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May 21, 2017 – Race for Ray – Combine Handicap, 46 km Mt Misery

May 21, 2017 – Race for Ray – Combine Handicap, 46 km Mt Misery

Riding for our mate – 21 May 2017

Race for Ray

Mt Misery circuit – 46 km

Race for Ray 2017 poster ver 2


EUREKA Cycling
hosted Geelong & Surf Coast CC, Geelong Super Vets and a few other friends (from other vets clubs) at Learmonth for the second staging of the Race for Ray.
Ray Hodgson was everyone’s mate and he would have celebrated his 75th birthday a few weeks ago…

As far as cycling goes, Ray loved everything about it…the racing…the training…the post training coffee…for that matter, the pre training coffee…and of course the BLING!  Matching kit, that new fandoozie thing that lets you do techno stuff.

Ray especially loved the camaraderie that cycling builds between people that would never have met…except for bicycles.  He always wanted to know about YOUR race and he was always interested in improving his own racing!  So, it was fitting that about 80 people rocked up to the Eureka club rooms on this special day.

The Race for Ray swaps between hosts – Geelong Super Vets will stage the next race in 2018.  This is to honour Ray’s commitment to both clubs where he raced.
The race was staged on Ray’s favourite “Eureka” circuit – Mt Misery.  About 60 riders arrived at the start line in very foggy conditions which only worsened as the race approached Waubra, then over the highpoint of the circuit the fog blew away and there was even a glimpse of sunshine.
It wasn’t cold, but there was a fair north wind that helped the various groups achieve some very high speeds.  The early groups away were quite small in number, so staying clear of the bigger groups would be a hard task.
There were some hard luck stories with some riders having flat tyres before their race even started…and others flatting less than halfway into the race.

One group saw interesting action with two members of their bunch riding away from them…up the road…into the fog…

The 9 minute group had there act together and averaged 38 kph to the turn into Ercildoune Road (30 km).  They had actually put 65 seconds into the 7 minute group that were chasing them.

The 3:30 minute group averaged 40 kph to that same point, but all kudos went to the awesome Scratch group who averaged 42 kph for that first 30 kilometres.

The 9 minute group had rotated well with everyone sharing the load, they rounded up the out-markers just 32 kilometres into the race.  The fun and games then started, with the pace backing right off and just a dedicated five or so riders trying to keep the supersize bunch rolling.

The 7 minute group were chasing as hard as they could, picking up the odd dropped rider along the way, then finally catching up to their two cohorts (who had ridden off from them some 25 kilometres earlier).  With the additional firepower they held onto their ever decreasing advantage over the Second Scratch group for a few more kilometres.

Second Scratch (3:30 min) had kept their small group of five working well.  Taking turns resting when required, but ever closing in on the 7 minute group.  The catch was imminent as they neared the turn into Weatherboard Rd, when WHOOSH!  Scratch had arrived!

The small Scratch group of five had sped along methodically ticking off the kilometres and closing the gaps.  No time to waste when you start 27 minutes behind Limit in a 46 kilometre race!
Scratch went straight onto the edge of the road as they passed the 7 minute group going up the Weatherboard climb.  Soon enough and Tim Canny had exploded to the front of the peloton with Tony Mirabella chasing.  They opened a gap over the crest and powered on to decide Fastest Time – for up ahead was where the race was being won…

The race was on for the supersize 9 minute group (and additional friends).  They spread across the road and lined up for the sprint.
Everyone was watching the leaders on the left side of the road when James Knipe used the cover on the right side to slingshot off the front and opened a nice gap.  The others sprinted…they were closing fast…but Knipe holds on to win the day!
Some 500 metres behind – Canny and Mirabella are clear of the peloton and racing each other for Fastest Time.  Canny taking the honours as the peloton explodes behind them with riders sprinting from everywhere for the line to close out a fantastically competitive race.

