Author and coach Joe Friel has a great post over on TrainingPeaks.com addressing the often overlooked racing topic of patience. Road racing is not a sport of simply going harder the next guy. If you're looking for that try mountain biking or time trialing. But if you toe the line at a crit or a road race, it's good to understand that when you expend energy is very important to your success. The article talks about this in reference to a stage race, but the principle applies whether you're racing Le Tour or trying to make it to the end of the group ride for the first time.