THIS SATURDAY, March 6, is the first of 21 scheduled days of racing for 2010 at Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennett Field. For Cat. 3s and 4s, for example, that’s 525 miles of bike racing just at Floyd this season. That’s plenty of racing to fine-tune your engine for park races and whatever else you set your sights on for the weekends.
Here, some riders who’ve proved their mettle at windy old Floyd talk about racing on the course.
Sal Scotto (Mengoni)
“Floyd Bennett is the hardest flat course I’ve ever raced! I mean, the windiest place on earth. When it comes off the water there, you’ll be going 35 on one end and 14 on the other, and you’re probably putting out, like, I don’t know, 600 or 700 watts, like, I can do this! But that’s perfect motor pacing, so Tuesday is like your perfect motoring-pacing night.
“Stay at the front, and keep pushing hard. Never look back at Floyd. There are times there that are so hard at Floyd that if you are behind the first group of five or six, that guy who’s in, like, fifth can pop, and that can open up a gap, and at Floyd it’s all about the wind, and keeping out of the wind. If you have that gap no one wants to close that gap, because that’s going to burn a match. Stay at the front and keep the pace high.
“Racing at those races is not easy. It’s not easy doing an hour team time trial at Floyd Bennett every Tuesday, after a long day at work, so you need to recover.” Read full interview with Sal Scotto.
Scott Savory (Adler)
“It’s all about sheltering and reserving energy for the breaks or sprints. It’s a little more aggressive out there. Many more attacks and it’s flat, and do I have to mention the wind factor? I like to relax the first few laps. Nothing really goes off the front because everyone is so fresh. Start to move up and be attentive again. Most of my races here were won sprinting, but if I were to make a move I think it would be done on the first turn, into the headwind first stretch, cross wind second stretch, most times, then tail wind to recover, and one more stretch of headwind to motor to your victory.
“If it comes down to a sprint, I would advise making your move to get to the front really early. Positioning at FBF is hard, so maybe three laps to go start moving up and in the final find your wheel and DO NOT make that last turn on the INSIDE. It cost me a few races and near crashes to figure out that the center of the pack is preferred. In this race I wanna make that last turn in about 10 to 15 places back, because the headwind destroys most of the guys on the front and it’s a nice wide finish, so I’ll have space to go up the outside, inside, or middle, depending on how the field has split once the sprint has started. And I just concentrate on that line and go full throttle all the way for the win.” Read full interview with Scott Savory.
Neil Bezdek (Mountain Khakis)
“Timing is increasingly important for slow finishes, with few team lead-outs, small groups, or a wide-open approach to the finish—think Floyd Bennett Field. If the group is going slow, the first man to jump is more likely to open a gap that others can’t close. Jump as early as you can without totally dying before the finish line.
“Try to surprise your opponents. Getting an early jump works best if you’re farther back in the group so that you fly right by the leaders and they can’t respond. If you’re second wheel, then the riders behind you are more likely to anticipate your jump and sit on your wheel. This works well out of a small break or a place like Floyd Bennett Field, where the finishing straight is open and you can maneuver around other riders as you draft off them.” Read my article about Neil Bezdek on VeloNews.com.
2010 FBF schedule
March (racing begins at 10 a.m.)
- 6 – Season Starter Series Race. CANCELED
- 13 – Season Starter Series Race. CANCELED
- 20 – Season Starter Series Race 1.
- 27 – Season Starter Series Race 2.
May (racing begins at 6: 30 p.m. except on 16th/TBA)
- 4 – Tuesday Night Race Series.
- 11 – Tuesday Night Race Series.
- 16 – Kings County Circuit Race.
- 18 – Tuesday Night Race Series.
- 25 – Tuesday Night Race Series.
June (racing begins at 6: 30 p.m.)
- 1 – Tuesday Night Race Series.
- 8 – Tuesday Night Race Series.
- 15 – Tuesday Night Race Series.
- 22 – Tuesday Night Race Series.
- 29 – Tuesday Night Race Series.
July (racing begins at 6: 30 p.m.)
- 6 – Tuesday Night Race Series.
- 13 – Tuesday Night Race Series.
- 20 – Tuesday Night Race Series.
- 27 – Tuesday Night Race Series.
August (racing begins at 6: 30 p.m.)
- 3 – Tuesday Night Race Series.
- 10 – Tuesday Night Race Series.
- 17 – Tuesday Night Race Series.
- 24 – Tuesday Night Race Series.