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June 3, 2018 – EUROPA cafe W.A.R.S. round 1 – graded racing, Mt Beckworth

June 3, 2018 – EUROPA cafe W.A.R.S. round 1 – graded racing, Mt Beckworth

EUROPA cafe
Winter Aggregate Race Series
3rd June 2018

W.A.R.S. – race 1
Graded Racing

Mount Beckworth – 54 km

EVCC 2018 WARS June poster

Let the W.A.R.S. begin…

“Difficulties mastered, are opportunities won.”
– Winston Churchill

Round 1 of the EUROPA cafe 2018 W.A.R.S. started off with confusion as the club’s generals were missing in action…
The scheduled handicap race was turned into a graded division event.
No one was on hand to manage the kitchen.

It was pure chaos.

The calamity served to remind us that in W.A.R.S. there are no rules.

The troops rallied though!  The bugle was sounded and the reserve brigade came to the fore.  A plan was hatched and the combatants recovered from their initial shock.

And the races began…

Division 4

Division 4 headed out first and Graeme Parker led from the front.
Not even halfway through the first lap and Division 4 was entwined with the Division 3 race.  The combined divisions carried on regardless.
In the home straight and Parker weaved his way through the faltering Division 3 riders to claim a clear victory in Division 4.

Result:
1st – Graeme Parker

Division 3

Division 3 were out for a Sunday ride.  “No need to put ourselves deep in the hurt box” was possibly heard mentioned on the start line as riders introduced themselves.
Rob Parker was back and very pleased that the scheduled handicap had been changed into a graded race.
Steve Linane was also back. Linane has a liking for the W.A.R.S. and tends to win on debut each year – he was one to watch.
Jacqui Dawson improves with each race and targets every Open on the calendar.  Her efforts today were with a view to the long term.
Kevin Lee was also happy to have a reasonable hit out today, as he eyes off club trophy races over the winter months.
Rounding out the field was Phil McLennan.  Always one to watch, particularly because he likes riding off the front.

There were no shenanigans today and it seemed like a field sprint might decide the outcome.  McLennan, Linane and Dawson dragged the bunch over the last 7 kilometres with no complaints from the more experienced Parker and Lee.

Turning into Donovan’s Road and McLennan put the power down.  The bunch scrambled for his wheel, however Dawson was out the back and dropped.  Linane took up the pace into the head wind.
Then over the final rise the real games began.  The finish line was in sight and the players were all keeping their cards close, each waiting for the move…
McLennan blinked first.  His attack was the perfect lead out for Linane who had the desired sit.  Parker was in the prime spot on Linane’s wheel.
The finish line loomed, McLennan started to fade, Linane launched, Parker hit out…
But Linane was too strong in the sprint.

Results:
1st – Steve Linane
2nd – Rob Parker
3rd – Phil McLennan

Division 2

An even field stood on the start line with most of the chat wondering what Pete Canny was doing in Division 2.  Pete Canny was saying nothing.
The race started and Steve Biram took off and was quickly covered by the smooth pedalling Ralph Jones (aka James Gretton).  What they were hoping to achieve no one was too sure.  Anyway the chasing bunch didn’t panic and picked them up after five kms into the race after some strong turns by Danny Whelan, the aforementioned Canny and stand in Handicapper – Bob Morley.

Things rolled along with no surprises and nobody was willing to activate anything.  That was until the second lap when Canny cranked it up over Crick’s hill to see if anybody could be dislodged.  Nup, no one was dropped.
Things settled back down and then all were waiting to see what would happen at the uphill turnaround.  Gretton thought that the best idea was to be at the front of the hill at the start of the uphill grind to the turn around, hoping to be still in touch at the top.  Great idea in theory…. Reality (and gravity) hurts, so whilst the plan was solid, he ended up being shot out the back like a shanghai and his race was over.
The climb to the turnaround accounted for Roger McMillan as well.

