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April 22, 2018 – Rising Sun Trophy – Windmill with Wall finish

April 22, 2018 – Rising Sun Trophy – Windmill with Wall finish

2018 Autumn Classics 

Rising Sun Trophy
handicap

22nd April

Windmill with finish over “The Wall” – 56 km

EVCC 2018 Rising Sun Trophy - poster

Rising Sun Trophy

In honour of those
who served their country

in peacetime and conflict

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Perfect cycling conditions – clear blue skies and barely a breath of wind – for the 2018 Rising Sun Trophy race.
With no need to form into echelons to shelter from wind, the groups were able to ride and work more consistently.  Twenty nine riders warmed up (including two trial riders) and everyone wore a smile to be out on such a glorious autumn day…

The Limit group rolled off at 30 minutes.  Mark O’Callaghan was slotted into this group as he returns to race fitness.  He joined Graeme Parker – who won the 2017 edition of the Rising Sun Trophy – Terry Collie, Mal Rock and trial rider Marika Ley.
Parker suffered two punctures early in the race and was out of contention.  The others rode on, with O’Callaghan more than happy to ride well within himself and help the bunch.

The 23 minute group included Jacqui Dawson and trial rider Kirsty Reid; Phil McLennan and the Lee brothers – Kevin and Brian.
Mechanical issues cost this group as Reid and McLennan retired to the sidelines for mid-race repairs.  They continued on, however their race was now a training ride.
The Lee brothers were too strong for Dawson and were able to hitch a lift with the chasing 19 minute group as they swept by.

The 19 minute group fielded a cracking lineup, many of which had never seen such a large number against their name.
Led by James Gretton with able support from Danny Whelan, Peter Livitsanis, James Knipe, Bob Morley and regular Northern Cycling visitor – Noel Said – the group soon found their mojo and everyone contributed.  Gretton used his massive engine to great effect as he drove the bunch at high speed on the fast sections, he owned those downwind sections.  Little guys were hanging on as best they could, bigger guys were trying to help out without hindering Gretton’s efforts.
They rounded up the 23 minute group (brothers Lee joining in the workload) and soon had the Limit riders in their sights.

A long, long wait for the 5 minute group, who finally set off with controlled their start.  Ash Burke had been promoted and the bunch were keen not to overextend him, or anyone else early.  Powerhouse Matthew Ayres gradually ramped the pace up.  Andrew Rushton, Rob Phillips, Bob Braszell and Dean Wells all played their parts.
Wells suffered a flat on the third lap, however the group still held a 90 second advantage over Second Scratch.

Second Scratch enjoyed a 90 second buffer over the Club Champion – Tim Canny – who was the sole rider off Scratch.  Canny closed within 150 metres halfway through the race, however it was just a gap too far as the Second Scratch group rolled away from his grasp.

Second Scratch was an interesting mix of riding styles – Stuart Brien, Rob Ellis, Matt Bowman, Brendan Schiemer and Greg Ley.  Unfortunately they lost Matthew Bowman at the very start of the race when he suffered a mechanical.  Bowman eventually got underway and joined Canny for half a lap, before easing out of the race and enjoying a training ride in the sun.
Second Scratch gradually closed the distance to the 5 minute group, however the race for the trophy was more than five minutes up the road…

The all powerful 19 minute group thundered through the final lap with the pace staying high.
Gretton, Said, Knipe, Whelan and Morley shouldered the work as they raced towards the “Wall”.  Victory was almost assured, nothing was coming from behind on this windless day to steal their glory!
The race was anyone’s at the base of the climb.  Riders glanced at each other to see who would make the first move…

In true spirit, our man Gretton thrust himself forward.  His muscles rippled, glistening with beads of perspiration as he surged upwards…then he slowed…then slumped as the wiley Whelan launched his own attack and quickly opened a gap.  Said tried to follow and Morley who relishes hill climbs tacked onto the smaller rider’s wheel.  Gretton, Knipe, Livitsanis and “Popeye” Lee are dropped, but this hill has a kick, can they rally?

