Plan was to be there for noon to ride a few laps during what appeared to be scheduled half time in the day. Rolled in just after I keep forgetting I'm 20 minutes further north now.
Nice to see folks like Box, Chown, Morse, Mancini, and to catch up with the MTB crowd too, only been away from racing for a couple weeks but it feels like longer. I missed you guys.
Got my numbers which are getting bigger every year, and headed onto the course for a few laps, right away I was digging it, felt comfortable in the fast flowing corners, If you can ride Hardwood's rough course semi smooth, when you get to smooth grass its as easy eating pancakes. Not sure who set the course but it was awesome, none of this 30- 180 degree corners every corner was smooth and allowed for some good momentum throughout the course. Rode with the 3 Rox Armada for a bit, which appears to be growing.
Watched the womens race good to see some Norco's up front in the field. An exciting finish to womens race.
Got warmed up, and called up to the front line a first at this race, a lot nicer than 4th row the past 2 years. Start I missed the memo on starting on the word go, and didn't get a good kick off the line, no matter until the rider to my left missed a pedal or blew out of his pedal, lost his hands off his bars and rode into the rest of the field, coined it as being Kulhavied(again. Mogg and Myself had to slam on the stoppers to avoid a pile up and restarted in the 20's. Stayed calm, it happens, just focused on getting moving again to be honest I didn't have a great idea of how I'd feel so not being in the front front wasn't bad, just wished I was at least in the top ten.
The first few corners were slightly dicey, locked bars with Conor obrien, I think we even made eye contact, Somehow came out of it.
Rest of the next two laps were jumping the gaps from group to group making my way up.
Rode in the Stafford train, basically him on the front and an American sitting in, tried to move my way up twice thinking the three of us could reel some guys in, America didn't like that and kept sprinting me. Ok, so i sat in for a while and when I went by and made sure to go it alone.
Started to put some time into the 4 guys in front of me, got to see the St John passes. I settled into a nice pace and worked on getting Junior(McNeely). Touch and go for a while but I think the length got to him a bit and I was able to reel him in with a lap to go.
Got to 4th, crossed the line happy that I stayed calm and was relatively patient and didn't burn to many matches moving up.