Canny, Whelan and Morley led them into the turn and all were waiting for the downhill smash-fest that would split the group.  It didn’t happen.  The bunch regrouped, minus Gretton and McMillan.
Grant “Smokey” Dawson did a turn on the front for about five kilometres and seemed impervious to the head wind.  Ash Burke was on his wheel and everybody else was strung out behind.

Closing to the last few kilometres and it Looked like being a sprint finish – with the winner likely to come from a number of sources.  Things were starting to wind up in the home straight and the group had to wait for Division 1 to fly past and finish their race.

Dawson lit it up and there were riders left right and centre.
Mark O’ Callaghan looked good in his all black kit as he hit out down the outside of the road.
Jeremy Humber, astride a new bike fancied his chances and attacked, momentarily.
However it was the Division 1 escapee – Peter Canny – that cranked up his formidable sprint and headed for the flag.
James Knipe (after having used his noodle throughout the race) threatened to snatch to victory, however a shrewd “Saganesque” manouvre by Canny quickly snubbed that flicker of hope.
Canny winning from Knipe, with Morley getting over “the man in black” to take the third spot on the podium.

Results:
1st – Peter Canny
2nd – James Knipe
3rd – Bob Morley

Division 1

With no Tim Canny to compete against, they came from everywhere for the Division 1 race.  Actually the riders all thought it was going to be a handicap, so the fact that there was no Tim actually had a few riders confused about what might transpire.
Sam Edwards was out for a trial race.  His mere presence had most riders worried.  Tony Mirabella was coughing up a lung just before the start…but was that a ruse?  Jason Birch arrived with moments to spare, quickly assessed the field and knew he was in with a chance to come second again.

The eleven riders rolled out from the start and the pace was taken up by Dean Wells.  No “in the gutter” pressure, just an easy pace with plenty of room for everyone to shelter in the wheel.
Rob Ellis rolled through to assist with the pacemaking.  Robert doesn’t play fair though.  Robert likes to accelerate, then ease off, then accelerate again.  Robert plays hard!
Matt Ayres found a nice spot near the back of the bunch.  His turns stretched the group out, however he was conservative.
Greg Ley stayed close enough to cover any attacks – of which there were few.

Mirabella attacked on the first lap and was left dangling out the front.  The leaders quickly enforced on the group that no chasing was to be done.  The bunch complied and the message was clear – “If you go off the front, you will be hung out to dry”.
Mirabella was eventually allowed to rejoin the bunch.

Craig Lee was the next to try his luck.  The field worked as one to extinguish the risk.  Eventually, he too was brought back into the fold through Coghill’s Creek.
Everyone was wary of the StoreIT team.  Adorned in trademark blue and pink, the squad was hard to miss.  Lindsay Burgoyne sat close to the front, Peter Kiel sat mid-field and Tavis Baker brought up the tail.  Formidable.  Imposing.  Did they have a plan to hatch?

The climbing had begun and the pace with the tailwind ensured any attacks would be futile as the leaders continued with their “negative racing”.  Up the hill, through the turnaround, spread across and block the road.  No attacks today!

Ellis rolled to the front and kept everyone guessing.  Fast, ease off, fast, ease off.  Legs started hurting as the tactic had a concertina effect on the field.
An attack through Coghill’s Creek with Ellis, Burgoyne and Lee all getting off the front.  Birch followed, then the bunch regrouped.
Into Addington Road and the race went into the gutter…but still no one attacked.

Donovan’s Road and the pace was just high enough up the first rise to deter the would be attackers.  Over the top and Ellis again stretched the field and str-arted closing in on the Division 2 race.  Those riders wisely eased up to let Division 1 pass inside the final 500 metres as Ellis kept driving.

A head wind sprint would decide the day as Edwards launched early and out wide.  Birch followed, Lee was close and Kiel was right there.
Birch looked like getting the win, but Lee hit the afterburners and relegated him to second again.  Kiel closing fast to collect third place.

