'Groningen' didn't go so well. The K's chain kept dropping due to the bumpy track. And those bumps made it difficult to go fast anyway. 'LEL' went without technical difficulties. There I was slow because the engine suffered from milage.
So I started to have doubts. Was I
still quite fast? Or had the live with jobs 'n stuff taken away the
sparkling bit out of me. The part of me that likes the 9th gear of my
Fuego and knows how to use it.
It was on Saturday that a
change at my job gave me time to race at Apeldoorn on Sunday, during the Elan record day. Just over 24
hours before the start. Not the usual weeks. Not even a whole week to
take it easy like I used to do befor a race. First I seriously thought I
would give mbb-fwd a try at a velodrome. But the idea of riding that single handed
at 50kph scared me. On Sunday morning I decided that mbb-fwd is not for
me on a steep banked track. I'd play save, not waste 5 hours of
travelling and find out it doesn't work, I'd race my Fuego.
The latest ride on that was from Huizen to home, over 152km. Yivalté did not need much changed for the race. Both tires require 8bar, and the air shock 10 bar. That, and a whiping of some sand was all. So, from tourer to racer in almost no time. A true 'gran turismo'. The small amount of lugage for a race day goes in to a pair of Radical Design Solo Racer panniers.
Despite having worked late, 2am, I feel fit and relaxed. I've eaten good, and rest well enough it seems. Like almost always, the trains rode according to schedule. It's very quiet in the velodrome. There's no special record atmosphere like there was the first time this event was held.
In a 5 minute warm-up I test every gear and ride around at a moderate pace. The bike feels right, now lets see what the engine can do today.
During the race I'm faster than I expected. Since the last race at a velodrome my 'riding quite fast but not getting tired quickly without slip-streaming speed' has gone up by 1.5kph! I try to ride a race on my own and I grab every draft that's in my reach. And than I'm leading a small group again. Not much later I'm on a fast 50+ lap. There are no weak moments in this 45 minutes criterium. And the final 3 minutes are really fun. I draft behind Sjaak on his RazzFazz. 51, 52, and the final lap at 55.
The result is that I feel great and the average on my speedo is 45.9kph. On the time keeping the avg. 45.2. And that compared to previous races like this, is a good result. One of my best ever actually! I still got it.
Back in my hometown again, the Fuego is back in her rol as real world 'bent. Swiftly manouvring through a quiet Assen. Being agile, fast and comfortable.