April 8, 2018 – BicycleCalendar.com – Graded racing, Ercildoune-Addington loop

2018 Autumn Classics 

graded racing

4th April

Ercildoune-Addington Loop – 56 km

2018 Bicycle.com graded

New circuit day

In response to the many request for hills…

Division 1 (courtesy Brendan Schiemer)

Brendan Schiemer’s suggestion that a scratch race should be a social ride with a nice sprint at the end was greeted with the usual derision it rightfully deserves.
Initially it played out a little that way as the riders headed out west; in Dean Wells’ absence nobody saw the necessity of an all-out pace from the start.
Peter Gunston might dispute this as the riding was nonetheless fairly solid and the bunch of eight meant that it was probably easier pulling turns in the front five, than being strung out behind in the gutter.  Having stepped up a division, he dropped off shortly after Ercildoune as the pace stayed in the low-mid 40s in the crosswind.  Too late for Gunston’s benefit, turning north onto Black Bottom Rd saw civility return to the bunch as all took nice steady turns riding into the block headwind; no one was going to benefit by pulling too hard on the front.

Stuart Brien, Tavis Baker and Jason Birch providing nice cover into the wind for the more petite riders in the race.  Turning right again onto Langi Kal Kal Rd saw the wind come over the left shoulder.  Andrew Rushton tried playing it safe and kept the pace steady, but Scheimer was having none of that and he moved forward, keeping the tempo high.

As the road went up so did the heart rates and the turns got longer for those better suited to climbing.  There the niceties ended…
Greg Ley made the first launch.  This was quickly covered by Schiemer who had been sitting second wheel when Ley attacked from behind.  A few more rotations saw the false flats pass and Ley surging away again to a good 50-60m lead.
Nobody seemed interested in chasing the lone rider but when Schiemer jumped across, the others responded and the pair up the road were quickly reeled in by the bigger boys.
Rob Phillips didn’t find the surging on the climb to his liking and lost touch not long before the bunch crested the summit.

The descent was an opportunity to recover not missed by any, however the pace was kept high enough that no one was getting away.  That all changed the moment the tailwind kicked in on Edmonston Rd and they were away!
Racing in the high 40s up the rise to the turn saw everyone on the limit before the real climb even began.  Regardless, erstwhile club champion Greg Ley turned it up another notch as they rounded the corner.
Breath rasping as he made it over the second crest he released a gasp of shock/awe and upon sighting yet another crest further up ahead.  “When does this monster end?” wondered Ley…

Schiemer, more familiar with the climb, assumed the lead, yelling encouragement.  Putting 20-40 seconds into the bigger, more powerful riders, both these fellows knew only together did they hold any chance of staying away.  The chasing bunch had splintered somewhat on the climb and were in danger of blowing completely apart.
Birch and Brien were off the back, but they rallied hard to rejoin the chasers.  Ley and Schiemer survived the descent and they charged on as best as flyweights can (downhill into a headwind) as the others regrouped and gave chase.

The final right turn into Edmonston Rd again provided the tailwind which suited the leading duo over the full length of the climb.  The wind playing a bigger role than gravity on the rolling climb and descent!  Both were on the limit and a wary eye was kept over the shoulder as the powerful chasing riders were never far behind (Strava shows the chasers only took a couple of seconds out of the leaders with the wind).

Turning into the home leg saw the leaders fully commit to cooperating to the line.  No gutters, it was a team effort bringing it home, for chasers and chased alike.
The gap closed but not enough to undo the damage caused by the brutal climb.

At the line it was a win for the little guys with Schiemer having just enough to cross the line first, taking the “sprint” from the front, a length ahead of Ley.
Brien broke away from the chasers sealing third place ahead of Baker and Birch who had both raced with BSCC the day before and commuted out to Learmonth into the headwind today.

*Schiemer collected the all important race-raffle double win by drawing his own ticket in the meat tray raffle.

Division 2 (courtesy Rick Calvert)

The Division 2 line-up consisted of nine riders – Stephen Biram, Jeremy Humber, Rick Calvert, Grant Smokey Dawson, Matt Ayres, James Gretton, Brian Ure and two “new” guys – Gary Beazley and Dennis Neal.
Who are Dennis and Gary?  New guys…hey we had better look after them…Yeah right!  As it turned out I got that totally wrong…

Right from the start it was pretty solid racing, not flat out, but not slow.  Gretton, Neal, Ayres and Beazley all doing some pretty solid turns on the front that left a few of the others asking ‘They do realize that this is a scratch race don’t they?’.
After the right hand turn onto to Ercildoune Road the pace was still pretty solid.  Halfway down Ercildoune Rd and with the significant crosswind, the pace was upped with Neal on the front pulling a huge turn for about 4 kilometres to the Black Bottom Road corner.  He was quite considerate though, as he went down the centre of the road enabling a select and lucky few to get a sit – while the rest scrambled behind hugging the left edge of the road.