Results:
1st – Craig Lee
2nd – Jason Birch
3rd – Peter Kiel

 EUROPA cafe

411 Sturt Street
Ballarat Central

Breakfast – Lunch – Functions

EVCC 2018 WARS promo poster

EVCC 2018 WARS season ticket ver 2

May 20, 2018 – DAY for RAY – KREHALON Australia

May 20, 2018 – DAY for RAY – KREHALON Australia

DAY for RAY – 20th May 2018

KREHALON Australia

Coghill’s Creek – 63 km

EVCC 2018 Day for Ray - poster

Remembering our mate Ray

Combine race, PLUS a casual public ride

KREHALON Australia proudly sponsored the 2018 edition of the Race for Ray.  The annual race in memory of our mate Ray Hodgson was once again staged at Learmonth and involved riders from Geelong Super Vets, Northern Cycling, Geelong & Surf Coast Cycling Club and Eureka Cycling.

Ray fought and defeated cancer twice!

Proceeds from the day are donated to Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute.  Jonathon Delaney created this event three years ago as a mark of respect to Ray and brought KREHALON Australia in as the major sponsor.
KREHALON Australia will match the money raised from race entry fees, donations and the raffle.  In total, our efforts today will see Peter Mac receive a cheque in excess of $1500.
This year the event was expanded to also include a casual ride for the non-racing cyclists.  The prospect of inclement weather kept many casual riders from attending the event, however the bunch who did ride enjoyed their ride around Ray’s favourite circuit – Mount Misery.

Thank you to everyone involved in the Day for Ray…  Over fifty riders contested the Race for Ray, including seventeen riders who ventured up from Geelong.
Everyone should be proud of their efforts in racing against such testing conditions.  A few spectators and volunteers also travelled up from Geelong to be part of the day.
Thank you to the Eureka family and friends who also volunteered to man the kitchen, cook the barbecue, set up the course and marshal the corners, referee and drive lead and tail vehicles.
It was marvelous to see Val Hodgson at Learmonth and she spoke some lovely words on behalf of KREHALON Australia.
A very big thank you to the casual riders who participated in the Ride for Ray.  We hope to grow this aspect of the Day for Ray in the future!

Race report:

Almost sixty riders entered the Race for Ray, however illness prevented some competing and the threat of rain deterred others.
The race was conducted in cool, overcast conditions with plenty of crosswinds.  Importantly the roads stayed dry with only riders sweat and tears creating any wet spots as they rode three laps of the 21 kilometre circuit.

Please note, when talking about the “Scratch” bunch, we actually mean the sole Scratch rider – Tim Canny – as well as the riders from the 1 minute and 3 minute bunches who were able to hang on…for a while at least!

The wind swept across the circuit from the west, which meant only a short five kilometre section of each lap.  The long stretches of each lap were subject to crosswinds and many groups lost riders early in the race.  Often, the dropped riders would join in with the group behind, then recover and start working turns.  Sometimes the despatched riders could not link up and were then left to fend for themselves.
As always, there were standout performances in most groups.

Jacqui Dawson received praise from her fellow riders in the 28 minute group.  Cramping during the race, Jac battled on to the finish, as did Carolyn Hall (GSCC) who rode much of the final lap solo.
The 19 minute group didn’t take home any trophies today, however the remaining riders were only caught late on the final lap.  In the run to the finish line they were dropped by the winners, yet Peter Livitsanis, James Burzacott, Dan Whelan and Umberto Scolaro (GSCC) filled four of the top ten positions at the finish line.

Greg Smith raced on a trial license and impressed the experienced members of his 15 minute group.  On the final lap, Smith even hung onto the winning bunch for a few kilometres, before finishing sixth overall in his first ever bicycle race.
Peter Canny was another to shine.  As a large bunch formed up on the final lap, Canny was often seen driving the pace to keep the chasing “Scratch” bunch at bay.  He went on to make the final selection in the race and finished a creditable fifth.

