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Swizcorner: Thunder Valley

We’re three rounds in and for a series which was supposed to be pretty predictable, there are plenty of storylines no one anticipated.

It’s like clockwork. Every series beginning with SX 2011, we get a few races in and bench racing discussion focuses in on Ryan Dungey’s main short-coming; lack of aggression. It’s driven me nuts at times. Ping’s idea of the “Hi Ryan” butt patch was born from a very real and very frustrating (for Ryan and his fans) inability or unwillingness to do the dirty work when it counts. I have written many times that Ryan’s lack of aggression is going to be his undoing and what separates him from the titles he comes so close to claiming.

The criticism is both valid and debunked multiple times each series. For every race and every instance one could point at as a missed opportunity due to him not “pulling the trigger”, there is a counterpoint where his controlled consistency proves to get the job done. Or does it? It’s pretty much universally agreed upon that Dungey isn’t the most talented or fastest rider out of the elite 5 or 6, yet in SX 2011 he was denied the title by one bike failure and in MX 2011 again denied the crown by a handful of points. When you’re coming up short of titles by such slim margins, to completely change your game plan seems a little silly. It’s hard to argue with his logic and in Thunder Valley, he once again proved that “steady as she goes” does indeed yield results.

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