Well. The trailer trash crew are back from their most excellent adventure in Bass Hill, Bankstown Sydney Australia. We met some really interesting people and raced at the highest level that crusties can race at and still be called crusties.
World Track Masters website
All the photos below are by Neil Butler. More here.Thanks Neil.
For me the whole inspiration for the trip came after I was drafted into driving the PNP club bus down to the NZ nationals earlier in the year. A competitive time in the pursuit on the shiny new velodrome at ILT gave me some hope of a potential medal if I actually did some training for masters worlds. I looked for all the good advice I could find and started up my plans for world domination.
By the time we left, the Wellington contingent had grown to 4 more riders. 71 year old legend Garry Humpherson, NZ track medalist Sepp Hribar, Wellington IT/motor-bike entrepreneur Jono Guthrie, and ex go-kart driver Geoff Shaw!
I spied a hot lead on the fixedgearfever.com track racing forum, which told us where the closest accommodation was.
The accommodation was great, with Sepp winning the arm wrestle for the double bed, well we could see no sense in trying to beat him so he got it anyway. After a while it dawned on us that we were actually in a "trailer". A Jayco trailer. We werent snobs though, so as long as we had a a packet of pasta, some sausages and the bottle of duty free rum that Geoff bought for his sister, we were made. (Sorry Geoffs sister!!).
It was about 4 mins walk to the Mall which was largely frequented by the mostly lebanese locals. About 500,000 in Oz the taxi driver told me. I think he said there was still 5 million or so in Lebanon. One thing you certainly notice as a Kiwi in Bankstown, which is apparently one of the most ethnically diverse places in Oz, is that we have a pretty small variation of race in NZ. Caucasian and Polynesian with a some recent asianisation is about it. We were also about 14 mins walk to the Velodrome where we kept all our gear. Primo. The Veodrome had a bar/restaurant attached which was handy for team de-briefings : )
The only shopping we did outside of our local mall was to take the 907 bus to Bankstown, where we nearly got in trouble by forgetting to pay for our cafe meal. Unlike in NZ where you pay first, you pay after you have finished in Oz. I wondered why the woman was giving us the evils as we walked off. DOH! We never had a coffee that got even close to the standard you get in Wellington which was surprising.
We had 3 days to check out the track before we started racing on tuesday. On day 1 we got in as many laps as we could in our 90 minute session. The track had very short straights which lessened the g-forces on the bends, as the whole transition from straight to banking was very gradual. On day 2 the temperature had rocketed up to 33 degrees! This is good. A hot track is a fast track. I threw in a 7 lap effort to get a feel for the track speed. Mid 17 to hi 17 second laps seemed doable. I would go up 1 inch in my gearing. The next day we just got in some more track time before the racing started.
On the first race day records were being broken left right and centre with 33 degrees of heat (outside). I did my first ever 750metres (an old mans Kilo) and was surprised at how easy it was... obviously I needed more experience in killing myself over that distance. With only 3 laps there was no time to really put the body into distress. The US Elite mens kilo champ who just happens to be 41, was there, and he set a new world record for the 750 metres.
The next day was my favourite event, the pursuit.The temperature had dropped from 30's the previous days down to hi teens/low 20's. When I heard Jono calling my splits the news wasnt good. I wasnt even maintaining hi 17's. The track was slow and I finished up with a time 0.6 of a second slower than my PB, which I hadn't even trained for, at Invercargill.
I was confused. That time would have given me top 5 at the Manchester Worlds, I had trained damn hard, and gone 0.6 seconds slower. And I finished 12th!!! I knew was stronger than I was at ILT, because I have the power readings on my power tap to prove it.
What could I take out of the race?
1. ILT in Invercargill is a fast track, its also heated (it has to be).
2. Dunc Gray Velodrome in Sydney is fast too, when its hot, but not when its cold.
3. The Aussies are bloody fast. There were 6 of them in front of me. 5 of them who didn't go to Manchester for last years Masters track champs. Many of them did what were slow times for them as well. The masters riders in the UK are obviously not as fast as the Aussies, or in as big a numbers.
