I did my first race this past weekend. It was a small cat 5 group with 15 guys, I believe. The breakaway group was 7 or 8 people. I hung on, and tried to get into a good position with 5 laps to go, but didn't have enough to compete for the sprint, and ended up with 5th (2 crashed in front of me). I want to step up my training, and start commuting to work (about 22 miles each way) at 2-3 days/week. And do some group riding the other days. Right now, I'm just getting used to my route home, and will incorporate intervals when I'm more familiar with the terrain and weather conditions. But aside from putting in the training hours, what are other main things I should be focusing on? (eg. Diet, day before preparation, day of preparation, etc)
Also, the other question is how can I find a team to ride with? As far as I know, there are no cycling teams around here. There's one in Houston, but that's pretty far away. I plan on doing my second race there next Wednesday after I get off early from work. But anyway, what are disadvantages of not having teammates? And what's the best way to find a team if there are none around you?