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June 16, 2019 – W.A.R.S. race 2 – Mt Ercildoune graded divisions, 45 Km

June 16, 2019 – W.A.R.S. race 2 – Mt Ercildoune graded divisions, 45 Km

EUROPA cafe and HOPSCOTCH cafe
Winter Aggregate Race Series

Race 2

16th June 2019

Mount Ercildoune – 45 Km

 2019 WARS version 2 poster

“And some places you been before are so great that you don’t mind going back.
Some places you been before you don’t ever want to go back, like Montreal in the winter.”
- Morgan Freeman

This year, Europa is joined by sister cafe – Hopscotch – in presenting the Winter Aggregate Race Series

Eight (non-trophy) races during the winter months will decide the eventual aggregate podium.
Three handicap races, four graded division races and the famous Team Time Trial make up the 2019 series.

Division 4through the eyes of Terry Collie

Race report from the other end of the alphabet.
“5,4,3,2,1, go .. and it’s on push down with the right foot, then the left, then right, then left again and simply repeat the process thousands of times, simples Sergei”.
The only problem is the other riders are doing the same thing!

Darryl Brown, Laura White, Jakkii Dawson, Brian Lee and Terry Collie appeared to be fairly evenly matched and most of the race was spent swapping turns.
Drama mid race, when Brown, all of a sudden wasn’t there!  He’d forgotten the last minute visit and had to stop for a nature break – behind a suitable bush we hope…

Into the climbing part of the race and Lee is looking ominous just pedalling away on a lower gear than everybody else (note: check Brian’s bike next time – suspect he has a 40 tooth BIG chainwheel).
Then… what the?!  Brown is back and off the front and we can’t catch him.  He is away and gone.
The others are racing for second.

Into Edmonston Road and Brown is still up front, as the rest work up the hill half expecting an attack from Lee – which does not eventuate – he must be as tired as we are.

Brown had crossed the line and awaits the place getters.
The four line up for a sprint, with no-one keen to hit the front.  Collie, ever the gentleman says “I’ll lead you out” and ups the tempo.
The others won’t come past, the line is drawing closer.  Dawson can be heard as she makes every effort to get to the front – maybe they couldn’t come past?

Post race, it transpires that Brown had caught the referee’s eye at the wrong time and had been relegated – so everyone moves up a spot.
A good solid ride from everybody.

Race results:
1st – Terry Collie
2nd – Jakkii Dawson
3rd – Laura White

Division 33as summarised by Peter “Fifi” Livitsanis

33 years between oldest and youngest, 33 cm between tallest and shortest and 33 Kph average speed.

Two new riders – Tim Sinclair (couldn’t wipe the grin off his face all race), and Andrew Wilson (very tall, very strong, very green).

Peter “Fifi” Livitsanis took off from the gun and had them strung out around the right hander into Ercildoune Road, Brian Ure quickly alongside and the pair got a small gap. Bob Morley and Danny Whelan dutifully bridged to the leaders, with race favourite Steve Linane and Sinclair sitting in – because one of them knew what he was doing and the other was enjoying the scenery.

The pattern repeated a few times along Ercildoune Road with either Wilson or Ure animating the race and one of the old guys bringing it back together.
With Mount Misery looming, the attacks halted while the riders took a breath and regrouped.  Just before the hill Linane punctured and waved goodbye.

Onto the hill and the old hands set a tempo to discourage attacks, this worked mostly with only Wilson keen to press every now and then.  The inevitable acceleration towards the top and the downhill drag race to the Addington corner with everyone (except Linane) still gruppo compacto.

Turn at Addington, downwind and uphill – just how Fifi likes it. He gradually winds up the pace until everyone is strung out.  Over the rise and downhill to Weatherboard Road, Fifi continues to increase the pace – everyone else content enough to sit in the wheels and wait for the final sprint.

Turn into Weatherboard Road and Wilson guns it again, opening up gaps and everyone is scrambling for wheels.
By the Avenue it’s all back together and now it’s time for lesson 1 in racing…
The grinning Sinclair hits out on the downhill and up over the rise, burning every match in his book.  The acceleration has raised the adrenalin levels as the finish comes into view.
Next to succumb is Wilson, who hits out before the Cemetery Rd intersection with a stinging attack, Fifi jumps on his wheel, Ure follows and Bob is next in line.  Wilson’s house of cards folds with 250 metres to go – leaving Ure on the front, who has no choice but to have a crack.

They reach the farm gate and Fifi launches over the top of Ure – who wishes him well as he explodes past.  Morley hesitates just a fraction, but soon has his big black steam engine winding up and bringing Fifi back.
Fifi sees Morley looming up on the right, grabs two more gears and gives it everything – just enough to hold to the line for the win.  Ure hanging on to finish third.