Would I have done anything differently? Nope. Just realised that the standard in OZ probably the highest in the world. Its not for nothing that there are so many Aussies in the Tour de France. Maybe the good weather helps them?
Watching NZ Champ Ray Dunstan pick up a bronze in my group was a buzz. Ray went so hard he started to black out and roll down into the grey area of the course. He managed to pull it together to win by a small margin. Ray is the regular southern man. You can complain about the weather in Wellington, but at least we dont have our water bottles freezing on an evening ride like they do down south. Ex pom Hilton McMurdo was in a league of his own. (failed drugs test). In what he told us was only his 2nd ever pursuit, he destroyed the field ahead of the world number two at this years TT champs, Marco Hellman. Hilton is a regular in many of the major tours in NZ,and Oz, and hes not just making up the numbers. He was also 3rd in the scratch race and 2nd in the points.
The next day was the scratch race which I had forgotten that I had even entered. This was full-on. Basically a high-speed short course (10km) sprint. We must have sat between 50 and 60kmh for most of it. It was the scariest thing you could do on a track bike in my view. Circulating at that speed with 24 riders in close formation with big muntas like Sepp, above you on the banking, bashing bars with other riders trying to move into your space. I got spat a a few times but managed to get back on each time and finish with the bunch which I was more than happy with, given my lack of sprinting ability. Sepp did bloody well to finish 5th. A completely different kind of pain to the pursuit. The interesting thing was that in the race, 18 of the 24 riders were Aussies. But it wasnt enough to stop the frenchman, Philipe Vernet, who we had our eye on, from winning the race. And the bugger didnt even warm up.... The rest of us had been on the rollers for the previous 10-30 minutes getting up to operating temperature. He just rolled straight out and lined up with the rest of us. Apparently it took us 13 mins to do the 10kms.
Check out the vid of the race here. Sepp is the big black blob in the NZ kit, I am the smaller red and black blob circulation in the last 1/3 most of the time.
Link to Video of our 45-59 Scratch race.
The last event for me was a late entry into the team sprint. We needed a combined age of 135 years for 3 riders. We had our team sorted but then our first rider was not available. Then and our second choice rider was told we couldnt use him in two events (he was also in another team), in case both teams qualified... Some chance. We roped in an old buddy of Garry Humphersons who was 60-something. Basically the slowest guy starts first, leads for a lap, peels right off, and number 2 leads then pulls off etc. By the time the last rider finishes he is really motoring. A bit of fun for 3 laps. We were 2nd to last I think with our spare 30 years!!!
All up it was an awesome trip, made more memorable by hanging out with the Welly guys and the other kiwis in the Kiwi "pits". I was also lucky to have my "fan-base" of 3 supporters cheering for us and videoing, taking photos and smuggling back excess bagage for us as well. The only thing the Masters track worlds is really missing out on is the spectators. We felt honoured to have a few. My brother and his daughter also called in to cheer us on at one stage too.
The high-light for me was to watch Garry Humpherson, one of the legends of Wellington and NZ cycling smash the world record, then win the gold medal in the 70+ pursuit. Garry is an inspiration to all of us, and the most modest guy you could ever meet.
Thanks to all the people that helped us with gear and advice in NZ and Oz.
Mark Humphries, frame and groupset.
Ben Copsey, rollers and tyres
Simon Crumpton, powertap track wheel, booties and tyres
Kathleen David and Neil, Bob and Amey (fan-base) for support and videoing/camera work.
jvillecycles.com for awesome support
Here are some links.
