I always have a difficult time with this event but I must admit that it is a lot of fun. This years venue was relocated to Thompson International Speedway from Roger Williams Park. A change for the better for sure. Everything seemed easier. The course was still tough as nails. I couldn't imagine making it tougher.
I got there early to pre-ride and warm up. The course was slick but tacky. Some areas had long sections of semi-deep mud but they were totally rideable. They added a pretty crazy climb up. I was shocked/impressed that they managed to out-do John Tarbox's Silk City climb up. There were several sections of long straight-aways which are never good for me if I'm by myself. There was another stair climb that had beach sand on it. The sand felt more like glue.
My goal was to get into the top five and stay there until the second lap. Its good to have a plan. I got a great start and filed into the second position. It was perfect......until the lead guy fell right in front of me. Now that just sucks. I dodged left into the fencing. I am glad the fencing was well secured or I would have been in the pond or whatever mess was on the other side. I collected myself and got back in there getting my spots back....probably top 15 still. Another racer washes out directly in front of me... his bike goes left, he goes right... I manage to thread the needle through the two.......NICE! Making up more ground and catching the lead group again. Did I mention the long muddy section? Apparently, there is a small spot on the right hand side that has a gobblin hanging underneath. He grabbed my wheel as I road through. Did I mention there were some pricker bushes to the right of the mud section? I managed to pull myself out of them.....it was ridiculous. All the gains I had made were gone and that was pretty much my race. I managed to finish 11th out of 87 but it was really decided on lap one.
It was a lot of fun. It makes me want to hone my handling skills a little more. My weakness is definitely to long straight-aways though. They just wear me down.