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Cali: Nowhere to go but up

December 23, 2008

The Cali world cup was my first race since the Olympics and it showed. With only two months of training I found myself in marginal shape and surely rusty in the tactical events. I found the event to be overall a bit disappointing on my end because I was expecting much greater results than the ones I received.

Team sprint was overall a very big disappointment as my first race back. The event was a couple hours into the session and with a few delays my teammates and I found ourselves warmed up way too early. When we started, I felt like we were all on nicely and finished strong, only to find out we had a poor time. I believe this result was due to the fact that none of us rode to our potential, but I guess to our defense this was our first Team sprint together and there is only one way to go from here, and that is up.

The second day was the keirin. After a mess up with the laps count in my round I found myself in the repechage. I made it thought to get back to the semifinal with most of the fast guys and didn't make it through to the A final. In the minor final for places 7-12 I rode a much better ride tactically, and got passed by Kevin Sireau of Cofidis taking second which placed me eighth over all.

By the time the sprints rolled around I was quite tired. I had a good warm up which helped me feel a bit better. For the 200m I rode 10.48 which placed me 7th. In the first round I make a rookie mistake by not having enough speed going into the final lap and got passed and beat by a rider from Venezuela which put me in the B sprint tournament. I was pissed I lost the first ride and won the next two sprints. The final sprint of the B tournament I lost to a Colombian rider.

Overall the races were ok, but I think I could have done better

Finding the legs again

By Travis Smith

Team Sprint: I was not too happy with this event in a whole and I felt like I didn't have the optimal warm up and I had just an OK start. But as a team we just didn't ride to what we are capable of doing. I expect we're going to post a much better time at Beijing.

Sprint: Again I didn't feel great during the 200m. It has been a while since I have had a good one. After breaking my pelvic joint, my nerves acted up! But once I made the sprint rounds I almost felt like a different rider. My first ride was against Barry Ford of Barbados. When we lined up I just was excited to sprint again and I felt confident, and I was not gonna lose this first ride.

I needed to mentally make it past there and start winning some races and sprinting some good guys again. So all in all, I had a sub-par 200m that qualified me 11th and I ended up sprinting to seventh. But I now know I can move up with some better feeling legs.

I'm excited to see where the next few years will be going. I want to improve on my 2006 commonwealth medals and to do that I need a gold!

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The Los Angeles-based Hawk Relay team is working to put its riders among the top of the world's best track cyclists. Through their Cyclingnews diaries, riders Jennie Reed, Adam Duvendeck, and Travis Smith and the Hawk Relay coach Andy Sparks will allow a unique insight into the world of track cycling and the training required to compete at the top of the sport.

The team is the only professional cycling team run by a deaf owner, Robin Horwitz, and is supported by the maker of a video relay system designed to provide deaf and hard of hearing people with the necessary tools to achieve full and equal telecommunications access. Horwitz combined his love for the sport with his sponsor's (Hawk Relay) passion for generating opportunities for the hearing-impaired to create this unique squad.

For further reading about the program, see the team summary or visit the