The strong 6 minute group ripped the tarmac and themselves apart early in the race.  A large number still remained when caught by the rampaging “Scratch” bunch.  Matt Ayres quickly started swapping turns, however it was Peter Kiel who most impressed.  Kiel kept hanging on as the “Scratch” bunch whittled down…

The three minute group had a handy late replacement.  Greg Ley – out (ill), Tavis Baker – in.  The group rode a controlled race early, however it was evident to all that Lindsay Burgoyne was absolutely flying.  Their pace was high, however heading up the rise past the quarry on the second lap, Rick Buckwell (GSCC) let the Eureka riders know they were about to be collared by the “Scratch” bunch…

Tim Canny (sole Scratch rider) had quickly wiped the one minute deficit to Tony Mirabella, Matt Bowman and Jason Birch inside the first ten kilometres.  From there, the quartet took massive chunks of time out of the 3 minute group.
Bowman lost contact just before the catch was made, so an eight man group formed…being driven by the unstoppable Canny.

A dozen riders either succumbed to the crosswinds or were dropped by their bunches.  The “Scratch” bunch seemed to shed just as many riders as it collected during the second lap.  They had the remnants of the field just a little further up the road.

Through Coghill’s Creek for the final time and the race was together.  Could the enlarged peloton hope that Tim Canny would back off?  Yes they could hope, but no, it would not happen.  Rob Ellis dangled just off the back. He put in one last effort to bridge the gap, but Tim Canny was driving the leaders and Ellis couldn’t close the space.
Canny kept driving and the peloton stretched out on the narrow road as it raced into the final few kilometres.

Into Donovan’s Road and Mirabella decided the rise was where he would split the field.  A quick nod to Canny and the pair tore the field apart, making the final selection (five riders) in the process – Tim Canny, Tony Mirabella, Lindsay Burgoyne, Peter Kiel and Peter Canny.
Over the final rise and Tim Canny put the lead bunch into the gutter.  None dropped off…

Closing to the line and a short game of cat and mouse saw the five shuffle positions before Mirabella sprinted a moment before Tim Canny.  The gap opened and Mirabella held it to the line for the victory.  Canny and Kiel fought out second place, just three lengths behind.

Results:
1st – Tony Mirabella (1 min), Eureka
2nd – Tim Canny (Scratch), Eureka
3rd – Peter Kiel (6 min), Eureka 4
th – Lindsay Burgoyne (3 min), Eureka
5th – Peter Canny (9 min), Eureka
6th – Greg Smith (15 min), Eureka
7th – Peter Livitsanis (12 min), Eureka
8th – James Burzacott (12 min), Eureka
9th – Dan Whelan (12 min), Eureka
10th – Umberto Scolaro (12 min), Geelong SCC
Fastest Time – Tim Canny (Scratch) in 1h 35m 6s ave. 39.7 kph

KREHALON Australia

proud sponsor of the DAY for RAY
proud supporter of Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute

2018 Race for Ray 1 2018 Race for Ray 4 2018 Race for Ray 5

EVCC 2018 Day for Ray - slide

2018 Race for Ray 6 2018 Race for Ray 7 2018 Race for Ray 9

May 6, 2018 – Criteriums, Victoria Park, Ballarat

May 6, 2018 – Criteriums, Victoria Park, Ballarat

OSCAR’S Hotel and Cafe Bar 

Autumn Criteriums

May 6

Ballarat Criterium Circuit, Victoria Park

Oscars logo 2


Autumn Leaves

Is it that it’s over or do birds still sing for you?
Float down
Like autumn leaves

- Ed Sheeran

The first Sunday in May presented fine autumn weather for bike racing at the Victoria Park criterium circuit.  One spectator noted there was ‘no wind to speak of’. He also said ‘the tarmac looked flat and fast’.
Four divisions raced and each event was keenly contested by the participants.

