Last day of the Omnium!!

Right, i'm on the bus to the Airport as i type this and while its fresh in my memory i'll fill you in on what happened yesterday.

It all started with another casual breakfast at 9am then I was of to the track at 10am. The good thing about the omnium is you get a lot of practice at doing events and that really helped me cope with the nerves. On the way to the track I was actually looking forward to the first event, the pursuit! The pursuit is one of the events that I hate but love if you can make sense of that. I hate the pain which is guaranteed but I love it because it is such a science. It might look like riding round in circles as hard as you can but is far fro that. You have to jugde your start right and every banking you are focusing on keeping a good pace that you know will get you near you target time. I got to the track 2hrs before my scheduled start time which is good, I really got time to relax and prepare all the things I need for the warmup and the race. At about an hour out Andy got me to do 10mins on the rollers just to open the legs and wake myself up. After that was done I got a bit of time to sit and focus on the event, run through everything and see it happening as I wanted it to happen. Chilling out done it was business time, Andy's warmup really get the heartrate up and gets a good sweat on, which isn't a bad thing. Before I know it I have about 10mins before i'm up, just enough time for a quick trip to the loo and to get all my slippy stuff on, next thing i know i'm sitting in the start gate with 30secs to go and that really gets the nerves jingling! The next four and a half minutes felt like 10 but I did get the buzz of catching my opponent with just over a kilometre to go. Little did I know it at the time that I was only 2 tenths of the world champion but when i realized that i was happy with my ride, it go me 4th place in the event too. After my cooldown I went straight over to the hotel as I had a good couple of hours to get lunch and wind down.

With the quickest 4 hours ever I was packing up and heading back to the velodrome for the Scratch race. This is a race that I was never really sure whether I liked or hated. It's a race that you know is going to hurt because in most points of it you have no control over how hard you go, you just have to follow. At the track I had the usual time to relax and think about loads of positive good things that were going to happen to me!! With 1 hour to go I was back on the roller for a similar warmup to what I had done for the pursuit and in much the same way as the pursuit before I knew it I was suited and booted with Andy giving me last minute advice at track side. From the gun in this race I actually felt able to attack and make the race, second or third lap in I was of the front and feeling pretty good. The rest of the race is far to complicated to explain and it's something I would love to watch back and see what I could have done better. I ended up 5th with a lot of suffering but yet again I was happy enough with the result. Race over and i was getting some good feedback, from the outside looking in apparently I looked like one of the strongest I the race but i'm saying nothing. It was a case of the same routine as this morning, cooldown, pack up and head over to the hotel for a hour or so just to chill out and look forward to the kilo which was the last event of the omnium and the whole event.

8 o'clock in the evening and I find myself back on the rollers yawning my head off. By the stage in the weekend I was done! Tired mind and body but there was one thing left to do, a whole 4 laps of the track as fast as I cold go, simple, right? Nothing is ever simple with me, if there is something I can do to make my life that bit harder I end up doing it, to be honest its probably what's got me where I am today, fighting for a top 10 in Europe. Back to me yawning my head off, one last roller warmup routine and 4 laps and i was done. Warmup done I spent a bit of time circling around the track infield watching how fast the other guys were going, probably not the best thing to do but I like to know what i'm up against. As usual before I know it i'm sitting on the start gate with 30secs to go. Andy was really motivating me, trying to get everything out of me. It really did work, i was buzzing, really psyched up, raring to go. 5,4,3,2,1,0 and BANG, my left foot came hammering out of the pedal and I kicked thin air and nearly hopped of the bike. I was lucky enough to have done this before in a world cup last year and I didn't panic, I had 1 more shot at it but I would have to wait until the end to go again. After watching everyone go and seen Ed Clancy ride a stormer I was back in the gate and this time Andy was taking no chances, thanks to Sandy (Our mechanic, and a good one!) we had a set of toe straps and I'm pretty sure if i spent 1 minute more than I had to in them my toes would have fallen off. This time around things went well, I got out of the gate ok and I was off. Unfortunately my legs didn't have it, on the last lap of the race I just packed it. I felt like I came to a halt on the last corner. I finished 8th and with thoughts of what could have been if I hadn't done so badly in the elimination but thats life and I just have to pick myself up and use all the what if's for some motivation in training.

My first omnium and I'm going home with a 9th place overall in Europe so i'm a reasonable happy chap!

I'm sitting at the gate in the airport now and my plane is boarding soon so i'm off,

Talk to you's sometime soon,

Martyn

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