niigata prefecture track championships 2015

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yahiko 2015.jpg

The Niigata track championship on Sunday.

A full day of racing. The track racers are competing for the chance to represent Niigata prefecture.

I enter the "challenge" class. A mix of road riders and novice track cyclists.

I enter 4 events:

  • 250 m flying TT
  • 1 km TT
  • 2 km TT
  • 4 km scratch race

the training

I'm preparing for the 20 km TTT at Uchinada on June 28th. My training has been focussed on hard 15 minute and 20 minute TTs in preparation for this.

These short track events require explosiveness. Of the 4 events, the 2 km TT is my best chance.

Although this is not a priority event for me, I structured last week's training to be ready for it.

yahiko aero.jpg

the equipment

I'm set up on a new aero Astuto frame. I'm comfortable with the position. In training I've been doing 40 kmph plus over 10 km. With a few more aero touches, I'm confident I can go faster.

The wheels are Astuto too. A 60 mm TT special on the front. I'm pleased to see track expert Sagara san on the same wheel.

The 50 mm Astuto wheel on the back has a disc cover to give the bike a proper TT feel.

In addition, I have a Specialized aerohelmet - given to me by Hayakwa san, like Boardman and Obree we are!

I also have a Team Fins skinsuit. No shoe covers are allowed.

No computers allowed on the track either. I stuff the garmin in my pocket. No visible data, but we can analyse it later.

yahiko track.jpg

the track

Yahiko's beautiful Keirin track. Smooth concrete. A 400 m loop. Steep banks at each end.

Open air. Mt. Yahiko is the backdrop. It's not air pressure you have to worry about in this velodrome. Strong winds all day. And hot by the afternoon...

A family day out. Late to the start. These all day affairs are great for the single cyclist. But with the family I want limit dead time as much as possible.

Race 1: 250 m flying TT

I'm happy to skip this one. "No, you have to do them all".

The race is well under way. My start time is put to last place, after the women and juniors. Some old bloke puffing on a ciggy (lots of these in a Keirin stadium) must be thinking "bloody 'ell he's a big lad for age 12!"

Pin on the numbers. No time to warm up.

"What's this race all about then?"

Niigata's JCA chief Gompei san explains the format.

"One neutral lap. On the second lap accelerate down the bank. The time starts with 200 m to go. Hammer the last 200 m to the line."

3,2,1 Go!

Like a kid at the fair. Straight to the best ride. Straight up the bank in this case.

I'd forgotten how steep the bank is. The exhilaration of cycling is right here.

So when to put the speed on? I pedal round the first lap like Mary Poppins. Wave to the kids.

Into the second lap. Up the bank. Down the bank. Like coming over the top on a roller coaster.

Full gas. 53 × 11. Into the 200 m race zone. Still accelerating. Not a good sign.

In all these events the advice is the same.

"Go as hard as you can as quick as you can" then "Gaman (endure) as long as you can..."

  • Result: 11th. 14.7 secs / 49 kmph
  • (winner: 12.9 secs, 56 kmph)

Never was a sprinter! This supports field tests we've done on the road. If I did this event again, I'd go full gas from much further out.

My coach's analysis: Average power was 670 W over 16s.

yahiko mark.jpg

Race 2: 1 km TT

Should do better in this one. Essentially a 1 min plus all out interval.

Warm up on the Keirin rollers. I love these. How I'd love to have a garage with a few of these lined up. We could make toast all day long...

I ask a few track friends for advice. It's universal.

"Half a lap full gas. Out of the saddle. Till your eyes pop out.... Gaman."

Sure enough all the guys on a fixed gear start like this.

The one advantage of being on a road bike (shifting is allowed) is that you can start in an easier gear.

The start is not as explosive, but you can build to speed and the damage is less.

I practice my start. The starting gear. The sequence and timing of gear changes.

I'm called to the start. A standing start. An official holds my saddle.

3,2,1 Go!

The gear is heavy. But not too heavy. Shift gradually. In the saddle by 1/4 of a lap. Onto the aerobars.

The wind is coming straight down the home straight. I'm in the 53 × 11 here. A much heavier gear than a track cyclist, but I know how to best get my power out.

On the back straight it's a headwind. Shift up to 53 × 12.

Repeat this for the 2.5 lap duration. Momentum is lost here. My line around the bank is not so good either. Every second counts.

Still it's an all out effort. So different to an FTP effort. Gasping for air. I can hear the kids shouting from the stands and my "ha ha ha ha" breathing...

