April 7, 2019 – Ron Rivette CLASSIC – Eureka Open, 55 Km

Eureka Open – 7th April 2019

Ron Rivette CLASSIC

Mount Ercildoune circuit – 55 km

Ron Rivette 2019 - poster


The tenth Eureka Open saw both a new format and new circuit.
The entries were ranked, split in half, then handicapped.
TWO races were staged with the “faster” riders heading off first in Race 1, followed soon after by race 2.
As expected, the wind wreaked havoc on both races. For some riders, it played to their strengths…
for other riders, the day was memorable for all the wrong reasons…

EVCC - Mount Ercildoune - Open course

Race 1

Limit (13:00 min) was halved inside the first two kilometres by the crosswind and mix of ability in the bunch.  They battled on, whilst trying to conserve as much strength as possible for the inevitable catch.
The 11:00 minute group bled riders from the start, however they were still the largest bunch on the circuit.
The 9:30 minute group’s chances were over before the race even started.  They were down to just five riders after some race scratchings and one rider missing the start time.
Their loss, was a great benefit to the 7:30 minute group.  With the addition of the late rider, they now had six in their bunch – they oozed confidence at the start line.  The long straights enabled them to monitor their progress as they rapidly closed on the bunches ahead.
The 5:30 minute group flew out of the blocks on a mission.  They were keen to stay clear of Second Scratch and catch the 5:30 minute group – easier said than done!
Second Scratch enjoyed a 2:30 minute gap over Scratch.  It was never going to be enough!

With no prize money on offer for Fastest Time, the Scratch riders were motivated like never before.  They swept up and cast aside the 2:30 bunch and set their sights on the 5:30 group.

The remnants of the Limit bunch raced into the head wind along Black Bottom Road.  The 11:00 group caught them around the halfway mark, just as the race turned east and some respite from the wind was had… only to be replaced by hills.

The 7:30 could see the leaders up the road on the early hills.  They turned and managed their efforts up the climb.  The easing of pace allowing the odd dropped rider to jump onto the ever enlarging train.

The 5:30 group had also turned onto the hills.  They lost their first rider and were now just four strong.  Could they hold off Scratch?

The long upward drag along Beaufort Road was taking its toll on the lead bunch.  Rick Calvert (Eureka) took the opportunity to roll off the front.
His Eureka team mates sat back and watched him ride off.  No other rider was prepared to try and cross to Calvert, so the gap gradually grew.

The 7:30 group had over fifteen riders now.  Few workers – many passengers.  The Eureka riders knew the moment to split the bunch…
They rolled through and ramped the pace up.  The split happened and seven riders were left to continue the chase.

The 5:30 group was passing dropped riders so fast that none could hold on.  Just the four, they rode brilliantly!

Calvert led through the turn at Addington – still solo.  Maybe there was something in the massive training effort he had recently put in…
His preparation and performance in complete his “Everesting” challenge earlier in the week had certainly made him fit and strong.
Could he actually stay away?

The few riders remaining from Limit and Calvert’s 11:00 minute bunch were making their way up Edmonston Road.  The group started to splinter with the hill and the speed.
No such trouble for the 7:30 group who powered up the road – aided by the tailwind – as though it was flat.  Turning onto Weatherboard Road and the earlier caution from the referees went unheeded as two riders overshot the corner.

Calvert was already heading down the Avenue of Honour.  He was even starting to believe that he could stay away and win…
Craig Lightfoot (Eureka) and Michael Hazildene (GSCC) had broken clear and were trying to close to Calvert.

The chase behind got very exciting when Stu Brien (Eureka), Kane Airey (GSCC), Dean Wells (Eureka) and Richard Taylor (Eureka) started passing the riders that Lightfoot and Hazildene had dropped.
Riders darted to the right to jump onto the faster bunch and a collision was narrowly avoided as this new bunch suddenly grew again.