Over the steepest part of the climb and Whelan increased his advantage as the road levelled out.  One last surge over the final rise and Whelan was away with an insurmountable lead.  Said was chasing hard and Morley was still tight on his wheel.  Knipe comes over the hill next, Gretton follows…

Down to the line and Whelan wins comfortably.
Said is putting all the effort he can into the downhill sprint, but Morley packs too much punch a claims second by a length.

Minutes later the 5 minute group reach the foot of the Wall with Second Scratch hot on their heels.  Second Scratch know that they are racing for Fastest Time.
At the base of the hill they are even, then the usual suspects exert their climbing authority as they pass the steep section and kick away.  Ley is chasing Schiemer…who makes a gap and holds it to the line.

Results:
1st – Danny Whelan (19 minutes)
2nd – Bob Morley (19 minutes)
3rd – Noel Said (19 minutes)
4th – James Knipe (19 minutes)
5th – James Gretton (19 minutes)
Fastest Time – Brendan Schiemer (1 min 30 sec) in 1h 26m, ave. 39.0 Kph

 Photo: Due rewards for the selfless Danny Whelan.

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EVCC - Autumn Classics 2018 - poster

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

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

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

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

2018 Autumn Classics 

BicycleCalendar.com
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

Easter weekend – 2018 Australian Veteran Cycling Championships – Maryborough

Easter weekend – 2018 Australian Veteran Cycling Championships – Maryborough

 Easter weekend
31 March – 2 April 2018

Australian Veteran Cycling Championships

Maryborough, Victoria

AVCC 2018 championships - poster

Age Based racing

‘Just remember, when you’re over the hill, you begin to pick up speed’
- Charles M Schulz

The 2018 Australian Veteran Cycling Championships were staged over the Easter long weekend in Maryborough, Victoria.  This report is written with a distinctly Team EUREKA slant, however we will recognise the significant efforts of other medal winners as well.

As with most years, some events had low numbers and some events had reasonable numbers.  To combat low entries in criteriums and road race events, Age Groups are combined until at least six riders are formed.  This can lead to interesting racing with up to four age groups contesting for four sets of medals in just the one race.
The merits of the Age Group system will continue to be debated, but for now, this is the format and we can celebrate the accomplishments of the many who contested the events.

Saturday 31st March – Individual Time Trial

Perfect conditions greeted the riders for the time trial.  Sun, no wind and temperature in the low 20s.  The first rider to compete at the Championships was Eureka’s very own Craig Lee (35-39 Male).
Riders started at one minute intervals and it wasn’t long before Stephen Lane (Northern Cycling) was breathing down Lee’s neck.
The third rider away was James Ogilvie (Eastern) who under the guidance of Lane recently rode the TRACK 1 hour and now holds the World Masters – record!  Ogilvie was just bike lengths away from Lane at the finish and now has an Australian Time Trial title to his name after averaging 48.352 Kph!

The next Eureka competitor away was Ralph Jones (aka James Gretton).  His time made him the sixth fastest veteran Time Triallist in Australia…until the seventh rider started…
Gretton competed in the 45-49 Male age group and Team EUREKA had four of the six riders entered.
Jeremy Vanderklift, Peter Gunston and Matthew Bowman completed the Team EUREKA line up.

Bowman won the SILVER medal for his efforts and finished just 25 seconds behind Justin Hogan (Eastern).  Bowman ranked 9th overall out of the 65 competitors (male and female) who contested the Time Trial.

Gary Beazley and Stephen Biram both contested the 55-59 Male age group, but were no match for Southern Districts (South Australia) rider Michael Davies who recorded the fourth fastest Time Trial all day – behind Ogilvie and Lane (35-39 M) and Eastern’s Troy Drinan (40-44 M).

