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October 2, 2016 – WAYNE HORNE EARTHMOVING Spring Criterium Series, Rd 1 – Production Drive, Alfredton

October 2, 2016 – WAYNE HORNE EARTHMOVING Spring Criterium Series, Rd 1 – Production Drive, Alfredton

Wayne Horne Earthmoving

Spring Criterium Series
Round 1

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Graded Scratch Races – 2 Oct 2016

Production Drive Circuit, Alfredton

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I saw you toss the clouds on high
And blow the riders about the sky;
And all around I heard you pass,
Like race numbers across the grass;
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

Was it the wind?  Perhaps the lingering reminders of the drunken celebration of a Cinderella grand final win, or perhaps just forgot to put the clock forward for daylight saving, but something kept most riders away on this day.
Only nine braved the punishing wind that would blow a bulldog, fattened on roast swan, off his chain.
Still, the opening salvo of the Spring crit season was eagerly contested.

A/B Grade

Tony Mirabella decided today wasn’t the day for deep rims and left his “fast” bike at home – didn’t seem to make much difference as he easily accounted for the rest in a thoughtful, then punishing display of racing.
As in the last few weeks, Tony’s main competition came from Brendan Scheimer, while racing his own race, Brendan was always watchful for any move from Tony.
Andrew Sparky Rushton was keen to impose his will on the race and took numerous opportunities to open cans of whoop-ass, undaunted by the howling wind and the competition, he burnt ever match he had animating the race.
In contrast, Dean Wells, back from Devil Gate Drive, minus the Quattro boots, was uncharacteristically riding a conservative race, preferring to counter attacks rather than instigate them.  Ultimately this stratagem proved successful.  Even though he was shelled late in the race he persevered and had enough left in the tank to not only get back on, but to also take third.

The wind was so strong that it blew Phil “Farky” Cartledge in from the Barossa.  Apparently he’d left home for a race at Outer Harbour in Adelaide and ended up in Alfredton.  While it was great to have the club champ racing with us again, he didn’t have his racing boots on today; he was, as usual, competitive, but never really got out of third gear.

For their sins and lack of B grade friends, Peter Fifi Livitsanis and Mark O’Callaghan were “elevated” to A grade. Mark, in his first ever crit race, was as nervous as a man with a comb over in a ceiling fan shop.  His education lasted all but three laps, he used the rest of the race as time trial training and even on the short circuit wasn’t lapped until the last few minutes.
For Fifi it was like competing at the para-olympics and Mark Cavendish shows up – Fifi had no chance today, for race entry fee he received an invaluable lessen in how to suffer.

A race in two parts, first half relatively cordial, even paced and cautious – second half, animated, increasingly aggressive and testing.
With 10 mins to go the flurry of attacks and counter attacks began with earnest.  Tony, Andrew, Brendan and Phil are clear of the chasers.
With two laps to go Tony made his move and dragged Brendan and Sparky clear with Dean chasing.
Last lap, Tony and Brendan go clear to contest the final sprint and in ride of the day, Dean rolls up Sparky.
Phil is out the back providing some incentive for Fifi to keep chasing.

In a two up sprint it was the Italian Stallion, fresh from a punishing 120km training ride the day before, that stepped up and stepped clear to take the prize.

Results:
1st – Tony Mirabella
2nd – Brendan Schiemer
3rd – Dean Wells

C Grade

Rob Young returning from injury and the lightly raced Graeme Parker looked somewhat lonely on the start line as they waited for Bill to send them on their way.
More of a gentlemanly outing than a race, both were keen to take care to be around next week and not push things to hard to early.  However, these are two blokes that take on different personas once they pin on numbers, of course a race would break out sooner or later.
In a confidence building ride, it was Rob that rode clear to take a win in his return race.

