So after a 4 week hiatus (yea, i'm calling my time off a hiatus) due to final exams and some other stuff I had to take care off, im back to racing. Did 3 rides last week once I got home and re-built the bike and such. Decided the best way to get back into racing was to, well, race. Sunday I did a crit. Cat 5, 50 riders. (sat i did an easy 15 mi spin in just over an hour w/ the parents). 15 laps on a .7mi course. 5 laps in and i was cooked. I realized later I had been spinning at like 130 cadence with awful gear choice, but still I wasn't doing any work or anything. I got dropped around lap 7 or 8, formed a "chase-group" that didnt really chase, just sort of rode a paceline to the finish. I was 33/50. It was rather depressing, but it showed me what i need to do to get back into shape. There is a local tuesday night training crit about 10 mi from my house, so i figured what the heck. monday i rode a 5 mi recovery ride (i had no time and no legs). tonight was 30 laps on a .8ish mi course. cat4/5 combined. i did a fair bit of work (sprinting to close a sizeable gap and dragging the field with me) and also riding in the wind for a lap or two. anyways, i had legs and felt good, and i think i counted 10 or 11 riders ahead of me. I even passed about 15 people in the sprint (an uphill one so some people just die). I rode a smarter race( better gear choice) but not that much smarter. Can anyone tell me why I rode so much better tonight? The conditions were about the same (hot and sunny). my stretching/nuitrituin was about the same, and the training crit had a slightly higher avg. speed than the crit on sunday (less than 1mph, nothing significant). I'm baffled, do i need to train myself back into race shape or am I in race shape, and how should I train accordingly. Thanks.