Velodrome News and Training Tips


Monday, September 18, 2006

2006 Masters track World Championships

Well let's see. What page in the "Cyclists Book of 101 Excuses" will I find the reason why Worlds didn't go as planned? How about excuse #102 - I just flat ran out of gas.

Even though this year has been full of stops and starts - bad weather, knee injury, bike problems - I was able to bring my game up high enough to win my first two major competitions of the year, the Alpenrose Challenge and then Masters National Track Championships. I came out of Masters Natz at a pretty high level and thought I could maintain that peak for another 4 weeks. It wasn't to be though.

Following Natz I took my rest week as planned but never really got my speed back up. I had a couple of bright moments during the following 3 weeks, but always a little off. I started my taper and run into Worlds optimistic that the speed would come once I got to England, but I then developed a little sore throat just before leaving and the 12 hour plane flight seemed to make it worse, as it moved first into my sinuses and then down to my chest. Yuchh!

The airline then somehow misplaced my bikes so I went two days with nothing to ride and had to face the possibility that they might not arrive at all.

The bikes finally showed up and I had two days to get ready for my first race - the 500 meter tt - but again the speed simply wasn't there either during training or during the event itself. I rode a 37.5 second tt, which isn't a good time for me at Hellyer, much less at a fast indoor track like the Manchester Velodrome. It was good enough for 5th, but that's all.

That was on Monday, so I now had until Thursday to get the speed up for the sprints on Thursday, and it did get a bit faster each day, but not quite enough. My qualifying time of 12.095 would have been a good time for me at Hellyer, but again I was looking for something a little faster indoors. I had gone 11.66 in Colorado missing my age group world record of 11.61 by .05 seconds. I thought that with a really hot run in Manchester, I might yet beat the record, but again, it wasn't to be.

My 12.09 was fast enough for the second seed. The fastest time was 11.79. The Match Sprints at Masters Worlds is run so that everyone makes the tournament and you have to loose two matches to finally be put out. Most of the rides are three ups, but depending on how many people are in the tournament, some folks get two ups. Seeding 2nd, I was one of those folks, getting two up rides through all the rounds to the finals.

I felt good through the first three rounds, winning all of the sprints pretty handily. The final though was a three up with the top seed, Carlos Reybaud (Argentina), and the 7th seed, Patrick Gellineau (USA), who had upset the third seed and last years' champion, Robert Gerard Louis (Canada), to make it into the finals. Pat is very smart rider and his 200 meter time of 12.45 wasn't that much slower than mine, but I felt I had to concentrate on Reybaud as he had finished 2nd last year in the sprints and had also finished 2nd in the 500 meter tt earlier in the week, so he had something to prove.

Sprinting on a 250 meter track requires some different tactics than a 333 like Hellyer or Colorado Springs, and a three race up makes it that much more complicated. It's important to try and control the pace of the race as it can be difficult to pass with the short straights, so I went to the front immediately and started my acceleration from the gun. Reybaud tried to pass me once about 1 1/2 laps into it, but I gunned it enough to keep him at bay and then coming out of turn four into the bell lap, I hit it as hard as I could go. 250 meters to go at the bell.

Going flat out, ten feet from the finish line I thought the championship was mine. Unknown to me though, was that Reybaud had come out of the lane and off my wheel in turn one, and Patrick had taken advantage of the bobble to get on my wheel. Pat said afterward he'd probably done 30 crits this year, and that road fitness was probably the biggest factor as he jumped hard out of turn four and just nipped me at the line - or as the brits say, he pipped me. I beat Pat for the 2005 National Sprint Championships and if I'd had my Colorado speed in England, he wouldn't have gotten by, but I didn't and he did, so the best rider won.

So, no gold medal, but winning the silver and getting on the podium at the World Championships was still pretty cool. We got flowers and then got to ride our bikes around the track with people cheering and clapping. Very cool!