Results:
1st – Robert Young
2nd – Graeme Parker
NTD

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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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September 25, 2016 – DAVIDSON’S BLINDS & SHUTTERS Graded Scratch – Windmill, 52.5 km

September 25, 2016 – DAVIDSON’S BLINDS & SHUTTERS Graded Scratch – Windmill, 52.5 km

Windbreak Required  – 25 Sep 2016 

Davidson’s Blinds and Shutters – Graded Scratch Races
Windmill Circuit – 52.5 km

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Everyone Against The Wind

Everything is not always as it seems, today’s parcour does not have a windmill (although it is always windy), the sun was out but it was freezing, and scratch racing doesn’t mean the first lap is a warm up.  Numbers were slightly up today with a particularly competitive A grade field of 6.  The day also saw Mark O’Callaghan register his first win at EVCC.

A Grade 

The Social Ride

Brendan Schiemer may not be the fastest in a straight line sprint but he’s always fit, he’s always smart and he never sits up.  A healthy tailwind brought him out to the club rooms today, a good warm up for what he was assuming would be a mild mannered scratch race with a bit of a dash for the cash at the end.  However, the race panned out a little differently will all 6 contenders somewhat relieved when it was all over.

Spring and the call of the coming triathlon season encouraged Rob Ellis to exit the pool, dry off and slip the bike shoes on.  Andrew Rushton was back in A Grade, along with the most successful A grader in recent weeks, Rick Calvert, who has ignored Ballarat’s wettest September ever and has been putting in big kms training.  Dean Wells had some fresh legs and his Suzie Quattro boots on.  Tony Mirabella was probably not as fresh having raced the 80 km Ross Bush Memorial Hcp near Geelong on Saturday.

400 metres in and as soon as the group have rounded the turn, Brendan’s wish for a “social” ride disappeared up the road with Dean Wells in time trial mode.  The race pace was certainly on, however the rest of the group were happy to roll turns and reeled him back in before Blowhard.
After the catch, Rushton and Mirabella both put in a few surges to remind any would-be escapees that there was a long way to go and plenty of firepower in the bunch.

Second time up to the quarry and Wells used a short Mirabella surge to once again skip off the front.  B grade were passed at Blowhard and Wells was back in the fold after a sustained effort by Ellis.  Sparky Rushton saw a counter attack opportunity and punched thirty odd metres up the road.  Nuisance value only as he too was brought back.
Ellis took over the pacemaking as they came back down the home straight to receive the bell lap…he ensured everyone got a good look at the gutter.  Around the turn and Ellis pushed on with Rushton in tow.  They raised the spinnaker and set sail on a howling gail.  Calvert was caught in two minds…cross the gap or work with Wells, Mirabella and Schiemer?  He remained out in no-mans land for a quite a while.  The two up front weren’t moving away…but the three behind were oh so slow in catching up to him.  Eventually Calvert was caught by the chasers and they set their sights on Rushton and Ellis.

Back onto Coghills Creek Road and Calvert was dropped from the chase group.  The two leaders were caught near Blowhard and Calvert rejoined soon after.  He had worked hard with the crosswind to latch back onto the group, however just as he arrived, Ellis ramped the pace up again.  Bye, bye Rick!  He is off the back and wouldn’t rejoin.
Wells did a long stint on the front after cresting the Cricks Rd hill.  Ellis went back to the front after turning at the church – and the wiser heads let him stay there.  Ellis was happy to power along through the wind and after turning into Donovan’s Road for the run home the order was set for the run to the finish line…Ellis, Schiemer, Rushton, Mirabella, Wells.
Ellis assumed Dean’s usual position leading the field to the finish, he rode as close to the left edge as possible and no one has any wind break behind him.
Dean was perhaps a little confused by the change of roles and with the finish line still 500 metres away he returned to character and launched from last position in a long range sprint.  His move was strong enough to open a gap, but Brendan (who was also likely confused by not having Dean lead everyone out) saw his opportunity and latched onto the wheel with a grin.
The rest were out of play as these two raced towards the line.?  Schiemer came out from Wells’s back pocket and sprints.  Wells tried to go again but Schiemer was able to get a few bike lengths clear and take a comfortable and “social” win.