Calvert was less than five kilometres to the finish.  His gap on Lightfoot and Hazildene was about 300 metres.  They were 400 metres ahead of the chasing pack.  The gaps were rapidly shrinking and riders in the larger bunch started taking free rides…

Calvert swung into the home straight.  His gap is 200 metres.
The block headwind and upward finish makes the 1400 metres straight seem like double that.
Lightfoot and Hazildene slowly close, yet they are about to be caught.  Brien puts in a big effort followed by Airey.  Wells launches at the last rise and bridges the gap with everyone in tow.

Calvert is within one hundred metres of the flag.  The crowd is screaming wildly.
“One final effort!”
“Here they come!”

Airey digs deep and sprints hard.  Dennis Neal (Eureka) goes with him.  Brien is right there…

They are all too late and Calvert takes a famous victory!

He pulls up 100 metres after the line – exhausted.
Immediately he is swamped by Eureka riders, many from his cafe group.
They were there with him when he conquered the Everest challenge and they were there to witness him ride 25 kilometres to a solo victory!

Less than two minutes later the Scratch bunch roar across the line, led by Eureka’s own Tim Canny.  The first Eureka rider to ever achieve Fastest Time at the Eureka Open.


Race 2

The ever increasing wind, was always going to punish the innocent riders of the second race at Learmonth.
After scratchings, just 45 riders started in Race 2 of the Ron Rivette Classic.  Scratchings are good, they increased the chances of earning prize money on this new circuit that Eureka had created.
On this day however, a solo effort would obliterate the opposition and the chasing groups would never lay sight upon the leaders.

Tales from the bunches…

Disaster early for the 12:00 minute group as Terry Robinson (Geelong & Surf Coast) comes to grief on the very first turn.  Robinson remounts and heads back into the battle…
An 8:00 minute rider tells us – As soon as we were given the go everyone settled in and worked well sharing the load at a good pace.  When we were heading into the head winds our pace dropped off, but again everyone still kept working well and this continued until we picked up the front markers just before the hills at the half way mark.
A 4:00 minute rider recounts – Our group pushed off at a fast pace with nine at the start line.  Up the back straight (Black Bottom Rd) we were down to six.  Jim Burzacott was doing a lot of work to keep the pace up.  The last riders to leave were in for a chase and a half!
A Scratch rider remembers – Racing off Scratch was a bit of fun for a change and it was interesting to see how the bunch worked.
We worked well for about 10 kilometres.  When we turned into the headwind, Ralph called for track turns.  This was nonsensical in a bunch of nine and we lost some momentum then.
There was one rider that was clearly stronger than the rest of us and that was a Geelong rider – Gary Blick.  His urgings and commentary helped keep the bunch focussed on the task at hand.

Through the words of those who the wrote reports (and a lot of filler fluff), we can now explain what happened in the second half of the race.  That was the part where the race turned towards the east…

The bunches were aided by the cross tail wind, yet they were also torn apart by the hills.  At this point the 4:00 minute bunch picked up the remnants of the 8:00 minute group which was still up the road, now just seven riders strong.
For their part, the 8:00 minute group had the race lead.  They had swept past the race leaders on the hills, yet one of their own had flown from the nest.
Geelong and Surf Coast rider – Les Tokolyi – had simply sprouted wings and rode away from the bunch.  The bunch had whittled down to just six riders by the time they crested the high point of the race – yet Tokolyi was out of site!

Scratch had finally turned onto the hills.  The mix of rider ability quickly became even more pronounced and riders started getting spat out like teenagers tasting brussels sprouts.
Riders who had been strong until that point were found wanting as the pressure was ramped up.  Others were finally warmed up – or clearly mismatched – and taking control of the bunch.  They didn’t know that barring a catastrophe, the race was already over…

Tokolyi was stretching his lead out with every pedal stroke.  A hero ride if ever there was one!
The remaining members of his 8:00 minute bunch – Carl Judd and Darren Richards (GSCC), Don Steward (Eureka), Rodney Cheyne (Northern) – working hard with the few stragglers – Jo Hand (GSCC) and Tommy Gray (Northern) – they had collected, yet they couldn’t even see the Lead car.
Former members of the group were slowly being gapped.  The wind and parcours having taken its toll.

