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On Sunday evening 26 participants and a number of parents and supporters gathered in the cafe at the Kardinge ice oval in Groningen for the 2013 IceTrack Open Championships.
During the first session everyone did a few practice laps and then attempted a flying lap. The Ice-Bats are equiped with timing transponders so race control could read out the times and draw up the Qualifying Times list. In the second session all 4 Ice-Bats lined up in heats next to each other (qualifyers 1 – 4, 5 – 8, etc) for the medals race off.
Defending champion, Alwin, won the last heat but Peter blitzed round in the decider to knock 3 seconds off Alwin’s time and take the championship. There were some great performances all through the field but Laura’s and Henriette’s efforts were particulary good!
Not everything went completely smoothly: Ice-Bats Red and Yellow are now 3 seasons old and they work well, however Green and Blue are new this year and they were not cornering as well which more than offset the advantage of being able to change gear. Red is the official testbed for new ideas and last week I did a 36.2s lap. I ‘de-tuned’ Red to make it fairer but it still won more races than the others. My best lap in Kardinge was 41.5s.
The other reason to de-tune Red was to make the racing safer and I was delighted to finish the Champs. with close racing and no accidents. Most people are completely new to IceTrack cycling: next year we will all move up the evolution ladder and will be using the tuned-up versions! In 5 years time the aim is to be very close to the skaters (ie sub 30s laps).
And to finish off, a big thanks to everyone who has helped and taken part: you are pioneers. €130 goes to the Nierstichting and the 2022 Olympic dream is very much alive.
Steve & the team