So after the first 2 club races of the year were cancelled because of snow and/or sub-30 temps in early april we finally got on in on a sunny 50 degree morning.
The A Race was 40 miles and the B Race was 32. I raced in the B's (still a cat 5, 3rd race ever, 1st with a bike that fits me haha)
The course has mild terrain, just one or two 6% grade climbs over not too much distance, one in the middle and one before the finish, so short bursts out of the saddle worked well. You can't really tell from the map but here it is: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=680144
The race started at a warmup pace, I was in the front third of the group of 35 riders just hanging around the front with some of my teammates (9 of us in the Bs).
We got to the first climb which starts out of an almost 180 degree turn and my teammate in front of me was slowing down so i told him i was jumping out around him and before I knew it I was off the front by 100ft. Everyone was taking it easy and just feeling out the course, I must have had some extra adrenaline.
So I decided to settle into a relaxing pace and just let the group catch up so I didn't over do it on the first lap, but they weren't catching up. About a mile later there was a marshal standing slightly in the road with his hands in his pockets, he didn't gesture or say anything and I flew past him. About 2 seconds later I heard the group yell TURN RIGHT. And I flipped out and dropped a few curse words as I turned and caught up with the group. I thought I was on a different leg of the course and didn't realize that it was a course marshall (no flag or brooms or anything and sometimes people just set up camp to watch on the course). I come to find out later that it was somebody's dad who has never marshaled a bike race before and the club didn't give him a flag or anything. My bad for not knowing the course i guess, but come on man, just point or something haha.
So there I was on the 2nd lap around the middle of the pack when we hit the hill again and some riders a few people ahead slowed down fast and the group split. Me and two teammates started a chase group, about 4 other people joined in. and the 7 of us never caught the group over 3 laps. Nobody was working with us to pull. Eventually I gave one of our guys a pull to send out to try and bridge when we had them in visual distance but it was too much for him alone in the wind.
When we got to the last climb i pulled ahead of the chase group to finish behind my teammate.
17th out of 35. 3rd best placing for my team. The lead group had 16 riders in it.
Pretty good for my first road race of the season. Hopefully my coach realizes I shouldn't be on the Development squad and he was lucky I was needed to fill in for this race.