Results:
1st – Brendan Schiemer
2nd – Dean Wells
3rd – Tony Mirabella

B Grade 

The Maiden Win

Today Mark O’Callaghan showed up with a plan, well he told everyone he had a plan, execution is always a different matter. While his plan remained unorthodox, it was aggressive – better the hammer than the nail – and ultimately proved successful, just. A barbershop quartet of B graders chorused off the line, some a little flatter than others. Nursing a hangover that would kill a horse Peter “Fifi” Livitsanis was still celebrating his 50th , Danny “Fidel” Whelan was predicting his demise, asking how long Mark was going to tolerate his company for this week, and the baritone of course was Bob “Muncher” Morley, still clinging to the hope that everyone else would stop training too. The first lap was convivial as it appeared Mark’s plan wasn’t to go from the gun, Muncher and Fifi had a dig on the Donovan’s Rd corner to warm up the legs, test their cornering skills, and hand out a free  racing lesson. This seemed to animate the race, the next lap was less harmonious as Mark attacked at random, up hill, down hill, on the flat, whenever the impetuous rookie lost control of his adrenal gland. Fidel was yo-yoing off the back, doing his utmost to hang on and praying that there wouldn’t be a counter attack. As in basketball, where the whole game is determined in the last minute, today’s race seemed destined to be decided on the last lap. Fifi attacked up the Quarry hill, Muncher had anticipated this and gritted his teeth and held Fifi’s wheel. Fidel had also anticipated this, with dread, and quietly dropped off the back. Mark was caught behind Danny, leaving a dangerous gap to the other two. With Muncher still in tow, Fifi saw the gap open and powered over the rise and along the flat towards the corner determined to hit the corner hard, but Fate had other ideas, a red flag slowed Fifi and Muncher long enough for Mark to regain the back wheel. Now the plan seemed to be to wait for a sprint. The pace of the race came off as the three remaining drew breath and prepared, the pace came off even more as no-one seemed to want to go for a long one into the wind or lead out a sprint. So slow did it become that everyone half expecting to see Fidel roll up again. But Fifi and Muncher manoeuvred Mark to front spot and sat on him until the very last minute. With 150m to go Mark couldn’t resist and opens up the headwind sprint from the front, Fifi immediately marks him with Bob a half bike length behind. With 50m to go Fifi comes over the top but again Fate steps in, his gears slip and he misses a few pedal strokes, Mark regains the lead and powers to the line, winning his first race by half a wheel.

Results:
1st – Mark O’Callaghan
2nd – Peter Livitsanis
3rd – Bob Morley

C Grade 

The Power Within

A mixed bag of chaos, Mal Rock still struggling to find form, a returning and reasonably trim Brian Lee and the strong man James Gretton, contested the C Grade affair.  As the wind picked up so did James’ chances!  When race fit and in a bigger field, Brian would probably have left both on many of the hills, however who would strike out alone on a windy day?
It was probably worth a go in a three up race but that would have made for a very hard day in the saddle.  By mid race Mal was punching in the clutch and waving the other two good-bye.  James and Brian were inseparable, which didn’t auger well for Brian, if taken to a last minute sprint, James had the fire power.
Brian realised any chance he had lay in taking James legs out before a sprint, he put the hurt on any chance he got.  However, as the pair closed on the line, Brian learned that James still had plenty, storming away from Brian to easily sprint to another scratch race win.  Back in the change-rooms, Brian slumped ashen face onto the bench, his plan to take the legs out of the sprinter backfiring a bit.

Results:
1st – James Gretton
2nd – Brian Lee

davidsons-logo

Many thanks to Travis and his team at Davidson’s Blinds and Shutters for their ongoing support of our cycling club.
Located at 617/619 Howitt Street, Ballarat (opposite Selkirk Brick).

A home grown Ballarat business, where friendly, honest and professional service is what you get from the whole team.

Davidson’s Blinds and Shutters is an industry leader constantly sourcing cutting edge products to satisfy all market needs.
They themselves on the supply and installation of tailor-made solutions for both the interior and exterior of your home.
All products have been lovingly made by locals for over two decades and are by a written 4 year warranty.

