April 14, 2019 – Coghill’s Creek – handicap, 63 Km

Big Cog – 14th April 2019

Coghill’s Creek handicap

Coghill’s Creek – 63 km



These barriers of pain
Yeah, into the sunshine from the rain


- Queen

Twenty six riders signed on for the longest club handicap that we stage throughout the year – sixty three kilometres around the Coghill’s Creek circuit.
A glorious morning for a bike ride, with sunshine blue skies, and small white clouds helping set the scene for an epic showdown.  The barest hint of a breeze from the south east did little to cool the temperature, which hovered around the 15 degree mark.  Dare we say – near perfect conditions to race…

Graeme Parker rode off as the solo Limit rider (30 min) and a handy five minute gap to the Second Limit group consisting of Jakkii Dawson, Laura White and Rob Kinna.  That handy gap was quickly eroded as Dawson and Co. rounded Parker up inside the first lap.  Now that he had warmed up, Graeme quickly joined in the rotations.

At 17 minutes Bob Morley led out a talented quartet – Roger McMillan, Jim Burzacott and Darryl Brown.  They enjoyed a more than welcome gap of seven minutes over…well surely that must be a type – Pete Canny and Ash Burke off 10 minutes?!  Joining those two very capable riders were none other than Steve Linane and Danny Whelan.

One of the equal largest groups of the day, rode off at six minutes.  Craig Lightfoot – desperately unlucky in the Eureka Open last week – was out to atone.  Joining him was Alan Cureton, Darryn Reed, Wayne Klaus and Bob Braszell.  The four minute margin they had to bridge over the Canny Group was but a mere inconvenience.

Second Scratch (2 min) saw Tony Mirabella still on the comeback trail, riding alongside Peter Kiel, Ben Fahy, Matt Ayres and Rick Calvert the Cycling God.
With five high calibre riders up against the four Scratch riders, it would be interesting to see how long the two minute margin would last.

Scratch welcomed back Brendan Schiemer who must have misread the parcours and thought there would be hills out Coghill’s Creek way.
Stu Brien has been in superb form recently, as has Jason Birch who rested himself from the Eureka Open in anticipation of big things at the Australian Championships at Maryborough over Easter.
Rob Ellis rounded out the four and provided that extra bit of “crazy, never give up” attitude that the Scratch riders would need to haul in the race.

Three laps of a 21 kilometres circuit meant that the newly formed Limit riders had already completed one lap before we typed the preamble of this report.
Dawson and Co. were riding well with Colonel Parker keeping them fresh and handy.
The chasing groups were struggling to make an impact on each other.  Some days racing is like that.  You go out and ride around and around, never seeing the front and never being caught.  This was one of those days.

Linane couldn’t match it with the 10 minute bunch and eased out the back 3/4 through the first lap, then linked in with the six minute group for the rest of the race.
For their part, Scratch were riding hard, pulling track turns and staying even most of the way.  They didn’t see Second Scratch until Lap 2.  The bunch was off in the distance, however they had lost Ayres from their number.  He duly jumped in the rotations and contributed for almost ten kilometres before throwing the towel in – much to the relief of the Scratch riders!  By then Birch was blowing a bit and Schiemer was questioning his own race fitness.

With just three riders left in Canny’s 10 minute group, they were struggling to make any impact on the gap to McMillan’s 17 minute clan.
Lightfoot’s six minute brigade were closing fast on the 10 minute group and by the end of Lap 2 a bunch of nine had formed.  They proceeded to pick up and spit out riders from the 17 minute group.

Scratch were flying, yet barely making an impression as riders started missing turns.  Ellis and Brien took on the bulk of the work.
With incoherent time gaps and distances being shouted out from the corner marshals they passed, the Scratch riders figured they had probably only taken a minute out of Second Scratch.  They were still confident they could reel Second Scratch when they appeared up the road on the third and final lap.  Would they have enough road to catch them?  Maybe not, the only consolation was that Scratch was racing for Fastest Time…

Meanwhile at the head of the race Dawson, White, Kinna and Parker were growing more and more confident.  They turned the sharp corner at the northern end of the circuit and no one was in sight!
The Lightfoot/Canny combined bunch could see Second Scratch edging closer – even after losing Kiel with a flat tyre.  They could not see that Scratch was closing as well.
None of that really mattered because they could only just make out the leaders, who were more than a kilometre up the road.  Those leaders were still powering towards the finish.

Kinna struck out for home to take the victory ahead of Dawson, then White, with Parker herding them through the gate.
Less than a minute later Reed proved too strong in the bunch sprint for fifth place.
Another minute passed with the remnants of Second Scratch coming in ahead of the Scratch train.
Schiemer leading the way, Brien and Birch in the tiny slipstream that was provided.  The two struck out for home in what resembled freight trains rather than commuter sprinters.  Brien holding Birch out for the inevitable result.

1st – Rob Kinna (25 min)
2nd – Jakkii Dawson (25 min)
3rd – Laura White (25 min)
4th – Graeme Parker (30 min)
5th – Darryn Reed (6 min)
Fastest Time – Stu Brien (Scratch) in 1h 33m 30s, ave. 40.1 Kph



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