"Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill."
Saturday was the annual "Sprint Clinic" at the Superdrome hosted by former US National team member Jeff LaBauve.
I attended this clinic last year and got enough out of it to make it a mandatory class for myself and anyone I coach that races Juniors or Category races (not for Youth A/B).
This year I brought Landon with me, since he is already showing promise as a sprinter and has never even seen a Match Sprint event much less competed in one. I geared my bike down to a 48x16, which is the maximum race gear for Landon's age group. I wanted to do the drills with him myself so that he didn't get paired up with another inexperienced youth, at least at first.
After we worked through the Slingshot and Razor drills, plus a 200m TT, it was time to get real and and do some racing!
My goal here in addition to the ever-present one of having fun was to show him not just how to ride 2 laps slowish and one lap all out, but to expose him to things other racers will do to him in a real competition.
Our first attempt took off with me leading him out. First lap...pretty dull. Just me looking over my shoulders at him. He was changing positions enough to keep me guessing and switching where I looked from, but never tried to jump me. Second lap he faked an acceleration on the back straight but I faked back. I started to take him uptrack going into 3, and had him almost to the rail into 4 when I used that wonderful thing known as gravity (and my well-developed descending muscle) to jump. By the time he was able to respond, change directions and get moving I had a decent gap and was hammering for all I was worth. The little bugger nearly caught me at the end but I managed to hold him off.
Not so much in the second race. He lead this one out. With 1 1/2 to go, he had rolled up high and I was down and back. He dove and we were headed for the same spot in the lane at the same time, so I backed off to avoid a nasty crash (or his first lesson in head-butting). I knew that his speed was going to be too much for me to slingshot him...so good job in whipping Coach Kev!
Had some other fun racing against Erin P heads-up and then a 5 person 3 lap scratch.
My legs were shot the rest of the day and the next.
Cyclist to pray for: Pat. He could use some work...