This is the event that I’d been training for since January… 3km of going as fast as you can from a standing start. Before Manchester, the best time I’d done was about 3:38. With the loss of speed going from altitude to sea level, but with benefits of living at altitude, I was thinking that a time of around 3:35 would be within reach. I was up against Juhani Tammisto from Finland in the qualifying and managed 3.35.158. A new PB which put me into the hot seat. It stayed that way until the final two heats which saw silly fast rides from 2014 silver medalist Henrik Scharling and the 2014 bronze medalist Axel Boland. Nick English (GBR) qualified just over 1sec faster than me so it was Axel vs Henrik riding for Gold, and me vs. Nick in the hunt for Bronze. Later that night Henrik took a convincing win over Axel and I missed Bronze by about 2sec behind Nick. I did what I could and put in my two fastest 3k rides ever, but just not quite fast enough to steal the bronze. The gold/silver medal times were in a whole different zip code so not much chance of getting anything shinier than bronze. At least I now know what I’m capable of doing and with some more tweaks to equipment and training, I reckon there are still time gains to be found.
1st Henrik Scharling DEN 3.24.932
2nd Axel Boland NED 3.28.998
3rd Nicholas English GBR 3.34.069
4th Michael Zagorski USA 3.35.158
5th Emmanuel Vignard FRA 3.37.305
6th Jonathan Harris GBR 3.38.271
7th Julien Muselet FRA 3.38.277
8th Lewis Elliot USA 3.38.418
9th Juhani Tammisto FIN 3.41.623
10th Andrew Kruse USA 3.43.106
11th Justin Layne GBR 3.43.689
12th Alan Holmes GBR 3.48.831
13th David Percival GBR 4.30.437
I did my research on most of the riders that raced the points race in 2014 so I would have an idea of what wheels would be the best to follow. On rider that hadn’t come up on my radar was Anthony Gibb. Had the start sheet said “Tony Gibb” then I’d have realized sooner that I was in for an ass kicking. Gibb was a track specialist back in the 90’s about the time I was making my move to live in the US. Not sure what his best result was, but he competed in some Sixes and had a silver medal from track worlds. I told myself to NOT contest any sprints or try and take a lap early in the race and managed to stick to that plan. I racked up points for 2nd in a couple sprints and a handful of points here and there, narrowly avoided eating shit when forced down the track onto the cote d’azure, chased some attacks, sat on some wheels… By lap 100 I was 1 or 2 laps down and not showing on the leaderboard and decided to call it a night with the thought that I might be riding a team pursuit 2 days later (That ended up not happening). I did what I could and rode a smarter race than normal, but was simply outgunned… Out of 14 starters only 6 or 7 finished, so that shows how brutal it was.