Race results:
1st – Peter Livitsanis
2nd – Bob Morley
3rd – Brian Ure

Division 2courtesy Jim Crumpler

A nice sized group of seven riders out for a Sunday cruise…they moseyed down to Black Bottom Road watching the sheep and cows, all taking turns along the way.

Rob Phillips was sporting his new “man of the country” look – all rugged and itchy.
Wayne Klaus was taking the new roads in his stride and Darryn Reed was thinking these Ballarat winters aren’t all that bad.

Image-4

As the group hit the first hill back towards Mount Misery, the slight breeze from the north created an echelon up the road.  After waiting for the heart rates to go up, Ash Burke attacked from the back and flew past the group with no immediate chasers.
A slow (or deliberately reserved?) response by the group gradually reeled him in.
The cards had been shown!  No more wasting heart-beats rolling turns on the front, as survival on the hills was paramount.
Further towards the top, Burke attacked again, but this time he was a marked man and the gap didn’t open up.

The group rolled around the corner into Edmonston Road, looking up at the last hill and last chance to destroy the souls of the sprinters.  Burke was thinking about it, but Scott Keating blasted past and the pace was on for the whole climb.

Rounding into the final straight, the sprinters tightened their shoes and got into position ready for the upcoming battle.   Jeremy Humber – the crafty sprint strategist – made his bet and sat on the tail downwind of Jim Crumpler for the whole run.

The flag was in sight, an attack happened and it was on for the whole group.  Crumpler blasted out the front, then rolled towards the line hoping to avoid the pending asphyxiation…but Humber was furiously chasing and closing the gap – Crumpler had to stomp the pedals again.

Race results:
1st – Jim Crumpler
2nd – Jeremy Humber
3rd – Darryn Reed

Division 1from our inhaler man on the spot

Much mirth at the line with the bunch almost convincing Tony Mirabella that it was a handicap race.  He responded by flying out the blocks and causing the others to gasp.

The regroup saw the first action of the day with Rob Ellis rolling to the front and pressing the pace.
Things settled, then Stu Brien took a flyer out of the chicane.

Regroup and nerves aplenty as the next rise greeted.  No attacks this time, but over the hill Jason Hendry poured the pace on.  Rob Ellis obliged and gasping was had all round.
Rick Calvert went to the front to settle things, which set Brien up for his next effort.  Ellis obliged again, so did Hendry, then finally an easing.
Dean Wells, who had followed wheel after wheel, was now reaching for his Ventolin inhaler.

Brien went again as they approached the end of Ercildoune Road.  The word quickly spread “Let him hang”, and they did!

They regrouped halfway up Black Bottom Road and held a steady pace, everyone rotating through.

Image-5

Turning towards the hills and everyone was watching everyone.  No attacks, however the ramping of pace did occur.
Ellis made a move and had riders scrambling.  Some further efforts led to Wells, then Brien surging as they crested the high point of the circuit – Mount Misery.
Mirabella and Calvert looked like being dropped, yet they both fought their way back on.

Closing towards Addington, Brien announced he was pulling out.  The clicking of his bike had gotten the better of him – post race inspection revealed a loose cassette.

With the race robbed of its main antagonist, the remaining five would have to ignite the race to salvage some W.A.R.S. stories.

Calvert led through the tight Addington turn and stretched the field out.  The bunch was closing fast on other divisions and had to gauge their efforts as they passed by.

Past Harrison’s Road and Ellis lit it up, quickly opening a small gap – which Hendry then closed with frightening ease.  Wells and Mirabella were scrabbling, Calvert was gone.
Mirabella crossed to the lead duo.
Ellis powered on over the final rise and soon had the pace up to 55 Kph, with Hendry glued to his rear wheel and Mirabella tacked on.  Wells made it back.

Final turn, the sharp left hander onto Weatherboard Road.  They are closing fast on Division 3 and it could get real messy, so Ellis eases a fraction.
Out of the dip and Ellis is still on the front – it has been a huge lead out!  Hendry, Mirabella and Wells are all being drawn along.
Mirabella turns to Wells and says “I’ll lead you out”.
So, Wells launches.
Hendry jumps to that wheel.
Mirabella launches.
Hendry jumps to that wheel.
Hendry launches.
Game over man. Game over.

Race results:
1st – Jason Hendry
2nd – Tony Mirabella
3rd – Dean Wells

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 Hopscotch Cafe

June 2, 2019 – W.A.R.S. race 1 – Mt Beckworth handicap, 55 Km

June 2, 2019 – W.A.R.S. race 1 – Mt Beckworth handicap, 55 Km

EUROPA cafe and HOPSCOTCH cafe
Winter Aggregate Race Series

Race 1

2nd June 2019

Mount Beckworth – 55 Km

 2019 WARS version 2 poster

“Winter is coming”
numerous characters – Game Of Thrones

This year, Europa is joined by sister cafe – Hopscotch – in presenting the Winter Aggregate Race Series

Eight (non-trophy) races during the winter months will decide the eventual aggregate podium.
Three handicap races, four graded division races and the famous Team Time Trial make up the 2019 series.

