I like that interview with Nothstein because it spins into some geekery, and that's satisfying to me. It's fun to learn that Marty was sprinting on a 50x14 gear - a huge gear for track racing, but incidentally, a fairly small gear for road sprintig where riders will be pounding a 53x13, 12, and maybe even 11 (but if roadies think that a 50x14 is a small gear, try starting your sprint in that gear, from a standing start!). He also shares his preferred crank length with us - 167.5mm for sprint events.
I also like that we get a perfect glimpse into the significant ego of the sprinter:
CN: Six hundred meters out, Marty Nothstein, or Lance Armstrong?
MN: In a sprint?
MN: After how long?
CN: A Classic.
MN: He's done.
CN: Six hundred meters out, Marty Nothstein or Mario Cipollini?
MN: Cipo's done. No problem.
Something in me doubts that a beefcake like Marty, a pure sprinter, would even be with Lance Armstrong or Cipolllini with 600 meters left in a Classic. But there's Marty, pretty confident in his ability to destroy everybody else. The sprint is certainly a discipline that just attracts or perhaps manufactures big egos - I wonder to what extent that's due to the fact that, unlike many other cycling events, sprints are very individual events. The match sprint is (usually) a one-on-one event. There is a lot of room for tactical manipulation of the race but there is very little room for nonpersonal variables to sneak in and effect the outcome of the race - whereas, in road cycling, so many racers need to be humbled by their vulnerability to the elements, the terrain, a staple in the road, or a team that's just too damn strong. To win a road race, the stars have to be alligned, the cards shuffled, the tires intact, and maybe you've got to be the strongest rider on the road.
In a track sprint, you've only got to be the strongest rider on the banking. So I can see where the ego comes in to play. Oh, right, and there's this:
MN: I need to win.
MN: I just plain out like it! There's nothing better.
Need more be said?
Rumor on the street is that he'll be around to teach some higher-level training sessions at the Kissena Velodrome this season. I'll have to check that out.
Closing the post with a fun fact: the GT that Marty is mounting here was actually made by Trimble Cycles, developed and built by the uncle of a teammate of mine. Other Trimble designs were incorporated into Kestrel bicycles, but my favorite Trimble design due to its sheer outlandishness is the "sailbike," an aero tt/tri bike from the 80s. Crazy!