Be careful what you wish for, because it will come true. Last week I was bothered about the low turn out at the Tuesday Night Track races which I love. Well this week a lot of people showed up, unfortunately it was a lot of Cat 1, 2 & 3 people including the top Cat 1 in the state.

The first race was a 12 lap scratch race where everybody raced together. After the first half lap, the attacks start. Not just fast but crazy fast attacks. I was left at 2nd wheel back in the chase group. I was feeling good so I went to the front and closed the gap in about a lap. As soon as the gap was closed the lead group headed to the top of the track leaving me in the wind, so I though what the hey and gunned it a bit. My poor attempt at an attack was closed fairly guickly and another counter attack hit the moment it was closed. The train passed me by, I did not have the energy to grab hold. The top Cat 1 guy must of felt sorry for me and dropped back and asked how I was. I told him I needed a breather. He told me to grab his wheel and he took me back up to the tail of the lead group (Very nice of him!). As soon as he got back up, he countered. He flew around the outside and broke the lead group in two. I was happy just to hang onto the tail of the second group for the next few laps. I recovered in time for the last couple of laps. Speeds got wound up even in the second group. I hung in the back of this pack and sprinted around that group in the last 300 yards to grab 6th place. While coasting between heats I chatted with another rider and he said a couple of the laps were at 30 MPH. With all the action I never looked at the speed.

We lined up for the next race and the organizer read out the names. I yelled out "Woo Hoo! I get to hold down last place!" since I got put in the A group and knew who I was racing against.

The next race was a points race with points every other lap for the top 5 places in a 12 lap race. Typically on these races we crawl around the track until the second half of the bell lap and then sprint. Not so with this crowd. Attacks started at the starting line and continued up to and through the first 3 sprints. I was able to hang onto the tail of the large lead group for the first 3 primes but did not have energy for a real sprint, so was not even in contention for the primes. Eventually the elastic snapped and a group of 5 rolls off the front. I was in the second group. With 5 off the front the hopes for prime points were zero. Then one of the front 5 fell off. A Cat 2 rider in our second group pulls us up to the lone rider just in time for the sprint. I was able to blast around the 2nd group with an all out sprint to capture my single prime point for the heat. I tried it again at the finish but this time the sprint started early with over a 1/4 mile to go. I went neck to neck with the other rider all the way around but ran out of gas about 50 yards short of the line and finished half a wheel back. I got a 7th with my single prime point and beat the Cat 2 rider that helped me out (the guy could pull the train at 30 MPH, but he could not sprint).

The next race was a test of crit handling skills, everyone raced together in this race. 15 laps where we went around the outside 1/2 mile track did a U turn into the inside 1/4 mile track and then another U turn back out to the 1/2 mile track. I hung on to the lead group of 6 or 7 riders for the first 5-6 laps of the race. Again, it was no stop attack and counter attacks. I was happy just trying to hang on to the tigers tail. I finally got whipped off the tail and found my self alone for 3-4 laps. I tried to conserve energy since I was in no mans land with about a 500 yards separating the two groups. Eventually the second group catches up to me. I grab and hold 2nd wheel of that group until the last lap. In the second to the last turn I popped a cleat out when driving out of the turn. I lost my spot and was third wheel in the 2nd group. I though no big deal, I'll catch them in the sprint. I took an inside track around the last corner and though I had it made, but I could not pull ahead of the lead rider and there was a lapped newbie rider in front of me. The outside rider kept me boxed in. I almost made a go at squeezing between the newbie and the fellow on my side but I came to my senses in time to put on the brakes and let the two riders pass (were racing for fun not prizes). I squeezed behind them but ran out of road an momentum so I sat up. Then yet another rider flew by me. Getting boxed in was one of those things but sitting up was a big mistake, I could of salvaged one position. I got 10th.

The last race was again the Crit style U turn race only the opposite dirrection and only 4 laps. Again everyone raced together. This race was very fast at the start and stayed fast. I grapped hold of 3rd wheel for the first lap or so. Then there was an attack on the outside and I grabbed the tail end of this and the elastic snapped behind me. Speeds were relentless. I took an inside line on the last corner. The guy on the outside of me hit a pedal. He recovered. I yelled, "I thought you were a goner". He yelled back, "so did I". He even managed to power ahead of me. I did pass one rider in front of me in the sprint. This is first time I got down to and on top of the 12 tooth gear in a sprint. It took about 3 laps until my breathing returned to normal. I got 6th on the final race and 7th overall for the night.

Not my best race by the placement numbers but I know it was the fastest / hardest racing I ever did. I was happy with the outcome.