It promised to be action aplenty from the very first race…
There was plenty of low lying cloud around for race 1 of the 2019 W.A.R.S.  The day was very cool, yet barely a breeze was felt as the riders warmed up before the event – the 55 kilometre Mount Beckworth handicap.
A special prize was also being raced for on this day…at least by those who qualified.  One of Eureka’s members – James Gretton – is heading overseas on an adventure, which may last forever.  James particularly despised the hill climbing races, so with his blessing we introduced the Ralph Jones Award.
Ralph Jones was James’ cycling nickname, which came about by people getting his name wrong…a lot!

Back to the race…

The Limit riders headed off with a handy 22 minute start on the cobbled together Scratch bunch.  Jakkii Dawson, Laura White and Darryl Brown rode off into the mist, hoping they would be shielded from the chasers.

2019 wars 1 - Limit

The next group to head out was the second most winningest bunch over the past few years. *Tim Canny is the most winningest bunch…
Race Referee – Terry Collie – set the 14 minute group on their way and Bob “Muncher” Morley rode off the start line like he’d stolen something.  He was determined to set expectations early!
Peter “Fifi” Livitsanis groaned – he was hoping to warm up a bit slower before going into the red.  Roger McMillan was looking resplendent in his Giro synchronised pink jersey, Danny “Fidel” Whelan and a pair of youngsters completed the group.  Dan Crook was back…calves as big as footballs before the start, he had casually discussed race tactics with Brian Ure, both guys towering over the four more diminutive riders….
With nearly every club trophy to their name, these six guys have pretty much won it all and on this day, they planned to make a good start on their 2019 W.A.R.S. ambitions.

2019 wars 1 - 14 min

The group at 7 minutes were keen on their chances considering the firepower they had on hand – Bob Braszell, Jeremy Humber, Scott Keating, Mark O’Callaghan and Darryn Reed.  Sure they had seven minutes to make up on the bunch ahead, however the group behind only consisted of three riders.  They planned to make the numerical advantage work for them.

2019 wars 1 - 7 min

Second Scratch rode off 4 minutes. Jim Crumpler, Rob Phillips and Peter Gunston created a formidable group, yet they severely lacked in numbers and planned to hitch a ride with Scratch at some stage.

2019 wars 1 - 4 min

Scratch was cobbled together with pretty much anyone who walked in and said they’d give it a go.  Jason Hendry, Tony Mirabella and Stu Brien were the true Scratchies, with Rick Calvert and Dean Wells both thrown in to make up numbers.  The group still exuded a lot of confidence on the line.  That confidence started to diminish when it took nearly half the race just to rope in Second Scratch…

2019 wars 1 - Scratch

Well up the road, the 14 minute group had been making great time on Limit.  Rolling turns, with Ure and Crook both providing solid efforts.  Whelan was racing more subdued – he didn’t feel obliged to sit on the front all the time…
Heading out through Coghill’s Creek, the bunch dropped McMillan off at the church.  Pink jersey or not, he wasn’t the protected rider on this day!
By this time, the limit bunch had come into view.  Ure and Livitsanis accelerated the bunch to ramming speed, “repel all boarders” was the order as they descended on Limit.  Jakkii and Laura were caught out, however Brown hooked onto the back, to suffer a bit more before being dispatched later.

The hill to the turn around was conquered at a gentlemanly pace, everyone knowing that keeping the bunch together was the only way to win the race.  However once around the traffic cone, the gentlemanly pace was disturbed by Morley as he hit out hard, to get the group back up to speed quickly.
They hurtled – gasping all the way – down the hill past the chasing groups.

Those chasing groups realise that this will not be their day.  The leaders have a massive advantage and with barely any wind about Mother Nature won’t have a say in the outcome.
The groups drop weaker riders, however Scratch catches the 7 minute group and a mega bunch (of sorts) forms.

The leaders hadn’t returned to the Windmill circuit before the games started.  A soft pedal here, a soft pedal there.  Some stern words explaining that they weren’t home yet, succeeded in shaming the soft pedallers back into action… if only until Donovan’s Road.

With no sight of the chasers, the rolling turns had ceased and the games had started in earnest with less than 3 kilometres remaining.  Ure and Crook were cooking something up and it wasn’t long before the rest found out what was on the menu!

Crook attacks at the top of the last rise and pulls out fifteen metres.  He is going away.  Livitsanis sets off but doesn’t have the power to close, he waves his elbow like a dying swan – Morley takes over and turns himself inside out to get across, dragging everyone else with him…including Ure who could hardly contain his glee.

