National Track Championships & Track GP report

National Ladies Track Championships this weekend.

Note that in order to ensure there are enough bikes available, we urge you to confirm attendance with Aideen.If you’ve obtained accreditation at Sundrive Road Track and have Irish nationality/Irish Cycling Ireland Licence, please support the cause this weekend and race in the Ladies category at the National Track Championships which will be held at the Track, Eamonn Ceannt Park, Sundrive Road, Dublin this Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th July 2008.

This is a great opportunity to compete for National medals and pick up a few racing tips at the Track. A minimum of six riders is needed in each event for the maximum three medals (gold, silver & bronze) to be available so the more ladies who enter, the more medal opportunities!

It will also be the final opportunity to see the finely-tuned Paralympic Team & tandem racing in action before heading to Beijing. Anyone racing might wish to race the Track League this Wednesday 23rd July at 7pm with sign-on at 6.30pm.

Please e-mail Aideen Collard at aideen.collard@gmail.com to confirm whether you’re racing so we have an idea as to numbers.

National Ladies Track Championships this Weekend.

Note that in order to ensure there are enough bikes available, we urge you to confirm attendance with Aideen. If you’ve obtained accreditation at Sundrive Road Track and have Irish nationality/Irish Cycling Ireland Licence, please support the cause this weekend and race in the Ladies category at the National Track Championships which will be held at the Track, Eamonn Ceannt Park, Sundrive Road, Dublin this Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th July 2008.

This is a great opportunity to compete for National medals and pick up a few racing tips at the Track. A minimum of six riders is needed in each event for the maximum three medals (gold, silver & bronze) to be available so the more ladies who enter, the more medal opportunities!

It will also be the final opportunity to see the finely-tuned Paralympic Team & tandem racing in action before heading to Beijing. Anyone racing might wish to race the Track League this Wednesday 23rd July at 7pm with sign-on at 6.30pm.

Please e-mail Aideen Collard at aideen.collard@gmail.com to confirm whether you’re racing so we have an idea as to numbers.

Your Questions Answered

I’ve got my accreditation at Sundrive Road Track and I’m interested in riding the Nationals but I’m not sure of what’s involved and what events to enter?

There are four events for ladies which are described as follows:

Saturday 26th July 2008

(1) Match sprint – this event begins with a timed flying 200m to seed riders and entails riding around the Track to get up to speed and then riding for 200m as hard as you can- eyeballs out! There will be coaches on hand to explain precisely what to do and show you the 200m line.

The actual event follows and involves 2-3 riders sprinting against each other over two laps of the Track. Generally the slower riders are seeded against the faster riders in the first round but if a rider is knocked out, she may still have a chance to get into the semi-finals through repocharges (extra rounds) until there are four riders left in the semi-finals and two in the final. The final rounds are usually run as the best of three sprints.

Tactics are very important such as keeping your opponent in close sight, forcing them to go first and taking advantage of their slip-stream before coming around them at the end. Whether leading out or riding from behind, you can also take your opponent by surprise by sprinting off the banking, from the front or from behind. If you find yourself in the final 200m under the white line (the most advantageous position), it is very important to remember to stay under the line until the end of the sprint for safety reasons.

(2) 3km / 3000m Individual Pursuit – The first round is run effectively as a time trial with a holding start from the pursuit line, with one rider each side of the Track riding approx 6.5 laps as fast as possible against the clock taking approx 4-5 minutes. If you catch the other rider, you are not allowed to draft but should pass them on the outside.

Tactics come into play for the finals which entails a ride-off between the first and second fastest riders for gold and silver and the third and fourth fastest riders for bronze. If you catch your opponent in the final, it’s game over otherwise the fastest rider wins. The most important trick to success is the ability to pace yourself and not overcook the first few laps so that you burn out before the end. Tri-bars and a drop helmet may be used to gain a more aero-dynamic position for this event.

Saturday 27th June 2008

(3) 500m Time Trial – This is another time trial but unlike the Individual Pursuit, it is a full out sprint (anaerobic effort) from a holding start taking approx 40-50 seconds. The main trick to success is getting a good start, as you are being held, look ahead, relax and focus, hands on the drops, listen to the ‘5, 4, 3, 2, 1, GO’ countdown getting out of the saddle at ‘1′ and away on the word ‘GO’, stay out of the saddle to get on top of the gear and bike up to speed, then sit down and hold that effort until the finish line giving it everything- another eyeballs out effort! Tri-bars and a drop helmet may be used to gain a more aero-dynamic position but many riders feel more comfortable riding with the sprint (ordinary) bars.

(4) 12km Scratch Race – This will only go ahead if there are sufficient numbers so please come along and support this event which is very much like a road race with similar tactics. It is usually run over 25 laps with a mass start, riders can choose to ride ups and overs working with one another or try to attack from behind, off the front or from the banking but its best to pick a good time and place for any attack (e.g. where a break has just been brought back or the bunch is sitting up) to get the benefit of the element of surprise. If nobody manages to break away, the race may well come down to a bunch sprint.

There are gold, silver and bronze medals for all four events (subject to a minimum of six riders) so you can enter as few or as many as you wish.

Sound like great fun and a good chance to pick up a few racing tips and maybe even a National medal- what do I need to enter?

