This was the Melbourne World Cup theme. Well, the best were there. I was not one of the best but I was there racing in my first World Cup.
I had so many emotions during the 3 days of racing and the one I am left with after decompression is eagerness. I am ready to do this for real. I am ready to take my preparation to a new level. I am ready to be “the best burning up the boards.”
My races were not as fast or successful as I would have liked. Maybe I had the nerves, although I felt really calm, or maybe I just didn’t have the right training in my legs since Nationals. At this point I let go of the past and make the experience part of my future.
For those who are into track racing here is the quick race report. The 200 was slow (12.2). When I stood up to jump, I felt the feeling we all dread. I had those nervous, heavy, lactic induced legs. 12.0 would have qualified me and this time is totally achievable. I scratched from the 500 because of the scheduling. They placed it right before the final keirin events and I completely expected to be there. My first kierin round was fast and intense. I got squeezed by Willy Kanis coming over top of me on bell lap and hesitated. We all know what happens in a keirin when you hesitate… you go backwards. In the reps the race was fast but manageable. I followed the Korean thinking she was going over top but she never made it all the way around. I didn’t go with my instincts to jump around her early because I don’t think I trusted my speed. MISTAKE! I was just as fast or faster then those girls and should have made it through those rounds. I ended ranked 13th for the night.
About to start the keirin.
Ok- for those who didn’t understand any of that lingo… let’s move on!
The experience was a very positive one for me. I learned so many of the little things and now understand what I need to work on. I also learned that I can race at this level. I belong at this level. It may take me a bit to figure out the style or racing and the players involved and to increase my strength/speed but this is all achievable.
The crowd at the races was great! The promoters did a good job of adding entertainment to the night. Oh, the announcer was awesome! He made the slowest pursuit exciting. I spent a lot of time at the track just soaking it all in. (I won’t do this next time because it is exhausting.) I wanted to be in the moment and appreciate the scene of my first World Cup. There will be more and I hope that the other countries do as great of a job as Australia has done.
Entertainment for the crowds. Clowns on bikes... or something.
It was very exciting to have a teammate to watch and cheer for. Shelley made the finals for both her races (points and scratch) and came away with an 11th and 13th place. She was not completely satisfied with her final races but only because she is a true competitor and won't be satisfied until she is on the top of the podium. You will see her on the podium this year though... you wait!
Shelley (teammate), Richard England (our Aussie friend who provided a HUGE amount help this weekend), and Nicola (team manager)