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November 6, 2016 – EUROPA CAFE Graded Scratch – Windmill-Mt.Beckworth, 55 km

The Perfect Storm  – 6 Nov 2016 

Europa Cafe – Graded Scratch Races
Windmill-Mt.Beckworth Circuit – 52.5 km

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Remember that time it was calm on Windmill – Mt.Beckworth?
…said no one ever!

Spring really turned it on with a fine day of racing on the 54 km Windmill-Mt.Beckworth circuit today.
Ok, it was really windy and cold early in the morning, however once the sun came out it was only really windy…

D Grade:

Robert Young, James Gretton and John Faulkner all had to contend with Terry Collie (who finished 3rd in the 2016 VVCC Aggregate) on a typically windy Windmill-Mt.Beckworth circuit.
Terry designed this course two years ago to make full use of the ridiculous winds that this area is renowned for…hence the Waubra wind farm.
This circuit has a fair bit of climbing in it, so John was struggling as they neared the turnaround point.  He professes to be able to climb like an overloaded semi-trailer = slowly!

The ride back towards the finish line was even less fun than climbing that forsaken hill with the cross wind…but ALL 4 riders did make it back onto Donovans Road together.  Those little rises dropped finally John, and allowed Rob and James to get a break on Terry.
James has progressed a long way this year and he showed plenty of smarts to make Rob lead him towards that finish line for the last kilometre.  Rob pulled out a little bit extra when the sprint started and was able to hold James off to claim the win.

Results:
1st – Robert Young
2nd – James Gretton
3rd – Terry Collie

C Grade:

Dan Whelan found himself pushed down to C Grade and made good use of the chance.  Kevin Lee found the wind quite awful and abandoned early in the race…but we all know he will be eyeing off the Commodores Cup at the end of the season…so this was merely a stepping stone!  Roger McMillan and Brian Lee also lined up, as did James Knipe in his first race back with Eureka after an almost tragic incident earlier in the year where he was knocked from his bike by a fast moving car.

Riding for survival (after losing Kevin) always meant that Dan would be out the front doing the lion’s share of the work (which he would have done if he was in B grade anyway!).
All still together at the turnaround, however the elastic band was starting to stretch for some of the lads.  Through Coghills Creek and gaps had started to appear.  Roger found himself off the back as the pace and strain of the efforts started to tell.
Into Donovans Road and Dan started to assert his authority and opened a gap over James and Brian.  Dan winning the day by a comfortable margin over James and Brian.

Results:
1st – Dan Whelan
2nd – James Knipe
3rd – Brian Lee

B Grade:

A few newish faces today as some of the Bacchus Marsh lads returned for a ride.  These fellows all had a taste of A Grade/Scratch earlier in the year, so they were some tough nuts that the B Grade stalwarts Peter Livitsanis and Mark O’Callaghan welcomed back. (rumour has it that Bob Morley heard about the imminent return on the Bacchus Marsh Mob…so went on a weekend trip…)
Matthew Ayres and Greg Ley were both back for some racing action.  Mind you, they haven’t been idle in their absence and one would expect a rapid progression through the ranks again.  Joining the Bacchus boys was Grant Dawson for his first race since breaking a collarbone after Carl Judd hip and shouldered him at the Eureka Interclub race earlier in the year.

Pete knew what to do in a race surrounded by strong giants – hide amongst them.  Mark however was to experience something new (don’t worry, we won’t put you up a grade, we’ll bring the strong riders too you!).  With Grant along for a training (and testing) ride, the pressure was on Matt and Greg to deliver whilst in the “lower ranks”.
At the turnaround, all were present and ready to race.  Greg and Matt quickly doused any excitement flames the others had and opened a gap as they raced downhill towards Coghills Creek.  Into Donovans Road and the race for first and second place seemed to be up the road, however there was still a fight to be had for third place…or could someone get across to the leaders?
Pete turned himself inside out to get back to Greg and Matt, but they then rode away again.  Grant and Mark were just watching it unfold and counting down the metres to the finish line.  Then Mark rallied and tried to cross the gap.  He got well entrenched in No Mans Land!

