The season opener for the MWCCA took place at Ohio State University this weekend and the DePaul Cycling Club was ready to take on all comers in the mens CAT D 22 mile road race. Never having participated in a formal race, I was concerned that I would have trouble finding my place in the pack, but I seemed to gravitate right to the front, staying there for the entire race. I immediately understood the essential nature of drafting after taking a few pulls at the front. It dawned on me that the protection the group offers from the wind is almost like a lifeline and any hopeful attempts at a breakaway from it demand a team strategy or a huge reserve of energy. Given that this was my teams first race together, strategy was non-existent. This didn't turn out to be a problem because every other rider in CAT D was just as clueless and experienced as we were. The final sprint to the finish featured a sizable hill that I chose the wrong gearing for. When I did make it top, I couldn't get back in my big chain ring for the final sprint. This had me sprinting for the end in the biggest-little gear I had. I actually managed to pass a rider from Notre Dame right before the line. My teammate ahead of me Nick, made a great sprint for the finish and won the race. I was not too far behind him and ended up in 5th place. I couldn't have been happier because I was immediately aware of the tactical mistakes I had made throughout the race. Mistakes I would not repeat at next weeks race at DePauw Indiana. Sunday was a great day for us all.