Davidson’s Blinds and Shutters offer a fast and FREE measure and quote service, as well FULL house bulk discounts.

Call Davidson’s Blinds and Shutters today to organise a representative to visit your home for a free measure and quote
tel: (03) 5333 3066
email: enquiries@davidsonsblinds.com.au

Free Measure & Quote Areas

The main areas that Davidson’s Blinds and Shutters service are:
Ballarat, Daylesford, Creswick, Hepburn, Hepburn Springs, Ballan, Meredith, Elaine, Clarendon, Bacchus Marsh and Buninyong.

September 18, 2016 – HOCKING STUART Handicap – Weatherboard, 60 km

September 18, 2016 – HOCKING STUART Handicap – Weatherboard, 60 km

Location, location, location – 18 September 2016 

Hocking Stuart Handicap
Weatherboard Circuit – 60 km

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Going, going, gone as Mirabella lands the prize

A wintry spring day did a LOT to discourage riders venturing out to Learmonth for the 60 km Hocking Stuart Hcp – which always proves to be tough on the rarely used Weatherboard circuit.  Six times up the Hendersons Road climb is enough to sap the energy out of anyone, particularly on a cold and at times rainy day.
With seemingly more members on the sidelines watching (marshals, referees, etc.) than racing, the day’s events would be intriguing.

Noel Said (Northern CC) ventured up from Melbourne and was quite impressed with the volume of water in Lake Learmonth…which after the recent rain is actually starting to look like a lake again!  The weather was cool and there was an icy south south west breeze.  First away was James Gretton.
In yet another display of character building, James held the race lead into the last third of the race.

The Second Scratch/5 minute group were away some 21 minutes after Gretton departed the start line.  Mark O’Callaghan, Scott Denno, Peter Livitsanis, Noel Said (Northern) and Bob Morley were swiftly away on the lee side of the Learmonth FC trees, before abruptly meeting the almost head on wind some 200 metres from the start line.  The BOM recorded the breeze at 17 to 21 kph…but it seemed to hug the ground and it felt a lot stronger.
The long drag up to Weatherboard quickly started to take a toll.  By the first time up the Hendersons Road climb Denno was already a casualty.  Some say it was fitness, some say it was the cold, however it was likely the softening effect of city life now that the “hobby farmer” has moved into the big smoke.

Scratch had their race plan worked out at the start line – nice even rolling turns, treat it like a time trial.
5 minutes (to Second Scratch) over 60 km = 1 minute per 12 km = 5 seconds each kilometre = possible.
Seeing Scott Denno on the side of the road inside the first 10 km certainly encouraged the Scratch riders – Tony Mirabella, Rob Phillips and Dean Wells.  30 km into the race and Scratch had the 5 minute group in their sights.  Another discussion to work out who had the best legs and what was the best way to attack the 5 minute group…and the race plan was complete.

Whilst James Gretton was powering away up front and trying to cling onto his advantage, the Scratch riders were closing the gap to the 5 minute group.  Into Hendersons Road and Wells powered up the lead out train to shut the gap.
Mirabella attacked on the hill and quickly had Livitsanis, Morley and Co. scrambling to catch the wheel.  Over the top and Phillips tried to cross to Mirabella.  Wells was a few metres off the back and quite perplexed when the Tail Car passed by and sat in-between him and the bunch which had regrouped…just 20 metres ahead! Into the Avenue and Mirabella attacks again, this time opening a commanding gap.  Said tried to follow but ended up in no-mans land.  The rest of the group waiting for the two remaining Scratch men to shut the gap down…but Wells (having rejoined) and Phillips were sitting on.

Mirabella caught Gretton going over Weatherboard and the chasing bunch soon passed him as well.  It was a great solo effort by James!
Mirabella had opened a 500 metre gap over the bunch as they raced back into the wind and finally received the bell, however the chasers were only racing for the minor placings.