Special mention here to Mal Rock who raced in Division 4.  Rock has returned to racing with panache in 2018.  On this day he rode like Matt Bowman races – spending time attacking off the front of the bunch and spending even longer out the back recovering before his next foray.
No other players came into play and Rock owned the race.
Through the bell lap and Rock let go with a long range sprint, which would have surprised other riders.  Holding it to the line, Rock won in a canter.

Division 3 was an interesting affair with plenty of winners in the field as well as Bob Morley.
The race was hotly contested with so many shady riders…

Mark O’Callaghan has been playing the injury card for a few weeks now as he regains confidence.  His tactic was to watch the his opponents from the front and he duly spent the majority of the race leading the pack around.
John Creek is flying at the moment and has made a huge leap from where he was at this time in 2017 (in Canada on a holiday).  Creek held good position throughout the race and responded well to the attacks.
Kevin Lee attacked on occasion to stretch the bunch out.
Phil McLennan is still learning the racing game.  A large fitness base usually enables McLennan to hang on throughout races, then use his power to race away at the end.
Peter Livitsanis presented towards the front of the pack as well, though with large bodies such as O’Callaghan, Creek and McLennan in the race, he was able to get some great sits whenever the pace ramped up.
Bob “Super Glue” Morley applied his skills to what he does best and couldn’t be detached from whichever wheel he was stuck on.  It was noted by at least one spectator that ‘even Bob Morley was on the front for a few laps’.

Final lap and the pace was high enough to ensure no-one could slip off the front.  Swinging into the home straight and the field spread across the tarmac leaving Livitsanis the perfect hole to exploit.  He went for it and quickly opened a small margin over the bunch, but he towed Bob Morley into the sprint.
Mano e mano they raced and just as Morley started to get the upper hand…Livitsanis kicked again to win!
O’Callaghan staying on for third with Lee also close.

Division 2 presented the complete spectrum of modern veterans cycling, including…
The cycling addict – Stephen Biram
The time trialler – Matt Ayres
The rouleur – James Knipe
The big sprinter – Peter Gunston
The young guy – Jason Hendry
The old bloke – Bob Braszell
The short one – Peter Canny

From the flag Canny set about making the race hard. With Braszell, Biram and Knipe helping out, the “older” guys certainly took the challenge up to the younger riders.
Ayres stayed handy to the front as the race wore on.  He went off the front on occasion, only to be shut down quickly by Gunston – recent silver medal winner in the 2018 Club Criterium Championship race and winner of the 2018 State Criterium Championship – who can certainly pick which wheel to follow.
Hendry stayed out of trouble, banking on his sprint to be enough to take the event out.

Gunston and Ayres loomed as the major dangers.  They travelled on a loose rein throughout the race and covered attacks with consummate ease.

Two laps to go and Canny and Braszell were keeping the pace high whilst everyone else was working out who to follow.
Bell lap and the pace went higher with Biram and Knipe near the front.
Ayres waited as long as he could, but he still launched first and early.  Gunston followed again, then hooked out and accelerated past for the win. Hendry came fast to pass Biram, but too late to impact the result.

Post race, Gunston was overheard requesting that he only races in Division 1 from now on…no arguments here Peter, you’ve definitely earned your stripes!

A star studded field lined up in Division 1 with Club Champion Tim Canny joined by Greg Ley, Tony Mirabella, Jason Birch, Brendan Schiemer and new rider Andrew Sullivan.
Sullivan recently won the Fred Icke – Masters C – race at Creswick and we now welcome him to Eureka Cycling as a new member.

The strong line up presented Canny with another good opportunity to dish out some pain.  Canny attacked often in an attempt to break away – the other riders took turns in chasing “Shark”.
Mirabella closed Canny’s first attempt down.
Ley led the pack in shutting down the second attempt.
Sullivan bridged the gap in the third attempt.