The winner does 1:17, Hayakawa san does 1:19, 3rd to 8th (me) do 1:20

  • Result: 8th. 1:20.91 secs / 44.5 kmph
  • (winner: 1:17.53, 46.4 kmph)

Every second counts in track racing!

Coach: You started out at 970 W. Dropping to 600 W after 20 s. The last 40 s at around 500 W.


There is an interval between afternoon races. We head to Yahiko shrine. A picnic lunch. Feed the Koi Carp. Take the ropeway (cyclists never take the stairs) to the top of the mountain...

Back to the races...

Race 3: 2 km TT

This is my focus. The previous 2 races have got me ready for this. I know how to ride it.

Warm up on the rollers again. Practice the start again. I'm going to keep in one gear this time.

Track friends suggest "a 15, 14 if you're feeling good".

I know my plan. I'm going to keep it in the 53 × 12. The Grinderman!

5 laps of the track. Two riders set off at each side of the track.

I watch the other riders.

The Club Spirits winner of the 1km is fast. Good TT position on a track TT bike. He's a huge guy. More Chris Hoy than Chris Froome. We wonder if he can hold it for 2 km. He looks to be fading towards the end.

yahiko 2015 hs.jpg

Next up Hayakawa san. Quick into the saddle. Master of the TT. Really fluid on his TT machine. He looks like Bradley Wiggins doing the hour record. Solid till the end.

My turn. An old guy with an old style Keirin helmet starts at the the other side of the track.

"Catch the Egg Man!" cries Mark from the stands. I Am The Walrus, goo goo goo choo!

3,2,1 Go!

Up to speed quickly. Onto the bars. This feels good. The gear just right.

Hammer time. Counting off the laps. On a 400 m track the laps come quickly. It's easy to keep motivated.

I have the Egg Man in sight. Catch him in front of the kids. How they love it!

The ringing bell. The last lap. Can't go much harder. But I'm not fading either. Constant. Unrelenting. Pain....

Here comes the line! Argggggh! All over!

That was a good ride. The perfect 2 minutes!? I'm confident. Waiting for the results to go up.

yahiko 2km.jpg

  • Result: 1st 2:43 / 44 kmph

Coach: The power data supports your ride sensations. A start at 800 W. Dropping to 600, then 400 after the first 1/3. Once up to speed, the last 2/3 at a steady 400W.

I feel I could go longer at this intensity. It's interesting to see all other riders lose speed as the distance increases (comparing the 2km to the 1km) but mine is almost the same. I'm keen to try some longer events. 4, 10 or even 30 km would be fun.

Race 4: scratch race 8 riders, 5 km (1 neutral + 10 race laps)

The last race of the day. Our category is split into 2 races. Track cyclists. Road cyclists.

We watch the track cyclists' race. The Club Spirits rider rips the race apart. Only 1 rider can hold his wheel. And he can't match his finishing speed.

Hayakawa san and I are confident we can do the same. If we ride like we do in training, we should be able to 1-2 finish.

Hayakawa san is the lead starter. The remaining 7 start up on the bank. Clinging onto the fence.

We are given the instructions:

1 neutral lap. 10 race laps. Hands in the drops at all times. No braking.

3,2,1 Go!

I tuck in behind Hayakwa san. We complete the first lap. The pistol fires. Race on!

The speed increases. We rotate through and off. Half a lap each. Rotations are made by drifting right up the bank. Drop back down. Slot in behind.

Riders shuffle as 1 or 2 are dropped. I'm 3rd man now behind Hayakwa san. The guy in the middle can follow wheels but he's not strong enough to keep the pace. His turn on the front. The pace drops dramatically. No breaking. A rider clips my back wheel. Bike hits tarmac.

I think they'll stop the race. But we carry on. 3 more laps?

Push harder now. Drop the remaining riders. 3 of us are left off the front now.

The ringing bell. The last lap. I go full gas. Confident Hayakawa san can hold my wheel. Confident the other guy can't.

The home straight. Put it all out now. Can Hayakawa san come round? Here he comes! Neck and neck! Half a wheel over the line!

  • Result: 2nd

That was fun. Shame about the guy who crashed.

Coach: As you would expect, the power data is full of spikes. On the front. Bridging gaps. And the max effort for the last lap.

yahiko eda.jpg

What a great day at Yahiko Keirin! Some rice and edamame are our prizes. The next event is in October. Looking forward to it already!


このブログ記事を参照しているブログ一覧: niigata prefecture track championships 2015





このページは、andyが2015年6月 9日 12:18に書いたブログ記事です。

ひとつ前のブログ記事は「build week 1」です。

次のブログ記事は「build phase coach meeting」です。





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