Morley makes the bridge, things settle for 30 seconds, then Ure attacks.
Livitsanis likes chasing things and sets off again.
Morley has burned his matches.
Whelan starts his wind up…which takes for ever to work up to sprint speed.
Crook is just laughing as his training mate – Ure – is clear and crosses for the win.

Almost two minutes later the big bunch races to the finish line with the remaining Scratch riders sprinting for (hopefully) Fastest Time.  Hendry packs too many guns and holds Brien at bay.

Race results:
1st – Brian Ure (14 min)
2nd – Peter Livitsanis (14 min)
3rd – Bob Morley (14 min)
4th – Dan Whelan (14 min)
5th – Dan Crook (14 min)
Fastest Time – Jason Hendry (Scratch) 1h 24m 30s, ave. 39 Kph

 

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 Hopscotch Cafe

May 19, 2019 – Burrumbeet points race – graded divisions, 51 Km

May 19, 2019 – Burrumbeet points race – graded divisions, 51 Km

Points Racing – 19th May 2019

Graded Divisions

Burrumbeet – 51 Km

 EVCC - graded Points race - Burrumbeet

All Mad

‘He is mad as a hare, poor fellow,
And should be in chains,’ you say,
I haven’t a doubt of your statement, 
But who isn’t mad, I pray?
Why, the world is a great asylum,
And the people are all insane,
Gone daft with pleasure or folly,
Or crazed with passion and pain.’
-Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Sunday 19th, saw twenty five riders sign on for Graded Division points racing – in somewhat balmy conditions for May – on the new Burrumbeet circuit.
Riders contested sprints each lap, with 3 points earned for first place, 2 points for second place and 1 point for third.  The points total decided the outcome of each division.
The points race format was trialled in 2018 and proved popular.  The Burrumbeet circuit was trialled at he start of 2019 and proved popular.
How would this day pan out for the participants?

We thank the writers of each report for their descriptive contributions!

?? Division 4 (Through Terry Collie’s eyes)

This is the story part… Division four were assigned the blue numbers.  Blue, so that when they caught Division 1, those riders would know they did not have to chase.

This is where the story really begins…  The merry six, set off on seven laps of Glue Pot (aka Burrumbeet).  For the first lap, Graeme Parker, Jakkii Dawson, Robert Young, Melanie Tudball, Terry Collie and trial rider Tom O’Brien settled into rotations.  This was mainly to acclimatise the new riders to some of the intricate workings of riding in a bunch and the wind – for the first lap anyway…
Up the rise and the first sprint saw Jakkii hit out and take the points.  That sprint and the subsequent speed through the corner into the Avenue, changed the tone for the rest of the race.
Graeme, Jakkii and Tom soon found themselves off the front with Robert scrambling back and Mel and Terry chasing hard.

Midway through the second lap, Jakkii dropped off the lead duo.  Robert was still thereabouts, whilst Mel and Terry watched it all happen just up the road.
Graeme and Tom spent a couple of laps together, before Graeme rode away alone to pick up maximum points for the remaining sprints.
Jakkii as is her wont, did not give in.  She eventually caught and passed Tom who was paying for his earlier effort.
Robert had endured a somewhat lonesome day, yet on his own he was able to stay away from Mel and Terry, who by this stage had turned their day into a training session.
Eureka Life Member – Collie – coaching Melanie in just her second ever bike race, through the enjoyably tortuous event.

So it came to pass, that Graeme accumulated top points and Jakki managed to pick up enough in the latter half of the race to take second place.
One short tailwind, two cross wind legs and a block head wind certainly made for a tough day.

Division 4, (7 laps) 45 Km results:
1st – Graeme Parker, 18 pts
2nd – Jakkii Dawson, 12 pts
3rd – Tom O’Brien, 11 pts

?? Division 3 (courtesy Bob Morley)

Confusion reigned in Division 3 with Mark O’Callaghan winning all eight sprints and breaking the computer.

Just what is “eight times three?”  No less than three post race attempts at calculating the total were made…they were all wrong!

There were some clear outcomes from Division 3 on this day.
????Mark O’Callaghan is too good for Division 3
????James Burzacott is flying
????Robbie Kinna has another name for his “book of retribution” when he gets fit

The start was anything but standard, as the current leader of the Veteran Cycling Victoria Individual Aggregate – Roger McMillan – took off out of the gate at a great rate.  Bob Morley covered him quickly as did Dan Whelan who is too wiley to be dropped by such a move.  O’Callaghan and Burzacott also proved up to the task, as did new rider Trent Saunders.
Unfortunately it was all over for Kinna and Darryl Brown.  In a word of warning… some of us remember how strong Kinna was when he was on song – powerful and fast in a sprint.  Look out when he is fit and flying!

