Making my way to the start line early this time I got a OK spot only about 4 rows from the start, sitting behind first place Masters series leader Darren Dillon's wheel where I was wanting to stay for at least the first lap knowing that he always gets a great start.
The start was furious with riders pushing & shoving for positions & I some how once again missed my opportunity to stay on Darren's wheel watching him make his way through the field & out of sight as we negotiated our way around a fire trail surrounding the car park before heading back through the timing tent & up a small rise into the first open single track where the pace dropped from quiet fast back to walking pace as gumby riders that obviously were not meant to be up the front of the race had trouble riding through the simplest of trail.
The first lap was very frustrating to say the least as I made my way around very slowly thinking about any riders that may have been in front of me being able to ride the lap at there pace. I tried to think of the positives, like allowing me to see the track as a warm up lap & thinking maybe I would be saving myself energy to carry out the race at a higher pace toward the end of the seven hours.
I managed to still finish in 3rd but back in 13th overall behind Ian Bridgland in 2nd & Darren Dillon in 1st who managed to lap me in the second last lap. I still could not keep up with him this time around.
The overall win was taken out by Ed McDonald 1st, Michal Kafka 2nd & Ondreg Slezak in 3rd.
The National 24hr latter in the year is going to be tough on this track. I am thinking with the lack of shade & nature of the terrain. I only completed 117 km with the 2 500 Vm of climbing over the 7 1/4 hours