Great questions Isaac.
There are 3 aspects to glean from a ride: what your signature was and how well you managed MPA, how much difficulty you were able to reach and how well you were able to manage your glycogen stores during the race. The first two can be read from the ride data directly and you can see that you had some really hard efforts without reaching your limit. Your difficulty score reached nearly 140 and that’s also a very positive sign. What likely got in the way for you was simply running out of glycogen at the 1:20 mark. Riding all the way with that much intensity requires a lot of carbohydrates and thus you’ll find that bringing MPA down deeper into rides with lots of intensity much more difficult. You did very well in spite of that.
In preparation for this race, there are a few things you can do. With a TL of 65, that’s likely your biggest opportunity. Your TL is directly proportional to your signature. As TL changes, so does your signature. This is pretty much true for every athlete on Xert. Note however that your TL is made up of three components: Low TL, High TL and Peak TL which influence TP, HIE and PP, respectively. So to increase your TP, you should increase Low TL, for example. WIth a TL of 65, you have a lot of room to increase your TP, HIE and PP, assuming you can invest more time into your training. On a rough scale, you need more than 7 hours of weekly training for 60 points of TL. The faster you want to get there, the more hours you need. So to get to 110, expect to be putting in roughly 14 hours a week or more during your Training Program. One can expect to see TP vary between 0.5 and 1W for each point in Low TL.
Having a better signature would definitely allow you to reduce the overall strain you need to handle for this race. You can experiment with your data: use the Advanced tab on the Activity Details page and enter a higher TP, HIE and/or PP and hit Refresh to see what it would look like with a higher signature. You’ll see MPA move up and will also see your Difficulty Score come down and your fat and carbs usage change.
In terms of which system to improve: TP, HIE or PP, this will depend on the nature of the race. The race file above is not likely the best since you were dropped but ideally you would examine the Focus Duration / Athlete Type for the ride to get a general idea though. Most road races, particularly those that last 2 hours or so, have a Focus Athlete Type somewhere near Breakaway Specialist. This means that you should be training towards improving your 5 minute power to identify the right combination of training for low, high and peak (TP, HIE and PP). 5 minute power is mostly about improving your TP, also improving your HIE to good degree and with a smaller improvement needed for PP.
It appears you can handle a good deal of Difficulty so don’t see this as a limiter. You may want to look into your nutrition during your race. Fuel early and frequently to ensure you can lay down the watts at the 2 hour mark. Practice this during other rides/races leading up to this. Having a higher TP (LTP more precisely) should reduce the impact on your carb stores.
Good luck! Lots of room to improve.