29th Mar 2011Posted in: Blog 0

This past Saturday was the beast us riders affectionately call “Quals.”  For those of you who aren’t familiar with qualifications, each team has to do 4 laps as quickly as possible and complete 3 exchanges.  Here’s what our schedule for the day looked like:

Friday p.m. – Saturday a.m.

9 PM: turn in Quals bike
10 PM: attempt to go to bed
~2:30 AM: actually fall asleep
5:15 AM: wake up/shower/get dressed
5:45 AM: Kroger breakfast supply run
6:00 AM: Omelettes at our liveout
7:00 AM: Warm-up on road bikes
7:30 AM: Send-off from the house
7:40 AM: Check-in
8:10 AM: Showtime

When we got to the track, we could immediately tell that conditions were not ideal. As if the 22-degree wind chill wasn’t bad enough, the track just looked ugly. The cinders are extremely finicky, and the frigid temperatures, combined with a lack of rainfall, led to a loose, mushy track. After seeing Sig Ep start the day off with a 2:36, our suspicions were confirmed that times would be unusually slow. Even more unfortunate, after watching Fiji’s last rider fall in turn 3 on their last lap, we knew we were going to have to be extremely careful.

Our fans were absolutely incredible, and having their support kept us motivated as we stripped down to our short-sleeved skinsuits. My fly lap was decently fast; our exchanges were clean; and we ended up with a 2:29.27. Even though we’d gone under 2:25 several times in the past week, we felt fairly confident that our time would be able to hold up pretty well later in the day, especially if the track conditions did not improve.

Much to the dismay of all the teams that went in the first few hours, however, the track seemed to thaw out and get faster as the day progressed. As a result, a few of the traditional powerhouses are lower than they would have liked, and the line-up as a whole is far from what many predicted. We ended up seventh, which is an excellent spot to be in come April 16th. Major props to the Sigma Nu guys, who came out of nowhere to shock everyone and seize the pole, and to the rest of the field who fought miserable conditions all day.

Looking forward, ITTs are on Wednesday, and Miss ‘n Out is on Saturday.  We are hoping to have a strong showing in both.

We are also in the final stages of ordering parts for our race bikes, so any support would, as always, be greatly appreciated!

in _kai_
Eric Anderson

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