Well, I'm alive. I made the drive to Bendigo on a single stop to empty my bladder, fill up the car and check that my un-insured vehicle was still in one piece :) The following afternoon I drove across to Maryborough for the second day of the Victorian Christmas Track Carnivals, setting up camp with the remnants of 'team love' (pictured r-l) in Livia, Apryl and a new addition, Chloe McConville. With men and women recieving the same number of races and exact same prize money (for all bar handicaps) through the five day series, it was a week of racing I felt obliged to support. I began to regret my decision after three hours seated in such a dust bowl, enduring soaring temperatures, waiting for the ambulance to be moved from the track after a nasty crash, when I had raced a mere 'one-lap dash'...
I stuck it out to race two 12-lap points scores comprising 4 sprints each, with the first one part of the Godfrey Family Omnium series. After rolling through for second in the first sprint, I went on the attack taking Shannon McCurley with me. Chloe bridged after the second sprint and Jess Griffiths made contact after I had claimed maximum points in the third. By now the chasing bunch had been blown to pieces and many had pulled out altogether, proof that 9 laps can cause a bit of damage! I took the win on 14 points, Shan second on 11 and Jess claimed third after taking a flyer in the final sprint. The two races were almost held in succession, permitting the second to be a sprint-recover match. My endurance held up for another win with Jess and Shannon reversing earlier positions.
I woke up with good legs the following morning, suffering a severe case of dehydration and sports-bra sunburn for another long day in Maryborough. First up were qualifying heats for a 2 lap sprint derby that saw me finish second to Annette (Nettie) Edmondson (SASI) in the final. Next was an 8 lap scratch race that would normally favour the sprinters, but minimal rest between events allowed me to roll Nettie in the home straight for another win in the Godfrey Family Omnium series. When the all important handicap finally arrived only two back markers remained...Shan and I. It had been a massive task in the heats to qualify, resulting in the loss of all scratch markers and a never ending chase in the final. After finishing second to Sam Wood (WAIS) in another scratch race, I was out to make amends in the Madison (video).
Last year in the women's madison hang-slings were not permitted, a simple touch on the back indicated a change. This year, after spending the morning in practice, all 14 participants went to Laurie Norris with the confidence that we could in fact perform a decent and safe madison change...and slings were allowed :) I was partnered with a very nervous Chloe (pictured above in HP-Teschner kit), who was surprisingly calmed by my 20 minutes of life madison experience. We practiced some changes pre-race and discussed our tactics...to lap the field. Although Shan/Jess stole the first attack of the race, we can lay claim to taking the first lap. It didn't take long for the race to split and become a time trial for all involved, and as if one lap wasn't enough, we went on to lap the remnants on the field four times, and the minor podium places twice! Quite a debut performance :)
Results: Central Goldfields Track Carnival, Day 1
Results: Central Goldfields Track Carnival, Day 2