Sunday, April 18, 2010

Japanese Keirin school by Izumi

Written by Izumi from Kissena Track:

I came across a six part YouTube about NIPPON KEIRIN SCHOOL (“NKS” where we ­ messengers visited last summer). It’s in Japanese, no subtitles but the footage are inspiring.

VOL. 1




This one gets interesting. Each Keirin Velodrome sponsors local ‘club’ for inspiring cyclists preparing for the admission test coached by active Keirin racers -- it’s sort a cram school. The video said 1,000m should be around 1’10” (!). I did not know but the footage says, an exception of very few, all Keirin racers took this ‘club’ lessons before admitted to the school (learning Velodrome, riding fixed gear, so on.)

There were only nine so-called ‘honors student’ in Keirin School history. The ‘honor student’ qualifications are:
Flying 200 under 11”30
400 under 23”30
1,000 under 01’08”50
3,000 under 03’45”50 (all at _outdoor_ Keirin Velodrome, mind you.)
The Class of 2008 had a ‘honor student’ who dons the white cap with golden arrow mark, however he’s still learning ‘Keirin’ tactics -- on the footage he blew out ended the last at the practice.

By the way, the Track World Championship was awesome but there is difference at UCI Keirin versus Japan Keirin. UCI one powers against everybody else whereas Japan racers pair up, working together. Good example footage below:

This is the one of four big Keirin race in Japan which held in March (162 top ‘S-class’ racers competed nine days to the Final). #1 White and #5 Yellows are brothers. On the penultimate lap, #1 White ‘pegging’ the front two, #5 Yellow blocked outside made the race quite slow, almost standing start to finish favored their style, getting 1st and 2nd.

Japan Keirin racers pair up for better odds: racers from same region pairs up, or if their Keirin school years are closer tends to work together too. How to predict it and bed your money on them? Keirin race schedule tells all profile of racers. See the copy below:

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