Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Big Price to Pay for One Tiny Mistake
Slinging in Sean on our way to a hard fought silver medal
Me sprinting against Grant Irwin (National Scratch Race Champion) for every point i could grasp.....he beat me by less than a tire : (
Myself (right) and Sean Finning on the podium after one of closest Australian Madison Championships on record. (notice the hole in my left hip)
For those of you who dont know, the Australian Madison Title was run this Saturday just gone. I went in with high hopes and excellent motivation for the event, given my recent form and my love of this event.
The race was awesome. From the beginning, me and my partner (Sean 'Shrek' Finning) established ourselves as one of the two dominant teams in the event and this continued throughout the race.
At about the mid way point the team of Olman and Clarke started gaining the upper hand on us in the sprints and it wasnt until a mid race attack that saw them chasing us fro 12 laps that the momentum started to swing back in our direction. One of the most defining sprints with 40 laps remaining of the 200 lap event saw Sean roll Miles and give him the glare to end all glares......telling him that we were again in charge.
Coming into the last sprint we had a 1 point advantage and i rode a long turn that would see me sling Sean in on the bell to contest the final sprint. All was well.....i moved into 3rd wheel.....then disaster.....Sean rolled off the banking and came in too slow, i tried to sling him but the pace difference was too great and we both came crashing down in an almighty heap.
The pain of the crash was irrelevant.....knowing that i had watched Sean crash beside me meant that we had absolutely no chance. I lay on my back down the base of the track banging my head on the ground.....we were so close.....we were in perfect position.....Sean was sprinting well and would have been fresher than Olman after taking a long turn out......But it wasnt to be......my 6th National Track title for the year and my 5th medal....but still no gold. I have now won more National medals this season than any other Australian rider.....and man am i happy that i have the Criterium title to hang my hat on....otherwise the disappointment may send me into a downward spiral.
All is not lost.....im currently organising my trip over to the US, but before then i have been given a ride in the Individual and Teams Pursuit at the Sydney World Cup. I leave Melbourne next week for 7 months away from home, as i am off to Adelaide to do the qualifying times in an attempt to earn a spot at the Track World Championships in France this coming April. Even if i do the qualifying times it doesnt guarentee me a spot, but it does offer me the best possible chance for getting picked considering my recent form.
So fingers crossed that it all works out. Im a little nervous about how quickly leaving home has rushed up on me....but that is the life that i have chosen and i am looking forward to taking my new found ability and motivation to the US this year where, hopefully, i can turn some heads and land myself something special for the 2007 season.
Later all....keep in touch.