That’s the biggest lesson I learned today. Maybe 10 laps into our 40-lapper, where the top 12 would advance to tonight’s final, two guys touched wheels and went down. I was behind it, but we weren’t bunched up, so both the guy in front of me and I were able to dodge uptrack and avoid any carnage. What was a lazy stroll around the Bicentennial Velodrome quickly became a sprint, as the South and Central American teams smelled blood and pounced.
When one crashes, he has one kilometer to get back into the race, if he’s able. So 4 laps on this track. All the coaches on the apron started going ballistic, yelling at their riders to turn on the gas. Which they did. We were crushing jt. Got very confusing as to how many riders were ahead, what the groups were, and all that. But my 1st grade counting skills came into play as on more than one occasion, I was able to count the guys ahead of me and arrive at a number less than 12, meaning I was safe.
No more crashes, which was fine by me. I stayed near the front for the big sprint finish and ended up behind the Venezuelan, I think, with 2 to go. I came around him, sprinted 1.5 laps, and held off everyone, actually. I think there was still one guy off the front, but it matters not. I qualified, and am headed back to the track to race the final.
Damn, this track is fast. Medal time.