Results:
1st – James Knipe (Eureka), 9 min, in 1:14:35, ave. 37 kph
2nd – James Gretton (Eureka), 12 min
3rd – Mark O’Callaghan (Eureka), 9 min
Fastest Time: Tim Canny (Eureka), Scratch, in 1:06:35, ave. 41.3 kph

The winner received a trophy and sash.  Place getters received trophies.  A quirk of the current prize system for the Race for Ray means there is no recognition for the Fastest rider on the day – except the kudos from the other participants.

EUREKA Cycling take hold of the perpetual shield until the next staging of the Race for Ray.

EUREKA Cycling thank all our friends from the other cycling clubs who participated today – Ray would have been chuffed!
It was also wonderful to see Val Hodgson and so many other non racers out and about to make this special day happen – marshals, race vehicle drivers, kitchen staff, administrative staff (registration, numbers, etc.), referees and rider’s personal cheer squads.
A huge thank you to KREHALON Australia who provided the prize money for the day.
The prize money and day’s takings amounted to over $1500 and this is being donated to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation.  Ray had fought off cancer TWICE and often said that the cycling had helped give him something to focus on.

 

Photo:
James Knipe and Mark O’Callaghan post presentations

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Photo:
Winner’s sash with the perpetual and place getter trophies

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April 30, 2017 – Bring A Friend Day – Scratch Races, Weatherboard

 Bring A Friend day – 30 April 2017

Graded Scratch racing

Weatherboard circuit – various distances

EVCC bring a friend day 2017

EUREKA Cycling staged a Bring A Friend Day at Learmonth today.  The event was a resounding success with over FIFTY riders competing.
23 riders were first time competitors at the club.  Free “Trial Licences” were issued to each of these riders so that they able to safely and legally compete under the rules of cycling.
Riders were split into FIVE grades to accommodate the varying degree of experience, fitness and skill.
The races were conducted on the Weatherboard circuit over various distances.  EUREKA Cycling members acted as chaperones for the newcomers.
C, D and E grades saw some riders competing in a cycling race for the very first time.  A and B grades had exciting race activity with many attacks and large bunch sprints to decide the placings.
New riders were able to make it onto the podium in most grades – in fact over half of the placings went to newcomers.
The all important raffle draw was also claimed by a newcomer.  Participants and families enjoyed a large spread after the race.

Many thanks to our wonderful kitchen staff, corner marshals, referees and officials for making the day superb.

We commend each rider on their participation today and hope they all enjoyed their visit to EUREKA Cycling.
A special mention goes out to those riders participating in their first bicycle race and also everyone who drove up from as far as Bacchus Marsh.

Newcomers denoted by * (Please accept our humble apologies if we have accidentally excluded you…or included you…or incorrectly labelled you! Many new faces today!)

Results -
A Grade, 60 km
1st – Tim Canny
2nd – Nathan Youngbauer*
3rd – Jason Birch*
B Grade, 60 km
1st – Peter Canny
2nd – Don Stewart*
3rd – Jeremy Humber
C Grade, 50 km
1st – Troy Van Trienen*
2nd – Mark O’Callaghan
3rd – Kyle Hester*
D Grade, 50 km
1st – Brian Ure
2nd – Jude Jonasson
3rd – Barry Robinson
E Grade, 40 km
1st – James Allan*
2nd – Luke Ives*
3rd – Monica Canny*
Raffle, $50 meat tray winner – Shane Hayes*
Participants -
A Grade: 
Tony Mirabella
Tim Canny
Brendan Schiemer
Dean Wells
Matt Bowman
Rick Calvert
Rob Ellis
Matt Ayres
Stu Brien
*Jason Birch
*Ben Clark
*Shane Hayes
*Shannon Meadows
*Nathan Youngbauer
B Grade: 
Bob Morley
Pete Livitsanis
Dan Whelan
Grant Dawson
James Knipe
Pete Canny
Steve Kennedy
Paul Crack
Peter Gunston
Jeremy Humber
Steve Biram
*Ben Ryan
*Don Stewart
C Grade: 
Mark O’Callaghan
Rob Parker
James Gretton
Roger McMillan
James Burzacott
*Tim Cartwright
*Rob Dolan
*Kyle Hester
*Matt Horsman
*Pete Kyatt
*Geoff Martin
*Richard Smallwood
*Troy Van Trienen
D Grade: 
Barry Robinson
Jude Jonasson
Michael Veal
Louis Nuspan
Brian Ure
*Kyle Nestor
E Grade:
Neil Braszell
*James Allan
*Monica Canny
*Steve Gretton
*Nicole Humber
*Luke Ives
*Colin Matthews
*Peter Roche

