April 15, 2018 – Ron Rivette Memorial – handicap at Balliang 54 km

2018 Autumn Classics 

Ron Rivette Memorial
handicap

15th April

Granite Road – Balliang – 54 km

EVCC 2018 Ron Rivette Memorial - poster

Back to the future…

‘If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything’
- Marty McFly

 

Eureka Cycling staged the annual Ron Rivette Memorial race at Balliang on a cold, wet and windy autumn day.  Temperatures had soared right across the state during the week, which made the sudden weather change seem even fresher than it was.
Twenty three riders warmed up in the windy conditions and it appeared that maybe the rain gods would smile down upon those clad in lycra…they did not!

The race started with the Limit riders Jacqui Dawson, Peter Farren and Mal Rock charging out the gates at 25 minutes.  The tailwind start was exactly what the doctor ordered, however just a few kilometres later the winds were already starting to take their toll.  Their day would not be one of glory…

At 15 minutes Pete Livitsanis, Roger McMillan and James Burzacott set off with exactly the right man for these conditions – Kevin Lee.  A quick glance over the history books clearly shows that when the weather is poor, Popeye excels!  Out they went, however they too would have a joyless day.
One exciting moment – reminiscent of The Dukes Of Hazzard – saw McMillan launched off the road.  Cousin Daisy had deserted him as he plummeted back to earth sans his General Lee.
* McMillan would go on to finish the race though!

The next bunch away included Jason Hendry, Matt Ayres, James Gretton and James Knipe.  Yes, you read correctly…Matt Ayres.
What potion he conjured to achieve such a fine mark, we do not know, yet there he was…at seven minutes…
Mixed fortunes for this bunch as the “James twins” went off the back in the first few kilometres and Hendry and Ayres surged forward.  Would glory be theirs?

The chopping block made a right old mess of it before the race had really began.  Warming up the tarmac had been dry, however, so long was the wait for the Second Scratch bunch, that a rain shower changed the road conditions.
Jim Crumpler and Stuart Brien led the charge to the first turn.  Rick Calvert, Grant Dawson, Richard Taylor, Andrew Rushton and Peter Kiel all pedalled hard just to stay in touch.  That first left hand turn is sharp at the best of times; with a layer of water on top it turned into the veritable  ice rink.
Down they went – Brien, Crumpler and Calvert.
Brien and Crumpler regained their composure, checked their bodies and bikes, then restarted.  Calvert sensed something amiss and retired*.
With so much lost time and the aches and pains setting in, the bunch was surely to be caught early by Scratch…and so it was.

Scratch saw the long awaited return of Club Champion – Tim Canny.  Gone are those carefree days of racing.  The Shark is back, but how would he fair in just his second race since a pre-season injury?  Filled with former Club Champions, the Scratch bunch was something to behold – Tony Mirabella and Greg Ley were joined by Craig Lee and Sam Smith.
The race was an important event for Canny, Smith and Lee as they will be tackling the time honoured Fred Icke event at Creswick next weekend.
A shout of caution from Calvert (as he returned to the Balliang Hall), served Scratch well and they safely negotiated that tricky first turn.
They collected the fragmented Second Scratch before reaching the sanctuary of the Brisbane Ranges trees.  However the difference in strengths was obvious to all and the mega bunch blew apart as it ascended the Granite Road climb.
Canny and Smith went clear, whilst the others were spread out.  Brien united with Lee, Ley and Mirabella, but the others were off the back and alone.

Over the hill the race went.  Towards the turnaround and the combination of downhill and tailwind made everyone fly even faster than usual.
The turnaround soon brought everyone back to reality, yet there was some relief from the wind once the return climbing began.

Jacqui Dawson and Peter Farren were still out in front.  The field was in hot pursuit and Canny and Smith were scything their way through it towards the leaders.

Back along Staughton Vale Road and Dawson and Farren were quickly dispatched by Canny and Smith as they rocketed back to the Balliang Hall.

So harsh was the race that the chasers were being reclassified as survivors.  In dribs and drabs did they come, following the mighty Canny and Smith duo…

Hendry and Ayres were in pursuit of Dawson and Farren.  They claimed their prey after passing the Balliang Hall.
Brien, Ley and Lee were in pursuit of Dawson and Farren – they were oblivious to Hendry and Ayres being up the road at this stage.  They too claimed their prey with just a few kilometres remaining.

Way up ahead the leaders had swung into the home straight.  Aided by the tail wind, Smith hit out early and opened a few bike lengths…
But the Shark was circling.
Towards the line and Canny pounced…taking back to back victories too boot!

So dominant was the duo’s performance, that they had almost returned to the finish line before Hendry and Ayres battled for third place – Ayres taking the final podium position.

Brien, Ley and Lee rounded the final turn and heard the marshal shout out that FOUR riders were ahead.  Stunned, they sat up and congratulated each other for their efforts.  Lee offered a lead out for the battle for fifth place…
*The Fallen…
Rick visited the hospital and has suffered a bone injury that will see him out of action for a few months.
Roger also visited the hospital as he suffered deeps cuts.
Stuart was quite stiff, sore and sorry for himself.
Jim did gardening in the afternoon.

Results:
1st – Tim Canny (Scratch)
2nd – Sam Smith (Scratch)
3rd – Matt Ayres (7 mins)
4th – Jason Hendry (7 mins)
5th – Stuart Brian (3 mins)
6th – Greg Ley (3 mins)
7th – Craig Lee (3 mins)
Fastest Time – Time Canny (Scratch) in 1h 23m 30s, ave. 38.1 kph

 

EVCC - Autumn Classics 2018 - poster

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