My 10th race as a cat5 is done! Time to upgrade
Race was only 24 miles long, 15 laps of a 1.6 mile loop with a 50 climb thrown in. Uphill sprint finish.
I raced in the 3/4/5 field, thinking it'd be a fun challenge. While the pace wasn't anything special, I got an introduction into affective team tactics. One of the teams had a guy way up the road in a solo break for the first 5-6 laps, so for any break that managed to get away from the pack a bit, they'd send a guy or two out to it to slow them down and organize the peloton to swallow it back up. I wound up being in a couple of weak early breaks, and its how they kept playing out. So I sat around at the front for a while, every once and a while I'd take a pull to try and bring back guys that managed to get away. I'd keep trying to get into breaks, but the peloton would latch onto my wheel as I bridged, and gobble us up. Either I was marked from earlier, or I wasn't putting enough distance between myself and the peloton quick enough.
Last two laps I was stupid and let myself fall back into the pack a bit. I had been pulling the pack downhill and my legs got a little tired, I didn't pull off to let someone else pull because I figured I had to hold my line going downhill, so the pack just went around us. Everyone was psyched up for the final sprint, so it was hard to get forward at all before it. During the sprint I had a ton of energy left, but got boxed in behind two slow guys, so I had to wait for them to move to be able to do anything. I'm pretty sure I took top 15 though (I think 12th, but results aren't up yet), I'd wager top 5 out of the cat5's in the race.
The guy that won it went out for a solo break with 2 laps to go. It was his first race, and he was able to hold on just long enough to win it!