I just got home from the race and it was awesome! I survived first of all (no crashes here), but more importantly learned a lot and had a fun time. I definitely have the fitness to stick with the group, although I can definitely do some work to ensure that I can do serious damage. The whole first lap I was pretty much scared shitless, but got over it, rode close to people, drafted well.
My best moment was in the third lap, when no one was going and I felt the group was going to slow, especially with two guys somewhere out in front. I used a slight uphill to get to the front, cornered perfectly and pulled the group for at least a good five minutes. According to my own thoughts and a teammates verdict, it really got the group moving and made the last bit of racing more interesting.
For the 200m sprint, the whole road was opened up so I finally got out of the box I was stuck in and was able to make a pretty good effort. I know now that I need to practice sprinting after long rides, this shouldn’t have been my first time.
Things to work on include making sure I eat and drink, being more comfortable riding with one hand to do so, and getting more comfortable riding through close spaces to make it through the peloton. I spent too much time in the back of the pack today.