No EUREKA riders in the female events this year, however Emily May (ACT Vets) who is new to road cycling won the first of THREE (35-39 Female) gold medals for the weekend and ranked fourth fastest out the 17 female riders.
The brilliant Anna Davis (Northern) won gold in the 50-54 Female age group and her 42.02 Kph ranked her 16th overall for the day!!

Davis and Ogilvie each received a Mockridge Championship Jersey, trophies and prize money, on top of their Age Group awards.
*There is video footage of Davis donning one jersey on her torso and the other upside down on her legs…such fun!

Unfortunately the MyLaps timing system failed to upload to the website.  AVCC officials had to photograph the results and post them on the net.

Sunday 1st April – Criterium

Near perfect weather again, with cloud cover and only a light breeze.  The temperature started in the mid teens and reached the mid 20s by the end of the day as the clouds drifted away.

The first event of the day saw the combined 35-39 and 40-44 Male age groups race.
Four scratchings reduced the field to just five riders and what could have been a great spectacle only ended up showcasing the issues with Age Group racing.

Stephen Lane took off from the start and the field imploded within minutes.  EUREKA’s Craig Lee united with Mathew Grealy (Central).  Tim Bennet (Geelong) was somewhere up ahead chasing Lane and EUREKA’s Duncan Bates was somewhere out the back.
To add to frustration, the MyLaps system registered ridiculous times for the first lap and raised further questions about the current software version.

The 45-49 Male event fielded the complete podium from 2017 and the race was on from the start.  Team EUREKA fielded four of the 10 riders.
Craig Feely (Southern Districts, S.A.) won the event in 2017 and exploded from the start with Eureka’s Dean Wells leading the chase pack.  James Gretton took over the pacemaking once Feely was caught and time trialled on the front for a lap.

The pace was high and Geelong and Surf Coast rider Kane Airey was one of the early antagonists.  Gary Smith (also Southern Districts) reacted to many of the early attacks, while Scott Riddell (Northern) and Alex Randall (Eastern) helped keep the pace strong.
The high pace and constant attacks was too much for Gretton who eased out after 12 minutes, having sacrificed his Easter Sunday for Team EUREKA.

Mid race and Randall broke away from the pack.  Airey and Riddell waited half a lap then crossed to the leader.  Airey dropped back to the chasing pack after a few laps.
Eureka’s Peter Gunston gave a few efforts on the front chasing, before he too exited the race.  Matt Bowman put in some long efforts on the front which had everyone scrambling for wheels, but the two leaders were strong and had extended their lead to 30 seconds.

Nearing the end of the race and the chase bunch was being tactical with some riders just happy to race for the bronze medal.  The leaders had slowed, however the surging in the chase bunch meant they were always just around the corner.
Bowman started putting in some longer efforts which saw the chase group lose more riders.  Try as he might, Bowman could not get much help from the others in the bunch.  With half a lap remaining he buried himself and all of a sudden the leaders were within 200 metres.

Randall knew Riddell was strong in the sprint, so the two had started playing cat and mouse.  The chasers closed but Riddell blasted away to the gold medal long before contact was ever made.  Randall hanging on for a worthy silver and a four way sprint saw Smith take the bronze.

The next Team EUREKA riders out on course were Stephen Biram, Tony Mirabella and James Knipe in the 55-59 Male event.
Biram had a bad day and turned it into a training ride.  Mirabella and Knipe had a battle royale with the Knipe Rider taking bragging rights over the Italian Stallion.

Lindsay Burgoyne WON gold in his race, which was a combined 60-64 and 65-69 Male event.
Burgoyne was often on the front of the pack leading the chase on the two riders who weren’t even in his event.  A big sprint finish saw Lindsay finish fourth in the combined race, yet easily earn his Australian Champion title!

Team EUREKA had two more riders compete on the day.  Terry Collie and Robert Braszell raced in the 70-74 Male event which fielded nine riders and they averaged over 38 Kph for the race!
Collie bided his time throughout, whilst Braszell was either setting the pace or leading the chase pack.

