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First you need to have some group riding experience. Well, it's not technically required, but your competitors will really appreciate it. Find out when and where the "fast" group ride is in your area. Show up, look for some skinny dude who doesn't look like a jerk, swallow your pride and introduce yourself and let him know it's your first time there and ask for a few pointers. We all had to do it once.

You'll know whether you are fit enough to race by whether you can stay on with the ride or not. Others will say it doesn't matter, but driving a couple hours and paying $25 to get dropped in 5 minutes does not sound like fun to me.

Once you've got the feel for group riding and know that you're fast enough to compete, start asking around with guys who are about your skill level. i.e., "you race? I haven't yet, how do I start?"

Then report back when you get that euro contract... easy as that!
 
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