Back to the race and on the last corner of the first lap Mocca (O’Callaghan) was third wheel before attacking into the corner and then out of it.  Morley covered the initial move but could not maintain the pace.  Saunders and Buzz Lightyear went around him and crossed to the big triathlete.
That move left the old blokes (Whelan and Morley) chasing in an attempt to get back on…

O’Callaghan took the first sprint and the next and the next.  All the time, the trio extended their lead each lap.

As the laps passed, Buzz and Mocca were able to ride away from the inexperienced Saunders.  This left him in no man’s land and potential prey for the aged Whelan and Morley.

The old foges eventually picked Saunders up.  The new guy worked his turns and then showed he has a good sprint (Ed. – to a level) by taking the third place sprint from Morley.
That surge had Whelan was off the back “a touch” and Saunders sat up “a bit”.  Morley needed little encouragement to take advantage of the lull in preceedings and he attacked along the down wind section (kindly enough also down hill) opening up a sizeable break to reach no man’s land.
Morley happy with the move – thinking it was the only way he would get a third place because the young bloke was too quick…

Approaching the sprint line Morley thought he had the sprint easily, but looked back to see Saunders had ridden away from Whelan and was almost in touch.  Morley held on but did not take another sprint off the youngster.

Meanwhile, at the head of the division (well up the road) Mocca and Buzz had the race in their keeping and helped themselves to the quinella each lap.  Mocca always first, Buzz always second.

Finally the event concluded and the points were added (Ed. – incorrectly) with first place going to the powerhouse O’Callaghan who had claimed maximum points on each of the eight laps.  Second place went to the rapidly improving Jimmy Burzacott, with third place going to trial rider Trent Saunders.  Saunders had no idea what to do (Ed. he wasn’t Robinson Crusoe there) yet easily accounted for the old blokes.

Division 3, (8 laps) 51 Km results:
1st – Mark O’Callaghan, 24 pts
2nd – Jim Burzacott, 14 pts
3rd – Trent Saunders, 7 points

?? Division 2 (as worded by Craig Lightfoot)

What looked like a pleasant Sunday morning with the sun shining would soon turn pear shaped for seven muddling division 2 riders.  The strengthening “Nor’ wester”, an uphill slog, a lack of genuine A graders (Ed. – that will come back to haunt him) and the musings of a sick person who shall remain unnamed (though if I mentioned his first name is Dean and that he rides like a lunatic…you could probably figure out who had created this beast of a points race…and was noticeably absent!).

Here’s a person by person analysis of the morning:

Poor Ash Burke. By day, Ash masquerades as a teacher…apparently.  At the end of the first lap it was clear he was the strongest rider of the group.  He led out a long sprint (uphill with a cross wind) whilst holding off Jim Crumpler – who we all know can sprint a bit.
As it turns out, despite his university education, poor Ash did not understand the term “points”.  So, he didn’t bother contesting a few of the sprints…  If he had, we would have been toasting his greatness, rather than roasting his…  None the less, Ash still managed a clear third place.  I hope he’s not an English teacher.

When Jim Crumpler is in your grade and it involves a bunch of sprints, you know its going to hurt!  Your only hope is if Jim has been spending a lot of time being merry, rather than out on one of his mad adventures.  On this day it appeared the former was likely.  Jim contested the first sprint with a strong effort…then he just faded away.  He probably disappeared in some time vortex that he had written a program for…

Darryn Reed has become a bit of quiet assassin since moving to Ballarat from way out west.  The beard hides a nasty scowl.  Strong in every sprint and in every attempt to break away (except for that solo effort by Geoff).  Darryn finished a well deserved second, pipped by a point and the gamble of the group letting someone get up the road…

Geoff Martin looks like a time trialler and rides like one.  A big diesel engine that takes a while to wind up – but look out when it does!  Geoff led out the group most times as they raced uphill to the sprint.  On the fourth time around, he even caught Division 1 from fifty meters back!
Unfortunately for Geoff, after almost every effort to the start/finish line, those pesky “friends” in his group just rode off on him.  Determination saw Geoff catch the bunch before the end of Glue Pot Rd each time…  On the 7th lap the group made the mistake of giving him fifty meters.  That was enough for Geoff to claim the last two sprints by a long way.

Wayne Klaus was new to the folk down here in Ballarat – looks like he can ride!  Can’t help but think he was just being shy today, or was it like Brisbane playing the Bulldogs on a windswept Mars stadium?  Travelling down from Stawell to see the temperature plummet and a wind chill of 2 degrees will put the frighteners into anyone!  He was “there abouts” all morning, shutting down a lot of attacks – which no doubt blunted his sprints.  Welcome Wayne – hope to see you again soon!

Claims before the start from Scott Keating that he had hardly raced in the two last years, were rightfully met with the usual scepticism and guffaws.  As it turns out…for once though we have found a bike racer that tells the truth!