A close finish saw Braszell just miss the win by 0.183 seconds, but earn a worthy silver.

In the combined 80-84 and 85-89 Male race, Ballarat/Geelong legend Brian Long and Leendert Nieuwenhoven (S.A.) beat the younger men home…

For the Female events, nine age groups were combined into three separate races for what can only be described as a timekeeper and referees nightmare.

Monday 2nd April – Road Race

Sunny weather and a strong southerly, with temperature in the low 20s.  Four different distances were designated to the various age groups and sexes, with each race starting at the top of a hill with a tailwind and concluding in the same place after a steady climb back into the wind.  Fun times!

Team EUREKA’s first riders away were Terry Collie and Bob Braszell in the 70-74 Male race over 50 kilometres.  Eleven riders contested the event and like the previous day, Collie bided his time in the field whilst Braszell made sure the race was hard for everyone.
The climb back to the finish saw the field split, however five riders sprinted for the medals with just two seconds separating them on the line.  Braszell came within millimetres of winning and the photo finish camera was required to declare the results.  The difference in the end was just 0.009 seconds!

The next Team EUREKA rider to roll out was Belinda Burgoyne in the combined 30-34, 35-39 and 40-44 Female event over 50 kilometres.
The field blew apart, however Emily May secured her third gold medal for the weekend whilst being coached how to sprint by Peta Mullens.  Not bad when a former Australian Open Road Race Champion is giving you tips how to ride in just your fifth race ever!  Such is veterans cycling…
Burgoyne collected bronze in her event!

The 35-39 and 40-44 Male combined event saw Stephen Lane say ‘hi’ and ‘bye’ before dashing off on a solo 85 kilometre race…as you do.
Team EUREKA’s Sam Smith probably wondered what the blazes had just happened before deciding he may as well race the other guys.  Smith came to the finish with Tim Bennett (Geelong) and Richard Abel (Eastern) before sitting up to let the two older riders race for gold in their event – Abel taking the win.
David Ogilvie and Duncan Bates were the other two EUREKA riders in the combined field and both endured hellish days.

Three races over 68 kilometres were the final events staged on the day.  Team EUREKA had representatives in each event and they all faced well seasoned opposition.

Stuart Brien raced in the 50-54 Male event and certainly put himself into the race early on, when attempting to cross to a sole breakaway rider.  In “No Mans Land”, Brien soon saw the peloton go charging past as the likes of Neville Laffy (Goulburn Valley), Brad Haskett (Geelong), Martin Banfield (Central) and Phil Smith (Eastern) took up the chase.  Brien’s day did not improve…

The 55-59 Male event saw Team EUREKA’s chances headed by Tony Mirabella, with Gary Beazley, Stephen Biram and James Knipe in supporting roles.  Another Southern Districts (S.A.) in Michael Davies, joined with Northern’s Philip Bramich to make the race their own.  They streeted the field by minutes. Mirabella was in the group of five racing for bronze.

The final Team EUREKA rider to race at the carnival was Peter Kiel in the 60-64 Male event.  Kiel acquitted himself well and got into the winning breakaway with ACT rider Owain Tilley and Northern’s Kevin Russell and Trevor Coulter.  Heartbreakingly, Kiel missed a medal by just 0.015 seconds as the quartet raced across the line.

This final write up is long!  Grab a cuppa and settle down to read what is probably more exciting than most pro races in Europe…

With a staggering 23 entries, the feature race on the day was the 45-49 Male event.  Fielding the likes of Darren Roberts and Tony Giuliano (Northern), David Newett (Geelong), Hudson Crothers (Central), Craig Feely and Gary Smith (Southern Districts, S.A.), the stage was set for an epic duel…and so it was!

