Thursday I jumped on the train too Newport, Wales from Paddington. I am getting more and more familiar with the journey and with the perks and lows of train travel. Going down on a weekday is good as the train runs faster but it also means I have to pay more. Thursday night we where on the track, with a few individual efforts followed by some Madison work. The next day was followed by some Team Pursuits, they are fast becoming my favorite discipline. Maybe this traces back to my past in team sports or just the fact that everytime I ride one we not only go faster, but I feel stronger and like I can give more and more.
Saturday was great, we rode the second round of the Icebreaker Series. The round had a really good turn out with about 40 under 16 boys competing, meaning there where heats for the points, scratch and devils/elimination race, after which a final for each race was held. The points went ok, I came fourth in the final, taking a sprint and sweeping up a few more seconds and thirds. I took opportunity of a short scratch race to practice my attacking and more importantly line whilst attacking. In retrospect, when watching the video feedback later on I probably did attack a few too many times, however from each attack you learn something new. The final race of the night was the devil, I always go well in it, I think this is mainly due to the fact it is essentially just a wearing down process, similar to the road. For those wondering what I am talking about, the devil is relatively simple; every other lap the last rider across the line is eliminated. After a few near misses I made it too the last two and the final sprint for the line, it was a little unknown territory but I tried my best impersonation of Sir Chris Hoy in a two up sprint and kicked hard with just over 200m to go. The lad I was up against came around me with about 200m to go and although I was pleased to have taken 2nd the win would have been nice.
Sunday was the fourth and final day of camp, we where attending a Regional School of Racing held by British Cycling. With riders from outside the talent team also riding, the standard was really high and the format of the day was a Team Pursuit, Keiren, Points, Devil and Madison. In the team pursuit we came in 3 seconds off the national record with normal wheels and helmets which was pretty cool, it sounds like a lot but over 3km its a very small margin. The rest of the day went ok, with another second in the Devil to the same rider in almost identical circumstances! By the end of the day I was shattered and for the first half of the Madison my legs felt like they where going to fall off, however they got into it a little more and by the end I had one two sprints. All that was left was a long train/tube/train journey home, finally falling into my bed around midnight.
Today (Thursday) im back off to Newport for another weekends training camp, cant wait!