Match sprint ... Bring. It. On!
Qualifying today :
|1||Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)||0:00:10.724|
|2||Anna Meares (Australia)||0:00:10.805|
|3||Shuang Guo (People's Republic of China)||0:00:11.020|
|4||Kristina Vogel (Germany)||0:00:11.027|
|5||Olga Panarina (Belarus)||0:00:11.080|
|6||Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez (Cuba)||0:00:11.109|
|7||Wai Sze Lee (Hong Kong, China)||0:00:11.203|
|8||Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)||0:00:11.234|
|9||Natasha Hansen (New Zealand)||0:00:11.241|
|10||Lyubov Shulika (Ukraine)||0:00:11.319|
|11||Willy Kanis (Netherlands)||0:00:11.322|
|12||Monique Sullivan (Canada)||0:00:11.347|
|13||Juliana Gaviria Rendon (Colombia)||0:00:11.376|
|14||Hyejin Lee (Republic of Korea)||0:00:11.405|
|15||Virginie Cueff (France)||0:00:11.439|
|16||Daniela Grelui Larreal (Venezuela)||0:00:11.569|
|17||Kayono Maeda (Japan)||0:00:11.600|
|18||Ekaterina Gnidenko (Russian Federation)||0:00:11.649|
Quick notes from Adelaide's professional development week :
Team sprints - it may be faster to be spread out more, but really good at holding the line behind the lead rider - it may be that the slipstream is longer than a "perfect" team sprint needs, but is very narrow. We'll do some fun experiments to work this out, look for a motorbike chasing a rider, with a few bits of welding wire and streamers attached!
Peak torque really does matter.
We can learn a lot from how much speed is maintained (or how quickly it decays) after it hits peak. Ie: the power required to slowly decelerate is much less than that which is required to hold constant speed, timing where we hit peak speed in a flying 200 is even more important than we've been thinking it was. (later is better!) - averages are misleading at best when it comes to analyzing sprint performance with power meter software. Have a look at Anna's data from her old world record. Look at the power put out while speed (slowly) decays. Remember KE = 1/2 m.v^2. Which is to say, momentum matters.
Female sprinters are a long term project - making them strong is a priority for their success in the long term. I am not alone in thinking this. Those of you who are female reading this - if you're not already - GET STRONG and be prepared for it to take a long time to happen. Anna spent 10 years getting strong. It's paying off now in spades. She spent her junior days being kicked in the arse by her sister, but she kept on getting strong and look at her now. Junior stars don't always become senior stars, the quick route to success isn't necessarily the best for long term development, ESPECIALLY for girls, ESPECIALLY where the rules are such that strong kids get handicapped by small gears. (we all know my rant on that!)
Get strong, go fast. Simple!
Yesterday was the women's team sprint, today it's everything!
I'm up in Sydney at the Dunc Grey velodrome as part of the Victorian state team, a pretty minor part, as best I can tell I'm looking after the physical stuff for the guys we've been coaching for the last year. It's a bit muddy, but I'm dogsbody for Hilts and the guys (this is not a bad thing!). It's a great opportunity to see how it all works and gain a lot of very valuable experience. In particular I'm learning (or trying to!) how to fit in and get things done in this team environment without stepping on too many toes. I have much to learn and a few personalities that I need to understand better to get along with smoothly.
But we're here to race, and our athletes are the reason we're here. So on with the real story :
Yesterday we had Adele and Caitlin racing the team sprint. There was five teams in total and our girls had, on the other side of the track, Anna. Welcome to the big time. Adele is no stranger to the big stage but Caitlin was pretty new to this level of competition. For those of you that remember these two girls starting at Blackburn all those years ago, what a journey they've had so far. They're solid friends and they look after eachother. They rode well, not perfectly, but they gave their all and finished fourth, improving their time in the final they made it into by a fraction of a second. Given that they were the only all J19 team I think that's pretty good. I know personally that I'm happy when a rider commits and does their very best. Both girls did that and I'm proud of them.
