I am in my first year of racing (mtb and 'cross), and I dont understand what I am doing wrong. At the starts I see guys who are "heavy," if not overweight, and these guys beat me every time. I almost always finish at the back, and in some 'cross races I get lapped.
I am 30, 5'8", 145 lbs in the summer, 155-157 at my heaviest in the winter, and I train regularly (riding 13 - 15 hrs a week), lift 2-3 a week eat a "balanced" diet, no drinking/smoking, i have good handling skills, decent gear, etc.
I do not train with a HRM, but I know I cant blame my poor performance on that alone.
On group / training rides I can hang with the pack, and I can smoke most of my friends who are more "recreational" riders.
My question is...why are these seemigly out of shape guys beating me in races and why am i finishing at the bottom?