A Grade

EUREKA Cycling’s member drive initiative was tagged Bring A “Date” Day by one of the A Grade members.   A competitive bunch of riders with an age spread of just 20 years assembled for what was meant to be an introductory race for potential new members.   Of much concern was the bloke from Bacchus Marsh in the skinsuit…more on that later.

All thoughts of a neutral lap and a bit of fun until the last 25 kilometres was thrown out the window inside the first ten kilometres.  Just 8 kilometres into the race and Matt Bowman launched the first of his attacks – not so hard that he opened a big gap, just hard enough to hurt.

Second time down towards Hendersons Road and Tim Canny was keen to flex some muscle as he took off with Shannon Meadows (trial rider) in tow.  Swapping turns, the pair quickly opened a 15 second advantage.   Some good turns by Tony Mirabella, Stu Brien, Rob Ellis and Brendan Schiemer gradually brought the duo back into the fold halfway along the Avenue section.
A few short attacks by Ben Clark (trial rider), then Ellis, then Mirabella and then Meadows had the bunch surging and surging, which proved the catalyst for the next Bowman attack.  This put Rick Calvert, Matt Ayres and Dean Wells under pressure as the race turned out of the Avenue and went straight into the gutter with the riders stretched out in single file.  Calvert soon signed off for the day.
Shane Hayes (trial rider) made a move from the rear of the bunch as A Grade raced down towards the chicane, but then Canny and Jason Birch (trial rider) put the pressure on through the bends and had everyone ducking and diving for wheels as they went straight into the gutter again.  Brien, Ellis and Schiemer doing the shutting down.

With everything settled down at the base of the Hendersons Road hill, Wells quipped to Mirabella ‘Geez I wish Bowman would get a mechanical’.   That comment coincided with Bowman’s next attack, which also saw Ayres finally cast off.
Bowman held a 10 second advantage for almost five kilometres before the bunch led by Canny, Brien and Meadows reluctantly closed the gap – which then saw Canny charging off the front again.  Ellis prominent in closing that surge down.

Each approach to the chicane seemed to get faster and faster as the riders battled for position.  Clark was wondering if this risky stuff was “normal” – the answer is a definitive no!   Today there seemed to be a bit of showing off by some of the regulars in front of their “dates”.

Birch spent a bit of time off the front going up the Avenue the next time, before Nathan Youngbauer (aka “skin suit guy” and trial rider) found himself on the front for the first time in the race as they approached Weatherboard.  Bowman went off the back as they crested the hill, but he stuck to his guns and gradually rode back to the bunch, were he yo-yoed off and on until late on the last lap.

The bunch seemed to accept that this race was coming down to one last battle up the Hendersons Road hill.  Canny again sitting on the front with Meadows and driving a pace to discourage attacks.  A more sensible approach to the chicane on the last lap as the remaining riders sized each other up.
After winding up from the rear, Bowman launched his final attack, overtaking Ellis who was starting to accelerate for his own assault.  Bowman had a gap, but Ellis had the momentum to drag the bunch forward.  Wells took over the chase but Bowman seemed to hold his advantage around the sharp corner into Hendersons Road – where up ahead was the B Grade race.
B Grade moved aside as Bowman reached the tail riders.  The other A Graders surged past a shot Wells and Youngbauer led the charge up the hill, claiming Bowman and then the finish line was just there, but Canny came through to take the win with Birch hot on their wheels.

Epilogue: Hayes did a lot of following today, but he knew his best opportunity was back at the club rooms, where he duly saluted with an impressive raffle win for the $50 meat tray.

