Due to knee issues in February, I was never going to repeat my stellar result from 2010, but did hope to do at least get a top-10. The latest iteration of the popular Sherwood Pines course was shortened and had lost anything that you would call a climb. It was a pure dirt crit, all accelerations, with little on the course to benefit less strong, and more technically adept riders.

I was gridded on the front row, but was losing places fast off the start. I tried to settle but was having a hard time winding things up on the forestry road sections. One amusement in the first lap was having someone pass me into one of the twisty-bombhole sections, and then slow right up. I shouted at them to get a move on, stopping short of making some sort of roadie-scum comment. They pulled over and let me past, result! Turns out they thought I was a junior, and couldn’t make out what I was actually shouting.

I slowly faded throughout the race, not really feeling the love for the course. I knew I was having a bad day when on the fourth lap I was passed by Nick Evans, at this point, all enthusiasm was gone.

I rolled in for 27th, 9 minutes down on winner Lee Westwood.

Full results courtesy of TimeLaps.