Thursday Night Points Race
Yesterday was my first long points race—I had done a some 25 lappers on Wednesday night and AVC, but once you start going 60 laps things get way more complicated cause there is a bunch of field lapping, etc. There was a lot to keep track of and I had to balance what I wanted to do with what the break away was doing. We got points every 10 laps. If you lapped the field you got 20 points. The “leader” of the race changes quite a bit, so you need to be smart about when you want to re-join the pack.
Things started off kind of mellow for the first couple of laps, then Julie attacked, despite Joe Fineman yelling: “BOO! BOO!” at her from the pack. I couldn’t help but laugh in the midst of trying to gap the field. Anyway, I just stayed with this pack of 5 I think. Sprint #1 came and I didn’t go for it too hard, so I didn’t get any points. This was okay cause I didn’t want to kill myself. At this point Chris (from MontanoVelo) made a gap ahead, so it was two guys from Roaring Mouse (Nole and who were nice enough to drive me down! THANKS!), Julie, and me. Now things are getting hazy, because I know there was a junior in the mix somewhere. Anyway, we had the Sprint #2 and I got fourth (3rd in our little pack). At this point, it was just Julie, Nole, and Chris from MV who we caught up to. The junior was ahead and working to rejoin the pack. 3 laps before Sprint #3 we were pretty close to the pack. I didn’t want to rejoin, cause at this point Chris, Julie, Nole, and I could get all the points (for the upcoming Sprint #3)—but if we got back on the pack, we’d have to contest. We could always catch them to get our +20 after the sprint. Well, this is what I was thinking, but not what everyone was thinking. After I took a pull, Julie attacked and Nole & Chris went with them. I was by myself and kinda bummed I got dropped. On my way around Larry yelled at me “You are the leader.” I was a bit surprised cause I just got dropped-- but it all made sense cause they the breakaway I was just with caught the field. (I, unfortunately had about a third to a half a lap between me and the field and was stuck in no man’s land). Anyway, I was the “leader” and got all the points for the 3rd lap; although, at this point I was all alone, and places 1-4 had a lap up on me. This was very dumb on my part, because although it would have been best for all of us not to catch the pack until after the sprint, but it is not good to do that solo cause then you are in no man’s land – and I was too far from the pack to bridge up. Well, I was out there for a good 10 laps by myself. Julie, Nole, the junior, and Chris must have attacked again off the pack, cause they were the ones who caught me, taking me out the leader spot with about 3 laps before sprint #4. I caught on their wheel and listened to Larry’s advice: “Beth, just sit-in and don’t do any work!” At this point things got a little tense cause I was whooped from being alone for 10 laps, and Chris and Nole weren’t taking pulls and Julie was getting mad at those guys. After a couple of laps sitting in, I started taking pulls again, cause I didn’t want to get yelled at or be considered lazy! On Sprint #4 I was surprised I mustered up enough to take 4th. After the sprint the junior broke away again (I think – it was a bit hard to keep track of). Then it was Julie, Nole, Chris, and me. Sprint #5, I got 4th again, as the junior was still ahead of us. He caught the pack, we caught the pack (so I was up 1 lap, Julie, Nole, Chris, and the junior were up 2 laps)... It was a couple laps to go and there was another break- I stayed with it. Nole started cranking with 1 laps to go and I just sat on his wheel and ended up getting 2nd in the final sprint, thanks to his lead out.
Whoa, that was complicated to think about, so I am sure readers will have no clue what I am talking about! Anyway, it was a really good learning experience and next time I will have a better idea of what I need to keep track of and think about. One thing for sure is even if it is wise for a break to not re-join, don’t think it is smart for me individually not to re-join—unless maybe if I made it close enough to the pack so I knew I could bridge up on my own. Anyway, I was pretty happy with coming in 5th overall. I was worried I’d be too tired from the kierins the night before, but I seemed okay.
The Bs and As were fun to watch, but you have almost less of a clue what is going on watching compared to riding. It takes a lot of concentration. I hope the 3 guys who went down near the end of the As race are okay. Joe was nice enough to drive me home and it was fun hearing Larry and Joe talk about points racing and learn a little bit more. The best conversation on the way home, though was this:
Joe: And, Beth the next time you make that break, you better believe I’m going with you.
Larry: Joe, that sounds like a threat.