I raced in the gateway cup this weekend (http://stlbiking.com/Gatewaycup.htm). It is four days of racing in a row. This being my first year in the Pro, Category 1/2 group, I was damn excited. Needless to say after Fridays race, the luster of the sticker on my license wore off. Post race I could not bend over, my lower back was as tight as a high school girl on ... well you get the point. But I finished the race that's the main thing. I was very pleased, it was by far the fastest race I have ever completed. We averaged 30MPH for about an hour and a half. The next three days did not go nearly as well. But on the bright side I did learn a few things. (Aspiring racers, take note.)
Pro's are no joke, regardless if they are in Europe, the US, or in Uzbekistan. I don't care, they are fast. Second, Tiger Balm works. When you can't bend over and you lower back sucks, it does a great job. Thrid, going off the front first lap of the race is really cool for about one lap or until you get caught. Once you get caught it's unreal trying to reintegrate yourself in the group. I found out the hard way. It's also a great photo op so have your friends ready with a camera. Finally, TUCK YOUR ASS IN AND HOLD ON! That lesson was taguht to me over and over again this weekend.