Result:
1st – Tim Canny
2nd – Nathan Youngbauer
3rd – Jason Birch

 

Photo: Before the race.  Riders assemble at the start…

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Photo: Happy faces everywhere post race…

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April 23, 2017 – Rising Sun Trophy, 56 km Windmill with finish over The Wall

April 23, 2017 – Rising Sun Trophy, 56 km Windmill with finish over The Wall

THIS, is why we ride! – 23 April 2017

Rising Sun Trophy

Windmill circuit – with finish over The Wall – 56 km

Rising Sun Trophy 2017 poster

When a man in his seventies holds them ALL at bay…

The lone intrepid soldier, Graeme “Colonel” Parker lead from gun to flag, to take the chockies and carve his name onto the famous Rising Sun Trophy.
The sole “limit” rider time-trialled his way around 3 laps of Windmill, then ascended the Mur de Learmonth (also known as The Wall) as best he could, he resisted the temptation just to get off, told his “aching knee” to shut up, and zig zagged his way up the notorious “Wall”.
It wasn’t pretty, but he made it first over the top and through no-man’s land to the finish.  For that, we realise, why we ride!

A healthy sized field of 25 gathered to honour the race dedicated to those that served, and in the spirit of community service, all proceeds from today’s race will be donated to a local community organization.
The locals must have got wind of today’s special trophy race with a large crowd of spectators assembled at the start line – granted they were a herd of young dairy cows that thought we were there to feed them – but they appeared genuinely interested in proceedings!  Such was their enthusiasm, the short pinch on Donovan’s Rd has been renamed the “Cowberg”.
Pre-race banter turned to a lengthy discussion about the nature of power and the invention of a new unit of measure, the “twat”.
For your information, 100 twats = 1 rat power.
Like impatient kids at Christmas, a few riders decided to warm up by ascertaining how many “twats” are required to scale The Wall (also known as the Mur de Learmonth), for Craig “Lightie” Lightfoot this wasn’t a great idea as he usually only has one ascent in him on any given day (week? year? decade?).
During all this jocularity, Graeme (30 minutes) slipped away from the start line almost unnoticed, and began his solo mission behind enemy lines.  The stealthy koploper went undetected for the entirety of the race, and while the rest of the race eroded his lead quickly, he found the reserves necessary to hold them at bay.  A classic ride from this hardened warrior, and a well-deserved win.

Off 13 minutes, a small scouting party of three were in pursuit, Roger McMillan, James Gretton and Brian Ure knew which way the Colonel had gone but they couldn’t spot him.  With two large groups behind, the smart race strategy was to race somewhat conservatively and contribute to the chase in a bigger bunch.  They made it to half way before meeting up with reinforcements…

The 7 minute Regiment was replete with nine in its company.  A company of this size is an oddity in club races, however they knitted together well.  With Paul Crack, Stephan Biram and James “Mack” Knipe providing the necessary fire power, all three rode strongly and drove the bunch with enthusiasm and a touch of sadism, especially when the road went up.  Danny “Fidel” Whelan and Bob “Muncher” Morley went about their work with determination, both strong and consistent they rode their turns with metronomic regularity.  Mark “Mocca” O’Callaghan was backing up from a testing race the day before (with sister club BSCC), but you could hardly tell that his legs were screaming.  Following his recent criterium success, Jeremy Humber was out for his first handicap race with Eureka, learning that this is a different “kettle of fish” and that pain can be your “new friend”.  Peter “Fifi” Livitsanis and Craig “Lightie” Lightfoot contributed where they could, but both found it necessary to sit back while the stronger riders drove the pace.  Fifi, just out of hospital, was cautiously undertaking his own personal stress test, he was in better knick than he thought and had plenty left in the tank for the finale!

