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Junior Pam Am Track Championships Day 4 – Morning Session Report

report by Rob Good/CCA

April 15, 2011 (Mar del Plata, Argentina) – Team Canada started the morning session with a couple of very quick qualifying efforts for the women’s Omnium and men’s Sprint tournament. Allison Beveridge set a quick time in the first event of the 6-event marathon.

In the Sprint qualifying round three Canadians were entered. Kris Ovsenek set fast time (11.4) on a very cool early morning ride. Other Canadians were Daniel McKenzie-Picot (9th) and Aiden Caves (14th). Daniel and Kris advanced to the round of 12, the second round begins at 4pm this afternoon.

Alex Cataford is placed 4th after one event of the men’s Omnium. Much more racing to follow this afternoon.

Team Canada’s Nina Nesdoly Report

It was a big day! It was still dark at breakfast this morning. Because of the rain last night, Day 2’s evening session ran this morning, and then it went right into today’s schedule. Those racing first ate breakfast in their skin suits, then rode over or took the 7:20 a.m. shuttle.

The first race of the morning was a continuation of the men’s Scratch. Kyle and Aden were back on, keeping up the same strategy. Watching the race was very exciting. The guys raced great, and followed their race plan exactly.

Each boy was assigned a rider to follow, with the directions from Rob to hit the rail if he hit the rail, and go into the gutter if he goes into the gutter. I have never seen a rider execute a coach’s orders so superbly. Aden had to switch targets a couple of times because his riders kept pulling out of the race, but he was on them until the moment they pulled off. If his rider went off the front, he went off the front. If his rider chased, he chased. If his rider dropped off the back with approximately 7 laps to go, preparing to drop out of the race, he dropped off the back too. Right on that wheel.

The girls had a great morning. Audrey and Allison won the bronze in the Team Sprint, then all three of us raced the Team Pursuit and won another bronze. Opinions varied about how that event went. Personally, I almost enjoyed. It was tough, but solid. Audrey strongly disagrees. We all agreed that we like the medals though. They have the name of the event and a map of North and South America on them. We all like the flowers for the pictures, but sadly have no where to put them, so they get passed around a fair bit within the hotel.

Alex’s pursuit was fantastic. Gold medal. Describing it afterwards, he told us that with about 5 laps to go, he could see the other rider and knew he had won. That’s when it started to hurt. Slip out of the zone, relax a bit, and the pain kicks in. He even celebrated a few meters before the line. Good job Alex!

Keirins were between every other event in the morning, then the women’s 200m sprint qualifier, where Audrey qualified with the 3rd fastest time. A quick trip back to the hotel for lunch, Facebook updates (although people had already posted links, statuses, and comments regarding Canada’s results that morning. You guys are quick!), re-pack, and back to the track.

In the back pack:

– Ipod- a must have for the roller warm ups and cool downs. Otherwise, you watch the race. You might watch the Keirin while cooling down, realize Jesse is racing, swivel your head to watch, get excited, and roll over the edge. Whoops.
– Food and water. Lots of it.
– Toilet paper. Yes, toilet paper. A roll from the hotel washroom, because the velodrome washrooms do not have any. Luckily, when I first realized this and did not have of my own toilet paper, there were a few other girls waiting in line willing to share.
– Sunscreen- Even the tannest members of our team are pasty white compared to everyone else, but I would rather that than match the Canada Maple Leaf.
– Rain Jacket- the one I wore on every airplane, through every airport, thinking “this jacket is so warm, I won’t need it in Argentina!” Then it rained.
– Extra warm clothing.
– Sandals- for those fleeting moment when we’re not wearing bike shoes.

The Men’s Team pursuit finals ran, and the guys raced spectacularly, chopping a few seconds off their qualifying time, and staying together. The Women’s Scratch race was the fastest Scratch race I have ever done. Despite Allsion’s thoughts that everyone would wait for the sprint, the race was fast and full of attacks. Allison finished with a silver medal, and I’m very happy with 6th place. After the medal ceremony, riding back to the hotel was very fun. A bit scary. 5 Canadians, 4 Argentinians, “Let’s go!” “No stop!” Red light? “No stop!” They weave in and out of traffic, we follow timidly, and the language barrier makes for some very funny conversations, full of hand gestures and guessing. Eventually some level of understanding is achieved.

Something that has impressed me on this trip is the social media. Everyone back in Canada is is quick! After the Team Pursuit I was thinking “I need to post this on Facebook, I need to post this on Facebook!” By the time podium was done, and we were home, fed and showered, I already had congratulations on my Facebook, links were posted, pictures were up, and when I updated my status it got multiple “Likes” and a couple comments within minutes.

After the Scratch race, where I did not podium, I estimated what place I came in. A post on Pedal Magazine made it on Facebook, and my friend messaged me a congratulations on 6th place. That was better than what I had though, so I was pleased, and impressed that other people knew before I did!

Thank you to everyone who’s following the events and results! It’s great to know you’re watching, and I hope everyone is enjoying the reports and pictures.

Tomorrow the Omnium begins, so it’ll be another early morning for some riders, with sprint rounds through out the day and a Madison in the evening.

Nina Nesdoly

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