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- May 20, 2012 at 11:37 am #5271DigitalOzParticipant
I trained for the last couple of months for a race that occurred last weekend. It was my first category 2 XC race. The course was very hilly and traditionally that has been my weakness: climbing. However, thanks to your Cat 2 XC build and peak plan and integrated with James Wilson's Ultimate Mountain Bike Workout Program, I started out of gate behind the guy who looked to me like he was the most likely to win. That was my strategy: keep up with the guy in first throughout the race and then try to outsprint at the end. I picked the right guy. However, it was clear right away that I didn't have the power he had and he consistenly pulled away until I ultimately lost him. But I was able to stay ahead of everyone else — which was a big deal since it was my first cat 2. I held 2nd until I had my chain pop over the top cog on my cassette. I had to stop to fix that at which point everyone caught up and passed me. I got back on in pursuit and got back in the middle of pack and then had another malfunction where the derailleur went into my spokes. It had been bent the week before somehow (I'm not sure how — there was no crash or anything). The LBS heated it up and bent it back straight for this race until I they could get the replacement part. It broke a spoke and left me with a flat tubeless tire. So I DNF the race. It was frustrating because after I saw the race results, I easily would have beaten the guy who came in third and it would have been close for 2nd place. The guy in first was substantially faster than the guy who came in 2nd and I. Needless to say I was extremely frustrated with my bike, the LBS, and this situation.
I was thinking about my misfortune at that race, I began to see a bit of a pattern that I thought I'd share and get feedback on.
In the last few races, I have had these events (most recent to oldest):
1. Cat 2 XC race – bent derailleur hanger resulting in many mechanical issues forcing exit from the race, as described above.
2. In a 40 mile mountain bike race, I crashed on downhill section of course and ended up with a shoulder injury. I finished the race in the middle of the category. Usually downhill is my strength in training rides.
3. In a cat 3 XC race, I crashed on downhill section of course and ended up with a bruised rib. Went from 2nd to 3rd place over the crash. Was in hot pursuit of the guy in 1st when I crashed.
4. In a cat 3 XC race, had a flat tire that resulted in my exiting from the race
5. In an endurance race, I had a derailleur completely sheer off of the bike. The course was extremely muddy and it was causing everyone chainsuck problems. I ended up running/coasting the bike for 7 miles of a 10 mile course (just so the team could get credit for the lap).
When I look at this history, it strikes me that in most races I've done, I have either had an injury or a mechanical failure which had an impact on my race results. I'd like to say mechanical problems are coincidental. Injuries are somewhat more understandable as I am pushing harder in the race setting.
About the only times I have mechanical and injuries are in the race settings. Are these coincidental or am I doing something?
- June 20, 2012 at 6:22 pm #6951LyndaKeymaster
Good work improving your physical fitness.
You are correct it takes a larger array of skills than big power to finish and win a race. You ask an interesting question. My answer is a solid – no these are not coincidental. These things happen all the time to “some” riders and rarely to “others”. You can move yourself from the “some” to the “others” category.
Do you have these types of things happen you you in training rides ever or is it just on race day?
- June 29, 2013 at 4:14 pm #7323blastmannMember
Hey that all sounds pretty tough. How are you mentally in the race? Are you nervous and twitchy? That could cause crashing and other bad decisions.
Also, are you so keen to catch guys that you're not being careful with your bike?
Finally, I'd say your looking for some kind of curse here. You had a bent derailleur hanger, and then in a race your derailleur broke. Were you asking for trouble by not attending to the bent hanger beforehand? What else would you expect?
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