October 13, 2018 – Oscar’s Hotel & Cafe Bar spring criterium series – round 3

October 13, 2018 – Oscar’s Hotel & Cafe Bar spring criterium series – round 3

Oscar’s Hotel & Cafe Bar spring criterium series

13 October 2018


Victoria Park criterium circuit

Oscar's logo

EVCC 2018 spring criterium series - slide

Saturday morning crits!

Small fields contested criteriums on the immaculate Victoria Park circuit.  Just Division 1 and Division 2 competed in the windy conditions which made races very interesting!

Division 1 saw new rider Ben Davies for a while, however he did not finish in what became a slugfest.  Ben will be sure to atone in the next few weeks as he aims at the championship races we are staging.
Peter Gunston was prominent early, however the experienced campaigners would have their day and unfortunately for Pete, he would not survive to the end.
Sam Smith had earmarked this race a few weeks ago.  He duly delivered, however it was no walk in the park as Stu Brien and Tony Mirabella were not planning on being easily despatched.

Division 2 saw the return of Shane Cody in the largest field of the day.  For those that don’t know, Shane is a former club champion.  This is the first step in his return. Beware in the future…and don’t take him to a sprint finish when he is fit!
Also back today was Richard Taylor.  It is only a matter of time before Richard is back in Division 1 (read…next week).
The handicapper – Peter Livitsanis – elevated himself to Division 2 this week (no choice really, with only two divisions racing…).  Still recovering from his recent overseas trip…Pete will strip much fitter come November…
Ash Burke, Brian Ure, Michael Veal, Dan Crook and new rider (on his second trial) Cameron Farrington made up the field.  At times there were attacks, at times there was pedestrian pace.  No decisive break could be formed however and the race was always destined for a sprint finish – but which monster would mash the gears quickest?
Brian Ure was the man today. Surely his continued dominance in the minor league has earned him at chance in the big league.  Only time will tell, however we will have to wait until 2019 to see that card played by the handicapper .

On a side note, Cameron has been so impressed with the vets racing, that he rushed off and joined EUREKA Cycling after today’s race…just don’t tell him that the next crit isn’t until February 2019…

Race results:
Division 2 (45 minutes + 2 laps)
1st – Brian Ure
2nd – Richard Taylor
3rd – Ash Burke
Division 1 (55 minutes + 2 laps)
1st – Sam Smith
2nd – Stu Brien
3rd – Tony Mirabella

October 7, 2018 – graded POINTS race – Windmill, 53 Km

October 7, 2018 – graded POINTS race – Windmill, 53 Km

Divisions on Windmill – 7 October 2018

Graded Points Race

Windmill circuit – 53 km


The threat of a shower or two did not deter 26 riders from taking their place in the first Points race the club has staged.
The concept was born a few years ago when just four riders showed up for criteriums.  Graeme Parker and Terry Collie conjured some new races for the four riders on that day – a 3 Km handicapped Time Trial and a Points race.  Both of those events have now made it onto the Eureka calendar, albeit on longer circuits.
*The Points race format will be used during 2019 when the club introduces kermess racing on a brand new 6.5 kilometre circuit near Learmonth.

We should also note the riders who were backing up from a tough 85 Km BSCC race the previous day – well done!

On today’s menu… three laps of Windmill with points awarded at the end of each lap 4, 3, 2, 1. The rider with the most points in each division wins… Riders, spin your cranks!

Division 4
Graeme Parker went off a bit early to enable his dicky knee time to warm up.  Terry Collie and Jacqui Dawson set off at a fair clip but took three quarters of a lap to catch Graeme. At this point it was decided to work on Jacqui’s sprint (no point trying spread each other all over the course) so for the first sprint Terry lead out and Jacqui was able to come off the wheel and hold a small advantage to the line.  It was then swap turns to sprint no. 2 and this time Jacqui tried the lead out so Terry waited and came off the wheel late and hard. Graeme was content to keep the knee under control and share the pacemaking.
So to the last sprint and Jacqui was again able to use the lead out and come off the wheel for a well deserved win.
We have a tough competitor here who just refuses to give up!

1st – Jacqui Dawson 11 pts (4, 3, 4)
2nd – Terry Collie 10 pts (3, 4, 3)
3rd – Graeme Parker 6 pts (2, 2, 2)

Division 3
A mixed field of experience and sprinters fronted the line – James Gretton, Bob Morley, Steve Linane, Danny Whelan, Phil McLennan, Roger McMillan and Peter Livitsanis.
Livi was returning from an overseas trip of four weeks.  He said he didn’t touch a bike and that he ate and drank too much…so off he went from the line like a flash and the race was on.  Livi tested the field on the first hill and it troubled no one.