The sprint for the finish saw a ding dong battle between Greg and Matt with only a length separating them as Matt took the win.

Results:
1st – Matt Ayres
2nd – Greg Ley
3rd – Peter Livitsanis

A Grade:

Whatever happened to a simple roll around then sprint finish?  Seems those days are gone!
Brendan Schiemer, Andrew Rushton, Dean Wells and Peter Kiel all came out to play today.  Only a small bunch as others were either off recovering, or in Tony’s case performing marshal duties (and seemed happy about it…not having to race in the wind).
A fast start with the tailwind, then pushing on with the cross wind.  There was even a moment of… ‘Everyone knows this is a Scratch race right!?’

Second lap with the wind on “quarry road” saw Andrew “light it up” each time he rolled through to the front.
Up quarry hill he opened a gap and only Brendan could get across.  Gradually Dean and Pete reeled them back in, but at the turn onto Coghills Creek Road Andrew accelerated again and that was that!  Twenty metres turned into 50, 100, 200.  By Coghills Creek they almost had half a kilometre.

At the turnaround Andrew and Brendan had opened a one minute gap on their rivals, Dean and Pete who try as they might couldn’t close the gap at all.
The run back through Coghills Creek to the finish line saw much of the same with Andrew and Brendan increasing their gap up to almost two minutes…or about 1 kilometre.
In the end the two leaders went to either side of the road and opened their sprints.  Andrew claiming the win.

Results:
1st – Andrew Rushton
2nd – Brendan Schiemer
3rd – Peter Kiel

 

Europa Café is located in the Ballarat CBD at 411 Sturt Street.

Breakfasts, lunches, coffee and cake…maybe even a nice glass of wine,
the spacious, inexpensive family style café, offers a range of tasty treats, hearty meals and scrumptious snacks.

We thank Kathryn and Jason for their ongoing support of our club and the Winter Aggregate Race Series.

The winners of EVERY race in the 2016 W.A.R.S. receive a Europa Café voucher.

www.europacafe.com.au

Europa Cafe logo s

October 23, 2016 – Handicap – Coghills Creek, 59 km

October 23, 2016 – Handicap – Coghills Creek, 59 km

The Master Of Affairs – 22 May 2016

Coghills Creek Handicap 59 km

images

Mirabella Still The Master

master

noun
1. a person with the ability or power to use, control or dispose of something

affair

noun 
1. an event or performance

Just in case anyone hadn’t noticed, Tony Mirabella has put a big stamp on the 2016 racing season.  Multiple wins early in the season have been followed by multiple wins in the latter part of the season.
In the middle of the season (winter), Tony took his family on along overseas holiday.  That holiday also meant that for the first time in memory…Tony spent time OFF the bike.  That break has not done any damage to his fitness and it also means he is fully refreshed for the business end of the season!

Spring tried to raise its head today, however any heat the sun put out was quickly whipped away by the chilly south breeze.  The wind chill factor had the “feels like” temperature hovering around the zero mark as riders rolled up to the start of a 59 kilometre handicap.

An early casualty for the day was John Faulkner.  John has been in rare form and has clearly ridden his bike so hard that he broke it…well at least a gear cable.  John’s late scratching left a solitary rider to tackle the limit mark of 25 minutes.  That rider was Graeme Parker and he wasn’t sighted until late in the race.

Matt Ritchie and James Gretton were away at 18 minutes.  Fast with the tail wind and slow with the head wind was the order of the day.  They worked as well as two riders can.  They held onto 8 minute group for a few hundred metres, however they were swept aside with about 12 kilometres remaining and rode home sharing each others company.

The 13 minute group struggled with the wind and cold as well.  Roger McMillan was dropped during the second large lap and was courageous in finishing alone.  Terry Collie is still acclimatising to the extended Victorian winter after his Pacific Island holiday and he felt every knife of that cutting cold as it fought through his multiple layers.Both Terry and Brian Lee were able to stay with the 8 minute group when they were caught.

