Starting Row: 4th
Call Up: 31st
The long and the short is that everything seemed to go well, but that I was outclassed by others on the dirt. I think I’ve spent so much time practicing on the grass that I’m not as comfortable on the other mediums. This was evident on Sunday as about 30% of the course was on grass and I was consistently making up time on others, but when we went to the dirt I was having trouble keeping speed during the technical sections.
Despite the lackluster results, there’s actually an upside. In nearly every race that I have completed I have been getting closer and closer to the winner’s time, with this race being no exception. Since the beginning of the season, I have shaved 3:00 off this differential, down to 5:00. It’s not much, but it is an improvement.
Lastly, I came into this race with two clear goals. The first was to rid myself of what I am calling “complacency”. This is when I get stuck behind a rider doing a modestly hard pace and, instead of passing, I draft that rider to conserve energy. The problem is here is that most of the team this rider has blown up and I’m feeling good enough to pass them, so I should and continue to leave them in the dust. I did a great job of this, but, in doing so, I found myself riding a slightly faster modestly hard pace then the riders I pass are. I suspect that I am subconciously metering my efforts so that I don’t blow up. In my next race, I want to keep the same mindset, but ensure that I am exploding on the non-technical sections and conserving only where I absolutely must.
The second goal was to have a good start and this was my best start to date. I put a lot of emphasis on my starts this week and I estimate that I made up ~10 spots in the first minute of the race due to some aggressive positioning (the start was on grass). The biggest success here was pushing the full 30 seconds of the start and looking for places to move up instead of accepting my poor start position from the whistle.
Something to note, nearly all of the positions I lost were in the first 1.5 laps, so maybe it’s a matter of going deeper at the beginning. It didn’t help that I got wrapped up in the course tape at one point which cost me ~5 positions and a lot of momentum.
- Best start thus far
- Handled “complacency” well
- In dealing with my “complacency”, I found myself riding at a medium hard pace throughout
- Fumbled the sand pit in 2/4 laps
- Uncomfortable on the dirt sections
- Not enough “gusto” during the first two laps