Craig Lightfoot hasn’t won anything for years.  He’s gone to the extreme of buying the flashest bike at the club by a mile.  (Ed. – by flashest he means more expensive per pound…and there are a lot of pounds…)  If only Craig could figure out how to ride it!
Consistency and maths were the trick to Craig finally breaking his duck – which, whilst impressive in its length, was tiny in comparison to Carlton’s.  (Ed. – yes a football sledge)
Ash’s lack of comprehension of the Queen’s English certainly helped Craig’s cause as well.  In the final laps, our hero was more than happy to let Geoff go up the road.  Craig knew he was safe and it proved true, if only by 1 point.

In closing, well done to all who rode. It was an interesting and painful format.  One of those ones that “hurts like heck at the time” yet seemed like a good idea in the aftermath…

Division 2, (8 laps) 51 Km results:
1st – Craig Lightfoot, 16 pts
2nd – Darryn Reed, 15 pts
3rd – Ash Burke, 11 pts

?? Division 1 (from the silver man – Jason Birch)

We had four riders enter the highest level today.  Their mission – take on the points race format.
We had Ricky ‘the Mountain’ Calvert, Peter ‘capable of anything on his day’ Kiel, Dayne ‘TT’ Pearce and Jason ‘Silver’ Birch line up.
We should mention that Pearce is one of the new brigade, who as of this week can compete with the veterans.  And yet, like many before him, Pearce’s first foray into vets racing would result in defeat…welcome aboard Dayne!

Now four seemed light on numbers for a 51 Km race so Div 1 joined Div 2 and out we headed.  The substantial north easterly created a strong head wind and subsequent tail wind.  It also gave us a heavy cross wind – on the southern section of the road – that had everyone looking for cover on each lap.

The deal with this race format was simple.  Points are on offer each time the riders pass through the start/finish line.  Eight laps later and the rider with the most points wins.  Simple!

The first three laps had Divisions 1 and 2 together.  Birch took full points on the first two laps and Pearce claimed them on Lap 3.
The next lap saw Calvert launch a long range effort to make the line.  Birch attacked out of the pack to follow with Pearce not far behind.  Birch reached Calvert on the crest of the hill, with Pearce poised to make it a two up sprint.  Birch waited and attacked in the last fifty metres to take the three points.
This effort put distance into Division 2.  The groups separated, not to come back together.

The remaining laps were almost carbon copies with Calvert leading out on Henderson’s Rd – putting pressure on up the hill to try and displace the chasers – with Birch hanging on each time, then winning the sprint.  Calvert finally getting his just desserts on the last lap, by digging deep and holding the pressure up the rise and to the line.

In the final analysis, Birch won the race comfortably.  Kiel had been hoping for shorter efforts into the line.  He had collected points often, yet the larger riders had won this day.
As read, Calvert had tried hard all day.  The youngling Pearce, was heard to say that he had been holding off cramps due to racing the Collier (with BSCC) the previous day…
Yeah, nah, in this vets world of hip and knee replacements, we wish we only had cramps to hold us back…

Division 1, (8 laps) 51 Km results:
1st – Jason Birch, 20 pts
2nd – Rick Calvert, 11 pts
3rd – Dayne Pearce, 10 pts

EVCC - graded Points race - Burrumbeet

May 11, 2019 – La Course aux vélo FEMMES – handicap, 52.5 Km

May 11, 2019 – La Course aux vélo FEMMES – handicap, 52.5 Km

La Course aux vélo FEMMES – 11th May 2019

The Conni Classic – Race 1

Windmill circuit – 52.5 km

 La Course 2019 - Conni branding

Women’s Bicycle Race

A More Females On Bikes initiative

La Course aux velo FemmesBACKGROUND
After the great success of the Women’s Handicap race staged by Geelong & Surf Coast CC (GSCC) in December 2018, then Eureka President – John Faulkner – said ‘I reckon we should hold a women’s race’…which loosely translates to “Make it happen!”
And we did.

The original talks with series creator – Tina Stenos (GSCC – President), centred around a three race women’s series early in the year to capitalise on “summer fitness”.  However, with so many Opens and Championships at the front end of the year, only one race was able to be squeezed in before winter (some would argue that winter won that race…)
In the background, the team at More Females on Bikes was working towards securing sponsorship for the women’s series.  Hygiene product manufacturer Conni, saw the worth in backing the series.  This complemented the support already obtained from VETERAN Cycling Victoria.
The Conni Classic2019 Women’s Race Series was born, with Victoria’s major regional cities playing host:
Race 1 in May at Ballarat.
Race 2 in September at Bendigo.
Race 3 in December at Geelong.

