Friday, November 14, 2014


The Velo Sports Center hosted the Los Angeles Grand Prix UCI track race again this year. On tap for the endurance side was just an omnium. The attendance for the women's field was awesome and the racing was damn exciting. the men's field was small with only 12 riders, but there was plenty of talent. There were good crowds for the evening sessions and riding in front of a crowd always makes things more fun! This was only the second time I have gotten to race the "new new" version of the six event omnuim. If you don't know about that change you can read HERE!

Event 1. Scratch Race.
My most confident event. things played out well for me. the bunch stayed together and I had a good wheel headed in to the final sprint. I won quite comfortably. This was huge for my motivation.

photo: Jinna Albirght

Event 2. Individual pursuit.
Not usually a great event for me. I have been spending more time trying to get better at the pursuit. I did break the 12 year old Alpenrose Velodrome pursuit record this summer. I would be in the last pairing riding against Bobby Lea, who has been flying this year more than usual even. During the start I actually felt in control. I didn't start too hard like usual. My 2nd-4th laps were a touch fast but I then settled into my tempo. I rode my target or one tenth below for EVERY lap of the final 3k! I had a very steady ride (perhaps a little more to give in the tank) and huge PR with a 4:41 in LA that was good for 2nd to Bobby Lea in the omnium standings. Bobby rode a crazy impressive 4:26 and rode a 4:16 at the world cup the following week in Guadalajara, 1 second from Taylor Phinney's 4:15 National record that got him a world championship! Dang.

Event 3. Elimination.
The final event on day 1. In theory I really like these races but one tiny lapse of concentration and they can end way too early and leave you very pissed at yourself. This race went pretty good. I may have spent a bit too much energy and was left with a very hard sprint for 2nd, which I won, but I was totally spent. It would have been nice to at least be able to contest for the victory but much better than finishing not tired on a tactical error. Finishing the first day with a win and two 2nds was pretty sweet.

Event 4. Kilo TT
I usually fell pretty good about these. I had some hesitations about which gear to ride, like any track racer, always. At the last minute I decided to go smaller and I felt like I would have gone better in a slightly bigger gear. I did ride a PR but I felt like it could have been more! I ended up 4th.

Event 5. Flying Lap
Usually another strong event for me. I was a bit bummed after my Kilo ride and now I was definitely unsure of what gear to use. I eventually decided to gamble on a big gear because it seemed like the track was fast that morning. Enough time had passed between events and if it was fast in there before, I don't think it was now, or at least I wasn't. My wind up was great but when I stood on the pedals, there was no power, and I just struggled to turn the gear over for 250 meters. Finished 5th. bummed but still sitting in 2nd going into the final event, the 40k points race. In retrospect, I had not really done and leg speed or pure sprint work since before nationals in August. So it was understandable that the pure sprint events suffered.
photo: Gus Sarmiento

Event 6. Points Race.
Now with the new omnium format, everything basically hinges on the points race. Had this been the previous format, I would have essentially had 2nd place sewn up. But with 16 Sprints over 160 laps and 20 point bonuses for lapping the field, lots could still happen. my goal was to grab points where I could with out spending too much energy in the sprints. all the while watching for the big attack when Bobby would try to take a lap. Jacob in 3rd place had gone of the front with another rider and I wasn't worried about them gaining a lap so I figured id let them tired them selves out. after a bit, Bobby jumped across to them quickly. I followed suit and tried not to bring 4th place, Adrian, with me. I am thinking now that maybe I should have brought him along. It took me about a lap or so too long to close on the trio up the road. The moment I made contact, the other rider down in the standings pulled up track for some reason, and took me with him because I wasn't expecting it. My competitors took advantage of my situation and attacked. After the big effort I had done to get across the gap, I had a hard time responding. Bobby drove the duo and they closed the gap to the field and gained a lap. I was eventually reeled in without gaining a lap and the points and been pretty much settled. I had been bumped down to 3rd place.

photo: Gus Sarmiento

I was happy with my racing and fitness. Small things can have big implications. I am so glad that I am still learning things every time I race. I think its important to be open to learning new things as you go and it keeps things exciting!

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