Livitsanis lead into the Avenue at a fast pace which set Wells up to put the pace on…Phillips then launched off this and opened up a small gap in the blink of an eye.  Realising he was alone, he pushed on and the gap continued to grow with about 8 kilometres to race.
O’Callaghan was hatching a plan by this stage “attack after the Avenue and try to drop them in the crosswind”.  Livitsanis was expecting Wells to attack out of the Avenue and Morley was also expecting something sneaky.  Both were correct when Wells did attack out of the Avenue with 6 kilometres remaining.  Livitsanis almost bridged, however the wind finished off his effort and Wells gradually opened up his own gap on the remnants of the 5 minute group.

The race finished in that order with Mirabella taking a comfortable win over an impressive Phillips who was a clear second.  Wells completed the rout for the Scratchmen.  Livitsanis leapt over the last rise like a whippet to claim fourth in front of the hardworking O’Callaghan.

It should be noted that the Scratch group planned the race winning attack out of RESPECT for the ability of both Livitsanis and Morley to “hang on” when the pace is gradually ramped up.  Short sharp attacks were the order of the day!  A big thank you to the marshals and referees who braved the weather.

Race Results:
1st – Tony Mirabella (Scratch)
2nd – Rob Phillips (Scratch)
3rd – Dean Wells (Scratch)
4th – Peter Livitsanis (5 min)
5th – Mark O’Callaghan (5 min)
Fastest Time – Tony Mirabella in 1 hr 46 min 10 sec

A big thank you also to Hocking Stuart real estate Ballarat who have been a long time supporter of the Eureka Vets.

Located at 729 Sturt Street, Hocking Stuart is directed by locals with many generations of experience in the Ballarat property market.
Hocking Stuart have the local expertise for the sale, lease and management of all residential and commercial properties.

hocking stuart.com.au

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September 11, 2016 – STEELSMITH ENGINEERING Graded Scratch – Coghills Creek, 63 km

September 11, 2016 – STEELSMITH ENGINEERING Graded Scratch – Coghills Creek, 63 km

Aggregate Race Heats Up – 11 September 2016 

STEELSMITH ENGINEERING
Graded Scratch Races

Coghills Creek – 63 km

Learmonth was bathed in warm Spring sunshine, with a mere zephyr of a northwesterly gently caressing the fields of vivid yellow canola.  The day was heaven sent for riding.  Strange thing was, no one showed up!  Fields were depleted by injury, VVCC time trial champs, charity rides on the coast and other assorted miserable excuses. Regardless and undaunted, ten hopefuls in TWO grades did pin on numbers.

A Grade

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Italian Stallion back in form

Six riders arrived at the start line on time.  The seventh, Dean Wells, was off in his own little world, hello trees, hello flowers, bugger off magpies!  Rookie mistake, meant he actually missed the race start!  So, he turns around and rides in the opposite direction, to “head em off at the pass” with the blessing of the race referee who was momentarily vehicularly challenged.  All of a sudden, Dean’s nickname “The Phantom” makes a lot of sense!

Rob Phillips decide that B grade was not for a man of his standing and promoted himself to A Grade.  Rob perhaps underestimated the difference a holiday makes to solid race form.  Peter Kiel up for a dog fight as usual and the “Sunshine Kid” Brendan Schiemer and Tony Mirabella had both shown up for a “recovery ride” after long 100 km plus rides on Saturday.  Rick “Sudso” Calvert is living proof that if you train despite the weather you actually improve and Grant “Roy” Rogers (visiting rider from Geelong & Surf Coast CC and winner of two interclub races this season) was the last of the magnificent 7.

Wells rolled up on a surprised B Grade who were sure they hadn’t seen anything behind them up the 5km back straight, he explained that he had taken a shortcut – which still baffled B grade, “shortcut”? isn’t that just cheating?  Once through Coghills Creek, he pulled over and waited for A Grade.  Obviously Dean’s race had just become a hard training ride which meant the rest of A Grade didn’t have to sit looking at each other as to who was going to go to the front – they had Dean for that!