The 8 minute group consisted of Peter Livitsanis, Bob Morley and Dan Whelan.  They rode a smart and controlled race and on the first lap only lost 1 minute to the chasing 4 minute pair.  By the second lap they had most of the out marker groups in their sights and set about picking them off.

The 4 minute pair was Rob Phillips and Dean Wells.  Rob looked after Dean who was on a “training ride” after requesting a move out whilst overcoming illness.  They held the Scratch group off until late on the second lap, then joined in the chase effort.

The Scratch group were men on a mission today.  Matt Bowman was back for his first club race in a while.  His time trialling prowess came to the fore today as he led the chase.  Tony Mirabella and Andrew Rushton both have some good form at the moment, however they were equally full of praise for Matt’s efforts in driving them towards the finish.
Catching Phillips and Wells was a small relief for the Scratch group as they could now spread the workload and chase down the other riders. Bowman was almost lost on quarry hill, however some quick thinking teamwork brought him back as they turned to get the tailwind for the final time.

With the gap between the combined Scratch/4 minute bunch and the Morley bunch decreasing with every pedal stroke the chasers started planning the assault…only to realise that there was still another rider (Parker) further up the road.
No time for horse play, so the catch was really just a high speed pass that was easy for the Morley bunch to jump onto.

Turning at the church the pace backed off as fewer riders started sharing the lead.  Mirabella put in a few surges and at one point almost split the large bunch.  The bunch regrouped as Parker was caught at the turn into Donovans Road.
A few more surges up the rise dropped some riders off the back of the bunch and then Bowman opened a small gap.  Mirabella jumped out of the pack in an effort to get across in the head wind, but the gap behind him had blown open and none of the chasers seemed to want to work together.

Mirabella caught Bowman with about 3 kilometres remaining.  Bowman had finally blown after all his earlier efforts and so together they swapped turns to try and hold the chasers at bay.  They had 100 metres on Rushton and Phillips with Livitsanis hanging onto those two.
Wells was able to claw his way across to this group then took over the chase.
Could they bridge the gap?  The leaders were just…there!

The gap was gradually closed and cresting the final rise was probably less than 40 metres.  A final effort by Bowman and Mirabella put the race out of the chasers reach and left them to fight out the finish.
In the run to the line, Mirabella scooted away for a comfortable win over the brilliant Bowman.
Rushton hooked out from behind the Wells “lead out train” to open his sprint early and catch Phillips and Livitsanis unawares.  It worked, but Rushton soon found that finish line seemed to be getting further away, not closer.  He held to the line from Phillips and the ever tenacious Livitsanis.

Race Results:
1st – Tony Mirabella (Scratch)
2nd – Matthew Bowman (Scratch)
3rd – Andrew Rushton (Scratch)
4th – Rob Phillips (4 min)
5th – Peter Liviutsanis (8 min)
Fastest Time: Tony Mirabella in 1:37:30

October 16, 2016 – WAYNE HORNE EARTHMOVING Spring Criterium Series, Rd 2 – Production Drive, Alfredton

October 16, 2016 – WAYNE HORNE EARTHMOVING Spring Criterium Series, Rd 2 – Production Drive, Alfredton

Wayne Horne Earthmoving

Spring Criterium Series
Round 2

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Graded Scratch Races – 16 Oct 2016

Production Drive Circuit, Alfredton

evcc-spring-criterium-series-2016-poster
Fine weather and plenty of enthusiastic riders made for an exciting day of criterium racing at Alfredton.  Most of the Eureka riders who had ridden the Camperdown to Warrnambool race the previous day backed up with a second day of racing.