Up Donovan’s and Whelan the Wrecker was on the front in time trial mode.  Livi lit up the first sprint and the smooth pedalling Gretton sped to the front.  Morley pegged him back but was half a wheel short.  Linane held on for third.

The second lap was noted for the Whelan attack on the hill.  Morley was on his wheel but breakfast was threatening to return.  This saw the demise of McMillan – who can sprint – so the field was relieved.  McLennan did a huge sacrificial turn on the final straight for the second time.  This time Gretton went early and hard and Morley had to work hard to get back on his wheel.  Gretton faltered 200 hundred metres out and Morley took off to claim the second sprint.

McLennan was gone.  Another hit up the hill and Ralph was off the back, the field was down to three.  Morley, Whelan and the cagey Linane.
Linane went to the front a couple of times but there was no risk of him breaking the cranks.  Into the sprint for the last lap and the result was pretty much a forgone conclusion for the overall decision.  Linane suggested to Morley that we gift the last lap to Whelan because he had worked hard. Morley dismissed this suggestion (in a kindly manner of course) “You’re having a laugh!”.

It was down to the three and funnily enough Whelan was on the front.  600 meters out, Linane cut through the inside and committed.  It was a great move as he held off Morley to take the last sprint.  Great format, great race.

1st – Bob Morley 10 pts (3, 4, 3)
2nd – Steve Linane 8 pts (1, 3, 4)
3rd – James Gretton 7 pts (4, 3, 0)

Division 2
Seven riders, including a few with self imposed handicaps lined up for Division 2.
Jeremy Humber and Pete Canny both had jelly legs from the previous day’s BSCC race.  Mick Veal was jet lagged having just flown back from his Griswald’s holiday in the USA.  Trial rider Paul Tabbitt was out for his first ever road race.  Grant Dawson had chosen bike riding over watching Bathurst and Rick Calvert was ready to find some speed for the upcoming trophy races.

A fairly steady first lap, with a slight headwind up Coghill’s Creek Road and some pushes on the hills.  The lack of attacks ended in a bunch sprint with Crumpler and then Veal over the line.

The second lap was a little smarter, with Veal yelling group strategy (in reverse logic) to drop Crumpler of the hills.  Most had a go attacking on the back hills, but it all came back together fairly quickly.  Humber got away on the tailwind leg (Donovan’s Road) towards the lap-2 finish, Crumpler bridged the gap, and both headed to the finish line with Humber launching a well-timed sprint to win lap 2.

The third lap got serious with an attack up the quarry hill (Dawson, Canny and Tabbitt) splitting the group into two, finally coming together again at the church corner (Addington Rd/Coghill’s Creek Rd).   The attacks were on on the last hill, with Calvert and Canny making breaks.  The final long break from Canny got him to the finish line first, with Crumpler chasing and Tabbitt in 3rd.

1st – Jim Crumpler 10 pts (4, 3, 3)
2nd – Jeremy Humber 8 pts (3, 4, 1)
3rd – Paul Tabbitt 5 pts (1, 2, 2)

Division 1
Off to a flying start, Division 1 tore around the Windmill circuit on the first lap and averaged 39 Kph.  It seemed that the unspoken plan was to set a high enough pace to deter anyone from making a long range attack for points.

The field of nine certainly had a mix of riders – Rob Ellis and Craig Lee were both backing up from the 85 Km BSCC race on Saturday, Sam Smith had made a last minute decision to venture out to Learmonth, Rob Phillips and Matt Ayres were enjoying a lift out to the major league, Stu Brien, Peter Kiel and Dean Wells were expecting to get brained in the sprints and Brendan Schiemer was out for his first race since winter…so of course it rained…

As mentioned, the first lap got off to a flyer and the riders never relented.  Smith tried an attack down Addington Road which was quickly covered by Ellis and Kiel.
Ellis was able to get off the front in Donovan’s Road and Brien joined him.  The others gradually reeled them in and the riders were all accounted for as they crested the final rise before the run to the finish line.
Lee and Smith went early.  The wiser heads knew that the fastest sprinter was Ayres and they queued up on his wheel as he towed them back to Smith and Lee.  Ayres went and Wells followed with Schiemer putting a gap to the rest.
Sprint 1: Ayres, Schiemer, Wells, Lee

