Taltarni Handicap – Here’s Humphrey! First and fastest

Taltarni Handicap – Here’s Humphrey! First and fastest

Here’s Humphrey! First and fastest

In a devastating final 500m Paul Humphrey was “the fun loving bear” surging past a defiant Ron Larkin and Graeme Parker to win the final feature race to close the veterans racing season. Paul, with great assistance from his bunch, also took fastest time.

Special thanks to Taltarni for sponsoring such a memorable race and their generous contribution to prizes. A great race deserving of such a famous victory. The place getters were rewarded handsomely with several bottles of Taltarni’s best. Most of which Paul hauled off in a large wheelbarrow.

Moonambel? Where’s Moonambel?! The first challenge of the day for the 25 racers was geographical; find the start line. Several riders were delayed by a few wrong turns and Robbie Kinna is probably still out there some where.

Once mustered, Ray Hodgson lead out the field, off 26 minutes he rode well to still be in the lead at Navarre and collected the mid race sprint – happy is he who holds up Taltarni Clover Hill sparkling at the presentations.

Chasing Ray was Sue Parker with a two minute advantage on Ron Larkin and Graeme Parker. These three soon combined and looked to have the race stitched when Sue took the Queen of the Mountain just a few kms from the finish. Ron and Graeme were a pair of roughies that the punters had overlooked at the call of the card. However, both had shown up to race with purpose and put the rest of the field to the test. “Catch us if you can!”

The 13 minute bunch of Greg Curnow, Club Aggregate Champion Gary Blood and the most improved Matt Ritchie were making good ground and holding off the 9 minute bunch but were starting to tire late in the race. Gary found the final climb a bit steep for the “big dog” chain ring, while Greg found wings and managed to hang as a big pack of riders swept up the field late in the race.

The lightly raced Rob Parker, Bob Morley, Mal Rock and Brenton Keats were keeping a high average speed, despite Mal’s short surging turns. Brenton despite looking like he’d slept in his car, had a great set of legs on and was there abouts at the pointy end of the race after making the defining break up the final climb.

The Kinna-less 6 minute bunch of Ken Heres, John Creek and Peter Livitsanis were making small inroads on the Morley bunch. John providing a great sit for the other two, but dressed in a bright white jersey, he also provided a great big target for the marauding bunch of riders behind.

Within the first 10kms the one minute bunch of Paul Humphrey, Darryl Stewart, Darren Terry and Richard Taylor had rounded up the 3 minute bunch of Bob Braszell, Dave Peters, Dean Wells and dispatched Andrew Rushton. At over 50km/hr, this combined train of the biggest diesels in the club then started to take time out of scratch. They smashed into the Ken’s bunch just after Navarre and sent Ken whistling out the back, John and Peter tacked on to the bunch. The bunch snowballed further to 12 riders as they added Brenton, Mal and Bob Morley to the fold. All the while the Paul/Darren/Dean/Richard/Daryl steam train kept munching up tarmac at an increasing clip.

Just before the final climb they swept past the 13 minute bunch, Greg “Cadel” Curnow found enough to jump on. Dave Peters punctured, or was he shot? The final hill was to prove decisive. Darryl lit the blue touch paper and attacked, Richard responded first and brought Paul, Dean and Brenton Keats (phenomenal riding!) up to Darryl’s wheel. The rest of the bunch missed the move and the large group was divided into two. Off the hill, Bob Braszell nearly made it across single handedly but, stuck in no-mans land, he eased up to find support from the bunch behind. However the gap proved a bridge too far.

Paul and his juggernaut surged forward and there, just up the road, was the front of the race. Ron and Graeme must have thought they had the win between them with less than 1km to go. It was then that Paul showed that he is made of the stuff of legend. After riding the legs off everyone else he managed to step it up again and pulled clear of his companions, sensing a possible victory. With 100m to go he was at express pace. Paul was “the Hammer” and Ron, well he was the “Nail”, Paul accelerating past first Graeme then Ron to take the chequered flag, Graeme sprinted very well for third holding off Darryl and Richard. So ferocious was Paul and his bunch they took 2 minutes out of Scratch, Paul doubling up with fastest time as well as the win.

What happened to scratch? Club Champion Tony Mirabella, hometown boy Phil Cartledge and Peter Kiel set off well but probably went into the head wind too hard trying to reel in the one minute bunch as quickly as possible. They did take 20 seconds out of them but after the first hill the 4 had proved much stronger than the 3 scratchies and basically started to ride away. When the 1 minute bunch combined with the 3 minute bunch Scratch’s fate was sealed. Condemned to ride 52km without seeing anyone.