A Grade

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(45 minutes + 2 laps):  Damien Keirl romped home in another sprint finish, on a day when the biggest question was ‘Who had “self handicapped” themselves the most?’
Rick Calvert and Tony Mirabella were both backing up after impressive rides in the Camperdown to Warrnambool on the previous day, where Calvert claimed the prize for first home in his bunch and Mirabella was a member of the 5 minute bunch that kept Scratch at bay!
That was yesterday…?Not to be outdone, Brendan Schiemer had gone for a lazy 143 kilometre ride on the Saturday and Damien Keirl had partied until the wee hours at a wedding.
So, with a the lot of them asking ‘What am I doing here?’ they rolled off at a rather sedate pace for A Grade.

Not many attacks, but plenty of fast laps that sap the legs!
Schiemer made an attack stick halfway through the race.  The others were happy to let him roll off the front and ride alone…until they realised he was opening up a significant gap. At times he was almost a straight (250 metres) in front of the chasers.
Eventually Mirabella and Keirl started to reel him back.  Their efforts quickly consigning Calvert to an individual time-trial to the finish.

With a handful of minutes remaining, they had brought Schiemer back into the fold.  Now the plotting of how to beat Kierl in a sprint started… Alas, it was all to no avail as Kierl opened his sprint before the final corner and had a healthy gap…healthy enough to sit up take the win with a smile. Mirabella a clear second and Schiemer doing enough to hold onto the minor placing.

Results:
1st – Damien Keirl
2nd – Tony Mirabella
3rd – Brendan Schiemer

B Grade

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(40 minutes + 2 laps): Richard Taylor made a rare 2016 appearance a winning ride after instigating an early attack.
Bob Morley and Dan Whelan were backing up from the Camperdown to Warrnambool race on the previous day, with neither sure just what “legs” they had for a criterium.?  Morley decided to give his legs a bit of a test and ramped the pace up for a few laps…unfortunately this provided Taylor with the perfect launch platform…and away he went with the ever vigilant Peter Livitsanis in tow.
The two quickly built up a large lead as Morley and Whelan could only look on and curse!  Pressing their advantage, Livitsanis and Taylor took a lap out of their rivals before eventually settling into an easy rhythm which allowed Whelan and Morley back on (albeit a lap down).

No attacks with two laps to go, Livitsanis and Taylor keeping close watch on each other.
Bell lap and nothing has changed…this is going to be a sprint finish…from a long way out.?  Taylor quickly has a gap when the sprint opens, but Livitsanis is holding onto some matches and he really only lights it all up with 50 metres to go.   Taylor does enough to hold a narrow margin at the flag…almost losing after having a bit of fun and bunny hopping the line.

Results:
1st – Richard Taylor
2nd – Peter Livitsanis
3rd – Bob Morley

C Grade

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(35 minutes + 2 laps):  Roger McMillan made a strong statement today for his chances in next month’s C Grade Championship race.?  The pace was kept high throughout the race as rider after rider assumed the lead role.
John Faulkner was prominent throughout and was often seen leading the pack.
Kevin Lee wasn’t letting anything like race fitness stop him and he was seen stretching them out just as many times as hanging off the back.
James Gretton was ever watchful and the crowd was anticipating a big solo effort towards the end.
Rob Young was treating this as yet another training ride, he made sure he kept out of trouble.
Graeme Parker reminded the other lads that he still has some speed in the legs by letting a few fast laps rip.
Terry Collie still had fresh legs…of sorts.  This was just his second race since returning from the Hawaiian sunshine…earlier this week.  Fair effort, especially as he was backing up after the Camperdown to Warrnambool (which was his first race back) the previous day!?

Two laps to go and Collie and McMillan were present at the front, whilst Parker was calling it a day.?  Bell lap and McMillan was still ramping the pace up.  Those expected solo attacks wouldn’t come at this pace!  
?Into the home straight and the gaps had opened up as McMillan and Collie pulled clear to fight it out.  Lee was a clear third and a mere spectator to the race for first.?

Results:
1st – Roger McMillan
2nd – Terry Collie
3rd – Kevin Lee

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Wayne Horne Earthmoving have been a long time supporter of our cycling club.
Located in Wendouree, Wayne and the team have all the equipment to perform all civil engineering
work from residential properties through to industrial estates.