Birch saved himself as much as possible for the sprint finish which seemed more and more inevitable as the race wore on.  However with the near perfect conditions, every rider spent time driving the high pace.
The only thing that went right for Schiemer on this day was the lack of precipitation.  Dropped on more than one occasion, he would scramble back during a rare lull in pace, only to find himself yo-yoing off the back again.  Eventually he succumbed to the forces within and retired…all in front of his life partner who had come along to cheer her husband on for the first time…such is life…

Final lap and with just five riders remaining there weren’t too many places to hide.  The average speed for the race had been over 41 Kph and the sprint was tightly contested between Canny and Birch who opened a small gap.
Canny winning again… Sullivan third, just ahead of Mirabella.

Results:
Division 4 (30 min):
1st – Mal Rock
Division 3 (35 min):
1st – Pete Livitsanis
2nd – Bob Morley
3rd – Mark O’Callaghan
Division 2 (40 min):
1st – Peter Gunston
2nd – Matt Ayres
3rd – Jason Hendry
Division1 (45 min):
1st – Tim Canny
2nd – Jason Birch
3rd – Andrew Sullivan

 

April 29, 2018 – Steelsmith Engineering – Graded racing, Weatherboard

April 29, 2018 – Steelsmith Engineering – Graded racing, Weatherboard

2018 Autumn Classics 

Steelsmith Engineering
graded racing

29th April

Weatherboard circuit – 60 km

EVCC 2018 Autumn Classics - Weatherboard

Successful 2018 Autumn Classics draw to a close

Leaves aren’t the only things affected by the autumn winds!

Division 4

The smallest field of the day had arguably the most difficult race with few to share the workload.  Much of the race was staged in jovial spirits by Graeme Parker, Terry Collie and Mal Rock, however Jacqui Dawson spent that time assessing the circuit and the wind.  Dawson knew she couldn’t beat the men if the race came down to a sprint.  She did know that her advantage lay in the short climbs…and so she waited.

Round and round they went and then with two laps remaining Dawson shot off the front on a climb.  20 kilometres is a long way out and she was literally throwing caution to the wind.
Out of the Avenue with some 16 kilometres remaining and Dawson’s advantage was a few hundred metres of the chasing trio.  Parker was heard to ask “Should we chase her down?”, the increased look of agony on Rock’s face signalled that he was already on his limit.

Last lap and Dawson had increased her advantage over the climbs.  The tailwind up the Avenue presented a good opportunity for the chasers, however the available kilometres were dwindling.
Dawson wrestled her bike through the wind as she time trialled her way to the finish.
Over the climb and there is no one to be seen behind.  One all out effort as she drove to the line ensured her victory would be counted in minutes.

Finally the trio crested the hill and raced towards the finish.  Rock led the way with Collie edging closer.  Somehow Parker was caught in behind the other two.  He switches across wheels in the last 30 metres and flies at the line…dead-heat?  Oh so close!

Results:
1st – Jacqui Dawson
2nd – Terry Collie
3rd – Mal Rock
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Division 3

A very even bunch set off with the favourites looking like James “Ralph” Gretton and Danny Whelan.  The experience of Greg Nunn was always going to be a wild card as he seems to be fit and his racing nous is second to none.

The race was fairly pedestrian – albeit some of the mini attacks and the crosswind had popped Roger McMillan out of the bunch – until the second last time over the climb and Pete Livitsanis lifted the pace to see who was up for it.  It seemed like everyone was.

The race was ignited with an huge surge by Gretton on the downwind section of the Avenue.  People were gasping trying to cover his move.  Bob Morley attempted but wasn’t up to it but the recently trimmed Whelan crossed by himself and he and Gretton were away.
The scramble sorted out Kevin and Brian Lee who both went out the back.  The smarts of Nunn come to the fore as he sucked the chasers dry and then crossed by himself. Morley, Livitsanis and Jeremy Humber worked hard and finally got back on just after the Avenue.

Through the chicane and things settled for the finish. “Popeye” Lee got back on and went to the front.  The bunch turned left onto the home straight and it was anybody’s race.
The pace lifted up the hill and the race was on.  Livitsanis showed his likening for this finish and was leading the way.  Morley was on his wheel but was blowing hard.  Then Nunn surprised the field and sprinted down the right side of the road – skipped to the front and held the margin until the line.  Livitsanis holding Morley at bay to take second place.

