Before I get into the details, here are the Garmin Stats on the race:
Wolfpack Classic Cat-4/5 Race, NC by darionfleming at Garmin Connect - Details
I didn't get much sleep last night seeing as how we got in around 12am and I fell asleep about 1am and then got up at 6am. So a solid 5 hours to start my first race of the season! Haha. Anyways, I learned a lot from this race, not only about how I need to begin thinking and strategizing on the bike but also the way that Cat4/5 riders race. Here's how it went down.
This was a 4 lap race on a rolling 12.5k loop (53k or 33 miles Total) with a couple moderate but extremely short climbs. The 45 man group rode out from the Parking Lot on a 2k Neutral Ride to the start line of the race where there would be a rolling start right after hitting the line. It was funny though because the pace didn't change one single bit from when we were rolling out from the parking lot to when we hit the start line and the race was off. It was the slowest 3.5 laps I have ever done, literally, slower than my training rides that I do by myself in the rain and on harder rode. It was a joke and was honestly the most boring ride I have ever been on but I realize that it was because that is how this Category of riders ride, they conserve and feed off each other until the end where they sprint it out to the finish. Anyways, it finally picked up with about 4k to go...Because I broke away...
Unfortunately, I broke too early. Everyone that had given me advice on this race, including my good friend Chuck Hutcheson, told me that I needed to go all out with about 1k left but I got anxious. I was 2k into the break when I looked back and saw that I was not gapping the peloton anymore, it was the same as it had been for over 1k now. So, I decided to wait and rest up a bit till they caught up again, then I would push it till the end. They finally caught me with about .5k left and I was left up front to pull them to the finish for the sprint. With 100 meters left I could see the finish line and I was in first place. With 50m left I got passed by 2 guys and lost by less than a second. Had I listened to everyone's advice and not been so anxious I would've been looking at 1st and not 3rd for my first race. It was an amateur move but a good lesson. Anyways, its onto the next one now, and I'll be ready.
Major Shout Out to Chuck Hutcheson and Jared Neiters for one-two-ing the Cat123 Race.