Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Masters Track Worlds - reflections
A 16 year old tradition of hanging medals and jerseys over the motel/ hotel lampshade.
I wanted to close out this world championship diary with a few additional thoughts.
While four world titles seems excessive please remember that I was shooting for a world record in the 2km pursuit. While I fell short of Ian Hallam's 2:18.371 record, training for that high mark proved to be the best thing I could do to prepare for worlds. Besides, I remember the battles that Kent Bostick, Ian Hallam and Danny Clark went through in 1999. Basically, I didn't know what the competition would be like but I chose to prepare for the 2km world record. I was also helped along when the 2007 sprint and scratch race champion pulled out of the competition.
I'd like to encourage track riders to dream big and try to attend nationals or worlds. Hopefully it will change your perspective of the local races in a good way. In some respects the competition is better at worlds than at nationals, but not in all events. That should give one hope that on any given day, in any given event, the odds can swing in your favor. In that regard, travelling to Australia is not cheap, although I used miles for both Aubrey and me to go, and I mention this because the mix of athletes changes year after year. For me, I had not been to masters track worlds in 3 years I was an unknown to some of my competition. The defending champion from the pursuit and points race did not show and the sprint champion dropped out after his 200m qualifier. Had they both showed the racing would have been completely different.
The Dunc Gray (Australia's first Olympic gold medalist) velodrome is a world class facility and the organizers/ volunteers/ supporters put on a world class event. We are lucky to have events and venues like this but it was the efforts of a lot of people that helped to make this event a success. Thank you!
Finally, I would like to express a special thank you to my wife Debbie for her neverending love, Dr. Peter Block for the massages and chiropractic care, Peter Bohl for the super motor pacing sessions, Alan Farian and Fred Chang at the Bicycle Garage, teammates Mike McCarthy and Harvey Nitz for their years of advice, and to the whole Specialized team for pushing us to new heights!