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Eureka Vets Fail Blood test

Hetherington Circuit Handicap

Can he be beaten? For the second week in a row Gary Blood stood on the highest step of the podium, taking gold in yet another dominant display, his bewildered competitors calling for his new bike to be x-rayed suspecting that Dennis Shaw might have slipped a motor in it. Well one thing is definite, he won’t win next week – he’s marshalling a corner.

This week Gary methodically dismantled the limit bunch of Terry Collie, Mandy Rhook, and Matt Ritchie and rode solo for the last lap rolling over the line more than a minute in front of the frantically chasing field.

The rest of the field was assembled as Noah would have intended, the smallest bunches possible – pairs. Chasing the limit foursome off 10 minutes was Terry Constable and Malcolm Rock who was returning from high altitude training in the south of France. While they failed to catch limit, they rode well to stay clear of the chasing pairs until well into the second lap.

Three minutes back, Peter Livitsanis stretched Bob Morley’s elastic in a fast start, the pair settled into a good chasing rhythm and picked up Mal and Terry downwind on Henderson’s road on lap two. Bob sorted out the combined four and got them working to chase limit. They swept up Terry Collie and Mandy, Terry gritted his teeth and jumped on, Mandy wished them well and watched them ride away.

Starting 3.5 minutes in front of Scratch, the pairing of Darren Terry and Richard Taylor got off to a Kamakaze fast start. Darren was determined to smash the race or die trying, Richard was a little more circumspect realising that Darren’s early pace would blow them both up. Richard sat off Darren and waited for the scratch pair of Phil Cartledge and Tony Mirabella. Predictably, Richard, Tony and Phil soon rounded up and then dropped Darren in a pile at the piggery. Richard worked well with Tony and Phil for a lap but didn’t have enough to go with them when Phil called for an extra effort in an attempt to grab the race.

Into the avenue for the last time the Bob Morley four spotted the front of the race disappearing over the rise and they doubled their effort. Rounding the corner out of Henderson’s Road, Terry Collie put in a heroic turn bringing the bunch closer and in sight. It was then that they realised that they were chasing one rider, Matt Ritchie, not two – where was Gary Blood? To compound their anguish, scratch had appeared in the mirror and were bearing down at a murderous pace.

Just before the clubrooms, Tony and Phil blew past, Peter grabbed Tony’s wheel and everyone else hung on for as long as they could. Despite the chasing bunch riding the last couple of kms over 40km/hr, Matt Ritchie had done enough to stay well clear and secured second. Tony jumped Phil and sprinted clear for third and fastest time, Phil taking fourth. Gary Blood? Well he was standing beside his bike at the finish line waiting for us. We look forward to welcoming Gary into the single digit bunches soon.

 

Results

1st                    Gary Blood (14 minutes)

2nd                    Matt Ritchie (14 minutes)

3rd                    Tony Mirabella (Scratch)

4th                    Phil Cartledge (Scratch)

5th                    Peter Livitsanis (7 minutes)

Fastest Time     Tony Mirabella

First, Blood

Windmill Handicap

 Gary “Rambo” Blood, armed and dangerous with a new bike, went one better from his second last week to win on the Windmill circuit, and this week he reckons he did use his gears, at least once.

A small field of 13 starters were spread between scratch and limit off 19 minutes. Gary’s first task was to bridge the 2 minutes to the limit riders by himself. This mission accomplished, he then powered the combined bunch of Gary, Shirley Hetherington, and new racers Tony Herbert and Matt Kaess, which remained unseen until very late in the race. Matt succumbed on the final lap, and Shirley was popped just a km or so from the finish. She hung on desperately to finish third with the marauding backmarkers bearing down on her. But it was Gary and Tony that saw the job through, with the now seasoned veteran Gary taking the final kill.

The rest of the field were roughly arranged in small groups of two or three, good handicapping ensuring that there was less than a minute on the line between the winner and fastest time. The scratch pairing of Phil Cartledge and Guy Falla, shook off tired legs from the previous days ordeal in the Melbourne-Ballarat to methodically round up the field and accelerate to the finish.

First to be collected was the two minute bunch of Rob Phillips, Dean Griffin and Richard Taylor. Both Rob and Richard were able to hang on as Guy wound it up, riding at least two gears larger than anyone else up the back stretch, the ask proving too much for Dean today.

The new foursome of Phillips, Taylor, Falla and Cartledge continued to share the work around and at the Donovans Rd corner for the second time they had picked up the odd couple of Peter Livitsanis and John Creek. John was suffering by then as Livitsanis isn’t much of a sit. The corner marshall, Rod Hetherington, was very amused with the lanky John appearing to try to get as low as he could behind his diminutive partner.

Guy worked up the Donovan’s Rd rise with the field hanging on for what they were worth. Into the last lap, Robbie Kinna and Kevin Lee, appeared on the horizon, providing enough incentive for Falla, Cartledge, Taylor and Phillips to continue to chase. Creek and Livitsanis offering only occasional support, taking the opportunity to recover before the inevitable final onslaught.