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October 9, 2016 – EUREKA CONCRETE Hill Top Handicap – Mt.Misery, 49 km

October 9, 2016 – EUREKA CONCRETE Hill Top Handicap – Mt.Misery, 49 km

King of the Hill – 9 October 2016 

Eureka Concrete
Hill Top handicap

Mt.Misery with Harrisons Rd finish – 49 km

evcc-hill-top-2016-poster

Calvert claims title…again!

The Hill Top trophy race is brutal, and takes a very special rider to win it, today it was terrifying and took a superhuman effort just to complete the course let alone win it.
Forged on the anvil of angry gods, Rick Calvert was tormented by the wrath of cyclonic winds, however this unlikely hero persevered when many others perished, finally growing wings he soared to victory up the final Harrison’s Rd climb.

The guys at Waubra wind farm had obviously been praying to Boreas, Greek god of the North wind with some conviction, the 15 racers on the start line had to endure winds of 70km/hr gusting near a 100 which made for treacherous racing conditions, particularly as 2/3 of the race was cross-wind and the rest was uphill.

How many roads must a man race down,
Before you call him a man?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.
(Bob Dylan)

Birds blown from the sky lying on the road side were omens of dark portent for the four gallant souls of limit.
Graeme Parker, was only riding if Mal Rock did and Mal was only riding if he could find a marshal heavy enough to stand a corner without being blown away.
John Faulkner wasn’t that man, having lost quite a bit of weight recently, he would just have to race and Robert Young is going to take every opportunity to build his fitness.
So it was a cosy four that cautiously nosed the wind and edged out of the start gate.  Mal and Graeme rode well together and long after John and Rob had succumbed to the elements, they pressed on along Ercildoune Rd with a cross wind that threatened to rip the very bikes from under them.
Finally they were caught at the Weatherboard Rd with a bit over 5km to go (all of it up hill and most of it into a block head-gale).
Despite the race catching then leaving them (slowly) up the Weatherboard Hill, and with no prospect of even a top five finish they pressed on.  With the grim fortitude that defines men of valour both ground out the last few kms up the hill to finish the race they started – Chapeau gentlemen!

It is the night.
My body’s weak.
I’m on the run.
No time for sleep.
I’ve got to ride.
Ride like the wind.
To be free again.
(Christopher Cross)

Next away was a former winner of this race, Kevin Lee, along with his masochistic brother Brian, and the improving James Gretton.
They had work to do, and by the time half of it was done, so too were Kevin and James – Brian advancing his cause solo.  Brian could see a knot of chasers closing from behind, he edged back the throttle a bit to recover and hopefully latch on to that group rather than try to chase the race up the road.
The chasing bunch was in fact the winning bunch, so Brian’s strategy was sound provided he could hang on, he found the relative comfort of the right hand road edge almost out of the wind and fought on.  And fight he did!
He set his gaze on the back hub of the bike wheel in front and buried everything he had into his task.  In the end he was only shaken by a sharp acceleration at the bottom of Harrison’s Rd, but by then he was in solid company and well ahead of any chasers, up that hill the line couldn’t come soon enough and after crossing in fifth place he collapsed, or perhaps he was blown, into the long grass on the road verge.  A sterling effort.

Against the wind,
We were runnin’ against the wind,
We were young and strong,
we were runnin’ against the wind… 
(Bob Seger)

The spring flowers are in full bloom and “Bob Muncher” Morley’s respiratory system knows it.  However despite a lack of ability to deliver oxygen to his body he rode strongly along with Peter “Fifi” Livitsanis, and Danny “Fidel” Whelan.
Danny found the hills a challenge and the trio stretched to breaking point as Fifi was keen to press on.  They got over Misery as a three without being caught and plummeted down the other side.  Doing 55km/hr along Black Bottom Rd they were flying – how could they be caught?  At that moment the second scratch bunch arrived at express pace, Fifi found a back wheel – Muncher and Fidel didn’t.
Muncher was first back to the clubrooms as he graciously retired from the race, Fidel was hell bent on finishing, and he wasn’t last!