1st        Paul Humphrey
2nd        Ron Larkin
3rd        Graeme Parker
Fastest     Paul Humphrey
Int Sprint    Ray Hodgson
QOM        Sue Parker
First Female    Sue Parker (well, she was the only female)


Graded Criterium Eureka Vets Cycling

Graded Criterium Eureka Vets Cycling

B1 & B2 – The Birthday Boys are jolly good fellows
Celebrating a shared birthday, the most unlikely twins since Danny Devito and Arnie, Tony Mirabella and Darren Terry sprinted strongly to claim first and second respectively in a fast and eventful A grade crit.
A Grade welcomed an apprehensive Robbie Kinna to the start line, his promotion some sick reward for winning too often in B Grade. Stephen Brown made a nuisance of himself by launching the first attack from the gun, like some mad puppy it took a few laps to bring him back to heel. Darryl Stewart worked well with Dean Wells to bring the early breaks back, with Andrew Rushton finding his way back to racing after a spell.
Mid race saw what might have been the winning break go clear, the svelt Phil Cartledge , Tony Mirabella had teamed up with Darren Terry and  wonderkid Richard Taylor to establish a good break. However they did not count on the tenacity of Stephen Brown and the new improved Dave Peters, fresh from mid week crit floggings, who somehow rode down the break in the later stages of the race. With two to go the pace eased, guns were loaded and shoes were tightened. Into the last lap Phil lifted the pace stringing out the field into one line. Dave had recovered and was sitting third wheel like a coiled spring. Tony hit the last corner hard and led out of the corner, with his two girls on the finish line he was never going to be headed. Dave got a great line into the corner and hit the gas with Darren right on his wheel, Darren having enough brute strength to come over the top late to take second, Dave third in what was probably ride of the day.

1st     Tony Mirabella
2nd    Darren Terry
3rd    Dave Peters
Int Sprint    Tony Mirabella

Creek Flows Swiftly
John Creek continued his domination of the B Grade Criterium scene with another strong performance.
With 6 riders as possible contenders it was settled by strategies.
There were the usual spurts off the front but the field was brought back together each time. The interest in the race jumped when the bell for the intermediate sprint was heard.
Mal Rock went to the front and messaged his intentions. He let fly down the tailwind back straight with the hulking Scott  Denno off after him.
The others showed little interest and just watched the spectacle unfold. The two escapees turned into the headwind straight and it looked like Mal Rock had it in the bag.
But Denno has shown in the past that he cannot be discounted in the home straight. He lunged at the tiring Rock to snatch the sprint by the smallest of margins.
Bo Morley thought that it would be a good time to attack to test their powers of recovery.
They were spent from their efforts and fell back and out of the race.
That trimmed the race down to 4 leaving the Lethal Lee brothers , Bob Morley and the eventual winner John Creek.
Morley and Creek though t they would test the Lee brothers with 4 laps to go and made a big break and thought they had the race to themselves.
But the never say die attitude of Brian and Kevin saw them get back on with some tough and tenacious riding.
So with the four back together it was down to the last lap. Brian Lee lit it up from the start and it was on.
The big Creek man stormed to the front and wound it up on the tailwind back straight putting the blowtorch to the other competitors.
Morley went with him and the Lee boys were struggling from their earlier efforts.
Creek held on for a great victory with Morley not far behind for second. Kevin Lee took third place and  led Brian over the line.
A great race with high speeds, plenty of tactics.

1st- John Creek
2nd-Bob Morley
3rd- Kevin Lee
4th-Brian Lee
Int Sprint   Scott Denno

Blood Worth Bottling
C Grade was the Gary Blood show.  In summary Gary Blood goes to the front at the start, Gary stays in front, Gary wins intermediate sprint, Gary still in front,  Gary out powers the rest to win.
From the moment Bill said go Gary had the big gear going and was off up the road.  Terry was riding tempo on the front with the field in tow but after a few laps I knew it was not to be on an upset stomach and Gary continued to edge away.  The rest stayed together for some time but Greg Curnow had the grimace working to perfection and the resulting changes of pace saw Tony Herbert and Ray Hodgson slide off the back.  Both continued to push it out and rode the race right out to the finish.  This left Greg, Graeme Parker and new kid on the block Barry Robinson to form the chasing bunch.  Barry looks good on the bike and has obviously done this before.  Gary was however gone up the road.  Rumour has it he is going to lighten his bike by dispensing with unnecessaries like the small chainring and the front changer both of which are surplus to needs.  At the end of the day a good brave ride with the catch me if you can approach.   The sprint for second and third belonged to Graeme from Greg and Barry Robinson keeping his powder dry and playing the gentleman on his first outing.  Welcome Barry.—

