherwise. I’m not sleepy ,grumpy, hungry, and ouchy. This is shit. I chill during the warm up, get my stuff ready (54/13), and work out when the sprint is actually on. 30 min to go, I prance. Common legs, work. I feel sluggish but better after the prance. Bike check, my saddle is too angled, I need to make it level. (yay new position just before my sprint qual with no time to ride it!) Shoes on, helmet on, watching the others go. I feel like a chunder, breakfast isn’t sitting well. There are 3 gilrs before me, I decide to dash to the ladies. That feels better, get some water, my mouth is dry. 13’s mid 12’s people seem slower than last time. My turn. 12 and it’m in the top 3, I can do that. Lets go legs lets do it. Blue line, red line, half way, power down the hill, float it up, up top, last lap, out of the saddle, lets go legs… this sucks… so much slow. Final corner, finish it off, 12.150. gah but top 3! Kate is next, 12.5? what!? I’m top 2! Yes easy first round. Monique is next, she’s going for it. 5.95, I have the fastest split… but I die in the second half. She crosses the line she has a 2, who’s one, OMG holy shit balls. I’m one. Monique just did a 12.162. boom, I try not to rugby tackle Rick. I jump on the rollers and seek out a foam roller. I need to recover from last night before I race the sprints.
Round one BYE! I get changed, and head to the stands to watch the others race. And then, my dad walks in. He asks if I’v been knocked out already (thanks dad) and I had to apologize that I qualified first and won’t be racing again till 6pm. Because the wifi sucked, I had no way of letting him know he didn’t need to be there till later.
So I pulled up a couch, and had a nap until later in the afternoon. BTW, napping at the velodrome sucks.
Round 2- Krista Ruby. She qualified 12.5, but beat me last year due to me soft peddling in a race. I know she has some speed, and if I lose this, I’m out of a medal (I’d be racing either Kate or Monique for bronze) The butter flies are so bad, I could hardly sleep, food did not stay down, I’m shaking, and my legs hurt. This is do or die. I put 94 on my bike, and prance. Lets go legs. We head up to the marshalling area. I draw 1. Good. Keep her on my hip, and roll her up to the top. Keep it slow, go late, save the legs, make her ride the long way. Whistle blows, we’re off. Yes, got her on my hip, yes, riding her high, yes, keeping her on the fence, ooo bit of contact, no I will not let you drop down, bell goes, she goes, I go, I have the sprinters line, boom, got it, easy, my legs are blown. one down one to go. This is still do or die, but best of 3 do or die. I’m feeling better, and decide to do the same tactics. If in doubt, lead it out. No prancing between races. I just sit and chill. Race 2, up on the track, commissar lets up go, few hard pedal strokes, yes got the front, yes, she’s letting me take her up on my hip, ooo bit of acceleration, I keep her on the fence. Bell goes, Krista jumped me, she’s infront, in the sprinters lane, I’m on her wheel. Lets go Lizanne, do or die. I go up the banking (T3) keep speed, and runnnnn!!!!!! At the wheel. Boom got it. That was close.
Gold Medal ride off- Monique- so I’ve dropped down a gear, I’m on 92. Too small, but my legs are blown. I don’t wanna ride. I prance and go through the motions. I qualified first, I can do this, legs, get a movin. Ideas, lets mix this up. Sit behind, racing distance, do something different, keep it slow, then have a solid jump. Right plan sounds good, Rick agrees. Lets give it a go. Ride 1- I draw top, perfect. Up to the track, I go to the fence, commissar asks if we are set, whistle goes, pause, roll. Keep race distance, stalk, go up the track, Monique is winding it up, I stay high, she goes faster, bell lap, I go, she goes, I’m on her hip, I run out of gears… spinnnnnnnn. She takes the first race. I’m done, my legs are blown. I feel like I’v been at the track forever (I’ve been here since 6:30am and it’s almost 8pm ) I head over to Rick, he says I ran out of gear, I know I ran out of gear. He says I should go up. I go to change, and stop, no I can’t I couldn’t push 94 in the second race against Krista, 92 and keeping it slow was still by best bet. I would lead from the front, and try to keep Monique on my hip. Right, race 2, already. Head up, I’m the bottom, lets go. This is do or die. Win this and we go to three. Make her work for it. Helmet on, shoes tight, hit the legs, lets get going. Up to the line. I look over my right shoulder, and don’t turn away. Off we go, slowly, on the duck board, she goes up and so does the speed. I’m up top, she’s on my hip 2 laps to go, she backs off, she’s at race distance, I try to slow, but don’t want to back pedal, lap and a half, she winds it up, I start to drop reacting to her speed. Bell lap I’m out of the saddle, head down just going. T3 she’s on my hip T4 it’s all over. I’m just rolling squares.
I’m now 2 for 2. Both silver, and both better than last nationals. I missed my target 200 time, but hit all my other goals.
My major lesson is to take every race seriously. I saw the team sprint as a bonus. I saw it as something easy that I didn’t need to train/warm up/cool down for. I hadn’t done a 500 full gas all year and I didn’t anticipate the toll it would take on my racing. I still managed to qualify first and finish with the silver in the sprint, but I wish my legs felt more fresh.