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Crits Race Report 26 February

Cody Crushes Crit

Shane Cody rode away from the rest of the A grade field to record a commanding victory on the super fast Production Drive criterium circuit.
Another first for the Eureka Vets was staging a criterium around the new circuit. Twenty seven riders competed in 3 grades, for many this was their first criterium, for most it was indeed a “learning experience”.

A Grade

From the gun it was clear that Shane Cody meant business, launching frequent attacks, and along with Tony Mirrabella, Adam Smith, Andrew Rushton and Phil Cartledge, they soon had the 10 man field strung out all around the circuit. Dave Peters, Bob Braszell and Richard Taylor continued to chase like mad things but made no impression on the steamtrain up front.
The relentless pressure then put paid to Rushton and then Cartledge as the trio of Smith, Mirrabella and Cody went clear. With a lap and a half to go Jedi Cody stamped on the accelerator and rocketed to a 40m lead, then held that lead for the entire last lap to claim a stunning win.

Results

1st                  Shane Cody

2nd                  Tony Mirrabella

3rd                  Adam Smith

 

B Grade

Juggernaut John Creek managed to find the right path through the throng of B and C grade riders to sprint home for an impressive win, edging out new rider Brad Slade and Peter Livitsanis. An eight man mix of seasoned crit vets and first timers were soon testing each-other out to see who had the legs, nearly everyone having a crack at some stage.
Darren Terry, recuperating in B Grade, repeatedly attacked into the wind, more often than not it was policeman Bob Morley who chased hard to close Flat-top Terry down. Rob Kinna and Rob Parker, both in solid form, glided around the circuit and looked to be contenders.  Kevin Lee, graduating to B grade, started strongly but struggled late.
The final sprint became confused as B grade sprinted into the back of C grade around the final corner, many riders deciding that sitting up was wiser than contesting the sprint. Creek, however, ploughed straight through and was surprised by the checked flag.

Results

1st                  John Creek

2nd                  Brad Slade

3rd                  Peter Livitsanis

 

C Grade

A return to form for Brett Caddy saw him easily account for the C grade field in a tactical race.C grade all enjoyed their race with the intensity being lifted right from the start of the event.

After a few messy corners the more experienced riders quickly pulled the bunch into order and the pace went up early. Unfortunately, Ross Waddington and the injured Greg Curnow fell victim soon after and the bunch settled down for a solid ride. Gary Blood continues to show his sheer strength controlling the pace over several laps only to pull out on the last lap.
Graeme Parker and Malcolm Rock were also out in front often with Sue Parker displaying her improving form in chasing them down and bringing the bunch back up. Brett Caddy looked smooth as silk, whilst Ron Larkin rode within the bunch as did the legendary Gail Oliver. The group went around for the last few laps warily, no-one willing to launch the suicide attack and it came down to the final sprinter.  Brett Caddy sensed his opportunity and jumped, his explosive effort saw him first over the line.
Sue Parker cheered on by her training partner in Gail Oliver, was second, with the gallant Malcolm Rock finishing third.

 

Results

1st                  Brett Caddy

2nd                  Sue Parker

3rd                  Malcolm Rock

Welch Wins on Weatherboard

Jacinta Welch was a popular winner of the Eureka Veterans first handicap race of the year, held on the challenging Weatherboard circuit. She rode to victory with the support of a hard working bunch, a new set of wheels, and a well-timed sprint.

Ross Waddington, Ray Hodgson and Shirley Hetherington got proceedings started and stayed clear of the chasing bunches for a considerable time, Shirley riding very well to finish in the top ten.

Chasing them was the winning bunch of Greg Curnow, Ron Larkin, Sue Parker , Graeme Parker, Gary Blood and Jacinta Welch. Graeme was in commanding form and along with Ron, they had the group rollicking along, so much so that no other bunch came anywhere near them. Gary enjoyed more come-backs than Lazarus, being dropped several times only to grind his way back to the group. Sue lead the bunch around the final corner into Hendersons Road and took a flier at the hill, the bunch only rounding her up at the very top. With everything back together it was down to the final sprint, and with a sizeable crowd of retired riders at the finish cheering her on, Jacinta found an extra gear to hold off a fast finishing Ron, with Graeme and Sue picking up the minor placings.

The middle markers were never in the race but there was plenty of action and heroics. The pairing of Matt Ritchie and Terry Constable needed to find the bunch in front or the bunch behind quickly to have a chance, unfortunately neither happened and they were left to soldier on in no-man’s land for much of the race. Chasing them, Rob Kinna and Kevin Lee duked it out in scratch racing style, this tactic put Malcolm Rock off the back and left Brett Caddy mystified. The last lap saw Popeye make a break on the Avenue corner and ride away.