Team Time Trial – Windmill Circuit

Team Time Trial – Windmill Circuit

The race of truth, contre la montre, no handicaps, no hiding, leave nothing in the tank. Which team of four would reign supreme? So it came to pass that the kings of pain were the valiant Paul Humphrey, Rob Phillips, Bob Morley and Gary Blood who combined like a very odd but well oiled machine to snatch the win by just 10 seconds.
One of the biggest fields for a while assembled to participate in this week’s “novelty” race, a Team Time Trial. Handicapman had been up late matching up teams of four that left everyone guessing as to which team might come out on top. The situation was made that much more challenging by the introduction of a time bonus for getting an extra rider across the line at the end.  In fact it took a good twenty minutes and a calculator to figure out who won.
Team lists:
Team Green Eggs & Ham
Tony Mirabella, Peter Livitsanis, Ken Heres, Hodgson Ray
Team Sexybank
Phil Cartledge, Dave Peters, Brenton Keats, Ron Larkin
Team Sky-lark
Peter Kiel, Andrew Rushton, Mal Rock, Greg Curnow
Team Rob-a-Bank
Paul Humphreys, Rob Phillips, Bob Morley, Gary Blood
Team Monstar
Stephen Brown, Darren Terry, John Creek, Terry Collie
Team F the DJ – Big Matt
Dean Wells, Richard Taylor, Brian Lee, Matt Ritchie
In a race where the top rider in each team had to throttle back to keep his team together, success came down to the guts and determination of the other riders, in particular the 3rd and 4th riders in each team. It may have been a relatively soft day out for the team leaders but the rest of us mortals soon discovered a new meaning to the word “suffer”.   Those teams that managed to extract every watt out of their third rider and get them over the line without dying, secured a 30 second bonus.  The key to success was when you asked the 3rd or 4th rider how they were going, if they answered with any more than a grunt then you weren’t going hard enough.
With just 10 seconds separating Team Rob-a-Bank and Team Monstar for first and second it was the evergreen Bob Morley who proved the difference, managing to hang onto Paul and Rob over the last lap with an average speed >36km/hr, and improve his team’s performance by the 30 second bonus.
Second place went to Team Monstar, captained by the nuggerty Stephen Brown. With Darren Terry, John Creek and Terry Collie for company this well matched foursome rode a consistent race, with Darren doing much of the heavy lifting into the wind. Well, he was always in the wind as the diminutive Brown is a lousy sit. Down the final straight it appeared Darren had ditched his team altogether and was riding solo, but just 50m out from the line Darren pulls Stephen out of his back pocket to cross the line as a pair.

Also on the podium in third place was Team Sexybank. Down on his time trial bars and cranking a massive gear poker face Phil Cartledge had his team of Dave Peters, Brenton Keats and Ron Larkin flapping out behind him like the streamers on a kid’s new bike. One lap in and they had rounded up Team Green Eggs and Ham and although they couldn’t ride clear, a gritty performance from Keatsie resulted in them crossing the line as a trio and securing the 30 second bonus.

Team Sky-lark’s Greg Curnow scored a moral victory being the only 4th rider to complete all 3 laps of the course, he did finish some 5 minutes behind the Peter Kiel and the rapidly evaporating Andrew Rushton, but he did finish.

Team F the DJ – Big Matt looked like contenders on the whiteboard. A very evenly matched group of four also scored bonus seconds for finishing as a tight threesome. The team’s namesake Big Matt Ritchie was an outside chance of staying with the other three and made a solid contribution to the team’s good start.

For Team Green Eggs and Ham it was a case of the hare and the tortoise in their struggle with Team Sexybank for line honours (although Team Sexybank were already 3 min up, when this mini race started). With every hill came a call from Keatsie for Sexybank to ease it up a bit, and a surge from team GE&H. Then on the downhill it was Phil that tapped out the never-easing tempo that brought Sexybank up and past Team GE&H again.

1st    Team Rob-a-Bank: Paul Humphreys, Rob Phillips, Bob Morley, Gary Blood
2nd    Team Monstar: Stephen Brown, Darren Terry, John Creek, Terry Collie
3rd    Team Sexybank: Phil Cartledge, Dave Peters, Brenton Keats,  Ron Larkin

Graded Criterium 12/11/2012

Graded Criterium 12/11/2012

A Grade

Arriving just in time on the start line with his own mini pit crew / cheer squad, Shane Cody made it a day to remember with a scintillating performance and a devastating final kick.

