This past weekend Maddie headed up to Blaine, Minnesota to race at the National Sports Center Velodrome in the Fixed Gear Classic portion of the Nature Valley Grand Prix. The promoter and velodrome staff always put on a good race for the racers and spectators alike, and is such a fun race to attend! This year there was not only a larger field, but a much better, more experienced field that made the racing that much better!
Maddie's Race Report:
Day 1: Match Sprint Day!
The women's 200 meter qualifying was the first thing up, and I was first off. It was cloudy, wet, and cold so the times were going to be slower, but I rode a 12.6 second 200, which I was pretty proud of because I qualified first! Then the clouds decided to open and the officials had to call the racing off for the night due to the track being unrideable from the rain before I got into any of the rounds so that was all I raced on Friday.
200 M qualifier
Day 2: Marathon Day! Match Sprints, Keirin, Madison Kilo
With the remaining Friday schedule and all of Saturday having to be raced today it was going to be a long day in the chamois, 11 hours to be exact. I pretty much lived on Mix 1 that day, because it gave me everything I needed to keep racing, but it was easy to digest and didn't interfere with my racing, so thank you Mix 1! Well back to racing, I won my semi-final match sprint after receiving a bye in the first round. That put me in the finals again Cristin Walker, a multi-time national champion and national team member. I raced two races that were tactically very good and am continuing to learn how to be more aggressive and use more of the track. My legs just didn't have the speed to get around her so I ended up 2nd, but I am happy with the way I rode. After a 45 minute break between Friday's schedule and the start of Saturday. I then went to the keirin qualifying heats and qualified for the final comfortably. Before the final, however was the Madison kilo. A kilo is 1 kilometer race, or 4 laps on the track, and is a time trial. To make it a madison two people start and do at least one exchange. My partner was Megan Hottman, who is an endurance racer from Colorado. She got me up to speed and led me out, I did the first two laps, then we exchanged and she finished the final two laps. I never found out what our time was, but we ended up winning it! Then I had to muster up the legs for the keirin final because by that point they were definitely getting tired. All the girls sprinted for the motor after the gun went off, and I ended up at the back of the line, so I sat at the back until 3 laps to go when the motor pulled off and I sprinted up to the front of the field to get better positioning for the final sprint. When the sprint came at 1 lap to go I was ready to go and almost managed to come around Cristin's wheel at the line but she held me off for 2nd. Again I was very close to getting the win, but I raced aggressively so I was happy with my 2nd place.
Watching in the Match Sprint Finals
Megan leading me out
Day 3: Handicap, Team Sprint, and Madison
Now my legs were seriously starting to feel the past two days so I just warmed up and tried to open them up a little before the Handicap race. A handicap is where the riders are given start positions however many meters out depending on their past results and have to race 3 laps. Cristin and I were both placed at scratch, or a 0 meter headstart, and had the whole field to chase down! Everything came together about one lap in, so it turned into a mini drag race for the line. I messed up my positioning going into the final sprint but managed to hold on for 3rd. It was definitely the opener my legs needed to get ready for the team sprint! About 30 min later Cristin and I teamed up together for the team sprint, and I was the starter, so mentally I was prepared to push myself to ride the fastest opening lap I have ever done. We ended up winning with a time of 36.3 seconds! Then for the last race of the day, the Women's Madison, my partner for the madison kilo, Megan Hottman, needed to do the madison to hold her place in the women's endurance omnium so I agreed to suit up for the 60 lap race. I know, a sprinter doing 60 laps is crazy, but I thought it would be fun! We hung in there with Megan placing in the sprint laps to finish 2nd! It was definitely a fun race, but my legs were SO tired after holding on for dear life for 60 long laps!
Starting the team sprint
At the start of the madison
Due to my high placings in the sprint events I ended up 2nd in the Women's Sprint Omnium!
2nd place Sprint Omnium Podium!
A big thanks to all the people who worked hard to put on a great race at the NSC Velodrome!! I will definitely be coming back next year for even more fun! Also, thanks to Mix 1 for the great race day nutrition, and FOCUS Bikes for a smooth, powerful ride!