Match sprints are what you see at the Olympics--2 riders going head to head for 3 laps. Time does not matter. Sprints are run tournament style and to get the seeding, everyone does a flying 200. That's 200 meters with a rolling start. And if you drop down from high on the banking, the more speed you carry.
Flying 200: I got to the track and it was cool and overcast and really windy, but instead of the winds we had for the pursuit, it was really gusty and swirly in the corners. I decided to not ride the disk wheel because of the winds. I also geared down to a smaller gear after discussion with Mark Rodamaker, who won the national championship later that night. I rolled out and up to the blue line, then up to the rail (clear at the top of the track) on the first lap. Continued around the rail (barely freaking out) and probably went a little too fast too early and on the last lap, I stood up about 4 pedal strokes and took a good line into the corner. Ended up feeling pretty good about the effort, especially compared to what I'd done at the LA indoor track 6 weeks ago. Ended up with the 4th fastest (or, slowest, as there were only 4 of us in our age group) and that meant I got to sprint at night!! Damn, that sprinting stuff takes up the whole day!
Once they confirmed that we were going to ride that night, I went to lunch with Dad and bro and then they headed back to KS and I came back to the hotel and was relaxing and there was a knock at my door....move rooms please. Crap! That took 30 minutes, so I got settled in the new room and put my legs up and got organized, had a snack at 3:30 and headed back to the track at 4PM. Did a warm up on the track and then moved to the rollers when things got busy. My legs felt OK, not great.
Semi finals (best of 3)
Ride 1 v. Ann Marie: She's only been doing this for 20 years and is a former world champion and it's her home track. And, she's so darned nice and helpful. I drew #1(which meant I had to lead it out) for the first ride and took her sort of long but didn't fully commit so she came blasting past me. Afterwards, she said she thought I would do that.
Ride 2: I was behind her to start but she slowed way down high on the steep part of the track and I didn't like that at all so I went around her. Then I jumped with about 200 meters to go and she beat me, but not as much as in ride 1.
On to the 3rd/4th place finals v. Ann from NC (again, best of 3):
Ride 1: Ann Marie gave me some tips on riding against Ann and the first ride Ann lead out and I jumped and she caught me in the last 50 meters and beat me by about a bike length.
Ride 2: I started in the #1 position and led her out and jumped her a little sooner and she only caught me at the line and maybe beat me by 6 inches or so. Really, really close. Afterwards everyone in the crowd was applauding and the officials applauded us too. So I ended up 4th.
Of course I would have liked to been higher up the podium, but I feel pretty good about how I rode, especially since I've done no sprinting in about 3 months, and there is a definite technique to it. And everyone said how well I rode, which was nice to hear. Two more races tomorrow. Can't wait.