On Saturday, LGBRC teammate, Tim Montagne, and I teamed up with Scott Butler, a very fast rider from Pennsylvania, for the Team Sprint. We had an eighteen team field, with the top four times going into the medal round. I was pretty fried, but we did a respectable time only 2.5 seconds out of first place (52.432sec vs 49.981sec), but also a second and a half out of fourth (50.949sec), so that was it for us.

All in all not a great week, but I will always remember and treasure the moments on the podium receiving my silver medal. The event itself was one of the most professionaly run races I've ever been to, and everyone involved, riders, promotors, officials, support staff, even the hotel folks were incredible. Thanks to all.

For complete results go to: http://www.cyclingmasters.com/2006.results/mon.html

Thanks for reading.

Kevin



posted by Kevin Worley @ 8:18 AM   7 comments


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Pictures from 2006 Masters Track Natz

A friend of ours took a ton of really great photos of my racing in Colorado, so I thought I'd share some of them. It is a little weird that they're all of me (my humility statement), but it is my blog, so here they are.

Oh yeah, another weird thing. After looking at the pix, I realized that my memory of my final sprint was very different than what really happened. What I remembered was passing Bill Zeigler near turn three, dropping into the pole and then bobbling out again with him retaking the pole. It appears that I never did get into the pole. Interesting.

This first series is of the 200m tt to seed for the sprints. It was very fun riding a track this fast. I've seen 40+ mph on my speedo behind the motor at Hellyer, but this was the first time I've done it on my own.




This next series is my final sprint with Bill. The first two are coming out of turn four into the bell lap where he decided he wanted the front. From here, he dropped into the pole, slowly bringing the speed up. He stayed in front into turns one and two.





The sprint is now engaged as I start my acceleration coming out of turn two.




Starting to pass going into turn three.








Through turn three.....




......and into four. Riding a little too high here.




Finally down where I should be coming out of four.




Out of four and to the finish. Sure am glad that's over!




The next two photos are during the 500 meter time trial. Both were taken about the same spot on the track, with the first being right after the start and the second near the finish. I started on the back side and finished on the front, so this is somewhere in turn four.






And finally, the obligatory podium shot, followed by a couple of shots of my wonderful wife and "coach". Not everyone gets to kiss his coach. Like last year, her advice was to go fast and don't fall down. Good advise.









Thanks for reading.

Kevin

posted by Kevin Worley @ 4:55 PM   0 comments


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

2006 Masters Track Natz

What a long strange trip it's been.

That Greatful Dead line pretty much describes my 2006 training/racing season. After 2005 where nothing could go wrong, 2006 started with a bang - a negative bang.

First of all we had the big storm of New Years eve, blowing several large trees down and onto the track at Hellyer. The track was closed for several weeks while the trees were cleared and the fence was repaired.

In February I suffered a medial collateral ligament injury (knee) and spent the rest of the season doing my power work (hill starts) in a brace to protect my knee.

Then the rain started falling.....and falling and falling. I didn't have a complete training week until May, and then when it started to dry out, I started having trouble with my bike. The soft rear dropouts of my aluminum Cervelo were getting so chewed up by the wheel bolts that I had trouble getting the wheel/chain adjusted properly. I never did get a permanent solution to that, but with a little sanding, filing and using oversized washers, I finally got everything working.

June, July, a pretty good 500 meter performance in Portland at the Alpenrose Velodrome Challenge and finally the speed was coming - just in time for Masters Track Natz in Colorado Springs. Even that started out with a near disaster. Sometime during the baggage check, my Accel rear wheel was damaged beyond repair. It most likely happened during ther security inspection by careless inspectors. More news to come about that when I finish filing my claims against United, TSA and the company TSA uses for their inspections.

Fortunately, my friend and Friday Night Breakaway Co-Race director, Linelle Northcott, has an Accel like mine and she shipped it to us in COS using overnight USPS. It arrived in good condition and it was off to the races.