To enter the National Track Championships, you will need the following:
– To have Irish Nationality /Irish Cycling Ireland Racing Licence as these are National Championships
– A track bike which may be hired at the Track for €5- there will also be people on hand to assist with set up, etc.
– A full Cycling Ireland Racing Licence – one-day Licences may be available but check beforehand
– €10 entry for each event or €30 for all four events

What else should I bring with me?
– Cycling gear including a warm jacket
– Cycling shoes, gloves and helmet – N. B. for safety reasons, make sure that your cleats are not worn out
– Pedals if not using Look cleats and hiring a bike
– Gears, tools, wheels & spare tubes if bringing your own track bike
– Some money for entry, etc.
– Enough good food for the day such as sandwiches, pasta, salads, fruit & energy bars
– Drinks – water & energy drinks, flask of tea/coffee
– Mat to sit on and blanket or leggings to keep legs warm
– Towel & any toiletries you may need (although there are no shower facilities)
– If you have one, a turbo trainer, if not you may be able to ride around on the grass or borrow one to warm up
– Rain gear based on the Summer so far
– Family members & friends to cheer you on!
Remember to eat well & get a good night’s sleep the night before.

What time is sign-on and when does racing start?
Sign-on is from 10-10.30am and the there will be an opportunity to warm-up on the Track until 11am with racing starting at 11.05am sharp. The Event Time-table is below:

Event timetable

10.00am – 10.30am Sign on
10.30am – 11.00am Open track
Racing starts 11.05am –

Overall Program:
Day 1
Event 1: Sprint Qualification- 200m TT.
Starting order – Senior, Junior, Ladies
Event 2: Pursuit Qualification –
Top 2 Riders Qualify for Finals & 3rd & 4th Ride off for Bronze (see Event 6)
Senior 4km, Junior 3km, Ladies 3km & Tandems 4km
Event 3: Sprint Round 1
Event 4: Sprint Round 2
Event 5: Sprint Finals
Event 6: Pursuit Finals: Tandems – Juniors – Ladies -Senior

Day 2:
Event 7: Scratch race qualifier for Men if necessary (most unlikely – max 35 riders)
If not held program will go straight to Event 15.
Break – 10 Mins
Event 8: Juniors – 500m TT
Event 9: Ladies – 500m TT
Event 10: Men – 1km TT
Event 11: Tandems – 1km TT
Break – 15 Mins
Event 12: Juniors – 12km Scratch
Event 13: Ladies – 12km Scratch
Event 14: Veterans – 12km Scratch
Event 15: Men – 20km Scratch
Medals Presentations

This event will be run by the Track Commission of Ireland in accordance with Cycling Ireland. Racing is subject to weather conditions and this program is subject to change at the right of the Commission. Riders may hire commission bikes but must have a UCI Licence (IRL) and have been accredited by the Track Commission. Riders are responsible for their own safety and the safety of other riders and must abide by the rules of the Track as set down by the Track Commission.

Sign on and starting times same for both days.

Entries €10.00 per a Championship event or €30 for all events for Men, Ladies, Tandem & Juniors

Ladies put on Good Show at the International Track Grand Prix

Despite the showery weather, there was a good turnout of ladies for the International Track Grand Prix held on 12th July at the Track in Sundrive Road, Dublin. All the ladies raced extremely well showing great promise for the future of ladies’ Track racing in Ireland. An action-packed programme of friendly racing included a selection of scratch and sprint races and was run as an Omnium whereby riders can accumulate points for each individual race to win the overall event giving both endurance and sprint riders an equal opportunity of success.

The ladies’ Omnium was won by Aideen Collard (Orwell Wheelers) followed by a sterling display by Junior rider, Rachel Whithers (Fintona) in 2nd place with Fionnuala Ni Bhradaigh (Bray) in 3rd (who was also piloting a tandem with Catherine Walsh in preparation for the forthcoming Paralympics in Beijing).

Rachel Whithers demonstrated her natural sprinting ability with some excellent sprints in the 6km scratch race and sprint final. Junior rider, Ailbe Ivory (Bray) was particularly impressive in the 1 lap time trial and also has great sprinting ability. Fionnuala Ni Bhradaigh almost won the final 1km dash with a surprise attack off the banking and Roisin Kennedy (Lucan) put in some good attacks and never let anyone get away all day.

Ciara Lyons and Natalie Grieve (Orwell Wheelers) also rode extremely well with Ciara excelling in the sprint and time trial.

Whilst the ladies were taking a breather from their individual events, they were able to watch the senior men’s and tandem events which made for exciting viewing with John Lynch (Bray) winning the men’s Omnium and the International Trophy race and the pairing of Dave Peelo and Michael Delaney dominating the tandem racing.

A great day out was had by all and the ladies agreed that the event had been a great introduction to Track racing and the wide variety of races it offers and they had also picked up lots of invaluable racing tips. Many thanks to all the volunteers and in particular to organisers, Liam Walker, Tony Doyle & Will Byrne, to Alec Darragh for setting up the bikes & mechanicing, to Hugh Byrne for all his advice and encouragement & to Orla Hendron and Joe Daly Cycles for their kind sponsorship of the ladies prizes, all of whom made this great Track event possible.

The event was also great preparation for the forthcoming Ladies National Track Championships this Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th July 2008 – for further details, please see the post above.