The 4:00 minute bunch was also broken.  Turning at Addington just two Eureka riders (Jim Burzacott and Roger McMillan) and two Geelong riders (Steve Barrille and Peter Wynne) remained.  The rest strewn across Mt Misery and slowly picking their way home.

The Scratch bunch was now being driven by Eureka’s Mark O’Callaghan.
The big Eureka rider had them gasping on the tail wind section and most were battling to just hang on.  Blick was still super strong – in another dimension if we are to be realistic.
Warrnambool’s Clive Coomber, Eureka’s Bob Morley, Northern’s John McKinnon, Eastern’s Craig Stannard and Geelong’s Dave Spence were all still present and accounted for.

Tokolyi was miles ahead and working through different versions of how his feat would be edited to film.  Just what song would be appropriate for the montage..?

The chasers could neither see the lead of the race, nor any riders behind.  They started to ease the pace and rest weary legs.
Let the fun and games begin…
They rounded the final turn and were greeted with that strong head wind.  The pace slowed even further as they watched and waited to see who would make the first move.

Ahead and Tokolyi was receiving the amazed applause of those at the finish line.
‘But where is everyone else?’

A group of riders finally crest the last rise.
Eureka’s Don Steward has struck out for home.  In the dying moments he is swamped by Carl Judd and Tommy Gray.
Jo Hand is right on Steward’s wheel and Rod Cheyne leads home Darren Richards.
Other riders are sighted.  Paul Bird (GSCC), Kellie Murphy (Northern) and Darryl Brown (Eureka) cross next.
Les Dunn (Grampians) and Paul Bubb (GSCC) finish at intervals.

Almost two minutes later, the surviving 4:00 minute bunch arrives, then Eureka’s Jakki Dawson crosses before the phalanx of Scratch riders cross – led by the super impressive Mark O’Callaghan.
Just two minutes after Scratch blasted through the finish, Terry Robinson crossed the line – sporting bruises, road rash, ripped kit and dripping blood.  Tough these veterans are!


Prize money for each Race was paid down to 7th place.
The winner of each race received a sash.  The second and third place getter in each race received a medal.
The rider on the day, with the overall Fastest Time was awarded a sash.

2019 Ron Rivette CLASSIC

Race 2 results:
1st – Les Tokolyi, Geelong & Surf Coast (8:00 min) in 1h 36m, ave. 34.5 Kph
2nd – Carl Judd, Geelong & Surf Coast (8:00 min)
3rd – Tommy Gray, Northern (10:00 min)
4th – Donald Steward, Eureka (8:00 min)
5th – Jo Hand, , Geelong & Surf Coast (14:00 min)
6th – Rodney Cheyne, Northern (8:00 min)
7th – Darren Richards, Geelong & Surf Coast (8:00 min)
8th – Paul Bird, Geelong & Surf Coast (8:00 min)
9th – Kellie Murphy, Northern (8:00 min)
10th – Darryl Brown, Eureka (10:00 min)
Race 1 results:
1st – Ricky Calvert, Eureka (11:00 min) in 1h 28m, ave. 37.7 Kph
2nd – Kane Airey, Geelong & Surf Coast (7:30 min)
3rd – Dennis Neal, Eureka (11:00 min)
4th – Stu Brien, Eureka (7:30 min)
5th – Matthew Angus, Eureka (13:00 min)
6th – Bob Braszell, Eureka (11:00 min)
7th – Michael Hazildene, Geelong & Surf Coast (11:00 min)
8th – Richard Taylor, Eureka (9:30 min)
9th – Craig Lightfoot, Eureka (11:00 min)
10th – Dean Wells, Eureka (7:30 min)
Fastest Time: Tim Canny (Scratch – Race 1) in 1h 18m 45s, ave. 42.1 Kph



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