Fast forward to early May and forty eight entries have been received for La Course aux velo FEMMES.  This includes twelve Trial Riders…

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La Course aux velo FemmesRACE REPORT

By race day, some scratchings have been received and forty six riders arrive at Learmonth for the women’s bicycle race.  The excitement in the air is palpable.
There are nerves amongst those competing in a road race for the very first time.  This is not just restricted to the Trial Riders!  Some of the first timers have actually joined cycling clubs.

Effectively, La Course is two events.  Trial Riders Division and AVCC license division.
The Trial Riders are participating as amateurs.  They race FREE of charge and are ineligible to win prize money or trophies – these are Australian Veterans Cycling Council rules.
The Trial Riders are issued green numbers so that they are easily distinguishable during the race.  Leading up to the event, each Trial Rider was contacted by the handicapping team to discern whereabouts they would fit into the field.

The riders with AVCC licenses are racing for a large prize pool and women’s series aggregate points.  They wear white numbers.  Former Eureka Club Champions – Tony Mirabella and Andrew Rushton are on hand to chaperone new riders through their warm up and to the start line.  Tony and Andrew ride alongside the new riders, allaying fears, offering hints and helping to ease tension.

The time counts down to the 10 AM race start.  The weather is bleak on the iconic Windmill circuit.  Overcast with misty rain and fog.
The south westerly breeze is gradually increasing and will be very noticeable by the third and final lap.

The riders are formed into their groups.  The Trial Riders have been spread amongst the groups, rather than clumped together as one.  The idea is to give the Trial Riders as good an experience as possible.  The experienced riders offer words of encouragement to the newbies.
The spectators cheer the groups as they are released from the start by Timekeeper and VCV President – John Faulkner.

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This field is littered with cycling stars.  As well as Veteran Open Road Race winners, there are Victorian Veteran State Champions and Australian Veteran Champions across each cycling discipline in the field.  Others have ridden for years, literally!
As for the experience of the Trial Riders?  Some are triathletes or mountain bikers, some have ridden in gran fondos and some have only owned a road bike for a few months.

Early in the race, the experienced riders are offering advice to the Trial Riders.  Ballarat local – Linnea Bjornsson – finds a few of the instructions boggling, so she simply rides away from her Second Limit (27 min) group as they crest the climb past the quarry.
Just 4 kilometres later, Andrea Wilson (Central) also takes her leave from the 27 minute group.  She heads off in pursuit of the race leaders, who are as yet unseen.

The spread of the field is 33 minutes, so the Limit riders are less than two kilometres from completing Lap 1 when the two Scratch riders from Geelong – Jessica Douglas and Erin Kinnealy – are released from the start line.

The Limit group still has the race lead, with Emma Anderson (Eastern) and Michelle Francis (Central) showing the way for the local Trial Rider Mary-Ann Seebeck and Melbourne Trial Rider Raewyn Mackie.
Another local Trial Rider – Shelley O’Brien – has dropped off the pace in her first ever race.  The wet tarmac causes concern, so a chaperone drops in behind to coach her through the remainder of the race.

Bjornsson (Trial Rider) is closing fast on the race leaders and takes over just 19 kilometres into the race.  Behind her, most groups have been ripped apart by the parcours and the huge differences in ability.

For all the simplicity of the Windmill circuit, the changing surfaces and slopes make some sections fast and others absolute slugfests.  The riders were discovering this the hard way…

Past the quarry again and local Trial Rider Lauren Burnett has teamed up with Danni Bond (Geelong).
A few hundred metres behind is another Melbourne Trial Rider – Robin Gilchrist – who has traded the sunny and flat seaside roads for the cold rolling Central Highlands on this day.
Pamela Vandersluys (Eastern) is already out of the race with a mechanical incident.

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The remnants of the 18 minute group are next on the road.  They have swept past the 22 minute group which has blown apart.
Aileen O’Brien (Central), Meg Parnaby (Grampians) and Corrine Rice (Geelong) have picked up just one 22 minute rider – Di Jane (Central).
It’s a short gap to Alison Watt (Northern), then another gap to Meredith Kelly (Northern).
Melanie Tudball (Eureka) is experiencing her first ever road race the lonely way.
Jo Hand (Geelong), Laura White (Eureka) and Melbourne Trial Rider Elizabeth Windsor are all looking strong as they power up the hill.
Melbourne Trial rider Melissa Ward shouts out to Donna Jamieson (Northern) “Number twenty, do you want to jump on?” as she tows fellow Melbourne Trial Riders Megan Meredith and Danielle Goonan up the rise with Jo Read (Northern) and Jenny Denouden (Geelong).
Another Melbourne Trial rider – Emily Ryan – is just off the back of the group.  Read will go on to link up with Ryan and make sure she finishes the event…

