The announcer calls the cat 4's to staging, and I line up. The USAC official walks up and gives us the rules. He tells us that we are going straight up the hill at the start on the first lap, and then continue on the normal course the rest of the race. I am not happy about this, its a power start and power starts are not my thing. I tell myself to get over it. It is what it is. He blows the whistle, and all heck breaks loose! as expected, I am a little ways back coming up the hill. About tenth position. But Ethan is at the front with the hole shot looking strong. I pass a bunch of racers on the flat section at the top, and get on to Ethan's wheel right before the down hill. I come down the hill smoothly, but hit my wheel on the first barrier a little bit and slow down. Frustrated, I get back on my bike, and go after Ethan. Even with such a tiny mistake, he gaps me. He is riding strong and I realise this will be a tough race. I come up the run up and bog out on the first hump, stumble and botch my dismount! now Ethan has about 30 seconds on me. I ride the rest of the race strong and smooth, but Ethan is strong and I only make up 15 seconds before I finish in second place. I finish frustrated at my bobble's, but happy at how much time I had on everyone else.
It's the start of the juniors race, and I'm tired. But I already signed up for it and I would give it my best. I again do not have a ideal start, but I'm far enough up to make it to the front on the flats. I go through the barriers and up the run up with out flaw. Coming around on lap one Andris is just off my wheel, with Ethan and Alec shortly behind him. I come up the hill feeling very strong and drop all them but Adrian, however he cant keep up with me on the flat afterwards. I come up the hill for a third time, happy but still full on the gas. Ethan has caught Andris and is going hard, but not hard enough to catch me. I come around the final corner with 30 seconds on Ethan, zipping up my jersey and putting both hands up in the air with a big smile on my face.
Afterwards I enjoy good friends and the warm glow of success.