We started off with the flying 200 meter tt to seed for our sprint tournament. Besides wanting to seed high in order to race the slower riders early in the tourney, one of my goals was to break the existing 200m record for the 55-59 year age group. At 11.618 seconds, I felt it was attainable in COS, the fastest track in the US due to altitude of around 6000 feet. The person who I thought would be my fastest competitor in both the sprints and the 500 was Bill Zeigler who had won the 500 in COS two years earlier. I had been watching his results from SoCal and we were pretty evenly matched, time wise. His 200 was earlier than mine and he went 11.671. Fast, but not quite the record. I was scheduled to go off third from last, and finally it was my turn. 11.668 seconds. Faster than Bill by .003, but also no record. Very close - .05 seconds - but no banana. No one else was faster, so I did end up seeding first. The actual sprints were the next day, so now I had to wait for our 500 meter tt, our first championship race of the week.

The racing was scheduled in a one session format, starting at 8am, and running until the day's program was done. Made for a very long day, but it also meant no coming and going - hauling our gear back and forth. Pros and cons to both formats, but this one worked out ok.

The 500's were run in pairs and I was scheduled to ride in the penultimate pair. I was a returning National Champion, but I was in the younger age group last year and the current 55-59 1st and 2nd place riders from 2005 were still in this group and were scheduled to ride after me. Again, I felt that Bill Zeigler was my biggest threat and he was again scheduled before me. And again, I have to repeat, what a long strange trip it's been. After all my mechanical, physical and weather related difficulties, culminating with a destoyed wheel, Bill goes to the line and in his first attempt to start, his handlbars come loose. Under the rules, everyone is allowed one restart, no matter what the reason, so Bill and his coach, Eddie B, tighten up his bars and he lines up for a restart. 5,4,3,2,1, bang and off he goes - for about 5 meters. This time the bolt that was loose breaks completely, and his race is over. I couldn't believe it. The irony was almost overwhelming. At that point, I knew I had won my first Championship of the week. The fastest ride up to that moment was 36.9 and the two riders after me simply weren't fast enough to beat that. I knew that I could have a sub par ride and still win. I tried very hard to go as fast as I could, but I think psychologically, not having Bill to chase affected my ride and I ended up with a 36.09, far fast enough for the win, but well off my other goal of the World 500 meter record of 35.5. That, and perhaps making the wrong gear choice for the standing start, kept me from having that once a year, super fast ride. But, the up note was my first gold medal of the 2006 Championships.

The match sprint format this year was the top 8 riders from the qualifying 200's went directly into the quater finals of the tournament. We would ride two up, best two of three races to advance to the next round. The racers are seeded 1st vs 8th, 2nd vs 7th, 3-6, 4-5, so ideally the top two seeds would race each other for the 1st and 2nd place final and the next fastest for the 3rd and 4th place final.

My first ride was against a rider with a 12.7 sec 200, so I was able to win in two rides pretty easily, not having to really push it. My second ride was against Chip Berezny, a very experienced rider with a 200m time of 12.19, so definitely more of a threat. The first ride went very well. Chip took the lead and as we came out of turn two after the bell, I hit it hard, got by quickly and shut it down coming out of four I had so much space between us. Ride #2 almost ended differently. As we started, Chip, who started this ride in the lower position, rolled down to the pole, looked back to see that I wasn't coming quickly, and accelerated very hard. I fortunately reacted pretty fast and went after him, but he now had 5 or 6 bike lengths on me down the back stretch of lap one. I finally caught him at the bell, but when I went to accelerate down the back stretch, I didn't quite have the jump I'd had earlier and Chip matched my speed down the back stretch. Side by side into turns three and four, I finally pulled ahead at the finish line to win by about half a wheel. Way to close and way to hard for a semi-final ride!

Bill also had a couple of tough rides in his semi-finals, having to race Woody Cox who, although not as fast in the sprints, is one of the most competitve riders in our age group and later set a new world record in his speciality, the 2K time trial.

