I'm giving it all I've got to train myself out of cat 4 but performance wise I'm not where I should be...this is my third year racing, last year I was getting dropped in almost every race, this year I just finished my third race of the season this past weekend. My first two races (Marblehead and Sturbridge) I did fairly well, missed the split in Marblehead and finished in the second group but I finished strong and placed in the middle. Sturbridge I felt even better, got a top 25 (which is good for me) and I probably could have even done a bit better in the sprint. This past weekend at Sterling things did not go well, I'm obviously improving because last year as a cat 5 I only made it a lap until I got dropped but nonetheless this year as a cat 4, four laps in I got dropped (at the beginning of the fourth). For those of you who know this race I made it up the finish line hill without a problem but burned through more energy than I had realized to stay with the group, then on the second hill or false flat immediately after I completely lost it at the base and blew right out the back. I finished the remaining laps and got all 40 miles in but I'm having a hard time understanding what I'm doing wrong. All I can think of is that I should have tried to get closer to the front so I'd have more time to recover however trying to get myself further up there would have taken up just as much energy.
Currently I'm riding mostly solo with a few group rides thrown in, I'm putting in 14-15hrs per week, getting plenty of recovery time when I need it, I'm climbing like crazy, losing weight, my life basically revolves around training. I don't really know what else to do. I'm racing Sunapee this upcoming weekend and am afraid that it's going to be dejavu. Suggestions?