I guess most people in life would not be bitter about a national champs where you dominate. But the question is am I normal? I highly doubt I am.
This is my story about a 5 day “tour” of my national champs as well as tour Durban just put in for good measure.
It all started two weeks before the champs with a training camp. This camp was held in Ballito, the main objective for this camp was to prepare the riders doing the team pursuit, get them running as a unit. As for the rest of us we were there to train as a unit to increase the level of fitness and speed before the champs.
The day before SA champs the team drove up to PMB to see, feel and ride the track. On that specific day the track was super fast. The air temperature was good and times were fast.
The first day consisted of the first three events of the omnium. The first event up was the 250m flying qualifier in this event I ended up 3rd.
The next event was the 40km point’s race; I managed to get into the decisive move of the race with Nolan Hoffman. The two of us managed to lap the field in the event. I ended up 3rd in the race as the race works on a points system, this put me tie for 2nd place in the overall standings. The final event for the day was the elimination. I did most of the pacing in this event, keeping the speed as high as possible to make the event easer for my team mate Nolan. I ended up 5th. This put me into 4th place over all.
The final 3 events of the omnium.
First up was the 4000m individual pursuit, I had a good ride but started too hard and this cost me. But I still managed to go under the 5 min mark and get 2nd in the event. This put me into 3rd overall 1 point behind 2nd place so the final 2 events where critical.
But this is where the bitterness comes in….
Next up was the 15km scratch race. The event started off hard, and eventually settled down. I realized it was going to end up in a bunch sprint, 150m from the line my rear wheel pulled skew and my chain came off thus I couldn’t finish the race. And just like that my medal hopes are gone…
The final event was the 1000m TT, I had nothing to lose. I put in a big effort. Managed to ride a PB time of a 1m 8s this put me in 2nd place. So at the end I managed 4th overall. Very disappointed but I guess that’s how the cookie crumbles.
Saw the start of the normal events. My first event up was the 4000m individual pursuit qualifying round. I started too hard, and that cost me a lot at the end. Unfortunately or fortunately I qualified 4th this, put me into the ride off for 3rd and 4th place.
In the final I started dead slow, I was crawling for the first 2 laps, slowly increasing the speed. At the end I managed to win the ride off, the bronze, my time in the final was the fastest of the evening. I was happy with this but if I road that time in the qualifier I would have been in the gold medal ride off, so yet again a bitter sweet.
The next event and last one for the day was the 15km scratch race. This race was extremely fast. We had an average speed of 57km/h I raced as aggressively as I could constantly get in the moves. 10 laps to go in to a move, we got quarter of a lap. We held the gap but got caught 2 laps to go. My team mate Nolan won the race. We were happy with the final result.
The next morning up early for tour Durban. I ended up on the front of the bunch chasing for 45km, our team won yet again.
That evening it was time for the 40km point’s race. This I knew was going to be fast and hard. I knew my legs where getting lethargic from all the racing so I would not be as fast as needed to contend the sprints so I decided to see if I could get into the break. I tried with everything I had and at every opportunity but to no avail I managed 6th in this event.
This marks a close to another track season for me. I am happy with taking a medal home in an event that I am not known for, but I’m also sad that I did not get better results in the other events, especially the omnium as it is an Olympic event.