ANUCC Track Update - by Tegan Meredith
After a tough pre-season with mixed results in the RAW series and ITS, the 2014 track season is well underway and ANUCC athletes have achieved some fantastic results so far! We’ve competed in the first NSW Sprint GP, put on a sprint exhibition at the 33rd Clarence Street Cup and even taken gold medals the Masters World Track Cycling Championships and NSW Club Team Sprint Championships, and even a bronze at the Commonwealth Games. Many PBs have been broken and the track team is looking to have multiple representatives at the National Track Championships in January next year.
Firstly, a big congratulations to Daniel “Button” Rickard for taking a gold medal in the team sprint and a bronze medal in the individual time trial at the Masters World Track Cycling Championships in Manchester. This bloke just keeps getting younger and faster! Well done on an amazing achievement Daniel.
Another big congratulation to Nathan Hart and Tom Clarke who were selected to represent Australia at the Commonwealth games earlier this year in Glasgow. Nathan claimed a bronze medal as part of the men’s sprint team and Tom in his role as pilot for fellow Canberran Paul Kennedy claimed bronze in the tandem sprint event. Well done guys!
There were also solid performances from Catherine Culvenor and Tom Clarke at the 2015 Oceania Track Championships in Adelaide from 8 to 11 October.
The first round of the NSW Sprint GP was held on 25 October at Dunc Gray Velodrome (DGV) and culminated in an action packed day of Sprint and Keirin events. This was the first real hit out for the team and there were a few butterflies going into qualifying. Congratulations to Dom for cracking the 11 second mark (10.976s); the Italian Stallion is looking big and strong and is only going to get faster this season. Jackson pulled out another quality flying 200m time qualifying 8th fastest with 10.915s. Tom Clarke qualified 3rd fastest with 10.621s. I qualified 29th, Daniel 16th and Courtney 47th in a combined male and female field. Tom picked up a 3rd place in his Keirin, and Dom and I finished 4th in our respective Keirin races. Everyone was better for the racing experience and it was a good day all round.
Dom, Jackson and Tom made special guest appearances at the Clarence Street Cup. The crowd was unaware that entry entitled them free tickets to the Quad Show as the ANU boys raced the NSW lads in a few sprint rounds, a Keirin and Team Sprint. Good quality racing and track skills were on show with Tom Clarke and Mitch Bullen throwing in some track stands. The NSW boys had a little too much speed on the night but our boys put up a good fight and showed positive signs of moving forward. The team sprint didn’t go according to plan as the boys missed the starting whistle but despite that, they managed 48.6s which I’m told is an ANUCC record! In the main event, the Clarence Street Cup Wheel Race, Will Clarke led the ANUCC enduro team with some of the best racing of the night. Will helped fellow ACT trackies qualify for the final with some exceptional racing and, in doing so, he narrowly missed out on the final. Will needed some ANU teammates! A big thank you to Darren Clarke who was club handler for the night.
Sunday 9 November saw the NSW Time Trial Championships, aero bars and pointy helmets. Courtney and I competed in the Elite Women’s 500m TT and Jackson competed in his first kilo event. Given Jacko’s workload the night before, he pulled out a decent time of 1:09:00 and 8th place. Courtney ended up 4th and just out of the medals. I managed a PB which was enough to take the gold medal.
The NSW Club Team Sprint Championships were held at DGV on Saturday 15 November and ANUCC came home with five gold medals! Courtney and I raced in the Elite Women’s event and took the gold medal in a time of 37.589s. After a shakey qualifying round, Daniel, Tom and Jackson powered home to the gold medal by over a second, setting a new club record of 47.384s. It was awesome seeing the ANUCC kit up on the gold medal dais.
Round 2 of the NSW Sprint GP will be held 22 November with the big NSW Track Championships (Standing Lap, Sprint and Keirin) to be held over three days, 5-7 December. Plenty of racing coming up and hopefully some more great results!
Tips and Tricks by the Motley Crew – Bunch Riding
A bunch of cyclist can be efficient or a complete disaster. There are subtly things you can do to make the experience more fun for yourself and those around you. Not only does this make riding more fun, it also comes in handy when you’re putting out max watts chasing down that breakaway or time trialling to victory.
1. Keep Pedalling
This is important to help the bunch maintain speed and smoothness. Coasting after your turn on the front whilst waiting for the next rider to come past, causes you to quickly drop speed and the riders behind you are forced to brake or move into the wind. Keep pedalling as you peel off but do not drive the bunch so that the passing line can easily come past. Pay attention to the group's average speed and effort. When you get to the front, do your best to maintain those levels. The goal is to keep the bunch together, not blow it apart or shell riders off the back.
2. Conserve the energy
If you can’t pull a turn on the front without imploding – take a rest. You’ll only see the bunch ride away from you after your heroic turn. Simply tell the rider in front you are in the box nice and early so they don’t have to chase that wheel after realising your sudden absence.
3. Don’t stare
Looking at the wheel in front of you means you are not prepared for potholes, braking and impulsive coffee stops. Looking ahead a few riders can help you better predict the movements of the bunch. This will also give you time to adjust your speed and position.
4. No sudden movements
Brake smoothly no matter how hard you have to brake – remember there are riders behind you! When it’s time to pull a turn – DON’T ACCELERATE to get into the recovery line – maintain a steady pace as you move forward in the line.
5. Point stuff out
What may seem like an easy to avoid obstacle to you may take the rider behind you by surprise. Simply point or vocally notify riders around you to minimise the chance of skin on the road.
6. Leave a little wiggle room
Being in the draft doesn’t always mean being right up the butt of the rider in front. Leaving a little room in front allows for speed variations in the bunch. It can also be a sneaky little trick to gain that extra edge in the sprint ;)
7. Don’t overlap wheels
Overlapping wheels is when you put your front wheel next to the back wheel of the rider in front. This is dangerous as a bunch can move sideways and take you out (not to dinner). Of course T&C’s apply and sometimes it is advantageous to overlap wheels, such as in cross winds. However, this should only be done if you know the riders around you well enough to predict their movements.
8. Enjoy yourself
Don’t take things too seriously, heckle hard and just have fun.
So armed with these new tips and tricks come along on to a Monday crit session (5:30pm for a 6pm start) at Stromlo Forest Park and practise dem bunch riding abilities. There will be shouting of memorable cycling terms in a suitable French accent, lycra and more importantly – fun on two wheels!
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