~John F. Kennedy

Monday, October 3, 2011

Elite Track Nationals

This past weekend Maddie proudly flew the enCompass Racing colors while she raced around in circles at Elite Track Nationals in Carson, CA.

Maddie's Race Report:
What a weekend! Nationals was the first race of the season, seeing as track cycling is a winter sport, so it was good to race away the nerves, and just go out and have some fun on the bike. All of the training that I have done this year definitely helped me come into the race prepared. The first race of the meet was the 500 m TT. This is a 2 lap race from a standing start, and I went out and rode as hard as I could, which was good enough for 4th place! I was happy with my time, and it was a good opening effort. I had an off day in between the 500 and my next race, so I went out for an easy ride and spent the day resting up for the Match Sprints.

About to start the 500

Sprint morning! We had the 200 m qualifier in the morning, and I just wanted to put out a good time and get as far up the seeding as possible. After my coach pushed me off, I wound the gear up, and just went as hard as I could. When I finished there were still quite a few riders to go, so I hopped on the rollers to spin my legs out. By that time, everyone had finished and it was announced that I had ridden the fastest time, so I was qualified as first! We raced the quarter finals in the morning session and I progressed through to win that round in two rides. Then the evening session came, and I was in the semi-finals. In both rides it came down to a photo finish, but unfortunately I came up short, so I was put through to the bronze medal final. I got refocused and came up with a plan with my coach on how to win those two races. I was patient and executed it perfectly, coming away with a bronze medal!

200 m Qualifier

The staring contest at the line

The last and final day of Nationals was the team sprint. This is the race that I was most looking forward to, seeing as it is what I had qualified to ride in the Pan-American Games with my partner, Liz Reap Carlson. We were riding Nationals as a warm-up for Mexico, and to practice making our ride and transitions smooth. She was the starter, and then I would finish the race as the 2nd rider. We got a clean start, and then she dropped me off and I concentrated on pushing hard on the pedals to keep my speed up, which earned us the fastest qualifying time and a spot in the gold medal final! We had about an hour before the final, so I put in my iPod and got motivated for our second ride, while pretty much living off of Mix 1 to recover and get ready for my 2nd 500. Similar to our first ride, we rode perfectly together and pulled out for the win! It was a good confidence builder heading into Pan-Am's as the fastest American team sprint team, and it was exciting to earn my first elite national title!

Start of the team sprint in the final

On the top of the podium!

I am happy with the way I raced, but it is back to the boards for another hard training block before leaving for Mexico in two weeks time! I want to send a big thank you to all of our amazing sponsors that keep us going with the best products, FOCUS, Mix 1, and Schwalbe!

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