August 12, 2004 – With rain coming down quite hard at 5:30 pm, Taylor & I thought their was no way we were racing on Wednesday night. Race director Dale Hughes had said that if it was raining at 6:15 pm, Day two of the Detroit Six-Day race would be canceled. When 5:50 came and the rain was just easing so it seemed there was little hope, but from nowhere the cycling gods parted the skies, the sun came out, and the drying process began. We were on the track for warm-up at 6:30. Racing was delayed by five minutes but we did start the program. Eight “A” Madison teams & five “AA” teams were introduced and racing began.
The first Madison of the evening produced attack after attack on the 200m
velodrome, because the partners are switched every night you never know
who you are racing with or against until you arrive at the track. The
team of Veteran racers, Dave Koesel & Rick Denman, dominated the point
sprints, but it was Taylor Martin (Hamilton) and his partner for the night
Rob Ackers who were constantly attacking off the front of the bike race.
With the pack suffering from the opening bell, Martin continued to push the
speed for the first Madison. My partner for the night Nick Laughton & I
managed to stay near the front keeping the gaps with in striking distance,
with the largest lead being half a lap. With 20 laps to go Koesel jumped
hard and bridged up to Ackers. He used perfect handsling technique and put
Denman into a lead that they would not relinquish. Martin & Ackers
finished second in the sprint while my partner Laughton and I managed to
sprint for fourth.
Nick had indicated that his legs were not there tonight, (bad thing). As
the Final Madison started again Martin & Ackers were gapping the field who
would chase, catch them, but then they would launch another attack. With
five teams suffering, coming to the mid-race points sprint Ripp’n Ronnie,
Andre Champoux, & Deman closed the gap. With three to go for the sprint
our team was able to bridge up to the leaders & position ourselves for the
upcoming sprint. We managed third behind Koesel (Denman) & Ackers (Martin)
however it proved to be costly as Nick blew really hard and in the next 30
laps, Koesel (Deman) took a lap on
the entire field. Taylor continued to push the pace once the pack
reassembled with 15 laps to go. In the finale again Koesel (Denman) won
the sprint going away with Martin (Ackers) second. The other teams limped
home to lick our wounds.
One good thing is that tonight is a whole new ball game, with two
additional teams coming out, the pace should be even harder than the first
two nights. Racing begins at 7pm with live music by the Pit Crew. Let’s
hope the weather improves from the blustery 15 degree’s last night.