The group split just before the right hander into Black Bottom road with Dawson, Biram and Calvert lucky enough to hang onto Neal.  The lead group could see Division 3 ahead in the distance and powered after them with Dennis pulling huge turns.  Calvert was heard to mention ‘I really don’t think these guys realise this is a scratch race’.
Ayres, Humber, Gretton, Ure and Beazley were trying to bridge the gap to the lead group which had now passed the Division 3 race.  The lead group raced on up the reverse side of Mount Misery with Neal doing 70 % of the work and the other three chipping in on occasion…because they felt guilty not to assist…
The four stayed together as they started up Harrison’s Road.  Biram lost contact halfway up the climb leaving Neal, Calvert and Dawson to ride to the finish.

Back down through Addington again and the three riders were maintaining their advantage.  Neal was still doing the bulk of the work, with Dawson and Calvert more than happy to wait to take advantage.
Closing to the finish and Calvert and Dawson started playing cat and mouse.  Neal powered ahead oblivious to what the pair where doing and even increased his output as the finish line loomed ahead.  The sprints from behind came, however Neal held strong to outlast his rivals and claim an extremely well earned win by a half length.  Calvert and Dawson too tight too split.

Division 3

Group of varying sized people ranging from Noel Said to Duncan Bates, lined up to ride the new circuit.  It looked to be evenly matched individuals, but the course would soon sort them out.  There were a few forays off the front but they were quickly covered.  There does not seem to be any appetite to leave people “dangle” in C Grade.

As we started the rolling hills on Langi Kal Kal road, things got interesting.  Danny was flexing his sinews and there was a risk in letting him go in those conditions.  Peter Livitsanis decided to test the group and his legs over a rise and his intentions were good but his legs said “no way” – the training ride around Mount Mercer the previous day had sapped his strength.
Ash Burke had been on the same ride and was still fresh enough to go on with it and he rode off the front with consummate ease.  He looked like he was going to pull back the rampant escapees of the Division 2 group such was the pace he was going.  This attack split the bunch in half and there was only Danny, Fifi, Noel Said, Greg Nunn and Bob Morley left to chase.

Burke was finally reeled in as a consequence of two things.  Some big turns by Whelan and Nunn and the fact that he decided that he would sit up.  So the reformed group turned right into the dastardly Harrison’s road climb.
This split the group again as Morley, Burke and Whelan went clear at the final rise.  The trio rode hard down the hill and had every intention of staying away.
The diminutive Said put his head down and banged it in the big dog and rode hard to get back on the bunch.
The chirpy Nunn arrived back on the bunch but immediately confessed that he was towed back by the hard moving Birch and was thus out of the race.

The final group of four then stayed together to contest the finish.  Predictably Danny was on the front, and kindly down the road, for the last 300 metres.
Burke was on his wheel and continued to look dangerous.  Morley was on his wheel and was surprised that he was even still there.
Burke jumped around Whelan and hit out with 100 metres to go.  Morley jumped as well but could not get over Burke and just managed to hold off a fast finishing Noel Said for second.
Livitsanis claiming 4th place after riding by himself for the final 9 kilometres.

Division 4

Strong north winds left nowhere to hide for the Division 4 riders out on the tough climbing circuit.  The tailwind start helped Malcolm Rock, Robert Young, Terry Collie, Greg Curnow, Graeme Parker, Brian Lee and Phil McLennan warm into the race, but from the turn onto Ercildoune Road the crosswind soon started to take a toll.
Swinging onto Black Bottom Road and the riders joined as one to battle the headwind.  No respite then as they swung onto Beaufort-Waubra Road and started climbing.
Peaking over Mount Misery, the short downhill section provided some relief before turning at Addington and commencing the harshest of climbs our roads can conjure.  Another right and the climb continues for the four crests of Harrison’s Road.
Some minor relief again as the final peak is made, then a well received downhill section (even if it is into a headwind), before heading back to Addington.
Climbing again, however Edmonston Road with a tailwind seems much easier the second time round.

Into the home straight and a mere two kilometres to race with the crosswind seeming more like a headwind than not.
To the wire and the younger men have prevailed, with McLennan winning from Lee.

Division 4:
1st – Phil McLennan
2nd – Brian Lee
3rd – Graeme Parker
Division 3:
1st – Ash Burke
2nd – Bob Morley
3rd – Noel Said
Division 2:
1st – Dennis Neal
eq. 2nd – Rick Calvert
eq. 2nd – Grant Dawson
Division 1:
1st – Brendan Schiemer
2nd – Greg Ley
3rd – Stuart Brien

EVCC - Autumn Classics 2018 - poster

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