Peloton Watch
  Hayley Jones Blog: Grand Prix Poland - First event back on the track  
  July 11th By Hayley Jones  
  Hayley Jones heading to the track. Photo: Supplied.  
  After taking a year off racing the UCI track program, and focusing on my university degree, last weekend I headed to Poland to race the Poland GP and my first UCI track race since the 2014 Commonwealth Games. I have spent the last few months training for the U23 European Championships and it was decided I would head to Poland to get some key racing in before the Euros this week in Italy.

Emily Kay and I were picked up on Thursday morning at a lovely 4.30am to head to the airport. By the time we got to the hotel it was the afternoon and I went straight to bed for a nap.

Friday morning racing kicked off, first it was an omnium qualifier which was a 40 lap points race, I went into it thinking, "you only need to beat three people, don't kill yourself in the first race." This isn't always the smartest tactic as I have now learnt, scoring three points in the race I came 12th and the last person to qualify. 13th was also on three points and I was lucky I finished in front of her in the last sprint. I can't even imagine what would of happened if I went all that way to not make it into the actual event.

Later that day we had points race qualifying and the points race, I made it into the race and with a good field I knew it would be hard. Typical Hayley I went for the first sprint, then jumped on a move and we got a lap, but it was more other people losing a lap as the group taking the lap ended up over half the size of the field. Then again after one of the sprints I thought, I need a lap or I'm out of this race and I got another lap, but in the end it wasn't enough and I ended up fifth.

Going into day two of racing the omnium began, after my plan of not going too big on day one failed my legs were already feeling it. First event up the scratch race and as people know sprinting on the track is not my forte. I managed to be in the mix and grab myself a seventh which I was happy with as there was still five events to go. The pursuit didn't go to plan with me coming in ninth but this did leave me sixth overall going into what used to be my favourite event the elimination. One thing I learnt while in Poland, don't even bother going underneath, they will call you out even if you don't think you are, so 13th there for me and one not very happy Hayley that evening.

Day three - six races in two days done and it was a struggle to get out of bed, my legs were done and mentally it was hard to know you feel so tired but have to get up and get it done, it is literally my job to do so. Day two of the omnium is where I often struggle due to two sprint events and I was right, first with the 500, I came in 15th... Then the flying lap coming in 11th. After the flying lap we did the scratch race, just an extra event for the weekend to gain some UCI points, by now I was thinking of the fact I still had the omnium points race to go.

Which brings us to the last race of the weekend the points race, my plan for the race, don't do too much to soon, which was going well until a hook of the handle bars and a hit of the feet had me with one foot out of the pedals. Still today I do not know how I didn't end up laying on the track but we both stayed up and the chase was on to get back on. Once on, It was a case of not getting dropped, I was dead… It was a tough day all round but a very good learning experience, and the first time I have made it through the new omnium format, the track was fast and the competition was good. And the best part of the weekend was that the weather was 30 degrees!
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