Along the way yesterday, Jack Bobridge broke the unbreakable world record. Chris Boardman set the pursuit record way back in 1994 I think, with superman position on a space-age bike. Jack beat that record on a BT you can buy yourself using normal aerobars. Wow.... Shane Perkins also rode a blistering 10.05s flying 200.
Today we up the ante, the J19 men do the kilo. The girls do their flying 200 and the 500m time trial. It's going to be intense. Bring it on.
Here's how Anna rode 33.9
Liz set the world mark with style, and I didn't get the NTID job!
On Monday I was lucky to be a small part of the team helping Liz Randall set her world mark for the hour for her age. My job was to walk the line, which is basically a simple way to show the rider how they're pacing themselves, as they're not allowed to use any computers etc on the bike during the effort. It was a good night, some 30-odd people showed up to cheer and encourage Liz and she dug deep into herself to keep going, she explains how it all went here. It's a good read. Sadly, even though I sent an email to news@bbn on Monday, there's still nothing on the BBN website about it. I think the world mark is a big deal and something to make a big fuss about. Leanne Cole was there to take photos.
And on another front, for the last month or so I've been working with Hilton Clarke and the local NTID squad, a lot on Wednesday nights and over the school holidays. This started off as racking up time for the level two coaching qualification, and sort of evolved into an assistant role. We (Hilton and I) had discussed the possibility of it being a formal (paid!) job, but it seems that that can't happen at the moment, which is a bummer. I've much enjoyed working with Hilton and the squad. I'm going to keep going along and helping for as long as I can afford the time and hopefully something will come of it, so I'll be in at DISC tonight. I'm learning a lot from these sessions and want to be involved in some capacity.
And ... round 5 of the SSS this Sunday - entries are down, probably because of the clash with the Bendigo Madison but we'll keep haranguing people to come and race. I've also entered the Vic Masters for MMAS2 (35-40) in the sprint and the keirin, but I learned from my lesson last summer, I'm NOT doing the kilo again! At the moment there's three of us in the sprint and two in the keirin, so I might get a third and a second place! heh ...
Interesting to see how another sport copes with the influence of technology
It's been hard to miss this week, swimming's world record smashfest at the world championships in Rome. Previous "nobodies" (sic) beating world marks set by famous swimmers. Why? Swimming suits that reduce drag and increase buoyancy.
They (swimming) started down the slippery slope years ago, but it's finally become obvious that their records are now a farce.
Cycling addressed this issue quite a while ago to howls of derision by some, who still whine about it now. There's really only one major record in cycling, and that's the Hour. One hour, fixed gear, velodrome. If you watched Graham Obree's semi-biographical film or read his book 'The Flying Scotsman' etc you'd remember. How did Graham break the record? With a special narrow bike, less drag ... How did Chris Boardman break it again? With a bike designed 'On a Computer'. Eventually the UCI said enough, and now the Hour must be set on a standard bike with standard bits and pieces and there's a separate section of the records that covers the fancy bikes used to set the hour record. If you want to break the record now you have to do it at sea level on a standard bicycle. So the Hour is a record that means something. If you break it, you're actually faster than Merckx was and that's how it should be.
All the other cycling disciplines aren't really based on times, they're all relative (save for some track time trials), so as long as everyone has roughly equal budgets they're on a level-ish playing field. Our sport coped with the issues swimming has blindly plunged into (who seriously didn't see this coming?!), it'll be interesting to see how swimming copes. It's a pretty boring sport to watch, the only thrill is the breaking of a world record or seeing someone you're connected to do well, so how they cope with the records issue will be intriguing.
But the kilo? Evil! Never again ....
