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Shelley Olds Olympic Flat!

Excellent Racing from American Olympic Ladies! Sunday morning I was riveted while watching the Women's Olympic Road Race.  The American Women came out swinging mixing it up to make a breakaway happen.  I was thoroughly impressed with their consistent tenacity and strength.  Great work ladies!  You represented the USA very well. Flat! There was a massive failure, however not any fault of the riders.  With about 40k to go.  Shelley Olds, one of America's top talents followed an attack and helped form a four rider breakaway.  This was it!  This was the winning breakaway.  Represented were some of the strongest teams.  Shelley looked smooth, strong and confident.  The next thing we know, Shelley Olds flatted with about 35k to go.  What!  No!  Say it ain't so.  She was in the perfect position to medal and deserved a fair shot. Well, those three ladies went on to claim their medals with the American Women team reeling at the lost opportunity.  You could say that that's bike racing and crap happens.
Avoid Flats? The question is, "What can we do to avoid flats?" Understandably there's some flats that can't be avoided.  Nails, bulging tubes, tears, etc., are all examples that probably can't be avoided with an easy fix. Over the years I've learned a few lessons.  One lesson that I've learned is that I won't ever compromise a little extra weight for a descent amount of durability.  For example, I've always always raced on tires that are tubular and have a little extra rubber to roll.  I typically ride Continental GP4000's.  Over the years when I rode super light weight tires to save a few grams I also found that I experienced many more flats.  Currently I use meatier tires and a tire sealant called Vittoria's Pit Stop, which is geared towards sealing small holes from thorns or little glass shards.  Pit Stop injects into your tire through the Presta valve; application is half a can per road tire.  Using Pit Stop I've been able to finish more races without the hassel of switching out wheels or repairing them on the road.  I probably save money because I get to use a tire until it can't be used anymore.
Now, we'll probably never know what caused Shelley's flat tire.  However, it's better safe than sorry when it comes to our big events.  Ultra Endurance events like LOTOJA are already unforgiving, don't add additional complications to your ride or race when a few issues may be avoided. Cameron Hoffman (Not a paid sponsor of anything Vittoria, but wouldn't mind some Pit Stop)

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