So, ride number one for the gold. Bill drew the bottom start position and took it out pretty slowly, staying between the blue stayers line and pole. I stayed high on the track and picked the pace up a bit. Bill stayed even with me but stayed low, which I thought was odd. Into the bell lap we went and I went even closer to the fence into turn one. Even stranger, Bill continued to stay low. As we got into turn two, I'm almost at the fence and Bill is still below the stayers line. I'm watching him closely and he looks down track which is enough for me. I jump hard from the rail and before he knows it, I'm 5 bikes by him. Ride #1 was over.

I started in the down postion for ride #2. The plan was to lead him out and gun it down the back stretch in the bell lap. He wanted to be in the front again though, so I let him roll to the front out of turn four into the bell. He moved to the pole and was going faster than the first ride, so I stayed with him. Past the bell into turns one and two and I go as hard as I can go coming out of two. I'm past him going into turn three and then he throws his arm up, protesting my pass. According to the rules, the passing rider's rear wheel needs to be clear of the passed rider's front wheel in order for it to be a clean pass. As I rolled past the finish line, far ahead of Bill, the head ref, motioned us both over. I rolled onto the infield warm-up track and pulled up next to Bill, where the ref told us my pass had been clean, so I had won in two rides. Cool! I told Bill that I would never purposely come down on him and he just chuckled and said that I came by him so quickly, the only way he thought he'd get another ride was to protest - kind of like a basketball player feigning a foul. Didn't work and I won gold medal #2.

I had two more races planned for the week. The first was the 2K tt. I had never done one, so I thought it might be fun to give it a try here in Colorado. I was shooting for 2 minutes, 30 seconds after looking at times from two years ago here. I thought that might put me in the medals. I was right, it would have - if I would have been able to do it. The first four laps went ok, and then I collapsed. I just couldn't keep the pace up for two more laps. I ended up with a 2:34.6, 6th overall out of 18 riders, and first among the Hellyer 55-59 group that was also doing the 2K. So, not too bad.

The last event I had a chance to medal in was the team sprint. Three riders. Three laps. Standing start with each rider going one lap and then pulling off. I was teamed with LGBRC teammate, Tim Montagne and good friend and Hellyer sprint king, Dean Haraguchi. Tim was our lead off rider. Based on our Hellyer training and our respective times in Colorado, I thought I was enough faster from a standing start than Tim that I could kind of ease into the start. Wrong! I broke my #1 rule about bike racing - never underestimate anyone. I even casually got set for the start with my pedal lower than I normally have it set, putting me at another disadvantage. When the gun sounded, Tim lit it up! He quickly put several bike lengths on me and it took me until turn three to finally get on his wheel. Not the best way to do the team sprint. When Tim pulled off we were doing 38.9mph, a great first lap. Unfortunately, I had done most of the lap with a diminished draft and it showed in my lap. My speed dropped to around 35mph as I dropped Dean off. Dean's ride was also just ok and we ended up 7th - out of the medals. Arrghh!! On the upside, Tim and I will be doing the team sprint at the Masters World Championships in England next month and I won't make the same mistake there.

All in all, a very good week. I sprinted as well as I have in years, but I still haven't had my once a year, blistering fast 500, so hopefully that'll happen in England. Stay tuned.

A big thanks to everyone who has helped and supported me this year. Especially to LGBRC for all the team support. Linelle Northcott for coming through with her wheel for me. My training partner Paul Yazolino for his great help during my sprint rounds. And of course to my wife Anne for simply being there for me and putting up with my occasional BS.

I should also be adding some pictures from COS in a couple of days. Thanks for reading.


Kevin



posted by Kevin Worley @ 9:15 AM   0 comments


Saturday, April 22, 2006

And the rain finally stops..................