A lap and a half in and the 13 minute scouts are ambushed, but rather than a summary execution, the 7 minute Regiment decided to conscript them to their cause and put them to work.
Roger McMillan is mentioned in despatches for his courageous sacrifice – working turns with the bunch knowing that every match he burnt was going to count against him on The Wall.  James and Brian did what they could – but preservation was their first priority – both hung in as long as they could, Brian only dislodged on the last lap up Crick’s Hill.
Left turn at the church on Coghills Creek Rd and the Wall loomed large on the horizon!!!
Lightie, having already ridden a prelude “Wall” ascent, was dubious about his chances of featuring in the finish, and instead sacrificed the few “twats” he had remaining on the front, to keep the bunch clear of the achtervolgers.
Impatient for the off, and to the surprise of the bunch, it’s a (James Knipe) Mack Attack!  Very early on the preliminary slopes, he stays clear to the bottom of the final climb.  Mack might be a puncheur, but The Wall punches back, and early on the steep ramp he finds himself calling for the medic.  Next, James Gretton cannot contain the adrenalin any further and attacks the climb, he opens a 10 metre gap but the lights dimmed before the climb relented and The Wall took another scalp.  Having sat on the back trying to hang onto wheels on the flat, the relatively fresh lightweight Fifi, plays his card halfway up the steepest section and kicks clear of the field, crawls past James and opens a gap back to his poursuivants Danny “Fidel” Whelan and Stephan Biram.  Topping the parapet, Fifi engages the “big dog” (aka the large chain ring) and sprints for the downhill finish line.  Behind, Fidel has distanced all but Stephen and the two battle it out for third, Stephen proving the faster and claims the final podium spot.

The 2 minute regiment of achervolgers were maintaining a mad pace – up over 39 kph is “scratch” riding.  Is it possible, or is Peter Kiel lighter than last time we saw him?  Well, not sure about that, but he’s still quick, climbs well and has a steely conviction to race.  Pete Canny was a winner yesterday at Springmount (BSCC) and was looking to double up the chocky quotient.  Matty Ayres was encouraged to test himself in better company as too was Duncan “Psycho” Bates.  The large bunch also welcomed new rider Peter “Norman” Gunston for his first race with Eureka, a great first up ride from him!  The rock of the group was Stu Brien, of course he can be relied on to push a big gear on the flat – but today he proved himself on The Wall – outclimbing the rest of this company.  Rick “Sudso” Calvert is starting to find his racing legs and today’s finale suited him when he’s in top knick.
This tightly knit group shared the work around, maintaining their 2 minute advantage to Scratch and steadily gaining on the front of the race.
Into the last lap and while the mission looked futile, they coursed on, hopeful that something might appear on the radar soon.  Sure enough their persistence was rewarded as the 7 minute bunch came into view around the final corner.
Encouraged, the pace found another level and mid way up The Wall, they stormed into the back of the 7 minute bunch now spread all over The Wall like a Jackson Pollock painting.
This ignited a flurry of attacks, and the world went topsy-turvy, the solid sprinter Stu breaking clear up the steep slope, towing Peter Kiel towards the top, then to complete the reversal of roles, Kiellie rewards Stu by out-sprinting him to the finish, to claim 5th.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get more surreal, the efforts of the bunch also rewarded Kiellie with fastest time – will wonders never cease?

So what became of the Special Forces Scratch bunch?  With a meagre 4 riders chasing two large bunches up the road it was always a chance that this was “A bridge too far”.  Club Champ Greg Ley and the sponsor of the race, Dean “Phantom” Wells were undaunted and combined with Tony “TIS” Mirabella and Brendan “Scheems” Schiemer to attempt the almost impossible.
A two minute gap may seem insignificant, but despite Scheems put in his two fastest taps of windmill ever, and TIS and Greg both having great races, the gap wasn’t coming down.  Late into the race, when all seemed lost, they all rode for each other to try to preserve fastest time, but despite superhuman efforts even this goal proved elusive, second scratch (Kiellie) taking fastest time by a mere TWO seconds.

Results:
1st – Graeme Parker (30 min)
2nd – Peter Livitsanis (7 min)
3rd – Stephen Biram (7 min)
4th – Danny Whelan (7 min)
5th – Peter Kiel (2 min)
Fastest Time: Peter Kiel (2 min) in 1h 27m 10s, ave. 38.7 kph

Photo: A proud Graeme post presentations.

