Apologies for the barrage of Cat 5 reports, but no one else is racing (or at least posting about it), so here goes:
The afternoon race had 47 entrants owing to the clouds and forecast rain, I think. They decided to split the field anyway. The crit is on a dead flat 1.4 mi course, but there was a bit of wind this time around. I lined up near the front, so was in the first group, now known as "Group 1". I was in with a bunch of my teammates, and a couple of teammates were in the group that was to start 1/2 a lap behind us "Group 2".
I worked to the front of the main group on the first lap, and somewhere near turn 1 on the second lap there was a small attack/breakaway. After drafting off a rather large (not fat, but just LARGE) triathlete with his LG aero helmet for awhile (he seemed happy to push the big ring into the wind), I pedaled hard through the corner and closed the gap up to the lead group. We'll call this group 1a. The pace was fast on the back, into the wind and of those 8 or so, three attacked again. I hopped on a wheel that was trying to catch up for a few hundred yards then pulled around to take my turn chasing the group. Coming around the turn, I suppose his wheel overlapped mine and there was a fair amount of contact. Miraculously he didn't go down, but I let off the gas for a few seconds. It was about this time that we caught group 2 (They must have started late/slow, because they hadn't finished their first lap yet). There was a big mixup here with intertwining races, etc, and here is where the cluster-f**kery began.
I soloed off the front of group 2 trying to catch 1a for WAAAAY too long and by the time I sat up to wait for the rest of my race, there was really only one pack besides 1a. To their credit the 8 guys in 1a kept the pace up and rode by themselves for the last 35 minutes of the race. kudos to them (I'm still a little steemed at myself for missing the chance to get with them).
The rest of the race was pretty tame, with the random people who didn't get away with 1a being pulled into the mess, along with passing cyclists who looked like they were out for a sunday spin who'd been dropped, lapped and kept going.
No one really knew which race they were in, and with whom. I attacked going into the last lap, the idea being to sacrifice myself and set up a sprint for teammates. They ended up winning (or getting 2nd, apparently someone was right next to him and the finish wasn't all that clearly marked), but not because of my attack. It was WEAK. I had NO juice left for it, but decided to try anyway, coming from about 10 back I passed the lead guy and that was about it. I had a good time and felt a lot better about racing in general, although I have no idea where I placed. Must have been 8+~10 guys in the pack who were in my race, plus a ah, who knows. I rode hard and didn't get dropped. That's it, not a very coherent report, but then again the race was far from coherent.
I heard a rumor that the mentoring sessions before the races counted towards the 10 mass starts we need for Cat 4, can anyone comment on this?