Garry world champs ride on YouTube
Garry on his home made bike with radical aero-bars
Sepp racing Claus
More of Neils pix
Link to video of our 45-59 Scratch race
Male - 45 to 49 750m Time Trial Final
1 Philippe Vernet (Fra) 0.51.27 (52.66 km/h)
2 Peter Barnard (Aus) 0.51.42
3 Ivor Reid (GBr) 0.51.99
4 Michael Popplewell (Aus) 0.52.79
5 Paul Jackson (Aus) 0.53.08
6 Gerard Oconnell (Aus) 0.53.10
7 Stephane Le Beau (Can) 0.53.83
8 Dominique Sioul (Fra) 0.53.97
9 Sepp Hribar (NZl) 0.54.15
10 Byron Tucker (Aus) 0.54.16
11 Gary Mandy (Aus) 0.54.34
12 Brent Kay (USA) 0.54.47
13 Warren Bennett (Aus) 0.54.60
14 Ian Atkin (Aus) 0.55.08
15 Clint Mcdonell (Aus) 0.55.41
16 David Mann (USA) 0.55.61
17 Mark Arnold (Aus) 0.55.85
18 Jeff Lyall (NZl) 0.55.98
19 Matthew Guggisberg (Aus) 0.56.41
20 Andrea Neri (Ita) 0.56.78
21 Wayne Kreunen (RSA) 0.57.04
22 Wal Mullany (Aus) 0.57.30
23 Craig Taylor (Aus) 0.57.33
24 Claus Christiansen (Den) 0.57.45
25 James Van Gelder (Aus) 0.57.52
26 Glen Heuvel (RSA) 0.57.59
27 Phillip Mcneill (Aus) 0.58.04
28 Robert Thompson (Aus) 0.58.42
29 Stephen Joyce (Aus) 0.59.05
30 Raymond Gorrell (Aus) 0.59.38
31 Peter Holley (Aus) 0.59.52
32 David Russell (Aus) 1.01.00
33 Geoffrey Shaw (NZl) 1.02.00
Male - 45 to 49 Pursuit- qualifying
1 188 Hilton MCMURDO Busted for steroids 3:27.616
2 174 Marco HELLMAN USA USA19610507 50.34 3:34.561
3 168 Claus CHRISTIANSEN DEN DEN19600331 49.22 3: 39.423
4 170 Ray DUNSTAN NZL NZL19600930 49.11 3:39.917
5 187 Clint MCDONELL AUS AUS19600630 49.09 3:39.991
6 201 Stephane Le BEAU CAN CAN19590616 48.76 3:41.489
7 208 Peter VERHOEVEN AUS AUS19590508 48.54 3:42.494
8 203 Craig TAYLOR AUS AUS19610114 48.48 3:42.759
9 167 Nicholas CHADDERTON AUS AUS19610531 48.43 3:42.996
10 205 Byron TUCKER AUS AUS19610305 48.27 3:43.752
11 180 Brent KAY USA USA19620302 48.21 3:44.003
12 183 Jeff LYALL NZL NZL19611027 48.05 3:44.751
13 206 Robert UPTON AUS AUS19591225 47.76 3:46.135
14 165 Warren BENNETT AUS AUS19590905 47.41 3:47.817
15 162 Mark ARNOLD AUS AUS19600810 47.08 3:49.408
16 177 Sepp HRIBAR NZL NZL19610611 47.07 3:49.427
17 212 Vicente Florio ZORIC ARG ARG19590805 46.90 3:50.280
18 185 David MANN USA USA19600121 46.01 3:54.755
19 182 Niels-Henrik LAUGESEN AUS AUS19620807 45.04 3:59.775
20 207 James VAN GELDER AUS AUS19610202 43.48 4:08.394
21 204 Robert THOMPSON AUS AUS19590218 43.06 4:10.836
22 176 Peter HOLLEY AUS AUS19580603 42.96 4:11.394
23 198 David RUSSELL AUS AUS19611020 42.83 4:12.180
24 199 Geoffrey SHAW NZL NZL19580428 40.08 4:29.441
25 210 David WHISH AUS AUS19581016 39.05 4:36.562
DSQ 192 Andrea NERI ITA ITA19590107 DSQ
Male - 45 to 49 Scratch race.
