Tuesday, 25 October 2011

CX Race Prep: The best tools for the conditions

My season has been full of ups and downs:

  • 1st, Win at Aldor Acres
  • 25th, Flat at New Brighton
  • 3rd at Vanier
  • 6th, Flat at EV GP of Cross
  • 13th, Slow start and poor tire choice for Pumpkin Cross

I am 2 for 5 in terms of key results. I push my gear hard, but expect it to respond. The Maxxis Raze were the tire of choice for the first 4 races. 2 successes on them, 2 blown beads resulting in a pit and wheel change. 

Basically I am 50% on those tires. They work very well in the dry grass, or dirt conditions. They have worked for me in the wet before as well. What was terrible this weekend was trying the Vitorria XG Cross Pro tires on the muddy, wet course of Pumpkin Cross. They did not pick up at all, and I had little traction at 50 psi in the grass. The last part is my fault. I wanted to avoid, at all costs, another flat. So, I pumped them up hard. It felt like I was pulling a truck at that PSI.

I look back to the last two weeks of training and I feel I was tired and perhaps over-trained for this race last Sunday. Going into it without a killer instinct, high confidence, and a boatload of determination left me without any motivation to race hard. Even my race prep was rushed, things forgotten at home, and I strayed from my pre-race meals, indulging in things that do not help before a race.

I will go back to the Maxxis for the next race, as they have brought me success in the past. I will keep pressure to 45 or so, and not stray from my pre-race meals and prep. The bike cleaned up nicely, but tonight I noticed the ticking from the rear was a loose rear QR lever. I raced Sunday with that thing not fully tightened. It gets worse two days later, after I thought all was over.

I have 3 races left. I will pull out another good result somewhere. I will make South Surrey another solid race like in 2009.