Race Report- Scratch Race 31st July

A Grade Scratch race

A field of 6 riders faced the starter, these being Phil Cartledge, Rod Hetherington, Bob Braszell, John Rhook and visiting riders from Bendigo club, Paul Volk and Darrell Stewart .

It was a fairly sedate start with all 6 working honest turns across the quarry road, the only notable event was the clash of Rod’s front wheel and Darrell’s derailleur. As the bunch turned into the wind on the back straight Phil decided to test the riders’ skills by going up the very edge of the road and remained there for the entire length of the straight!! As the riders turned into the tail wind the pace went on and as they turned into Donovan’s Road, Cartledge attacked hard out of the corner catching Braszell off the back. Bob made a gallant effort to get back on but the hill finished his under done legs. It was full steam ahead down the finishing straight and when the riders turned onto the quarry road, Hetherington was gone.

After several attacks down the back straight Stewart was well off the front when the group turned into Donovans Road the second time, again Cartledge drove hard up the small climb and pulled the break away in. It was then a solid 11 cog down the front straight which proved too much for Darrell Stewart and as we crested the quarry hill it was down to 3. Cartledge attacked again down the back straight proving to much for the last visiting rider and Rhook was the only rider left able to hold the wheel .

After a discussion about upholding the stature of the club against those ….visitors. It was a solid last 5 K to the finish. Cartledge lead the sprint out and was too strong for Rhook who was doing all he could just to stay on the wheel for 2nd place, Paul Volk came in 3rd some 5 minutes down.

B Grade

A small but evenly matched bunch fronted the starters with the early money on Peter Livitsanis or Rick Calvert. Richard Taylor was un backable but had not one but two flat tyres before the start and was relegated to marshalling duties. An interesting addition the Michael Veal who set a new standard in warm ups when he wheeled his bike from his vehicle 10 metres to the start line announcing “ Warm up done!”

The bunch was well mannered and dropped into a rhythm of rolling over and sharing the load. It was only a matter of time before somebody shook up the monotony. It was Peter Livitsanis with the aid of the tail wind cranked it up and powered the whole way on the front. The rest of the field was strung out in a line like ducks wondering when he would back it off. Livitsanis won the nonexistent intermediate sprint and kept it going to the next corner. He swung off and thing got back to whatever normal is. Then low and behold he did the same thing the next lap. Lined out the whole field again and backed it off around the corner. He hadn’t finished with us yet and on blowhard road into the side wind he put us into the gutter and lifted the pace in a “Cartledge-esque “maneuver to sort the field out. However Phil Cartledge he aint and no –one suffered too greatly. Then we got to the tail wind straight on the irrepressible Livitsanis was on the front again!!As the finish line loomed, Michael Veal was on his wheel looking for the sit. However he was still copping a fair bit of breeze because he sits a lot higher than the diminutive Pete. The best sit in the house was behind Veal and that was where Bob Morley had parked himself. One of the pre race favourites , Rick Calvert was on Morley’s wheel and Brian Lee was sitting out in the middle of the road for no apparent reason.

400 out Veal’s experience and mind told him it was time to go. He stood up but his legs told him to sit down. He had cramped and all it did was alert Livitsanis that it was on. He committed and went all out for the line. Calvert jumped down the outside and thought he had the race won when the old stager Morley “Bobbed” up and powered down the outside to take a well judged victory.

Calvert hung on for second. Peter Livitsanis carved a new adage” Plenty of guts, no glory” to hold second and the Doc rolling over the line for fourth. Brian Lee was still in the middle of the road and came in fifth.


C Grade

Eight riders made up the C grade field with the attacks starting early in the race. John Creek who just continues to grow stronger every week dominated the attacks.  Using the tail wind into Donovan’s Road as a launching pad on each lap he strung out the entire field out for several kms with even the most seasoned riders struggling to hold a wheel.

Ron Larkin dug hard on the quarry hill but to no avail as all of the field were showing better form than him.
All eyes were on Steve Kanga Kennedy, who looked very comfortable though out the race as did Kevin Lee who rode using his brain and holding off any attacks with ease.  Jacinta Welch also cruised along with ease in the male dominated group.  Mal Rock put in a rock solid ride and started the long sprint for the finish far too early.  Kevin Lee and John Creek then opened up the pace and it was a clear duel between these two stronger riders of the field for first place. Lee took the line honors just ahead of Long John Creek with Steve Kennedy finishing comfortable in third place.


D Grade

D Grade was well represented and just to make things interesting Gary Blood missed the start and had to race to get back on. The bunch then rode together for some time which was a feat in itself with a group containing Greg Curnow and Gary blood. Alby Chapman was the first to go when the pace was lifted on Quarry hill. Shirley Hetherington was keeping the bunch in check until the main hill on the last lap when Blood had a rush of Blood and left the group to strike out alone. The others thought it was wise to leave him there for a while and worked turns to keep him in reach. But the harder they worked the more blood pulled away. Greg Curnow thought it was time to strike out on his own and tried to get across but found himself in no man’s land.

Gary Blood stayed away for an impressive victory and Curnow held on for second. The sprint was on for third when there was a touch of bikes between Shirley Hetherington and big Nick Verhagen. This worked in Verhagen’s favour and he was the third place getter


E Grade

E Grade was the M&M show as Maz Morley and Mandy Rhook fought out D Grade. They both rode well but it was Mandy that was too strong in her comeback ride to take victory with Maz Morley second.

Townsend Wins Braszell Memorial Race.

Scott Townsend was the inaugural winner of the Charlie Braszell memorial race indifficult conditions on Sunday. Charlie was prominent in the cycling industry for many years involved in many aspects of the sport.