1 Philippe Vernet (Fra)
2 Roberto Mattei (Ita)
3 Hilton Mcmurdo (Aus) Busted for steroids
4 Byron Tucker (Aus)
5 Sepp Hribar (NZl)
6 Warren Bennett (Aus)
7 Stephane Le Beau (Can)
8 Clint Mcdonell (Aus)
9 Claus Christiansen (Den)
10 Ricardo Pereyra (Arg)
11 Mark Harris (Aus)
12 Vicente Florio Zoric (Arg)
13 Craig Taylor (Aus)
14 Jeff Lyall (NZl)
15 Robert Upton (Aus)
16 Mark Arnold (Aus)
17 Geoffrey Willmot (Aus)
DNF Matthew Guggisberg (Aus)
DNF Glen Heuvel (RSA)
DNF Peter Holley (Aus)
DNF Stephen Joyce (Aus)
DNF Phillip Mcneill (Aus)
DNF Geoffrey Shaw (NZl)
DNF Peter Verhoeven (Aus)
Results Summary of NZ Riders World Track World Masters
Gold Medal - Female - 30 to 44 5km Scratch Race Final
Silver Medal - Female - 40 to 49 2000m Individual Pursuit 2.44.896
Silver Medal - Female - 40 to 44 Sprint Final
Bronze Medal - Female - 40 to 44 500m Time Trial 39.457
Bronze Medal - Male - 45 to 49 3000m Individual Pursuit 3:42.020 (Now silver)
Gold Medal - Male - 70+ 2000m Individual Pursuit Final 2:40.892
World Record (unofficial) - Male - 70+ 2000m Individual Pursuit Qualification - 1st 2:40.847
Bronze Medal - Male - 70+ 10km Points
Male - 70+ 5km Scratch Race Final 8th
Bronze Medal - Female - 55+ 500m Time Trial Final 42.483
Bronze Medal – Female - 55+ 2000m Individual Pursuit Final 2:52.239
Male - 30 to 34 200m Sprint Qualification 5th 11.604
Male - 70+ 2000m Individual Pursuit Qualification 8th 3:13.903
Male - 70+ 200m Sprint Qualification – 13th 15.885
Male - 70+ 500m Time Trial Final 14th 45.407
Male - 65 to 69 5km Scratch Race Final - 6th
Male - 60 to 69 10km Points Race Final 12th
Male - 45 to 49 10km Scratch Race Final 5th
Male - 45 to 49 200m Sprint Qualification 6th 11.779
Male - 45 to 49 750m Time Trial Final 9th 54.154
Male - 45 to 49 3000m Individual Pursuit Qualification 16th 3:49.427
Male - 45 to 49 3000m Individual Pursuit Qualification 12th 3:44.751
Male - 45 to 49 10km Scratch Race Final – 14th
Male - 45 to 49 750m Time Trial Final 18th 55.975
Male - 55 to 59 500m Time Trial Final 24th 40.742
Male - 55 to 59 2000m Individual Pursuit Qualification 16th 2:58.776
Male - 60 to 64 500m Time Trial Final 7th 39.013
Male - 60 to 64 5km Scratch Race Final – 14th
Male - 60 to 64 200m Sprint Qualification – 7th 13.071
Male - 40 to 44 3000m Individual Pursuit Qualification 10th 3:43.288
Male - 45 to 49 200m Sprint Qualification 22nd 13.140
Male - 45 to 49 3000m Individual Pursuit Qualification 24th 4:29.441
Male - 45 to 49 750m Time Trial Final 33rd 1:01.966
Male - 35 to 39 200m Sprint Qualification 10th 11.855
Male - 35 to 39 1000m Time Trial Final 11th 1:13.393
Male - 40 to 44 3000m Individual Pursuit Qualification 24th 4:10.193
Male - 40 to 44 200m Sprint Qualification 27th 12.553
Male - 40 to 44 750m Time Trial Final 35th 58.020
23rd Kelvin MCANULTY Grant WILSON Stewart THOMAS 55.925
25th Jeff LYALL, Sepp HRIBAR, David GEE 58.300
27th Geoffrey SHAW, Jonathan GUTHRIE, Garry HUMPHERSON 58.885