A large field of 9 filled the road on the start line, and with wild calls of “Attack, Attack” Phil Cartledge and Daryl Stuart jumped out of the blocks and were at the first corner before most of the rest of the field had clicked in. The cooler heads of Tony Mirabella and Shane Cody set to work to bring the bunch back gradually. With the catch came the next attack from Stephen Brown, followed by Daryl who had another dig. Then it was Phil again with a huge surge that put him 100m off the front in some insane attempt to lap the bunch, could he make it? Not with a flat tyre he won’t. Phil was put out for a lap with a puncture and rejoined back with the bunch. New rider Brien Stuart was working hard on the front to round up breaks and keep the tempo high. Darren Terry and the rapidly recovering Dave Peters made honest competition and rode well to be there or there abouts in the final analysis. Tony Mirabella seemed to be riding within himself but was actually having an “off” day

With two laps to go the field was still together, but not for long, Shane, Tony and

Phil stretched the field into a long line, then on the final lap it was Shane that jumped first with a devastating attack. He had 20m before anyone reacted, rounding the final corner he hardly had to sprint, he certainly didn’t get out of the chair, and cruised in for an emphatic victory to the high pitched squeals of his two boys. Tony had finally found third gear and crossed for second ahead of the most aggressive Phil.



1st            Shane Cody

2nd            Tony Mirabella

3rd            Phil Cartledge

Int Sprint            Shane Cody



B Grade

Rob Kinna showed that the last win in B Grade was no fluke by backing up with another powerful win on Sunday. With great numbers, and plenty of inform riders, Kinna did not have it all his own way.

The race started with two additions from the last C Grade race. B Grade debutantes Matt Ritchie and Scott Denno were keen to try their luck in a higher grade. The pace was firm from the start with riders swapping off and all leaders were putting the group into the gutter in the back straight from the outset.

Craig ”Please put me in B Grade cos I have done nothing for two weeks” Lightfoot was looking strong and doing plenty of work on the front. In fact it was Lightfoot that jumped away at the bell for the intermediate sprint and held his advantage for the whole lap to take the midway prize.

John Creek was looking like a sprightly colt at Flemington covering any moves with ease. Popeye Lee was on the front early and looked imposing, his brother Brian was flyin’ and was very visible up the pointy end.

20 minutes into the race matt Ritchie went out the back and fought hard to get back on but just fell short. Scott Denno not only was competitive, but he went off the front and opened up a huge break. The field let him dangle for a while and then caught him and the pressure lifted and Denno was found wanting.

The pace lifted even more and it was on with a lap to go. Rob Kinna, who is built like Foghorn Leghorn, raced to the front and the challenge was on. The field was after him with Craig Lightfoot feeling the pinch and Kevin Lee moving up through the field.

Kinna lifted again and led the field into the tail wind finishing straight. Big John Creek continued his improvement to take second with Kevin Lee a worthy third place getter.



1st- Rob Kinna

2ndJohn Creek

3rd-Kevin Lee

Int Sprint            Craig Lightfoot



C Grade

The old master, Terry Collie quietly and deliberately crafted the perfect race to secure a solid win and in the process advance the racing acumen of his fellow riders.

A mixed bag of seasoned vets, old friends and new starters began at a reasonable pace and it looked as if they might be satisfied with a bit of a warm up, at least the first part of the race, but then Gary Blood must have finally got it into the big chainring and found his usual gear and decided to test it off the front.

Fortunately Gary needs a bit of space to wind up an attack, something the crit course doesn’t offer, so the rest of the field were able to round up Gary’s titanic attack.   Gary then spent the rest of the race either on the back or off the back (not that that means anything because you can rely on him to grind his way back) or pushing through and lifting the pace at the front.  Poor choice of line found him off onto the grass from time to time.  Greg Curnow was riding quite smoothly and practicing his cornering technique.  The others were popped off by the changes in pace so it came down to three.   Greg lifted it with two to go, Terry Collie jumped across, Gary ground across and then it was a case of waiting for the inevitable surge from Gary and sure enough along the back his diesel motor started to wind up.  The crafty Terry had it on a string waiting for the jump and get the wheel then come off and be sure to go into the penultimate corner first, go hard with the tailwind, carry good speed to the last corner and with a bit of a gap the race was won.  Gary completed the last 100m in the grass again with Greg taking advantage and coming through for second.



1st            Terry Collie

2nd            Greg Curnow

3rd            Gary Blood

Int Sprint            Greg Curnow

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