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March 26 and April 2, 2017 – Autumn Criterium Series

March 26 and April 2, 2017 – Autumn Criterium Series

Autumn Criterium Series 2017

Round 1 - March 26

Production Drive, Alfredton

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In the week of Mario Cipollini’s 50th birthday, it was the most un-Cippo racers that we raise a glass to.

A Grade

What does it take to beat Tony “The Italian Stallion” Mirabella in a crit?  Well, A Grade might have worked it out…but only just.
The signs were there early that something was afoot – a “no-so-fresh” Tony who had raced the day before – and three likely lads showing up together at the last moment to sign on, perspiring like horses from a pretty intensive warm up.
It was a cunning plan, so cunning you could bang a tail on it and call it a fox.

From the start Greg Ley was keen to set a pretty good pace to toughen up affairs and perhaps take the sting out of the sprinters.
Dean Wells was also prominent early but then for some inexplicable reason toned it down and stopped being the pacesetter, even when he found himself off the front he actually sat up!  Most un-Phantom like!
Stu Brien has a reputation as a bit of a crit monster and found himself in elite company, but undaunted he attacked about 12 minutes into the race, putting 30 metres into them in the blink of an eye.  His lead stretched to the length of the home straight before anyone really tried to reel him back in.
Greg and Tony Mirabella did the bulk of the work, with little assistance from Rick Calvert and Richard Taylor – Dean, feet up, whistling quietly to himself, just went along for the ride.

The intermediate sprint arrived with Stu still out on his escapade, and he was rewarded for his 20 minute breakaway with the sprint win (by a handsome 29.5 sec) for $5, good value for effort that.  Anyway, eventually Stu tired after being out front for probably 20 minutes.  He had recovered some energy during the last few laps it took Greg and Tony to catch him, so he was able to latch on to the rear quite easily.

The race careened along at an average over 38 kph, which wasn’t fast enough from President Faulkner who was heard encouraging the lads from the sidelines, “have a go” he bawled at them as they sped past.
Richard Robocop Taylor was also in an uncharacteristically watchful mood, content to counter Greg’s attacks but not ambitious enough to launch his own, and he sat snuggly on Tony’s wheel for most of proceedings.
Tony was keen to animate the race with constant changing of pace and racing out of corners, however there seemed to be an unwritten script to this race as the rest of the field sat off him and rode tempo to bring him back in, he was burning matches for little result.  Is there intelligence emerging in the A Grade field?
Rick “Sudso” Calvert looks like he’s cut his own hair, it is shorter, but he looks like a chewed toothbrush now.  Saturday he was feeling rubbish and could hardly keep up with C grade riders, today he was a man reborn and he threw caution to the wind put in a few flyers throughout the race.  Perhaps not taking these seriously enough, the rest of the field failed to respond until Greg saw a crack of light spring from the door of opportunity and he went with him just before we got the call for two laps.  With that call, Greg and Rick had a handy 20 metre break on the field.
Robocop and The Phantom Wells ramped the pace up behind and closed the gap, but didn’t complete the catch in fear that Tony would probably attack.
Bell lap and Greg dropped off the lead to just leave Rick out in front.  Rounding the bottom corner, The Phantom got onto Rick’s wheel, with Stu and Tony just behind (and in the gutter).
Around Muncher’s corner and Rick was emptying the bottom drawers of courage as he persisted, Phantom stuck it to them on the corner and opened a small gap and clicked up one more gear – time to grit the teeth and hold – perhaps he can sprint afterall?
Closing to the line Tony was moving up fast on the inside.  Phantom redoubled the effort as the crowd was going nuts on the sidelines, wanting to see a darkhorse win.  This seemed to spur Phantom on for just the two seconds he needed to hold his sprint and he crossed the line winning by half a wheel.
Stu got caught wide coming around the home turn but sprinted through the field to claim third.