Lee didn’t ease off as they started the second lap.  Whilst others were gasping, he was driving ahead. Phillips had been lost to the bunch already.
Riders scrambled and eventually caught Lee, however Ayres was struggling and would soon be unhooked.
Up the quarry hill and Ellis was keeping a high pace.  Into the headwind along Coghill’s Creek Road and when Wells noticed Ayres off the back he encouraged everyone to keep driving.  Ellis obliged.  Eventually the others joined in and Ayres was out of the running.
Down Addington Road again and Schiemer had a rapid air deflation episode which saw him out of the race.
Into Donovan’s Road and Ellis resumed the lead and just kept ploughing on.  The others were more than happy to let him do a 4 kilometre lead out.  Wells was on his wheel and as they neared the finish line Smith was the first to hit out.  Wells and Lee found his wheel before Lee exploded away to take the sprint.  Tight for second and plenty of space between the other riders.
Sprint 2: Lee, Smith, Wells, Brien

Ellis rolled back through to the front and kept driving the race as they passed the quarry.  His glances over his shoulder were more than enough to suggest that he had finally warmed up and was ready to dish out some hurt.  Up the hill and he opened a small gap, into Coghill’s Creek Road and he was away.
Passing through Blowhard and Smith rallied the remaining troops to start the chase.  Five riders chasing one and “the one” was pulling away.
The status quo remained until the race turned into Donovan’s Road for the third and final time.  Up the rise and Smith applied some more power.  Kiel was there to cover the move, however lungs were hurting everywhere.
Smith got a few metres off the front of the chase group – he had Ellis in his sights.  Lee jumped across and the two started working to ensure Wells couldn’t follow.  He couldn’t and they pulled away all the while closing in on Ellis.
The pair eventually collared Ellis inside the last kilometre, but oh had they been made to earn the catch!
Down to the line and screaming legs could barely muster anything approaching the speeds of the earlier sprint.  Nonetheless, Lee took the major points and the overall race win. The field was spread over an even greater distance.
Sprint 3: Lee, Smith, Ellis, Wells

Smith rounded out his morning by donating his prize money back to the club.  Raffle tickets were purchased in his name and he duly won the $50 Ballan Local Butcher meat tray!

1st – Craig Lee 9 pts (1, 4, 4)
2nd – Sam Smith 6 pts (0, 3, 3)
3rd – Dean Wells 5 pts (2, 2, 1)


September 30, 2018 – Oscar’s Hotel & Cafe Bar spring criterium series – round 2

September 30, 2018 – Oscar’s Hotel & Cafe Bar spring criterium series – round 2

Oscar’s Hotel & Cafe Bar spring criterium series

30 September 2018


Victoria Park criterium circuit

Oscar's logo

EVCC 2018 spring criterium series - slide

THAT One Day in September…



That One Day in September has many traditions which are almost as important as the game itself…
BBQ lunch
Half-time kick to kick
Smashing stubbies on the road

Invariably, the Sunday after the Grand Final is one fraught with a high chance of flat tyres for cyclists.  Not this year however!  The tears of the Collingwood faithful had long washed the roads clean of glass shards and the tarmac was dry, albeit with a salty residue.  (It’s OK, the writer is a Collingwood supporter)

Nineteen riders signed on for hi-jinx on the Victoria Park criterium circuit, including a couple having a trial race.  Heavily clouded, with a faint breeze and perfect racing temperature, the scene was set…

Division 3 (40 minutes, plus 2 laps)
This race split apart so quickly that most onlookers thought there was a fourth division on the circuit.  Michael Lynch and Terry Collie quickly opened a gap, however it was off the tail of the race.  They enjoyed a pleasant amble through the park before Collie somehow finished in third place.
The action ahead saw old hands Phil McLennan, Roger McMillan mixing it with trial rider Cameron Farrington.  Each had a go on the front of the pack.  However the occasional attack was not ferocious enough to split the trio.
Farrington took off with two laps to go and likely blew any chance of collecting a maiden victory.  McMillan and McLennan marked each other whilst Farrington opened a sizeable gap.
Bell lap and the catch was imminent.  The Maccas flew into the lead and had a ding dong battle down the straight with McMillan taking the win.

