Tim McGee at Elite Track Nationals 2011

November 04, 2011 0 Comments

Racing USA Elite Track Nationals 2011 was a dream of mine that became a reality this year. The whole experience was a bit surreal. On the morning of Day 2 I went in to pick up my race numbers. My timing was good as I also got to cheer for Cody O'Reilly while I was there. He was racing in the men's Omnium Scratch race. The next morning it was time to get down to racing. On Day 3 of the Elite Track Nationals 2011 I was up for my flying 200m time trial to qualify for the Sprint event. While on the rollers that morning and the night before, I felt really good and focused. I headed to the start line where I was third up. It was my best 200m effort at this track and felt like a fairly promising time. Unfortunately, I finished with a 11.6 sec 200m, which was very disappointing. It wasn't even close to the qualifying time of 11.2 seconds. Since I didn't qualify, I stuck around to catch Michael Blatchford win the gold in the Sprints as well as root for all of my other friends who were racing. Day 4 brought the Keirin event, which for me is by far the most exciting. While I felt really good, I was also feeling a little intimidated but I just tried to relax and focus on winning. When I headed to the start line of my first heat I noticed that everyone was older and bigger than I was. I gritted my teeth. Age and size didn't matter at that point so I hopped on my bike and got ready for the start. I got thrown a little too late at the start line and hopped my wheel while fighting for third wheel. As the race unfolded with 2 laps to go I was sitting 4th wheel. There was no way to go over or fight my way through, so I took the inside line. I hit the apron coming out of turn 4 and fought my way to 3rd! I was obviously VERY excited about my first Pro race finish. Only the top 2 advanced to the finals from my heat. So I had to go through the repechage heat to get into the finals—if I placed in the top 2 there. This was my chance to shine. I pulled 2nd position at the start line and had a perfect throw-in. I fought for half a lap to get 2nd wheel and then to keep it until I closed the gap and allowed riders to pass over me. Still riding the black line I wasn't about to give up. If they wanted the position, they were going to have to fight me for it. I took the inside line again and had another close call, but I was able to hang on for a fourth place finish. It was an amazing race and I learned a ton. My overall finish was 18th place in the Keirin event. Elite Nationals was a great way to end my first season of racing, but it was an even better learning experience. I'll definitely be more prepared for next year and the years to come. This was just one huge step leading to my future goals. I could not have done this without my family, friends, H&S Bicycles, and most of all my team at Predator Cycling.

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