Race Report from Vera Divenyi
US Masters Track Nationals
Team Sprint: 1st Place, National Champion
How do you prepare for a race that takes less than a minute? It’s funny. It sounds so short but it almost takes more preparation than a crit and by far more than a road race. You have to be on, ready to go and just do your thing, no looking back, no fiddling with anything, you just go!
I woke up at 7:30 and started to work and play a little (ok a lot) with facebook. I talked to my coach and he wanted me to spin for only 30 minutes. I asked my host family where I could ride and they gave me a 5 mile flat-ish ride. It’s hilly where I was staying. I took off at lunch time and headed up a short climb to start the ride. OUCH. My legs were toast from the day before and after about 15 minutes of riding, they settled in. Tyson is so right. He knows what I need to do and how much or little it will take to get it done. I took a few photos when I was out riding since the countryside is beautiful and oh so different from Colorado! One thing, eggs are certainly cheaper. You can buy a dozen farm fresh eggs on the side of the road for a dollar. You can also get three baskets of farm grown, vine ripe tomatoes for a dollar!
Back to work. I was finalizing a sales tax matrix (did I lose any of you?) and I had to get that done. I talked to Ingrid, my sprint partner, and she told me when she thought we would start. The individual pursuits took the entire day (ENTIRE) and she was tired. I have done the team sprint once before and that time I went first and it was a 250 track. This time, Ingrid thought that since I had not raced, that she could go first. She has a mean start.
The timing was off and instead of going around 7:30, we were going closer to 9. There were so many false starts and a little theater. This one sprint team (there are 3 for the men) went off and had a false start. Bang, Bang! This is a single for a false start and they should stop. Bang, bang! They are still going and going full speed. Four more shots and whistles and people waiving STOP at these men, and they finally stopped. They wasted more than 10 minutes with their bad first start and then their messing around between races. I suspect that the USAC fined them.
So what is the team sprint? Two team mates line up next to each other. The one in the spinter’s lane goes first and goes very hard. The one next will drop in behind and essentially draft off of them and then the first will pull off after one lap, gradually up and the second will go for the second lap. Ingrid started so well that she had 2 bike lengths immediately. I was nervous, but didn’t say anything to her as I realized on the back side that I was making up. Ingrid and I also motor pace behind my coach and although we never practiced this race, I know her riding style and felt very comfortable where I was. I need some time to ramp up and my starts are not that great. I caught Ingrid at the 3rd turn and by the last turn was going to need to back down as I had so much speed. She pulled up just when I needed her and I went. Around the second turn, her husband was there, screaming. I could hear him and that made me feel good. I then could hear that we were in first place over the announcer. I usually hear nothing when I’m racing. I tried to pick it up and I felt like I wasn’t, but I hear I actually did. I finished and came around and Andy was holding up the number 1 sign… I think, or he was flipping me off.
Off the track, practically falling down, I went to try to spin, but my nervousness was intensified as I waited for the next two to go. I heard that after their first lap they were in fourth place. No way. They can’t catch up! Then the last group went. False start. Oh, I was biting my finger nails. The anticipation is really horrible. Ingrid and I tried to spin on the rollers but were too nervous, or at least I was. Then they were off! I could hear the announcer and after the first lap, they were in fourth. I started to scream! We won!
And, that is how I got my first national championship jersey. I was grinning so big! I hugged Ingrid’s coach, her husband, the whole crew from Colorado Springs. And to celebrate? I went to Applebees and had a gin and tonic with Ingrid and her husband. Hey, we are in Trexlertown, PA and there was nothing else open.