Concentration is so important, and you can't loose discipline even when you're exhausted. Every single inch of the course matters. If you lose just 3 seconds in a certain spot, that's 30 seconds over 10 laps. Little mistakes and hesitations could easily add up to five minutes over an hour long race. Any time you use the brakes, it's just going to make it harder to get back up to speed. Any time you can use your strength to gain on your competition, you need to do it without hesitation. It's easier said than done, but I am starting to clue in. I'm one of the guys loosing those minutes, but I didn't really get it. It's a race, and it's not easy. Like any sport, it's as hard as you make it.
I think cyclocross just got harder for me, and that's progress.
photo David Hanes