Tony was trying to stamp his authority on the race to see if he could dislodge a few by surging out in front.  The sharp accelerations certainly causing some unease at the back of the bunch.  He did succeed in dislodging Rogers on the second lap.
The Sunshine Kid Schiemer rolled off the front a few times, taunting the others to chase and usually it was a watchful Kiely that chased him down.
Sudso Calvert was present at the front a lot – still learning the A Grade ropes – and probably working a bit too hard for a scratch race.

Phillips was the next to fall off the back of the bunch and this effectively left just four to contest the outcome (with Wells only present as a windbreak and for nuisance value).?  For his troubles, Phillips was rewarded by the local magpie and swooped time and time again.

Last lap and the surges from Mirabella and Schiemer were both less in number and intensity.  The attacks still caused Calvert, Kiel and Wells to scramble and weariness was beginning to show on every rider.
Nearing the sharp left turn for the final time, both Mirabella and Schiemer made attacks into the wind.  The bunch was barely together as they rounded the corner and felt the ever increasing wind at their backs.  ?Wells had the pace up near 50 kph as they raced towards the chicane before Schiemer launched an attack just 100 metres before the turn.  He opened a 30 to 40 metre gap as the other riders tucked in behind Wells for the usual lead out train down Donovans Road.

Over the rise in Donovans Road and Schiemer is still tantalisingly close.  With two kilometres remaining, Wells reminds the others that he isn’t there to close down gaps.  Immediately Mirabella surges forward and quickly crosses to Schiemer.  Both Kiel and Calvert were able to cross with him, but the pace slowed again as the combatants started playing games.
Wells rolls back to the front and the others tuck in for what looked to be a sprint finish.?  Nearing the line and Calvert opens his sprint first.  He quickly has a space, but Mirabella is able to get to his wheel.  Schiemer’s legs have finally given up and Kiel just can’t close the gap.
Calvert is putting his all in, but Mirabella is able to catch his breath before striking out for the line and winning.

Results:
1st – Tony Mirabella
2nd – Rick Calvert
3rd – Peter Kiel


B Grade

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Fifi makes move on Aggregate 

Peter “Fifi” Livitsanis was promoted to honorary, proxy, deputy, padawan handicapper for the day, and failed the first law of handicapping – don’t win.
Just three riders amicably rolled away for a 63 kilometre race on the Coghills Creek circuit, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Fifi, Mark O’Callaghan, and Danny “Fidel” Whelan.

The first lap was completed at a nonchalant pace which didn’t disturb the slightly apprehensive Danny Whelan much.  In fact he was emboldened, into the second lap and Danny assumes the front position, for what reason only the God’s might know.  He then proceeds to lead the other two  for the full length of the back straight into the wind.
Eventually Mark twigs that a tiring Fidel might be easy to pick off, and just before the top corner after Coghills Ck he unmercifully attacks, Fifi saw it all coming and tagged along but Danny was immediately gapped as Mark surged away downhill, downwind.

But…Fidel wasn’t done for just yet, he chased, and with the unmentionable assistance of a dropped A Grade rider found himself once more on the back of Fifi and Mark.
Mark, showing some definite race craft immediately attacks again.  This time Fidel is gone for all money and instead of turning left at the end of the home straight in pursuit, he turned right and rolled back to the club rooms to collapse next to his car.

Mark continues at a fair clip past the quarry and up the rise, burning heaps of matches, then the inevitable, O’Callaghan blows!  Fifi contemplates his future, still 15 km to go and a long slog into the wind, should he wait and burn Mark slowly and jump him in a sprint, or go for a long solo.

“Use the force Luke”.  Decision quickly made, and figuring everyone else is riding solo why shouldn’t he…  Fifi switches off his range finder, takes a deep breath and ploughs onwards.  At the top mark he had about a minute advantage and holds it downwind to take victory.

Results:
1st – Peter Livitsanis
2nd – Mark O’Callaghan
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