Results:
1st – Dean Wells
2nd – Tony Mirabella
3rd – Stuart Brien
Int. sprint – Stuart Brien

B Grade

Paul Crack arrived on the start line and with his name tag hovering over A grade on the white board, admits to the handicapper that he’s on drugs today (for gastro), the handicapper takes pity on him, and slots the poor suffering soul into B Grade with the rest of the invalids.  His guts might have been in a twist but his legs seemed to work just fine – lesson for the handicapper.
Mark “Mocha” O’Callaghan, Steve Biram and James “Mack the Knife” Knipe were all backing up from a hard-fought Open with legs that felt like pushing cooked spaghetti through custard.
Today B Grade also welcomed a new rider to Eureka – Brian Ure is no stranger to racing, son of a traditional Ballarat cycling family, and racing himself since before he could walk.  A bit of a test for him today and riding a classic steel Paconi resplendent with downtime shifters.  The handicapper had a wary eye on him and rightly so, Brian is a poised, smooth pedalling, smart rider, who only imposed himself late in the race.
Not so patient, Steve Biram was in a feisty mood, his mantra for the day was Attack-Recover-Repeat.  On occasion he was off the front by 50 metres but was returned to the fold usually by Mocha and Paul riding tempo.

The intermediate sprint was contested by the full field, all together on the turn and an honest dash for the cash, Mocha and Crack seeing it through as the rest eased up once they realised they weren’t in this one.  Paul eclipsing Mocha for $5.

Closing in on the last few minutes of the race and Brian who had been as patient as a temple full of monks, finally selected “the” gear, this went unmarked by all except the relatively unsighted Fifi, who has a keen eye for Italian steel and classic bikes, he knew Brian wasn’t reaching for his water bottle.  Brian roars out of his hibernation and launches a full blooded attack, so late in the race it couldn’t go unmarked, even though it was so far out.  Fifi covered the move, but the rest were strung out like Christmas tree lights on the Christmas tree of carnage.

Bell lap, the rest of the field was pulling itself together for a chase when the second surge kicks in around the bottom corner, however Brian’s matchbook is empty and he sputters to a close in the back straight.  Fifi looks back sees a 30 metre gap, pinning his ears back, he buries everything into the last 500 metres and scampers away a clear winner from a fast finishing Paul and Mack.

Results:
1st – Peter Livitsanis
2nd – Paul Crack
3rd – James Knipe
Int. Sprint – Paul Crack

C Grade

Graeme Parker had sweat on his brow as he rolled up for a start, having left his commute to the race to the last moment, at least he was warmed up, and hopefully not worn out.  Graeme needed his racing legs on today as Eureka welcomed back one of its favourite sons to C Grade, the evergreen Barry Robinson making his first appearance for some time and Rob Young was at the race early pacing around like a caged tiger.

Despite being a group of three, the race was conducted at a cruel pace designed to dampen the enthusiasm of any would-be solo artists.  This lively speed saw C Grade keeping pace with B Grade for much of the first half of the race, and indeed Graeme threw in a few attacks that saw C Grade steam past B Grade.

The intermediate sprint saw Barry skip clear from a less than enthusiastic Graeme to take the modest honours, Graeme had bigger fish to fry today and didn’t know how his dodgey knee would hold up, like-as-not it only had one real sprint in it.

The race settled as it became apparent that these evenly matched combatants were heading to a sprint finish. Barry and Rob were buoyed by their early performance against Graeme so far, and eagerly pursued the rest of the race.  Little did they know that Graeme had a nitro canister still tucked in his back pocket.

The pace quickened with two laps to go as the threesome jockeyed for position into corners.  The bell lap saw Graeme and Barry open a small gap on Rob which they exploited with some hard cornering around Munchers.  Graeme assessed how his knee was feeling, looked across at Barry, smiled, and hit the nitrous, his back wheel spinning with explosive force he kicked clear.  Barry was sucked along more than holding his wheel, Graeme sprinting like a 17-year-old for the win.

