Hammerheads, Family and Friends,
Tuesday was yet another long day with a lot of racing. Brent had his 200 as well as our Friend Andy LaCourte. Brent had a good 200 on a cool morning with an 11.17. Andy rode a strong 11.3. I forget where Andy was seeded in the 40-45’s but Brent had the 3rd best 200 time. Brent had a 4up 1st round and it include the 4th seed, so he had a big, fast group right off the bat. Brent was stuck out in the wind and with the fast pace he didn’t have enough left in the tank and finish second. The same thing happen in his rep round and was done for the day. Andy won both his heats and moved on.
After the afternoon break it was time for the evening session where I had my semi-final ride against a good Friend from Frisco Texas, Aron Sieken. Aron and I have raced each other at Nationals the last few years and we rode Team Sprint together this year. The semi-finals and finals are 2up sprints and they are the best of 3. So two wins and you move to the Gold medal ride, two losses and you ride for Bronze. I won both rides and moved into the Finals later in the evening.
Andy won his round too and would go on to another round in the morning. Finally it was time for my Gold medal final. It was against another good Friend that I have raced in the Championships several times over the years. Steven Cronshaw was an elite sprinter “back in the day” and still is at the top of his game. Though I qualified higher I knew it would not be an easy round. It is the World Championships after all. The first ride didn’t go so well. I jumped hard with a lap to go and got by Steven but not far enough to drop in the lane. He got back underneath and we drag raced to the finish. Steven won by a quarter of a wheel. After some other races we were back again going for the second ride. This time I was more patient and worked to stay behind. Steven tried hard to get me to come to the front but I was able to stay back. Once the sprint wound up, I made a good run and came around him for the win. We had a short 10minutes before our final, winner take all, Gold medal ride. I drew 2nd spot and followed him off the line. I had wanted to take the front and roll it up, but Steven made a beautiful move and kept me from my plan, so I went to plan B, which was to do the same thing I did in ride two. It was a very tactical ride with me trying to get the advantage and Steven doing the same. With a lap to go we wound it up and I went for it, but had let just a bit much of a gap open up. I closed it fast and started coming around. As we came to the finish line, I thought I had it. I threw my bike as it was oh so close. It took a few minutes for the photo finish and Steven won by 6centimeters. At over 40mph that’s not much! I was pumped after such and exciting ride, but so, so disappointed to come up short by so little. I have to congratulate Steven for his amazing rides and he deserved to win. I just wish I could have been 6.5 centimeters faster or made my move a split second sooner. These and much more are things one thinks about when you lose by such a small margin. All in all, I am very happy to have a Silver Medal at the World Championships. Steven is a Class guy and deserving winner, so I can’t complain. I am also glad to still be doing this and be able to compete at this level. I will come back and get this Title another day.
After the awards ceremony, it was time for dinner and a long overdue beer. Mike Paulin, Aron Sieken, and Leo Menstrina sat in the lobby of our hotel eating pizza with a pint and pondered the days racing. It was well after 1am by the time we went to bed. Tomorrow is Counts first race of the week with the Scratch race. Andy LaCourte has his 3rd round and hopefully finals too.