What a spring.....or lack of. The rain has really wreaked havoc with may training schedule this spring. Constantly juggling to try and get all my workouts in - arghhhhh!

So now it looks as though it's stopped, and I'll see if I can get some kind of rhythm back into my training. I've just posted my next training cycle, starting May 8th. This will be my last, full six week cycle. After that, because of various races, each cycle will only be three to four weeks long.

So, if you're interested, check out the training calendar at the "Training Tips" link.

Kevin


posted by Kevin Worley @ 2:36 PM   1 comments


Sunday, February 12, 2006

First training cycle of 2006

Well, the first 6 weeks of 2006 wasn't a complete bust for me, but it's been more of a struggle than I'd like.

First, the New Year's day storm damage kept us all off the track for the first several weeks in January. I did some road work that tried to duplicate my planned track workouts. They went ok, but just weren't the same.

Then, two weeks into the month, while doing my power workout, I tweaked my right knee. The ironic thing is that one of the reasons I do these standing hill starts instead of weight lifting for power work is that there is less chance of injury. Unfortunately, on the penultimate effort of my workout, I twisted my knee slightly to the outside during a big effort and did some damage to my medial collateral ligament (MCL). Feels like a sprain or strain, but it's the kind of injury that heals best when completely rested, something I hadn't planned on doing.....until I got sick the next week. A nasty flu bug put me in bed for two days and basically off the bike for another 10 days or so. I suppose from one point of view, it was a good thing. It kept me from hammering my knee any more. So, I decided to take my scheduled rest week early since I didn't feel well enough to train anyway.

Last Monday rolls around, the day I'm supposed to start my new cycle and I still only feel about 75%. I did the noon ride on Monday, sitting in the entire ride. The ride was only moderately hard, but I felt pretty beat up at the end. Tuesday was a scheduled track day - my first day back since mid-December. It didn't go too badly. Still didn't feel 100%, but the workout went ok until the last 200 meter effort, and I just didn't have the ooomph to do it. So I bagged that and the last three starts I had planned. On Wednesday, I thought I'd try the noon ride again instead of going to the gym. Pretty day, and I needed the bike time more than the lift time. Didn't go well. I rode easy for an hour before the ride, and then ended up bailing about half way up Alpine on the noon ride itself. No gas.

Ok, enough was enough. I went really easy on Thursday for an hour, and then on Friday I actually started to feel a bit better. I ended up doing a moderately hard tempo workout and even though it wasn't very long, for the first time in almost three weeks I felt better.

So, hopefully things will start to pick up tomorrow. My knee is still sore, but I've got a brace coming that will give me 100% range of motion in the bicycle pedaling plane, but no lateral movement or hyperextension, which is what hurts. Keep your fingers crossed please.

Kevin

posted by Kevin Worley @ 7:00 PM   0 comments


Thursday, January 19, 2006

Track Damage

Well, January 1st not only brought us a new year, it also brought a storm that did some damage at the velodrome. Several large eucalyptus trees came down, and one went into the track itself, destroying part or the fence rail and boards. Hopefully, we'll get it repaired this week and back on the track next week.

During this interim, I had to modify my workouts a bit to replace the track workouts, so basically I took what I wanted to work and did the workouts on the road instead. Not as good as the track, but it is January, so the difference isn't as important.

Kevin

posted by Kevin Worley @ 7:48 AM   1 comments


Saturday, December 31, 2005

The start of 2006

2006! Next year is here. A bit of a new look here. This blog area is going to be for just race reports or other track info. I've put the training calendar and related stuff on a another page. I think it'll be easier to use. The link is just to the left of here. Check it out it you're interested in how I'm traing in 2006. I'll be adding some links to other informational sites as well. Nutrition. Supplements. Interesting studies. That kind of stuff.

I have kept my 2005 Master Track Natz report and pictures here on the main blog site. Kind of interesting.

Kevin


posted by Kevin Worley @ 2:53 PM   0 comments