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Why do these not-quite-first-tier European riders suddenly appear to awaken in the second half of the season to their need to put in good performances. Often they can do well. Elias is a typical example. He does it every year. These fellows are good riders, why don't they ride balls out at the start of the season? The top 4 or 6 are giving it their all every race, so you can't say the mid-packers, who seem able to place well late in the season, shouldn't be able to do the same earlier. Its not a seasonal learing or equipment thing. They seem to have a different mental approach from the guys with the top results. Yes, there are significant ability differences, but perseverance counts.