1st – Roger McMillan
2nd – Phil McLennan
3rd – Terry Collie


Division 2 (45 minutes, plus 2 laps)

Division two fielded the largest number of entrants, with nine riders taking to the start line.  Such large numbers meant there would be plenty of opportunity to just sit on and let others do the heavy work, however that did not really eventuate.

Steve Linane had earned himself an upgrade after recent heroics in the minor league.  Peter Gunston had wangled a demotion.  Matt Ayres escaped the Handicapper’s notice again and was ready to battle Jeremy Humber and Brian Ure in a sprint finish.  Dan Crook was back after a winter hibernation, whilst Ralph Jones is still in hibernation mode.  Rounding out the field was new rider Ben Davies and trial rider Paul Tabbitt.

Ding!  Away they went in what can best be described as a “fair affair”, with many contributing to the pace.  A few faster efforts were not able to shake anyone completely off the back of the peloton, although there was some chasing to hold wheels.

Crook spent a lot of the early race near the rear before trying to break away mid race in a Bowmanesque move, which unfortunately did not yield the gap he hoped for.
James Gretton got away with less than 15 minutes remaining.  The peloton allowed him to ride off the front, however when the gap got to 150 metres the peloton started working harder and reeled him back in.
The race was always destined to end in a field sprint with the likes of Humber, Gunston, Ure and Ayres strong enough to neutralise any threats – it did indeed end that way.
The sprint started from before the final turn as the riders spread wide across the road chasing Ayres who led from the front.  In sight of the finish line and Ayres still held the lead with challenges coming from Gunston and Ure, but the man on the new steed sealed the victory.

1st – Matt Ayres
2nd – Peter Gunston
3rd – Brian Ure


Division 1 (50 minutes, plus 2 laps)

Just five riders in Division 1 with plenty of stop/go antics.  Reigning Club Criterium Champion – Craig Lee – dictated the race from the start.  Tony Mirabella, Greg Ley, Jason Hendry and Rob Phillips made up the field and for the most part were forced to play the game on Lee’s terms.  Easy, easy, then attack.  Regroup.  Easy, easy, then attack.  Regroup.
Lee looked for chinks in his opponents armour and he found them.
Phillips was struggling with the surges and was eventually dropped.
Hendry made sure he wasn’t dropped.  He was confident in going head to head with Lee in a sprint.
Ley was often on the front trying to hold a high enough pace to deter others from attacking.
Mirabella had some doubts about his stamina, so in his typical style attacked.  That effort saw him off the front for a few laps, however the three chasers worked hard and brought him back.

The next few laps were at grandma pace and Phillips was able to finally catch them after his long, long chase.  Riders eyeballed each other as the two lap call was received.  This late in the race, no-one was prepared to launch from too far out.

Bell lap and the non sprinters were getting edgy.  Heading towards the end of the pony club straight and Ley made his move.  He quickly opened a six length gap as the others all waited for their moment.  Round the final bend and Ley still held his lead however the others were ramping up and closing swiftly. Hendry hit out first and looked home, however Lee had sighted the chequered flag and exploded in the last 100 metres to win easily.

1st – Craig Lee
2nd – Jason Hendry
3rd – Tony Mirabella


September 23, 2018 – Weatherboard Hcp, 50 Km

September 23, 2018 – Weatherboard Hcp, 50 Km

Club race + Victoria Teachers Games – 23 September 2018

Weatherboard Hcp

Weatherboard circuit, 50 km


It is widely acknowledged in the sport of cycling that the role of the Handicapper is a thankless job.  Their every decision is scrutinised both before and after the event by the primadonnas in pixie shoes.  The spandex clad are only ever happy with their mark if they win.  Lose…well, the first person to blame is the Handicapper.  With all that said, you would think that the Handicapper would try to do a better job of their craft!

Comical scenes at the start line as riders milled before their turn to launch.  The common theme was that “Bob has done us in today!”

Unbeknownst to anyone until post race, a transcription error had led to the race being over before it started…
The Limit group was already away.  They had what would prove to be an insurmountable lead, thanks to a bonus five minutes being added to their mark.  Those riders standing at the start line were gobsmacked at the mark.  This kind of thing hadn’t happened since at least April, when the same bunch was gifted a trophy race.  But, let’s go back to the start of the story…

Just a dozen riders signed on for the 50 kilometre handicap race on the Weatherboard circuit.  Numbers down for multiple reasons such as holidays and illness.  The circuit also demanded four corner marshals – which takes a toll on the number of riders available.
Dry, cool and overcast conditions, with a fair south wind made choosing what layers to wear difficult.  Rain never came, however it seemed likely nearly all day long.  Terry Collie didn’t make it to the start line today.  He ran out of time to get prepared and then couldn’t muster the speed into the headwind to make it to the start line on time.

