Starting Row: 6th
Call Up: 46th
It felt like torture, but this was my best race of the season, by far. Not only did I achieve my best overall placing, I also accomplished a season goal of finishing in the top half of the peloton. It’s not the most inspirational goal, but, being my first season, it seemed appropriate (24th out of 60).
The biggest takeaway from this race was the importance of clipping in. I spent a large percentage of the race not clipped in due to mud clogging the cleat. I suspect I would have had a top 20 or better finish had I been able to get into my pedals. However, this is something I am actively looking to deal with. I recently purchased a pair of Crank Brother’s Candy 3s, which will hopefully solve the problem. They should be here in the next week and I plan to debut them at the regional championship in three weeks.
As far as my “mental” goal for the race, I accomplished it, with a caveat. My goal was to commit to the first couple of laps, hard. I wanted to commit to the point where I wasn’t worried about blowing up and I did this beautifully. My aggressive mindset had me in ~18th. However, the caveat, I did indeed implode after two laps resulting in a slow third lap and lackluster 4th and 5th laps. I’m happy I rode like I did because I doubt I would have finished as high as I did without it, but the cost was a 6 place slump during the final half of the race.
Overall, I’m happy with this race and I look forward to the Regional Championships in three weeks. My focus until then will be working my FTP and ability to recover from hard efforts at or slightly below it. I think if I can generate a little more sustained power that I will be primed for a successful final two races.
- Toe spikes made a HUGE difference on the run ups
- Committed hard to the first two laps
- Blew up after two laps
- Couldn’t clip in after the second lap
- Took bad lines when I started to fatigue