Sep '04 : Janet Moss' Diary - 2004 World Champs
Where did you go for your holidays this year? Janet Moss' Diary
Well actually - we spent 10 days racing round a velodrome in Manchester at the Masters World Track Championships - where you are not guaranteed of coming back with a tan! John and I returned after a three year absence to Manchester for the Masters World Track Championships which were held 13 -18
Diary - Friday 10th September - Day 1
Arrived Manchester airport via Heathrow at 10.30am and after an anxious wait - collect the bikes which appear to have travelled safely. Collected the hire car, a Corsa 3 door, and the bikes and bags JUST fit in with much juggling. Heavily laden we proceed to the velodrome to unpack and inspect them for possible damage. Bikes are reassembled and wheels and gears selected for our planned training session at 16h00. At 14h30 we decide we are too tired to train today and the fact that we have to negotiate a maze of motorways to get to our lodgings that night 40 miles away, motivate for a change of plan.
Day 2 Saturday 11th September
We arrive back at the track refreshed after a good night's sleep for our 14h00 track session and test the bikes as well as our legs after the long flight. All's well and the wooden track feels light and responsive after the heaviness of our concrete training track back home in Bellville.
Day 3 Sunday 12th September
Another training session at 16h00 and we are both careful not to "over-do" this as the temptation is to ride hard and it seems so easy on this track after the unresponsive surface we are used to back home.Nerves are beginning to make their debut as the races draw nearer.
Day 4 Monday 13th September
Racing commences for some categories - but John and I have a rest day. Light training, stretches and leg massages are the order of the day.Nerves are really kicking in now - and can't seem to relax.It is three years since I competed at this level. Will I be able to hold my own against the new names on the entry list?
Day 5 Tuesday 14th September
My 500 metre time trial (two laps of the track) is only on at 19h00 - the evening session - and as the race draws closer my nerves are really jangling. As my bike is put into the starting gate the long wait is over and I suddenly feel calm and everything falls into place. I focus on the start - a clean start is vital to ensure a good overall time. Clock counts
down from 10 seconds and the gun goes off simultaneously releasing the bike from the starting gates. Enormous effort is needed to turn the gear from a standing start: pull push on pedals and handlebars, out of the saddle and into the first banking all muscles straining to make the start as fast as possible. Staying out of the saddle until the next banking, then sit and
push hard driving the bike forward using legs,back,arms and trying not to think about the pain.Aiming for 23 seconds for the first lap and 18 seconds for the second lap - am slightly disappointed with my time of 41,956 seconds. Not my best - but the best on the day and I claim my first gold medal of the championships
Day 6 Wednesday 15th September
John has his 2000m pursuit event and he races with little enthusiasm wishing it was 3000m as the longer distance would suit him better. He clocks the 6th fastest time - out of the ride off for medals and sets about changing his gears for his main event - the Points race which will only be held on Friday evening.
Day 7 Thursday 16th September
I have sprint qualifiers in the morning and clock the best time 13,856 seconds for 200 metres which means my next ride will be against the slowest qualifier. Instead of being the easy ride I expected - my apponent goes from the whistle and I am forced to match her speed as well as control the race for 750 metres (three laps)and am forced to start my sprint for the finish earlier than I like. One down three to go Second round - same story because I am known for my "jump" all my apponents have been advised by their coaches to take me for a "long one" as the term goes! In other words make me race hard so that my sprint 'jump' is minimised. Unfortunately for my apponents, I have been training with John and Mike for three months and a lot of the training involved sessions where I had to hang onto their wheels for two laps and then sprint past them to the finish. My stamina is good and my legs hold out under the all day
competiton - culminating in another gold medal, a lap of honour draped in the SA flag and a feeling of a job well done!
Day 8 Friday 17th September
An old friend arrives from London - and John's Points race is only on at 19h00 - so we go off for the day into the countryside and enjoy a pub lunch (no beer) up on the Worksworth Moor.
There are 25 starters in his race, many of them being ex Pro's who have been tempted back into competition with the lure of a world championship title. This event was raced over 60 laps - 15km with sprints for points every 10 laps. John times his attacks just after the sprints and twice he gets away - only to be caught and swallowed up by the bunch each time. Just after the third sprint lap he guns the motors and soon has half a lap on the bunch. John stays away for 20 laps picking up two lots of points on the 40th and 50th laps. He gets to within 20 metres of lapping the bunch (and the 10 bonus points) when the bunch picks up the pace in preparation for the final sprint. John took the silver - missing the gold by 1 point.
Day 9 Saturday 18th September
Saturday morning I raced my 2000m pursuit, not my favourite event and with a pulled back muscle, qualified 5th fastest time and thus out of the final. Later that evening John took part in the Geldard Trophy event an 80 lap invitation bunch race which was run off at an average of 46kmph and John was happy to just finish in the bunch!
After months of solitary training in the cavernous velodrome in Bellville with just a few pigeons for company combined with Bikemax sessions to build up wattage output - the hard work has paid off.