It was an emotional victory for Scott considering the late Charlie Braszell coached Scott’s father the late Peter Townsend.

The race was set by the handicapper with 46 participants making the start line.Marilyn Morley was first away and she rode by herself and was caught well into the race at the 45 kilometre mark. The back end of the field was pumping with Doug Garley Tony Mirrabella Peter Kieland eventual winner Townsend cutting a swathe through the field picking up the occasional helper and shedding riders to obscurity.The middle bunch was making great time with Alby Govan and Gail Oliver quickly taking time out of the bunch in front. Bob Morley fell off the pace and Alan Barnett just fell off.

There was plenty of interest in the out markers as Shirley Hetherington and big Nick Verhagen had caught Marilyn Morley and Steve Atkinson. Shirley Hetherington could sense Nick should go ahead because she was holding him back. Verhagen took off and was making great pace on his new Shogun and looked a likely winner. The scratch bunch had not faltered their pace and had picked up Dave Peters, Peter Livitsanis, Gail Oliver and Alby Govan. They still had not sighted the Flying Dutchman and it looked like he was home. He turned left into the final stretch of Weatherboard road. It was uphill and into the wind. It was only a kilometre to go but it was like someone had dumped a bag of wheat on his shoulders.Scratch hit him on the final rise with the race being on for line honours.

Townsend broke clear with hard man Doug Garley not far off him wrestling a bike with a brokenderailleur. The mercurial Mirrabella was third. Peter Kiel who never misses a turnwas fourth. Gail Oliver rode a tremendous race to be easily the first woman home.Nick Verhagen held on for tenth after winning the intermediate sprint at Erclidourne.

Rod Hetherington did a masterful job with the handicapping and the day was a great tribute to a man that was, and always will be, held in the highest of regard in the cycling community.


Cartledge Crushes Field in Emphatic Win

Phil Cartledge di his growing reputation no harm with a comfortable victory on Sunday at Learmonth.
The field was noticeably smaller because riders took too much notice of the forecast.
The riders that did turn up were rewarded with fine but crisp conditions.

Cartledge started off the scratch position and was joined by master handicapper Rod Hetherington. They had 45 seconds to make up on second scratch that consisted or Peter Livi, RivhardTaylor and Rick Calvert.

Hetherington led off for the first turn and Cartledge took over to attempt to close down the gap as quickly as possible. He twitched his elbow and waited , looked behind and Hetherington was 100 metres behind. Decision time. He took off on a solo chase with the likely hood that he was no chance. He did however catch the trio in front at the top of quarry hill in an exhibition of power riding.

Further out, the five minute bunch of Bob Morley and Kevin Lee fancied their chances as they quickly reeled in Ian Wallis and Terry Collie.

As they started the second lap and turned the first corner they were deflated to see riders coming quickly from behind. The backmarkers enveloped the bunch of four and only had to round up the brave Greg Curnow and the bunch was up. This was completed on quarry hill and Curnow was out the back.

Cartledge led them left after quarry hill and slowly increased the pace and put it down the road as well. Those that were hoping to be carted along were disappointed and Collie, Wallis and Lee found the going too hard and their race was over.

Cartledge continued on the front and swung off to give the also rans a chance to feel some wind. He must have been bored with the pedestrian pace as he got on the front and proceeded to ride every one off his wheel. Only the powerful Richard Taylor had enough juice to get across.

Morley, Livitsanis and Calvert were making ground when Cartledge went off the front again to burst everyone’s bubble.

The only option for the chasers to work turns behind him. They were making good pace, or so they thought, but Cartledge treated their combined efforts with distain and disappeared into the distance to score a very impressive victory.

The only interest was in the placings. Rick Calvert fancied his chances and went from a long way out. The others jumped, and it was Richard Taylor, pushing an inhuman gear, claimed second place. Peter Livitsanis rode well to claim third and Calvert tired but held fourth place.

Neil Walters Takes first and Fastest.

In pretty much in unprecedented circumstances Neil Walters signalled his good form by winning the handicap race off third scratch off 7 minutes.

The scratch bunch and the second scratch bunch were sent into disarray right from the outset. Matt Albiston was late and then got lost and hence missed the start. He was to help Peter Kiel and Rob Phillips off scratch. Jason Haire missed the start of his second scratch bunch and chased to get on, then punctured and then went the wrong way in a comedy of errors. This left Peter Livistanis and Richard Taylor in no man’s land

It was the third scratch bunch led by Ken Heres who is returning from injury dominated the race. He was ably supported by Neil Walters and Bob Morley and they immediately started to take time out of the bunch in front. They caught Brian Lee Alan Barnett new rider Phil Cartledge and the inexperienced but powerful Darren Terry. Heres organised the new group and set off after the bunch in front. They caught them as well and added some workers. The writing was on the wall for the riders behind. Gail Oliver and Albie Govan didn’t miss a beat and only added to the momentum they rode through the rest of the field shredding each  group on capture. With the final five kilometre to be ridden, only the strong had survived. New rider Phil Cartledge was looking likely as was Neil Walters. Cartledge went 500 out with a strong turn of speed with the five surviving riders lined up behind him. He had them in the gutter so he wasn’t disadvantaged. Neil Walters rolled to the front with 300 to go and then surprised everyone with an attack off the front with 150 to go. He pulled a gap of 20 metres and was never headed. Cartledge held on for second with Gale Oliver holding third. Just when you think Oliver won’t get any better she does. Ken heres, coming back from injury rode a strong race for fourth and Albie Govan fifith.

Peter Kiel sprinted well to hold off Richard Taylor for what he thought was fastest time but Walters had taken that honour as well.

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