Starting Row: 7th
Call Up: None
I would be lying if I didn’t concede that my call up position isn’t bothering me. I’m currently ranked in the 55% percentile in the state of Colorado (40% nation wide), but my call up isn’t reflecting this. I can only assume that those that are showing up are ranked lower than I am, hence why they receive good starting positions and I don’t. Despite starting around 56th place, I still managed to pass 20 riders to end up 36th, which I can feel reasonably good about. It helps my confidence to know that once I do start getting a decent call up that I’ll be able to give the top 20 riders a run for their money.
Aside from the poor start, I’m happy with how the race played out. My two biggest goals of the race were to get a good sprint off of the starting line and to avoid the “complacency” that I have experienced in previous races (my wife calls this a doberman vs golden retriever mindset). I can vividly remember several moments where I caught myself within seconds of having this complacent attitude and pushing forward instead of riding safe. I feel like these were mental moments that I can be proud of.
On the equipment side I feel like I might have to rethink my choice of pedals; I currently run Shimano XTs. This was the second muddy/sandy race in a row where I had trouble clipping in after the second lap. I wouldn’t be surprised if I lost 10 seconds a lap on two distince sections trying to clip. I’ve heard that the eggbeaters are nice, but I think they would have the same problems that the SpeedPlays would have. I have seen eggbeaters with a platform, so I may try those next season as the mud clearance should be significantly better.
Overall, I think this race is showing me that most of the problems I currently have will have to be solved next season. My technical skills are close to on par with those around me, but I just need more power, specifically FTP, which can’t be built during the racing season. I’ll continue riding strong for my last two to three races and learning valuable handling lessons from those, but I’m already beginning to think about what needs to happen to make next season a great season. Once the state championships have concluded I’ll write up a postmortem of the season as well as goals for the next one.
- Solid, albeit imperfect handling skills
- Kept passing racers throughout
- Faded after the second lap, especially on the steep stuff
- Poor mud clearance from my pedals had me losing time
- Need more FTP to compete with better races; has to be fixed in the off season