Behind these antics returnee to racing Brenton Keats, ill-fated Peter Livitsanis, the mercurial Bob Morley and silky smooth Rob Parker kept things tidy and kept the chasing groups off their backs, but only made small impressions on the leaders. When Peter punctured on the third lap the group was always going to struggle.

Albie “Hefty Smurf” Govan, Murray Bardwell, Craig Lightfoot and David Perry worked tirelessly trying to peg back the groups in front. Albie continuing to display his rapid improvement, riding away from his bunch on the last lap to nearly catch the Morley bunch on the line.

The very strong second scratch bunch looked imposing on the start line. Ken Heres, Rob Phillips and Richard Taylor all riding well in their last appearance. They were joined by big Rod Hetherington, surely they would steamroll the field. They had a one minute advantage over the scratch pairing of John Rhook and Tony Mirrabella which evapourated during the first 7kms just like the morning mist on Lake Learmonth. This new super group rattled along gaining rapidly on the rest of the field. On the last lap, with Tony and John were content to mark each other for the fastest time honours, it was Richard Taylor who lit the blue touch paper at the bottom of the Hendersons Hill and exploded off the front crossing the line well in front of everyone else. John and Tony took off side-by- side for the fastest time sprint, John cramped and had to sprint “from the chair”, Tony sailing home in impressive style.

 

Results

1st                   Jacinta Welch

2nd                   Ron Larkin

3rd                   Sue Parker

4th                   Graeme Parker

5th                   Garry Blood

Fastest time: Tony Mirrabella

Scratch Racing Results February 5

John Rhook showed the advantages of his special South Australian summer hill training regime to power away from a large A grade field and score an impressive first up win.

A successful start to the new racing season saw over 30 brave souls brave a wind that would blow a brown dog of its chain. Most were concerned they may not be able to finish let alone be competitive, however most underestimated their form and a competitive days racing was had, congratulations to all.

Rhook Rules the Roost

A Grade

Nine riders lined up in very blustery conditions. As the riders left the starter, all eyes were on Adam Smith the noted rider in the group. Someone spoke of the rumour that Black Caviar had a photo of Adam Smith’s legs on her stable wall when she was growing up.

Rob Phillips was looking the goods and was also tagged as a contender. The effervecent Phil Cartledge was going to one to watch on the back straight, he would be sure to launch an attack down the edge of the road. John Rhook was showing his usual early season form after a great summer on the bike.

The first lap saw everyone in the group toil away diligently and  it wasn’t until the group turned into Donovan’s rd that Cartledge cranked it up and split the field. Two riders tailed off and as the group crossed the line for bell lap only 7 remained. The quarry road was uneventful until Phllips tested the legs on the climb with Dave Peters contributing to the pain as they turned onto Coghills crk road, A-Grade new recruit Richard Taylor finding enough to hold on.  There were a few more test attacks down the back straight with strong man Darren Terry getting off the front for a short stint and returnee Andrew Rushton misjudging the distance to the Coghill Ck corner. As the group turned left off Coghills crk road Rhook played his cards in an all out effort to get away.He opened a small gap and settled in for a time trial to the finish line. With the aid of a big Northerly and a 300 metre gap as he turned into Donovan’s road the writing was on the wall. The bunch, chased hard, swapping turns to no avail. Rhook crossed the line for the win. Phillips lead the sprint out for second place but cashed his chips to early and Smith at full tilt on his 13 cog came by for second with Ken Heres hot on his tail in third.

 

Dean Wells Outclasses Field

B Grade

Ten riders greeted the starter, however the wind and a sharp start by Peter Livitsanis and Bob Morley put paid to three who were dropped in the sidewind rounding the first corner. However it was Dean Wells that was the dominant force in the race, clearly riding well above the level of the rest, he spent most of the race on the front. So effortless did he find progress that at one stage he was heard to ask Bob when would we start racing. Ably Govan and Brian Lee tried to keep the racing honest by making strong appearances at the front, with Murray Bardwell carrying the lantern rouge. With 6 riders left to contest the finish, the wind proved to be a factor again by putting Livitsanis into the gravel just before the Donovan Road corner. Up the rise with the tailwind encouraging him, Dean took off with Alby barely hanging onto his wheel. They soon gapped Bob, Brian and Murray. Dean found yet another gear and rode Alby off his wheel to win emphatically. The sprint for third saw Murray poke his head to the front for the first time all race.