Robbie and Kevin rode well to stay clear until the final turn at Coghills Creek, Robbie managed to hang onto the combined scratch bunch as they attacked out of the Donovan’s Road corner to feature in the final sprint. Livitsanis also made this final selection but Creek and Lee got caught out on the corner.

The pace of the bunch diminished somewhat until Shirley was spotted just cresting the top of the final rise. Livitsanis, Taylor and Cartledge still believed in a victory, each trying to lift the pace, Guy, Robbie and Rob were less convinced.

Shirley was coming back to the chasers quickly with Tony and Gary 200m further up the road. Phil was stuck on the front and had no choice but to lead out the sprint. With 250m to go Rob and Robbie attacked instantaneously with Livitsanis and Taylor in pursuit. Rob’s turbo kicked in late and he missed Shirley by less than a wheel.

 

For fastest time Guy had enough left to account for the courageous Phil.

 

 

Results

1st                              Gary Blood (17 minutes)

2nd                              Tony Herbert (19 Minutes)

3rd                              Shirley Hetherington (19 minutes)

4th                              Rob Phillips (2 minutes)

5th                         Peter Livitsanis (6 minutes)

Fastest                        Guy Falla (scratch)

Braszell Trophy Handicap

Braszell Trophy Handicap

Graeme Parker outclassed a determined Gary Blood in the final sprint to secure a handsome and popular win over the challenging 60kms course on the Weatherboard circuit. Graeme rode impressively to stay clear of a strong field on a windy day, particularly the back half of the race when he and Gary rode as a solo pair.

 

Gary Blood continues to build his legend, with a heroic display of bloody mindedness. After having his bike stolen earlier in the week, he arrived on the start line with a borrowed bike he’d never really ridden before, and borrowed kit. Not confident with the gears he decided not to bother with them, he banged it into the biggest chain snapping gear he could turn and rode the whole race in that gear. Into every corner the bunch left him behind and out of every corner he ground his way back on.

 

Shirley Hetherington and Greg Curnow opened proceedings on a fine but windy day, the pair had work to do to stay clear of the 30 rider field and they rode well early, maintaining most of their advantage for the first lap. After which the chasing bunch of Graeme Parker, Gary Blood, Terry Collie and Jacinta Welch gained ground rapidly, particularly into the wind along the Avenue. With the catch the wind soon took its toll and both Terry and Jacinta retired from the race and Graeme and Gary went clear. Shirley stuck it out and secured the prize for first women rider home – after many years of waiting, that trophy Charlie Braszell had promised her finally arrived.

 

The middle markers had mixed results. The 12 minute bunch of Robbie Kinna, Albie Govan, Craig Lightfoot, Kevin Lee and Rob Parker had the firepower on paper and almost grabbed the race in the final few kms. Craig lead Albie up the final hill on Hendersons Road in an attempt to get across to the leaders who were now tantalisingly close. Albie thanked Craig on the way passed and sprinted for third. A great podium result for Albie who had made a special promise to improve on his 8th place in this race last year.

 

The 17 minute bunch included the in-form riders of Ron Larkin, Matt Ritchie and Terry Constable but they needed to catch Graeme’s bunch before being caught themselves. This proved a bridge too far and they were left to bite their handlebars for as long as they could as the backmarkers caught up with them, Terry continuing his run of good form to hang on for a respectable top 10 finish.

 

The most aggressive ride of the day went to Dave Peters in the 9 minute bunch of himself, Peter Livitsanis, Bob Morley, John Creek and Ken Heres. Dave was going through hard and pulling big turns into the wind. A fast start saw the end of Ken and an attack up the hill on the third lap put Bob into the red. John didn’t miss a turn and was showing a rapid improvement from the last race. A flat on the fourth lap ruined Peter’s chances, borrowing Ken’s front wheel he completed the race in last place with only the marshals packing up the circuit for company. Now down to just John and Dave it was only a matter of time before the backmarkers were on them. Dave managed to hang onto scratch for half a lap but his earlier exploits finally took their toll and he rolled home with the other casualties.

 

Eureka’s heavy-hitters of Rod Hetherington, Darren Terry, Rob Phillips, Richard Taylor and Dean Griffin made up the second scratch bunch. Hammering bottom bracket smashing gears, they managed to hold off scratch until late in the race. The lightly raced Richard managed to go with the scratch train when it ploughed through them with 1.5 laps to go.

 

One of the strongest scratch groups of the year watched undaunted as everyone else charged out of the start gate, and a truly professional exhibition of racing saw them almost catch the front of the race. Guy Falla got the group up to attack speed early on the first climb, Tony Mirabella on his wheel and Phil Cartledge, Shane Cody and Peter Keil holding. The bunch settled down to work and methodically chipped away at the handicap with the windy Avenue and Weatherboard Road legs working to the advantage of these strong riders. Into lap 5 they had rolled up second scratch and the remnants of the 9 minute group and strung them out downhill and downwind towards Burrumbete, with very few surviving the penultimate climb. On the final turn Tony demonstrated the benefit of his pre-Melbourne/Ballarat training and gapped the field, he maintained his advantage over the hill and sprinted home for fastest time.

