Starting Row: 5rd
Call Up: ~35-40
This was, far and away, the best race that I have ever had. Not only did I have my best placing to date (19th), I also did well in both my technical skills as well as having a solid start. To make it even a little sweeter, I had 15th in sight, but couldn’t close the gaps. However, with the confidence that I gained from this race, and ranking, I believe that this is only the start of some very good work in the future. There’s more work to do, but I can take a lot away from this race!
The only thing I can really nitpick about this race is my willpower to close down gaps. I was so concerned with racing within myself that I didn’t close down certain gaps that would have almost guaranteed a higher placing. For example, at the beginning of the second lap, I was overtaken by a couple of riders that ended up in 15th and 16th. There’s really no reason that I didn’t hop on their wheel other than I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to hold the pace, but I shouldn’t have worried about this especially on this course. Valmont is known as a roadie course. Having a big guy (which the Lucky Pie rider was) block the wind for me would have both saved my legs and pushed me up a couple more places. I won’t make that mistake again!
Other than that, my only other issue is my tire selection. I’ve now given the Specialized Tracer’s three races to show themselves at varying tire pressures and I am not impressed. Tracking along the front wheel seems to be really good, but the rear is leaving a lot to be desired. It’s becoming common for me to slide out a couple of times a race and it needs to stop. Last weekend, it cost me 10+ places. This time I managed to not go down and keep my placing, but it definitely put me on edge for the rest of the race. I’m probably going to suffer through these tires for the next month and switch to mud tires for the rest of the season. In the spring and summer, I’ll look into trying a few others, like the Clemente MXP.
- Great start – moved up a lot of positions
- Kept pushing through and didn’t give up
- Slid out on rear tire again even at 24 psi
- Needed to make more aggressive passes mid-late to make up more positions