On a sour note, the race was marred by no less than three incidents involving vehicles connected to the event…

Team EUREKA’s Matt Bowman did not start, however six other riders did including new member Tavis Baker, Jason Birch, Robert Ellis, Greg Ley, Michael Veal and Dean Wells.
Baker was a “bit flat” after doing a 24 hour ride around Lake Wendouree from 6 PM Thursday to 6 PM Friday.  That 108 lap effort (645 km) was equally matched by his feat in raising over $10,000 for the Royal Children’s Hospital.  It was only natural that Baker would be up the front driving the pace as the peloton roared along with the tail wind early in the race.
Three different Northern riders rode off the front during the first leg out towards Dunolly – curiously, other Northern riders led the chase each time.  Most of Team EUREKA sat back in the pack watching these events unfold without exerting much effort, of course Baker was always up near the front.

Giuliano survived his stint off the front through the turn near Dunolly.  Now the race headed straight back into the wind and also onto the hills.  Wells rolled up to the front of the peloton and closed the gap to Giuliano.  He was joined by Veal and they started rolling turns.
Ellis was the next EUREKA rider on the front as everyone waited for the inevitable attacks.  Giuliano tried again and was left to dangle for a while.  Fellow Northern rider – Darren Roberts – then started to ramp the pace up, all the while being followed closely by South Australian Gary Smith.  The pair tried multiple surges on the hills, however nothing stuck.  Wells and Ley chased down the mini attacks and Baker resumed taking turns on the front.
Unfortunately Veal was unhitched during the flurry of surges – he would go on to ride the next 55 kilometres to the finish, solo…

The next turn saw the field head downhill and Geelong’s Kane Airey led the field at speed through a corner cambered so steeply it looked like a velodrome.  Up ahead the road narrowed and turned again, opening the peloton to a fierce crosswind.
Roberts and Smith continued their games, now surging and crossing from one side of the narrow road to another at speeds over 40 Kph.  Wells and Baker were both close to the front when one dive to the left pushed Wells off the road and Baker followed.  The peloton had split and the race had ignited.
Baker waited for Wells and they started to chase the second group on the road.

Northern’s Roberts, Riddell and Giuliano, David Newett (Geelong), Hudson Crothers (Central), Alex Randall (Eastern), Smith (Southern Districts, S.A.) and another two riders were in the first group and had quickly opened a hundred metre gap.
Ellis, Birch and Ley were doing their bit to drive the chase bunch of about nine riders.
Baker and Wells were still trying to catch the second group on the road.  Two chasing nine was not easy and the gap was gradually increasing until the first of three vehicle incidents occurred…

On a narrow road, with a strong crosswind and riders stretched to their limit, a trailing referee vehicle passed all the chasing riders, even though the gap to the leaders was less than 200 metres.
Hot on the official car’s tail was a medical van, which could not get past the second group and actually towed Baker and Wells along with it.  The driver of the medical vehicle even sounded the horn to alert riders to its presence.
Try as they might, the Baker and Wells could not get the driver’s attention and so they were stuck just twenty metres behind the bunch they were trying to catch.
Eventually they risked a small gap on the left side of the vehicle, caught the bunch ahead and joined in the chase.
The sudden increase in pace as Wells and Baker shot through unfortunately resulted in Ellis being lost to the bunch…he too would ride to the finish alone.

The chase continued and picked up a rider who had been dropped from the lead bunch.  A left turn had the race back on the original road from Maryborough to Dunolly and the chase bunch picked up Randall who had also dropped from the leading group.
With a tailwind the gap stayed about 300 metres wide.  One rider rallied the chase bunch and had almost everyone rotating through track turns.

The gap to the leaders still remained the same as the race worked its way back to the Dunolly turn.  Back into the headwind and the gap started reducing.
Up the hills the race continued and riders were gasping for breath everywhere.  The gap continued to narrow as the highest peak was passed, then the second vehicle incident occurred in the leading bunch when Newett clipped wheels, crashed and had his bike allegedly run over by an official vehicle.
Crothers eased out of the lead bunch to attend Newett, however other vehicles had arrived by this time and Crothers joined in with the chase bunch.