 

Special thanks to the Braszell family for sponsoring a great race and encouraging us veterans to race in the middle of a cold Ballarat winter.

 

Results

1st            Graeme Parker (21 minutes)

2nd            Gary Blood (21 minutes)

3rd            Albie Govan (12 minutes)

4th            Craig Lightfoot (12 minutes)

5th            Rob Kinna (12 minutes)

6th            Terry Constable (17 minutes)

7th            Kevin Lee (12 minutes)

8th            Tony Mirabella (Scratch)

9th            Shane Cody (Scratch)

10th             Phil Cartledge (Scratch)

 

Fastest Time                        Tony Mirabella

First Woman                        Shirley Hetherington

Most Aggressive            Dave Peters

Matt Ritchie, Takes Victory

Matt Ritchie took out his first handicap race with an impressive sprint in a bunch finish. Ritchie was part of bunch of seven that had a 15 minute advantage over Scratch. There was plenty of talent in the 15 minute bunch and they were lumped together because most of the “inquiries” tend to come from this group.

Shirley Hetherington and big John Faulkner were first away with a 21 minute break over scratch. Faulkner didn’t last long and his previously injured back was giving him trouble. He pulled out and Shirley kept going, keeping her personal average up around the 30kpm mark.

The Ritchie bunch was next away and it included Graeme Parker, Ron Larkin, Garry Blood Terry Collie and the two, in form girls, Mandy and Jacinta.

They had a 5 minute break over Kevin Lee, Craig Lightfoot, and Rob Parker.

Lightfoot turned up looking like an unshaven vagrant in an attempt to gain a soft mark. It worked like a treat, and the ten minute bunch suited him just fine.

Two minutes behind them was the 8 minute bunch led by the maestro time trialler John Rhook. It was a comeback ride for Rhook as he has had a running hiatus. He was joined by Mal ”What’s he going to do this week” Rock, Bob Morley and the rangy John Creek.

The question was soon answered as the bunch crested the first hill and Mal was off the back and away for another solo ride. The 90 kms he did the day before certainly didn’t help. But ,oh well, winning the coffee shop sprint, comes with training bunch kudos.

Rhook’s running hasn’t hurt his aerobic capacity and his co- riders got a good look at the Saxo Bank sign on his rear end as he dropped into position and put in some long turns on the front. This bunch had to catch the Lightfoot bunch in front before being caught by Bob Braszell Dean Griffin and Dave Peters.

This they did on the last lap and then set off after the Ritchie group.

They could see them ahead as they rounded the tough climb into the Avenue. Larkin was showing them the way, as he pulled 20 metres clear on the climb, showing he was clearly in good form.

As the combined bunch approached quickly from behind, Lightfoot lit it up and attacked them with Morley, Rhook and Creek on his wheel. This stirred the pace up considerably and the relaxed serenity of the 15 minute bunch was interrupted.

The tempo lifted and then lifted again when Morley attacked on the Avenue rise to see if they could shed some riders. He made a good break and was soon joined by Lightfoot and together they stormed through the Henderson’s road corner.

The bunch behind was brought back mainly by John Rhook.

The pelaton come back together and Lightfoot wasn’t letting the grass grow under his feet attacked again. And coincidently Morley was on his wheel as if he knew what he was going to do!!

They kept it going and still had a break into the final head wind home straight. But once again it was the generosity of John Rhook brought the field back together.

Just as things settled, Popeye Lee thought he would attack off the front. He opened up a good gap as everyone waited for someone else to chase. Mandy Rhook must have been delirious as she turned to Bob Morley and said “You are not going to let Morley win are you, hang on, you are Bob Morley”!!!

Terry Collie collected the flock, like a good Collie does, and sacrificed his race to take the bunch back up to the muscular Lee.

The group bunched up after the catch was made and were hoping for a short sharp sprint but this changed as Lightfoot attacked 500 out and Ritchie grabbed his wheel and that was the spot to be. Lightfoot faded and Ritchie committed and went for it. He pulled a race winning lead and it was only a matter of who would fill the placings.

Larkin confirmed his good form by finishing strongly taking second. Kevin Lee rode well to take third. Bob Morley and John Creek took out third and fourth respectively,

The 6 minute bunch rode well to be only 200 metres off the winning bunch.

Fastest time was an interesting duel as Phil Cartledge decided that the only way he could beat the mercurial Mirrabella was to continually attacking him 5 kay from home. The only one that didn’t pay a price for that was Mirrabella, as Kiel was shelled and Tony took fastest time by only a couple of lengths from the determined Cartledge.

 

Results

1st Matt Ritchie-15 minutes

2nd-Ron Larkin-15 minutes

3rd-Kevin Lee-10 minutes

4th-Bob Morley-8 Minutes

5th-John Creek-8 minutes

 

Fastest time.

Tony Mirrabella-Scratch

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