Tuesday, September 22, 2009
We Were Young And We Were Improving.
So, the Padre Madison has come and gone. I drank a lot of excellent coffee. Ben Ladner and I - Team Handsome - were hoping only to finish this one; dreams of glory were always beyond us. In the past we've flaked out, crashed out, died in the arse, but this time we were committed.
It didn't start well. We dropped the wheel, were eventually lapped by the bunch. I missed some changes, which didn't help. And when Glen Peterson from Total Rush clipped my wheel, resulting in a dual Springsteen style kneeslide down the back straight, things looked dire. There was blood, there were bruises, and there was a suddenly out-of-true Shamal to contend with. We dropped another lap.
I pulled up to Casey on the fence for a drink. Ben looked to be doing ok, so I let him do another lap. There were a lot of folks sitting around, drinking coffee, cheering and giving the riders a hard time. Maddison Hammond, fresh from coming 8th (I think) in the Keirin at the Junior Worlds, was in the crowd. I asked him for advice. He said to ride faster. It was good advice.
We did some more laps. There was some beef developing between team Total Rush and Team France. I saw some headbutts, and apparently missed Hamish from France punching Gary from Total Rush fair in the face. Ben and I didn't have anything to do with it, but I took great relish in reporting it to the crowd. Not much more eventuated, however, as Total Rush pulled out. Which, incidentally, also meant that Team Handsome would not come last.
With about twenty to go I started feeling ok. We weren't rushing to keep up with the bunch, but rather keeping our own rhythm. Our changes were getting better and we didn't miss as many. The last few flew by. We somehow made up a lap, putting us only four down. The bell rang and the bunch sprinted for the last available points. Team Handsome had one change left, but neglected to take advantage of it, electing instead to join hands, raise them to the sky and salute over the finish line. I think Gavin Sittampalan and Oli Le Grice won, but really, who gives a fuck? Madison completed, mission accomplished.