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Geelong duo Lynette Bitton and Cecilia Digenis hardly notice the short rise as they talk all things cycling without missing a beat or gasping for breath.
Marietjie DeKock (Eastern) is another rider in solo mode.  She is just ahead of the 12 minute group which still has the winner of the inaugural Eureka Open in 2010 – Wendy Bennett – from Central.
Geelong riders Carolyn Hall and Kim Howard look strong, as does multiple Australian Championship medal winner Marg Noonan (Northern).
Eureka’s Emma Goodall is in her comfort zone – time trialling – yet still wondering if anyone would notice if she just ducked home for a cuppa.
The 10 minute group is next.  They have picked up Jakkii Dawson (Eureka), yet lost recent Benghazi victor – Kym Petersen (Eastern).  A flat tyre has ended Petersen’s day.
Cheryl Barker (Central), Lisa James (Eastern), Alison Skene (Eastern) and race visionary – Tina Stenos, all ride smoothly as though the hill does not exist.
Heather Hamling (Colac) is solo as she attempts to stay clear of Scratch.  Hamling stripped down to just summer kit at the start line – prompting gasps of disbelief from the locals and sending Longy into hyperventilation.  In an effort to stay warm, Hamling had ridden away from Rae Lesniowska (Northern) early.
Jess Douglas (Geelong) is next.  The Scratch rider flies up the rise.  Lesniowska is next and just behind her is Erin Kinnealy (Geelong) bringing up the tail of the field.

Back at the start line and the Lead Car has just come into view.  Bjornsson is the only rider in sight as she received the bell.  She is streaking away to what seems to be a very easy first place in the Trial Rider division.  Wilson comes through next.  At this point in time, her lead over Jess Douglas is four kilometres.  There are plenty of riders in between however and Wilson leads the race proper by 500 metres over Anderson and Francis.  Trial Riders Seebeck and Mackie are still there.

Wilson’s main dangers appear to be Parnaby, Rice and O’Brien, who are making good time.  Past the quarry again and Bjornsson is actually pulling away from the field.  Wilson is next on the road.  Parnaby and Co. are next, having caught the former race leaders.  For a few kilometres Francis and Anderson hang on with grim determination.

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Trial Rider Elizabeth Windsor has decided now is the time.  She puts her training to great use and starts to ride through the field.  Her target is the Parnaby group…

Five kilometres remaining for Wilson.  She has just a two hundred metre lead on Parnaby, Rice and O’Brien.  Trial Rider Windsor has latched on.  She is a clear second in that division.
Hand and White are riding clear of the bulk of the field.  Douglas is riding faster and is just 2 kilometres behind Wilson who has now been caught by Parnaby, Rice and Windsor at the top of Donovan’s Road.

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The small rise sees Wilson off the back.  O’Brien is in the distance holding Hand and White at bay.  Douglas is just about to take care of those two on the same rise in Donovan’s Road.

Way up the road and Trial Rider Linnea Bjornsson has taken line honours in the race.
It is over six minutes later when Trial Rider Elizabeth Windsor scoots clear of the Parnaby and Rice who are playing cat and mouse.

These two have the race between them.  The cross head wind is quite strong now and each rider is holding till the last to make the decisive move.

Rice goes at the 100 metre mark and clears away for a comfortable victory from the ever gallant Parnaby.
Another minute and a half until Wilson crosses in third place, just holding out the quick finishing Douglas who is easily the Fastest Rider on this day.
Aileen O’Brien is clear in fifth place.  Jo Hand and Laura White have a ding dong sprint to decide 6th and 7th.
The brave Heather Hamling crosses in 8th.

The riders continue to reach the chequered flag at short intervals.  Trial Rider Lauren Burnett crosses in 17th place overall, yet third place in the Trial Division.
A long thirty minutes after Bjornsson finished, Trial Rider Emily Ryan is escorted to the line by Northern Vice-President – Jo Read.

Forty two of the 46 starters finished, with punctures ruining the race for the four non-finishers.  All eleven Trial Riders completed the event.

Trial Rider results:
1st – Linnea Bjornsson, Ballarat (27 min) in 1h 46m 45s ave. 29.5 Kph
2nd – Elizabeth Windsor, Kew (15 min)
3rd – Lauren Burnett, Ballarat (27 min)
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La Course aux velo FEMMES results:
1st – Corrine Rice, Geelong SC (18 min)
2nd – Meg Parnaby, Grampians (18 min)
3rd – Andrea Wilson, Central Vic. (27 min)
4th – Jess Douglas, Geelong SC (Scratch)
5th – Aileen O’Brien, Central Vic. (18 min)
6th – Jo Hand, Geelong SC (15 min)
7th – Laura White, EUREKA (15 min)
8th – Heather Hamling, Colac (6 min)
Fastest Time – Jess Douglas, Geelong SC (Scratch) in 1h 28m 35s ave. 35.6 Kph

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