So, the 13 minute group somehow became the 18 minute group and were sent off instead.  Bob Morley (stand in Handicapper and subject of our mirth) went out as Road Captain with Dan Whelan, Roger McMillan and a rare visitor in Richard Kennedy.  McMillan played the tiniest of cameos before bidding adieu.  The other three rolled on with Kennedy assuming the lead and the other two hanging on.

Fourteen long minutes later, the second scratch group rode away.  Just the three – Dean Wells, Grant Dawson and Jeremy Humber.  Their four minute gap to the Scratch group seemed tiny…  Wells immediately into time trial mode – how often do we race up the Avenue with a tailwind?  Dawson almost dropped and Humber immediately into survival mode.

Greg Ley commanded Scratch today, with Rob Ellis, Craig Lee and Jason Hendry as his faithful lieutenants.  They rolled out from the start at the same time as Limit came through on their first lap.  It is fair to say that Bob knew immediately that there had been a problem!  Scratch went straight into swapping turns.  They couldn’t win, but they could at least catch the bunch ahead.
For their part, the 4 minute group had Dawson and Wells swapping turns.  Humber was still hurting from his race the day before and he was out by the end of the first lap.  The other two were evenly matched today and worked well right around the circuit.

The leaders were miles ahead, literally.  Morley was wondering what apt nickname he could annoint the super strong Kennedy with.  Whelan was itching to have a go on the front, however he couldn’t get past Kennedy, so the status quo remained and the trio only lost metres to the chasers, rather than minutes.

Back in Scratch and they could see the four minute group ahead.  Slowly they chipped away at the gap.  Hendry impressing his newfound Scratch cohorts!  They swept up McMillan who was audacious enough to even do a turn!
Scratch eventually caught Dawson and Wells with just twelve kilometres remaining.  The two quickly joined in the rotations and enjoyed another round of “Bob has done us in today!”

Out of the Avenue for the final time and Hendry lost a wheel and was lost to the bunch as the gap quickly grew.
Way up ahead the leader was still towing Morley and Whelan around.  They swung onto Hendersons Road and lined up the hill for the final time.  Kennedy took a brief moment to run his eyes over the two guys who had been tailing him, thinking to himself “I’ve got the old bloke who looks like Fidel Castro covered”, “Reckon I might have a gravity advantage on the other bloke”.
That is exactly as it played out.  Kennedy ramped the pace up before they even got to the hill, then half way up he just rode away leaving Whelan and Morley to fight over the scraps.  In no surprise, Morley collected the second placing.

The chase group was still fighting the wind as they crested Weatherboard for the final time.  Down to the chicane and RED flag at the last moment, then whoosh!  The vehicle was flying and caught the marshal unawares.  Lee was on the brakes in time and calamity was avoided, but damn that was close!

The run to the finish saw Ellis, Ley and Lee rotating.  Wells and Dawson both sitting back knowing that fourth and fifth placings were up for grabs.  Hendersons Road and Ley tried to get away.  Ellis closed it down, with the rest on his wheel.
To the hill and Wells attacked just before halfway up, he had a few lengths gap over the top.  Ellis responded, but his legs didn’t.  Lee was always going to be the danger and he was also racing for Fastest Time.  He loomed up, sprinted and turned off before hitting the line.

Riding back to the club rooms and Morley drew alongside to explain that “It wasn’t my fault!”
He also had his nickname for Kennedy – The Bandit.

1st – Richard Kennedy (18 minutes)
2nd – Bob Morley (18 minutes)
3rd – Dan Whelan (18 minutes)
4th – Craig Lee (Scratch)
5th – Dean Wells (4 minutes)
Fastest Time – Craig Lee in 1h 22 mins, ave. 37.3 Kph
_MG_7980 copy (1)

Thank you to the club members and friends who volunteered their time in the afternoon to help the club host the cycling events for the 2018 Victoria Teachers Games.  Twenty four riders over five categories raced on the Weatherboard circuit.
The wind made for difficult conditions, however every rider completed their race.  Local teaching identities Ash Burke and Andrew Read collected silver and bronze medals respectively in the Male 35-49 category.  The Female 20-34 race saw Malory Cain and Tamaryn Stevens both collect medals for the second year running.

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