Well I tried my first CAT 5 Crit in Wake Forest NC today. Let me put it this way, I got my *** handed to me. I don't know exactly where I placed, but I was near the back. I know there were a couple of riders behind me, but don't know how many. Plus I think a couple of guys dropped out due to wrecks.
My average speed was only 21.xx mph. I know I could have gone a LITTLE faster but it was raining and I really didn't want to wreck. There were already 3 wrecks without my help
The whole experience was very fun, tiring, and VERY humbling. I have a lot of work ahead of me before the next race I try.
In retrospect I know that I made several mistakes:
1) I started out like I would on a normal weekend ride (nice and easy think it would pick up later), just about everyone else stood up an stomped on it. So in essence most of the field got the jump on me. I got behind so fast at the starting line that I didn't have the legs to catch up to the main group.
2) I didn't warm up enough. I personally take a little while to warm up and "stretch" my legs.
3) It was raining and I was a little too cautious in the turns. (maybe not a bad thing as there were 3 wrecks in the corners during the CAT 5 race)
4) I didn't train enough - my legs/lungs were not ready for all out effort for 20 minutes. I am used to longer slower rides.....40+ miles @ 18.xx mph
5) I didn't train enough!
6) Did I mention that I didn't train enough?
I wanted to post this to hopefully help someone that has never raced and is considering trying it. Maybe this will help a little.
I also wanted to post because for quite some time now I have been just a lurker and wanted to give back to the community that has helped answer so many questions.