Call me the breeze,
I keep blowin’ down the road,
Well now they call me the breeze,
I keep blowin’ down the road,
I ain’t got me nobody,
I don’t carry me no load… 
(Lynyrd Skynyrd)

With a handy 4 mins the second scratch band of Anemoi (gods of the winds), Rick “Sudso” Calvert, Rob “Big Mig” Phillips, and Peter Kiel were riding as if possessed.
All sinew and gristle with legs chiselled from granite, they were the gods of the race.  Rob’s cadence never shifted from a leg braking 80 rpm despite the wind, despite the gradient, the countenance on his face never changing as if he felt no pain.
The lightweight Peter Kiel never missed a turn on a day when mere mortals of a similar stature would have been shattered.
However, it was the Hill Top victor of 2012 – Rick Calvert – half man, half horse, that was the Centaur of attention.

After topping Misery and rounding on Munchers bunch they released the Kraken!  Demanding a Herculean effort, from anyone brave enough to ride with them.  No Apollo-gees from these demi-gods as they cut a swathe through the race.

They rolled up the rest of the race in ones and twos and turning into Weatherboard they thought they had the race won between them. Then they encountered the full fury of the northerly, a block head wind up the minor climb had the pace down to low teens as all riders struggled to make headway.

Down Weatherboard to the corner and the headwind deterred attacks as the remaining 5 riders slogged it out along Edmondson Rd, all looking to the final climb to sort out the placings.
At the bottom they were well clear, no chasers in sight, a quick burst and Brian was gone.
The next rise saw another acceleration which saw the end of Fifi’s ambitions for a win.
With just the original three left, it took a surge from Peter Kiel to unwind Rob.

So the war of attrition had boiled the race down to the hardiest.  Pete had increased the speed of their climb with each pedal stroke, but the patient and crafty Rick waited until just before the final rise to unleash his own power surge.
Overtaking Peter in the blink of an eye, Rick pushed with all his strength.  A quick look over his shoulder and he could see that Peter had no come back.  Up, up and over, Rick rides to a famous victory.

Did you ever know that you’re my hero,
And everything I would like to be,
I can fly higher than an eagle,
For you are the wind beneath my wings.
(Bette Midler)

Scratch had a challenge in front of them.  Andrew Rushton and Brendan Schiemer were joined by none other than King of the Hill himself, Tony Mirabella.  Tony is a multiple winner of the Hill Top finish – 2015, 2013 and the A Grade race in 2011.  Tony was on song for the event and the men raced into the wind like it didn’t exist.

At times the trio struggled to remain steady in echelon formation as they were battered by the crosswinds – any more riders in the bunch could have been dangerous!
Unfortunately Rushton was unhitched as they raced down Black Bottom Road with speeds exceeding 60 kph on occasion.  This left just Mirabella and Schiemer to chase down the groups ahead. They did not see the front of the race, however they picked off the dropped combatants from the other groups as they “sped” towards the finish…sometimes in their lowest gears as they rode back into the fierce headwind in the last few kilometres.

To their credit they took more than half the time back and suffered immensely in the process.  Brendan burnt every match he had leading into the final climb, Tony stepped around him and powered up the final hill solo for fastest time.

Results:
1st – Rick Calvert (4 minutes)
2nd – Peter Kiel (4 minutes)
3rd – Rob Phillips (4 minutes)
4th – Peter Livitsanis (8 minutes)
5th – Brian Lee (15 minutes)
Fastest Time – Tony Mirabella (Scratch) in 1:30:05

6

Eureka Concrete are another of our long term sponsors.
Eureka Concrete supply to wind farms, gold mines, commercial and industrial projects, civil projects and domestic homes. They specialize in high strength concrete to decorative concrete, kerb and channel and suitable pre-mixed concrete for any everyday projects such as DIY jobs.

concrete-eureka-pre-mix-ballarat-concrete-cement-49f5-938x704

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