The first “Saturday Race Night” of the series took place this past Saturday (Oct 16). The turnout was amazing as the organizers decided to combine adult and youth races into the same night. As a result, there were 70-90 cyclists racing in one of 5 categories (Adult A, B, C. Youth A or B). We also had 50-60 spectators dotted through the stands and standing areas on the corners!
The powers at be decided it was time for me to be promoted from Adult C (what I raced for a couple years) to Adult B based on my results during informal racing/training at the coached/structured sessions over the last 2 months.
We raced 3 races (with my race speeds included for context):
Scratch race (30 laps = 7.5km) - basically ‘a bike race’ where the first across the finish is the winner. → (avg: 46.7km/h, max: 57.6km/h)
Snowball (20 laps = 5km) - the first rider across the line each lap gets points based on the lap number (e.g. lap 1 = 1 point, lap 12 = 12 points, etc.) → (avg: 47.1km/h, max: 58.7km/h)
Points race (40 laps = 10km) - every 10 laps the top 4 riders crossing the line get 5, 3, 2, 1 points respectively…with the finishing lap getting double points (10, 6, 4, 2). The winner is the rider with the most points. → (avg: 43.9km/h, max: 58.0km/h)
I did alright (going with some early breaks, finishing mid/lower pack…didn’t get lapped and finished each race) The jump up to B definitely increased the challenge and had me on the rivet a few times. But it also increased the quality and skill of the competition to make it more enjoyable and I had a really fun night.
I’m happy with my first event at the higher level and excited to give it another go in a few weeks!
Thanks to @Bopper for the AMAZING post race Tom Yum soup. Thanks to @Sammy_Ryu for the great pictures (see one below…I’m wearing the WCC green jersey/orange bike).
And thanks to both for coming out and cheering me on (I could hear you on some laps over my heartbeating!).
Great report Tom. I was also racing, but as part of KW Cycling Academy. After what felt like forever I was able to trasition some summer fitness over to the track after only 2 training sessions so far this season and had some respectible finish places even though Tom pipped me for a point in the points race.
The great thing was the number of youth athletes. KW Cycling Academy easily had 12-15 kids racing in all categories including having the Junors racing in the adult categories which they dominated.
Im looking forward to the next races coming up in November. Hopefully more can come out and try their legs on the track.
This past Saturday was another fun night of track racing in Milton. The inaugural “Akuna Keirin Memorial Race” took place in memory of a great man, Kelyn Akuna.
Once again, the night consisted of both adult and youth racing (@JMcLean had both his sons out there tearing up the track and doing well!) and included 3 types of races with primes, prizes, and trophies. I am still racing in Category B (with James) and so will only share the race details for this category below.
Tempo Race (25 laps (6.25km) - my speeds - avg: 44.8km/h, max:57km/h)
After the first 5 laps, the first rider crossing the finish line for each lap thereafter collects 1 point. The winner is the rider with the most points (a tie on the final lap goes to the rider that crosses the line first).
In group B, this race basically becomes 5-6 strong (read: younger) riders charging off the front and taking turns collecting points while the rest of us warm our legs up for the next race.
Keirin - Heat 1 (my max: 58.1km/h)
A 6 lap race where the first 3 laps are behind the motobike in a predetermined order of 6 riders. The moto brings us up to 50km/h and with 3 laps remaining, leaves the track so that the race begins. Top 2 riders progress to the Keirin final. Remaining riders are seeded and race in one of 2 races for lower placings. There were a total of 3 races with 17 total racers. I finished in 2nd place in my heat and secured my spot in the final.
Scratch Race (35 laps (8.75km) - my speeds - avg: N/A max: 56.8km/h)
Your basic bike race…first across the finish line after 35 laps is the winner. I decided, beforehand, that I wanted to do well in the Keirin final and would use this race to loosen up my legs. The pack pace was very manageable and even, after 15 laps, when I decided to peel off the back and cruise, it took another 5 laps before the pack came close to lapping me. At that point I dropped off the track and DNF’d the race. Maybe James can provide better details as he competed well in this race!
Keirin Final (6 laps (as explained above) my max: 62.6km/h)
We ended up with 5 riders in the final as one rider decided they were done for the night.
It quickly became apparent I was the oldest rider in this final and found out that the other 4 riders were about half my age. and in their early 20’s. My goal quickly become ‘try and stay with the young guys’!
The race was one of the most thrilling Keirins I’ve done with all 5 of us crossing the line (3 across the front, 2 right behind/between them) within a fraction of a second. I ended up 4th and am very happy!
That got me 4/17 in Category B Keirin…still smiling!