Yesterday's Vic masters. Got up around 7, did a warmup set of squats in the 'haus, then Pat picked me up and we scooted in to DISC. First event is the sprint, and of course that starts with a flying 200. We're (MMAS2) the 6th lot to go. There's some fast lads here. Ok. My turn, I've got the disk wheel on the back, 98.4" inches of gear (51x14). That's the biggest I've ever used for a F200, but it's a bit of an experiment. The air is hot already. My line is good and smooth, I hit the tape at flat chat and hold the hammer down. Felt pretty good. Look up at the clock. 12.916. W00t! New PB by lots! First time sub 13s. My revised season goal is a 13.2 at Blackburn, I didn't expect to go sub 13 at all anywhere this season, so I'll take that as a major goal achieved. It's not fast enough to qualify though (the quick boys are doing high 11's) but I'm very happy with that. I commentate for the match sprints.
Then it's time trial time. We're doing a kilo (thought it was supposed to be a 750 for MMAS2?). Awful. absolutely awful. I think I rode a 90 second kilo or something. Spent the next 15 minutes coughing. Never again. The V-Train (Stuart Vaughan) rides his 750m ITT (MMAS4) in a time that would have won the club team sprint last week! And he says he's not a sprinter ... heh ... Jessica Laws sets a worlds best time for her masters age group for the 500m ITT and has to wait for the ASADA people to come, and she has to be chaperoned until they arrive. The costs of world records! She was pretty chuffed. Her smile was lighting up the place.
Finally the keirin, I'm not entered, not silly enough to think I'm fast enough to mix it with Carl Cubitt and Andrew Shannon just yet. Maybe next year ... I commentate for it as well, earning a free drink from the officials esky .. helped calm down my ravaged throat after the kilo-coughing episode.
Along the way a number of people rode really well. Craig Towers set a few PB's, Martin Lama made it through to the finals in the sprint at his first attempt, Pat got three bronze medals after some brilliant match sprinting and a great ride in the keirin, Mick Thomas got a silver in the keirin, Cam Woolcock rode a solid Kilo, John Lewis continues to come back into form and as the only MMAS8 rider there he was far from disgraced when mixing it with the MMAS7 men. Leah Patterson got a couple of medals too and would have got different colours if she'd carried on to contest a sprint finish after a nasty hook during a sprint round. Lessons learned there!
I handed out a lot of promo cards for the sprint series, spruiking it as best I can to the sprinters.
All up a pretty good day. The enduro stuff is on today, so I'm going kayaking!
She needed a lucky break ...
Anna Meares has still got a chance to go to race the sprints at Beijing after the results of the Manchester worlds didn't let a couple of her close-on-points-to-qualify riders get enough points to bump her down out of the list. After Anna's crash and injury in a keirin at the LA world cup round earlier this year, she needed a bit of luck. It's great news for Anna.
Her work will be cut out for her, and for anyone who thinks female trackies are slow, the current F200 record is held by Russian Olga Slioussareva, set in 1993, 10.831s (66.476 km/h), and Victoria Pendleton from the UK has just ridden a 10.904 (66.031 km/h). There's a lot of female elite trackes doing very low 11s flying 200's. The boys are doing low 10's and high 9s (72 km/h), it's not much difference. The power required for another 5km/h is quite a bit (remember that air resistance is a quadratic function), but there's only a second betwen the top female and top male riders in flying 200's. Go, Anna!
Some maths from analytic cycling :
To ride at 72km/h (20m/s) on a board velodrome with an 'average' rider's frontal area etc requires ~1250 watts, 66km/h (18.33m/s) requires ~960 watts. This seems a little low, but remember that the riders have to get up to speed under their own power in 2 and a bit laps, a flying 200 is three laps of a 250m velodrome. Peak powers are much higher as the riders accelerate.
You can play with numbers here : www.analyticcycling.com and to convert km/h to metres/second divide by 3.6. (km x 1000 = m/h, / 3600 to get that in seconds)
Last year, 4 months, this year, two weeks ....
It's hard to believe (in a very good way!). Last year, it took 4 months for my renewed licence (Cycling Australia ACF) to arrive. This year, I paid on the first day I could online (Nov 1st) and it arrived today. Huh? 2 weeks?! Tops! Thankyou CA for getting on top of your (licencing) game.