cruised around at the back of the group to finish safely
Unless you are a bunch sprinting daredevil this is by far the best way to get to the finish in the bunch.
Sounds like you put in a couple of decent efforts; I'd say a race well done.
I've been witness to a few crashes this year, something I really want to avoid. A lad fell off to me next to me on Sunday for no real reason, I don't want to end up on the ground.
I've been in way too many races with crashes on the last corner - a touch of wheels, people going in to the corner too fast, people cutting up the inside where there isn't any room....
You just need to develop better bike handling skills in emergency situations. Take this lady for example:
I saw a picture of that from the front but not the video.