August 10, 2004 – Well after a long flight from Victoria, a three-hour drive to Detroit, Taylor Martin and I found ourselves on the line for the 2nd annual Detroit Six Day track race.
Seven A and four AA teams were on hand last night to contest two hours of racing. The AA riders hit the boards first with a Scratch Race and Madison, with four teams it made it much easier for the less experienced riders to feel comfortable in their exchanges. It turned out to be a very safe race with Chris Hughes and Jeff Starling winning the Madison and taking over the points lead after day one.
In the main event the seven A teams started slowly so that all riders were
comfortable with their partners ( the format is that we change partners
every night). On the ride to the race, Taylor and I talked about how we got
our butts handed to us on Sunday, in the Madison at Nationals. That will
not happen again. The plan was to attack every time the pace slowed, as a
result the other five teams were chasing hard during both Madisons.
After the first 50 lap chase, Luc and Taylor had built a good lead on points,
but could be caught with a hard effort by the other teams. Early in the
100 lap main, Martin attacked, no one countered, and after they gained half a
lap the pace in the pack picked up (get lapped the team loses 10 valuable
points). The lead stayed constant until my partner Matt Walp jumped and
closed down the lead to 25 metres. In another lap they were caught, then
it was Ripp’n Ronnie Sinks turn to turn up the heat. With 10 laps to go for
the half-way sprint points, they gapped the field. Jim Houston was slung
into the race for the last two laps for the line, however closing fast was
Martin and Cavendar. The 16-year-old closed the gap, put Martin in for the
last 1-1/2 laps and they won again.
The speed had been high all night. With 50 to go, my partner did a double
pull (as I was gassed after sprinting for third) and we gapped the
field. Although gaining a lap would be very difficult, we continued
to keep the
pack strung out. Eventually the pack came back together with 20 to go.
Martin jumped again and this put the teams that were just hanging on in a
world of hurt – I’ve heard that phrase somewhere before. They were out on their
own by 30 metres, and Houston closed the gap with three laps to go.
With the last
exchanges coming, our team was just behind the fun at the front. Matt came
within two bike lengths before handing me the final 400m. Houston and
Cavendar forgot the they were racing other teams. I went over the top,
however I got nipped at the line by the very fast Cavendar.
Good clean racing on the first night. Tonight Martin is paired with
powerhouse Rob Ackers. My partner is
up and coming sprinter Nick Laughton. Should be a blast.
Final Results for Day 1
T. Martin & L Cavendar, 77 pts
R. Sink & J. Houston, 64
N.Laughton & R. Denman, 62
M. Walp & R. Good, 56
D. Koesel & C. Watkins, 50
P. Apostoli & P Jaqua, 37
A. Champoux & R. Ackers, 27