Results:
1st – Graeme Parker
2nd – Barry Robinson
3rd – Robert Young
Int Sprint – Barry Robinson

Round 2 - April 2

Production Drive, Alfredton

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Whispered allegations of mechanical doping as two of Tony Mirabella’s bikes were ridden to victory today.
Could this be Tony testing out an early proto-type?

A Grade

Tony “The Italian Stallion” Mirabella restored order to the universe by easily accounting for a much depleted A Grade field of three.
With registration drawing to a close it looked like Tony might be racing himself, when finally Stu Brien and Rob Phillips rolled up.  Stu and the Big Mig were probably looking for a bigger field to share the load, but they took up the challenge like the masochistic individuals we know them to be.
A small consolation was the knowledge that, even though they were probably racing for second, they would both finish on the podium.

Stu decided the best form of defence was self-annihilation as he animated the race early, Rob took a counter race plan of sitting in and have his legs pulled off slowly.  Surely it was all just a matter of time before Tony dropped the hammer and asserted his dominance.  However, Rob and Stu were not going away easily and seemed to enjoy their time in the hurt locker, perhaps even taunting Tony like condemned men on the gallows.

With two to go, Tony regally dismissed the pair from his presence and sauntered off to claim his prize.
In the sprint for second, Rob still had a few matches left while Stu’s sprinting wallet only had a couple of dead moths and a used train ticket in it.

Results:
1st – Tony Mirabella
2nd – Rob Phillips
3rd – Stuart Brien

B Grade

Jeremy Humber was in the right place at the right time to take an untidy sprint.  Jeremy expertly navigating the confusion from the front, while shutting the door on a couple of the main contenders.  B Grade had heads on ‘em like mice, the 11 starters making this the biggest crit field ever assembled at Eureka, and a unique racing experience for those accustomed to more intimate racing experiences.
The main aggressors Duncan Bates, Paul Crack and Matt Ayres with an occasional flourish from James Knipe.
Bob Morley content to stay mid pack and let Mark O’Callaghan and Roger McMillan close down the sporadic sortees.
Danny Whelan and Brian Ure watched proceedings from the rear discovering that with such a large field, the exit out of each corner was a bit of a sprint to stay in touch, they were blowing smoke by mid race.
Jeremy kept himself tidy and patient for the race and looked the most unlikely of winners until it really mattered.

The big field kept everyone watchful, not so much for who was jumping off the front but for who went second or third, and what sort of combination that made out the front.

As the race entered the final 10 minutes attacks became more frequent and vigorous but seldom did the field allow any more than two riders away and by less than 50 metres.
With two to go it seemed everyone was content on a late sprint, no long distance raids and the slightest suggestion of someone even changing gears was met with a howl of alarm.

Final lap and the pace picked up with 500 metres to go, then almost stopped into the wind around the last corner, no one wanted to lead this one out.  This allowed Jeremy to claim the prized inside running, the slackening pace also encouraged Mocha to accelerate from the rear of the field cornering wide, Bob and Roger accepting this gift lead-out to move up.
A messy last corner saw nine riders exit almost together, with wheels crossing and curses thrown it was just a slugfest to the line.
The blanket finish saw the first six over the line with less than two bike lengths in it.  Matt Ayres made up some ground on the inside as did Paul Crack but it didn’t open up for them, and they were left sprinting in third gear.

Results:
1st – Jeremy Humber
2nd – Paul Crack
3rd – Matt Ayres

C Grade

Rob Young stormed home to win C Grade in a final sprint from Graeme Parker who faded late in the sprint, was that his knee or his brakes that locked up in his reverse sprint for second?
C Grade also welcomed back Brad Crit Monster Eppingstall for his first race since Moses was a boy.  Brad has got a bit of building to do and while he rode in the wheels for the first half, a series of attacks from Rob and Graeme saw him distanced to ride out the race by himself.

In a repeat of last week the C Graders kept pace with, and occasionally went past the B Graders, however this week there were only two of them and eleven B Graders, both Graeme and Rob are in better knick than you might expect and will be a more than a handful in the handicap races coming up.

Results:

1st – Robert Young
2nd – Graeme Parker
3rd – Brad Eppingstall

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