 

Rock Keeps Getting Better

C Grade

An evenly matched group of nine riders contested C Grade.  The extremely windy and tough conditions made their presence felt early, with both Jacinta Welch and Mandy Rhook wondering if they would last half a lap.  The bunch started working turns, and worked well together for most of the race.  Mal Rock made a brave move on the Quarry hill on the last lap, and opened an unbeatable gap, despite the tough ride into the head wind alone on the Coghills Creek road. Debutant Matt Ritchie, the latest Morley recruit ( the Morley dynasty now includes Bob, Maz, Nick and Matt), took over command of the rest, and on the last turn he took advantage of the tail wind and rode away from the bunch. The ever improving Mandy Rhook chased hard and it was full speed to the finish line.  Rock-solid Mal sailed home to take the honours, with Matt Ritchie second and Mandy Rhook third.

 

Hodgson Wins Again

D Grade

Ray Hodgson continued on from where he left off last year in commanding style. He and new recruit Alby Chapman (yes Eureka Vet has 2 Alby s!) persevered into the wind, with Ross Waddington and Maz Morley sharing the work. Ray and Alby had to work hard to drop the determined Maz in the wind and then managed to drop Ross Waddington on the Quarry hill. Fortune was to smile on Ross as a mob of sheep slowed Ray and Alby sufficiently for him to rejoin. However this reprieve was only short lived as Ray and Alby continued their relentless grind up the hill into the wind, again dropping Ross. Left to slug out the downwind sprint, it was Ray with the largest spinnaker, easily taking the win and destined for C Grade in the near future.

 

Results

A Grade   1. John Rhook. 2. Adam Smith. 3. Ken Heres.

B Grade   1. Dean Wells 2. Albie Govan   3. Murray Bardwell

C Grade   1. Mel Rock    2. Matt Ritchie 3. Mandy Rhook

D Grade   1. Ray Hodgson 2. Alby Chapman 3. Ross Waddington.

Scott Townsend –Club Champion 2012

Weather looked threatening from the start of what turned out to be glorious conditions by the end of the race with 14 riders showing up to battle it out for the Eureka club championship, 70km consisting of 7 laps of the undulating weatherboard circuit.

From the start Scott Townsend took off from the front and the rest of the field were quite happy to let him sit out there for a while and let him warm his legs, the pace did however quicken and shut down the likes of Darrel Stewart each time he shot off the front in an effort to bridge the gap, as the rest of the riders knew how he took off the front in the Bendigo club championship, where there the riders did not give him respect and was up there in the results at the end.

Pace was not really hot and was always hovering around the 36 kmph mark, there were however remarks heard in the group about not letting Scott get too far ahead as “he can actually ride you know” so he was eventually brought back into the fold.

3 laps in, Ken Heres led a group of 4, got away coming up the Avenue.  Phil Cartledge tried to sneak quietly off the front & believed he was not being noticed & was hoping to join forces with the 4. But just as he thought he had got away with it, the group came storming back hot on the heels with an almighty charge from Scott Townsend which then nulled the race and brought it back to a sedentary pace.

Tony Mirabella then thought he would attempt a breakaway  and  was happy to set the pace on his own. Again the rest of the field were happy to let this happen but were equally not as happy to let any other attempts to bridge the gap and join forces, of which there were quite a few but none successful.

Last lap and a half, the have a go attitude of Peter Kiel saw him ride off the front of the group.  There was a big push with the rest of the group (surprisingly still together) to pull him back down the avenue the final time, but as the gap was just about bridged the group sat up & Pete kept plugging away and still had a good gap coming into the final kilometers.

Heading down Burumbeet Road before the left hand turn up Hendersons Road, Brad Fry took his chances and went  off the front,

Cartledge took the left hand corner in a big gear & was able to keep momentum in preparation for the final climb which soon put him past Fry then Keil, looking down at the speedo he was doing 53km/hr as he hit the bottom of the hill and was thinking he had better make a go of this

There was a strong charge from the rest of the field of which only the strong would survive, Scott Townsend put those sprinters legs to good use to power himself up the hill and take him to the line as undisputed club champion, Tony Mirabella was hot on his heels with a good scrap for third being taken out by Shane Cody, 4th place Rick Calvert and Cartledge managed to hang on for 5th.

 

First and 21012 Club Champion –Scott Townsend

Second-Tony Mirabella

Third- Shane Cody

Fourth-Rick Calvert

Fifth- Phil Cartledge

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