When Brian Schmacker stepped onto the podium to receive a silver medal in the Masters 4 Division of the track sprint event at the World Masters Games in Sydney he elevated Bikeline Racing to a new level of achievement.
Brian and fellow Toowoomba track specialist, Karl Morris, drove to Sydney to contest the track events at the Games. A practice ride on the track on Friday was their final preparation for their races which began on Monday afternoon. Their first race was the 750m time trial at 1:30 in the afternoon. Karl finished fourth with a time of 53.9, 1.9 seconds behind the winner, John Collette with a time of 52.0. Brian finished 8th with 56.2.
The next event was the 200m qualifying race for the sprint. Brian qualified 3rd with a time 11.59, three tenths of a second behind Geoff Stoker and 5 hundredths behind John Colette.
These times were slower than Brian expected but the track was very dead. Apparently as the temperature drops below 23° the track becomes slower, so when the temperature dropped to 16° tyres felt flat, even though they were inflated to almost 200psi.
On Monday at 11:30 am the sprint continued with the quarter finals, from now on the best of three rounds. Karl now faced Geoff Stoker, fought hard but was out classed over the line, while Brian met Tod Hayer of the USA.
In the first round Brian managed to get Tod on his hip with a lap to go and kept him there until about 60m from the line when Brian accelerated to ensure a win. The second round Tod led out and Brian passed him with about 60m to go.
The semi-finals were held from 4:00 pm Monday. Brian was against the number two qualifier. He won his semi-final 2-0 and progressed to the finals.
Brain noted that his opponent in the finals had legs that made his look like toothpicks(and if you know Brian that’s just hard to believe!!!) which did not deter him from putting in a super effort to win silver in the final, losing to Geoff Stoker 2-0.
Brian describes the action as follows: 4:00 pm Monday was the semi finals.
I was against the number two qualifier, John Colette. In the first round John was leading and I managed to bluff him into starting the sprint about a lap from the finish and passed him down the final straight. I had a moment round the bank, as we entered the banking at better than 60kph all of a sudden the G forces hit me unexpectedly and I had to regather my thoughts and start peddling hard again.
At events in Toowoomba and Brisbane you don’t experience close to 2G on the velodrome!
Round two John was not going to be fooled so easily again. I was required to lead for the first lap but John took the front running so I was following again. Around the first bank on the last lap I managed to have John climb about half way up the bank and looking over his right shoulder then I dived underneath him and led from there to the finish.
8:00pm Monday – finals against Geoff Stoker.
In the first round Geoff drew the bottom at the start and had to lead. I happily followed till 1 1⁄4 laps out when I tried to ride around the outside then up the bank with the aim of having another go down to the finish but Geoff was too smart, backed off the pace a bit so I could not get a run on him then finished fast over the last 80m. I could not pass him.
Round two worked out simular except I tried using the bank to give me some space but as soon as I went up the first bank Geoff hit full steam and the gap quickly became too big to close and he won easily.
After big efforts all around, Brian stepped onto the podium, gave a champion’s wave to the crowd, and accepted his silver medal at the World Master’s Games and that was the moment that elevated Bikeline Racing to a world-class ranking.
Brian and Karl have more track events next week, while Charlie Bennett (Bikeline Racing) and Graham Day (TCC) will be competing in the road events after competing in the earlier events on the track.