April 29, 2018 – Steelsmith Engineering – Graded racing, Weatherboard

2018 Autumn Classics 

Steelsmith Engineering
graded racing

29th April

Weatherboard circuit – 60 km

EVCC 2018 Autumn Classics - Weatherboard

Successful 2018 Autumn Classics draw to a close

Leaves aren’t the only things affected by the autumn winds!

Division 4

The smallest field of the day had arguably the most difficult race with few to share the workload.  Much of the race was staged in jovial spirits by Graeme Parker, Terry Collie and Mal Rock, however Jacqui Dawson spent that time assessing the circuit and the wind.  Dawson knew she couldn’t beat the men if the race came down to a sprint.  She did know that her advantage lay in the short climbs…and so she waited.

Round and round they went and then with two laps remaining Dawson shot off the front on a climb.  20 kilometres is a long way out and she was literally throwing caution to the wind.
Out of the Avenue with some 16 kilometres remaining and Dawson’s advantage was a few hundred metres of the chasing trio.  Parker was heard to ask “Should we chase her down?”, the increased look of agony on Rock’s face signalled that he was already on his limit.

Last lap and Dawson had increased her advantage over the climbs.  The tailwind up the Avenue presented a good opportunity for the chasers, however the available kilometres were dwindling.
Dawson wrestled her bike through the wind as she time trialled her way to the finish.
Over the climb and there is no one to be seen behind.  One all out effort as she drove to the line ensured her victory would be counted in minutes.

Finally the trio crested the hill and raced towards the finish.  Rock led the way with Collie edging closer.  Somehow Parker was caught in behind the other two.  He switches across wheels in the last 30 metres and flies at the line…dead-heat?  Oh so close!

1st – Jacqui Dawson
2nd – Terry Collie
3rd – Mal Rock

Division 3

A very even bunch set off with the favourites looking like James “Ralph” Gretton and Danny Whelan.  The experience of Greg Nunn was always going to be a wild card as he seems to be fit and his racing nous is second to none.

The race was fairly pedestrian – albeit some of the mini attacks and the crosswind had popped Roger McMillan out of the bunch – until the second last time over the climb and Pete Livitsanis lifted the pace to see who was up for it.  It seemed like everyone was.

The race was ignited with an huge surge by Gretton on the downwind section of the Avenue.  People were gasping trying to cover his move.  Bob Morley attempted but wasn’t up to it but the recently trimmed Whelan crossed by himself and he and Gretton were away.
The scramble sorted out Kevin and Brian Lee who both went out the back.  The smarts of Nunn come to the fore as he sucked the chasers dry and then crossed by himself. Morley, Livitsanis and Jeremy Humber worked hard and finally got back on just after the Avenue.

Through the chicane and things settled for the finish. “Popeye” Lee got back on and went to the front.  The bunch turned left onto the home straight and it was anybody’s race.
The pace lifted up the hill and the race was on.  Livitsanis showed his likening for this finish and was leading the way.  Morley was on his wheel but was blowing hard.  Then Nunn surprised the field and sprinted down the right side of the road – skipped to the front and held the margin until the line.  Livitsanis holding Morley at bay to take second place.

1st – Greg Nunn
2nd – Peter Livitsanis
3rd – Bob Morley

Division 2

Good solid tempo from the start with everyone working to the top of Henderson Road hill.
Andrew Rushton took a flyer off the front as the group rounded the corner into Avenue Road the first time. “Peters” Kiel and Canny worked hard and brought Rushton back to the field by the end of the Avenue.
Ayres rode off the front for a few minutes before being brought back to the pack and everything settled down as they crested the high point on the circuit at Weatherboard.
Ayres went again soon after and spent the next lap and a half dangling off the front.  The bunch kept rotating turns and kept Ayres within reach before gathering him back in along the Avenue.

The next few laps were highlighted by big turns on the front in an attempt to unsettle anyone nearing their limit.  Grant Dawson was one of the main antagonists, along with Canny, Kiel and Rushton.  The aggressive racing dislodged Paul Pickersgill from the pack.  Ash Burke also started yo-yoing before the string finally broke.

Onto the final lap and Steve Biram – fresh from a fall on a coffee ride the previous day – made his presence felt with a massive turn on the front.
Out of the Avenue for the final time and Rushton surges past Biram and puts in full gas efforts that have everyone on the edge.  A couple are off the back, including Dawson who struggles with an injury.

Through the chicane and the pace settles as everyone starts eyeballing each other.  Tension mounts as they sweep into Hendersons Road and near the final rise.
Kiel launches at the base of the climb and is immediately joined by Canny, with Rushton and Ayres close behind.
Deep breaths as they roll over the top of the rise – then Kiel goes again.  The bunch is right on his wheel.
Canny goes early and edges ahead of Kiel, but Ayres and Rushton and closing faster and sweep to the lead.
Ayres packs too much power and claims the win from Rushton with Kiel rallying for third ahead of Canny who faded late.

1st – Matthew Ayres
2nd – Andrew Rushton
3rd – Peter Kiel

Division 1

The rapidly spinning blades proved that no mistake was made in placing a wind turbine farm near Learmonth.  The stiff southerly wind meant no records would be set on this day as Eureka Cycling concluded its Autumn Classics season.
The noticeable change in tactics when the Club Champion is absent meant that the effort required to stay involved in the race was high.

The first surge occurred as Division 1 ascended the Hendersons Road hill for the first time.  Peter Gunston was shot out the back and the field was now just six.
Although it was “scratch racing”, the race plan defaulted to keeping the pace high enough that no breakaways would stick.
Negative tactics?  Non!  Buckle in for the ride and slug it out fellas!  And slug it out they did.

Every remaining rider had a turn off the front, however Jason Birch rode like a general and played a big part in controlling the race.  David Olgivie brought his race legs and between the pair of them, nobody was getting away!
Matt Bowman was on song and spent more time attacking than any other rider.  In true Bowman style he would time-trial off the front and try to make it stick, then be dangling off the back as he recovered for his next foray. Brendan Schiemer made it across to the front running Bowman on lap 4 and the pair held a small gap for almost the length of the Avenue section.
Enter Tony Mirabella and Rob Ellis and the expedition was reeled in as the big boys shut it down on the Weatherboard climb.

Penultimate ascent of the Henderson Road climb and Bowman takes another shot off the front and leads by 100 metres as he receives the bell.
Strong efforts brought him back, then counterattacks saw him off the back before they had left the Avenue.

Ogilvie attacks out of the Avenue and things are desperate as riders dig deep to shut him down.  Ellis keeps the pace steady after the five remaining riders unite – into the wind, into the final corner and to the bottom of the climb.

Cat and mouse tactics saw Birch on the front by the top, then a final effort by Ellis just over the crest is enough to spark the sprint.  Birch goes from the front, but the finish line is placed closer to the Avenue than usual and it requires a huge effort – Birch delivers and wins comfortably.
Ogilvie closed fast to finish second ahead of Mirabella who capped off a sensible ride with third place.
*First rule of Scratch Racing – Never take Birch to a sprint finish!

1st – Jason Birch
2nd – Dave Ogilvie
3rd – Tony Mirabella


EVCC - Autumn Classics 2018 - poster

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