The gap eventually narrowed, then a few of the chasers who had been “sitting on”, took turns at trying to cross the final gap in the headwind.  This both broke up the group’s rhythm and put some riders to their absolute limit.
The catch was made just hundreds of metres before the turn back towards the crosswinds.
The pace ramped up again and the field of sixteen stretched out before the pace was slackened and the race compressed again.

The third vehicle incident came in the form of a car racing towards the peloton as it neared the turn onto the narrow crosswind road.
Calls went out and the leaders surged as the race went into single file.  The vehicle pulled up (still partially on the very narrow road) and the driver jumped out with his telephoto lens camera and started taking snaps…mind boggling!

The race was stretched out and on in earnest.  Wells, Airey and Ley were early casualties in the crosswind.

Three riders – Roberts, Smith and Giuliano – had opened a gap with about 15 kilometres remaining.
The chase was blowing apart as riders went into survival mode…and the gap grew.
The final turn back into the headwind meant a 6 kilometre climb to the finish.

The leaders were three, the chasers were ten…

The odds were with the chasers but only Baker and one other faced the breeze.  The gap grew.

To the finish and Giuliano didn’t try to match Smith and Roberts as they sprinted for the line.  Roberts winning gold by a few bike lengths.

One minute later the peloton appeared.  Baker eased aside as the sprint started and Birch sprinted clear to claim fourth place and provide some reward for Team EUREKA’s efforts.

 

 

Team EUREKA results:

25 Km Time Trial
bronze – Craig LEE, 35-39 Male
silver – Matthew BOWMAN, 45-49 Male
4th – Jeremy VANDERKLIFT, 45-49 Male
5th – Peter GUNSTON, 45-49 Male
6th – James GRETTON, 45-49 Male
4th – Gary BEAZLEY, 55-59 Male
6th – Steve BIRAM, 55-59 Male

Criterium 40 minutes plus 2 laps
silver – Craig LEE, 35-39 Male
bronze – Duncan BATES, 40-44 Male
5th – Dean WELLS, 45-49 Male
6th – Matthew BOWMAN, 45-49 Male
also, Peter GUNSTON, 45-49 Male
also, James GRETTON, 45-49 Male

Criterium 30 minutes plus 2 laps
6th – James KNIPE, 55-59 Male
8th – Tony MIRABELLA, 55-59 Male
9th – Steve BIRAM, 55-59 Male
gold – Lindsay BURGOYNE, 65-69 Male
silver – Robert BRASZELL, 70-74 Male
5th – Terry COLLIE, 70-74 Male

Road Race 50 Km
bronze – Belinda BURGOYNE, 35-39 Female
silver – Robert BRASZELL, 70-74 Male
8th – Terry COLLIE, 70-74 Male

Road Race 68 Km
10th – Stuart BRIEN, 50-54 Male
6th – Tony MIRABELLA, 55-59 Male
11th – Gary BEAZLEY, 55-59 Male
17th – Steve BIRAM, 55-59 Male
18th – James KNIPE, 55-59 Male
4th – Peter KIEL, 60-64 Male

Road race 86 Km
silver – Sam SMITH, 35-39 Male
7th – David OGILVIE 40-44 Male
also, Duncan BATES, 40-44 Male
4th – Jason BIRCH, 45-49 Male
12th – Tavis BAKER, 45-49 Male
14th – Greg LEY, 45-49 Male
15th – Dean WELLS, 45-49 Male
17th – Robert ELLIS, 45-49 Male
19th – Michael VEAL, 45-49 Male

Well that is the wrap. It was a long weekend and Team EUREKA should be proud, not only of the efforts of our riders, but also for the efforts of our members who volunteered to perform corner marshal duties or acted in an official capacity.
Thank you Marika, Darwin and Paddy.  Huge applause for Lois, Bill and Terry.
A standing ovation for Eureka President John Faulkner who battled with the timing system all weekend.

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