Back from a week’s training in Bangkok and a race up in Korat. It was a great overall experience. A steep learning curve, just as it was when I started rowing back in the day. Things were a little rough not understanding the language and not knowing anyone at all. But the amazing thing about sport is that its a universal language and hand signs go a long way.
Really convenient to have a hotel which is just a 10 min walk away from the velodrome. Mornings are quite in the velodrome so it was just me doing rounds on my own, getting familiar with the track again, some hard interval efforts. A little crowd forms in the afternoon with a few from the Thai team and local club riders.
We hitched a ride up to Korat on Friday morning with Bas, who is from the OCBC Continental Cycling team. Really awesome bloke and we have him to thank for taking us around and helping sort stuff out while we were in Korat. We would have been pretty lost without him. And big thanks to Pong, for helping to translate the race program and Kit for helping us get our bikes to Korat and letting us tag along with his team.
Photo credit: Timothy Lim
It was a good opportunity to go through a few events to have a feel of what it’s like. I tried my hand at the kilo, sprint and kerin. My handling skills definitely let me down big time in the kilo. I was all over the track at the start which meant I was done. Sprint qualifying wasn’t any better, as I didn’t take a good line and my acceleration didn’t feel like an acceleration at all. Not exactly the way I hoped to have started but I’ve learn to looked ahead at my last remaining event. Making the finals in the kerin was a goal I set myself so I took no chances in the heats. I’m not sure if they had let me go, but I prefer to think that I caught them by surprise because there were 5 in my heat and only 3 would go through, compared to the other heat which had only 4, and between the local clubs, each would be wanting more of their own riders in the final to help their top sprinters.
Photo credit: Siripong Injai
4th in the final is a pretty decent result. Considering day one was an absolute disaster, I’m satisfied with that. I’ll be looking to sort out my technique on the bike to improve how I put out power into the pedals. Big thanks to Trimen Ventures for the Wilier Velodromo. Wouldn’t even be able to race if they didn’t get it to me on time. Exciting times ahead!