Results:
1st – Greg Nunn
2nd – Peter Livitsanis
3rd – Bob Morley
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Division 2

Good solid tempo from the start with everyone working to the top of Henderson Road hill.
Andrew Rushton took a flyer off the front as the group rounded the corner into Avenue Road the first time. “Peters” Kiel and Canny worked hard and brought Rushton back to the field by the end of the Avenue.
Ayres rode off the front for a few minutes before being brought back to the pack and everything settled down as they crested the high point on the circuit at Weatherboard.
Ayres went again soon after and spent the next lap and a half dangling off the front.  The bunch kept rotating turns and kept Ayres within reach before gathering him back in along the Avenue.

The next few laps were highlighted by big turns on the front in an attempt to unsettle anyone nearing their limit.  Grant Dawson was one of the main antagonists, along with Canny, Kiel and Rushton.  The aggressive racing dislodged Paul Pickersgill from the pack.  Ash Burke also started yo-yoing before the string finally broke.

Onto the final lap and Steve Biram – fresh from a fall on a coffee ride the previous day – made his presence felt with a massive turn on the front.
Out of the Avenue for the final time and Rushton surges past Biram and puts in full gas efforts that have everyone on the edge.  A couple are off the back, including Dawson who struggles with an injury.

Through the chicane and the pace settles as everyone starts eyeballing each other.  Tension mounts as they sweep into Hendersons Road and near the final rise.
Kiel launches at the base of the climb and is immediately joined by Canny, with Rushton and Ayres close behind.
Deep breaths as they roll over the top of the rise – then Kiel goes again.  The bunch is right on his wheel.
Canny goes early and edges ahead of Kiel, but Ayres and Rushton and closing faster and sweep to the lead.
Ayres packs too much power and claims the win from Rushton with Kiel rallying for third ahead of Canny who faded late.

Results:
1st – Matthew Ayres
2nd – Andrew Rushton
3rd – Peter Kiel
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Division 1

The rapidly spinning blades proved that no mistake was made in placing a wind turbine farm near Learmonth.  The stiff southerly wind meant no records would be set on this day as Eureka Cycling concluded its Autumn Classics season.
The noticeable change in tactics when the Club Champion is absent meant that the effort required to stay involved in the race was high.

The first surge occurred as Division 1 ascended the Hendersons Road hill for the first time.  Peter Gunston was shot out the back and the field was now just six.
Although it was “scratch racing”, the race plan defaulted to keeping the pace high enough that no breakaways would stick.
Negative tactics?  Non!  Buckle in for the ride and slug it out fellas!  And slug it out they did.

Every remaining rider had a turn off the front, however Jason Birch rode like a general and played a big part in controlling the race.  David Olgivie brought his race legs and between the pair of them, nobody was getting away!
Matt Bowman was on song and spent more time attacking than any other rider.  In true Bowman style he would time-trial off the front and try to make it stick, then be dangling off the back as he recovered for his next foray. Brendan Schiemer made it across to the front running Bowman on lap 4 and the pair held a small gap for almost the length of the Avenue section.
Enter Tony Mirabella and Rob Ellis and the expedition was reeled in as the big boys shut it down on the Weatherboard climb.

Penultimate ascent of the Henderson Road climb and Bowman takes another shot off the front and leads by 100 metres as he receives the bell.
Strong efforts brought him back, then counterattacks saw him off the back before they had left the Avenue.

Ogilvie attacks out of the Avenue and things are desperate as riders dig deep to shut him down.  Ellis keeps the pace steady after the five remaining riders unite – into the wind, into the final corner and to the bottom of the climb.

Cat and mouse tactics saw Birch on the front by the top, then a final effort by Ellis just over the crest is enough to spark the sprint.  Birch goes from the front, but the finish line is placed closer to the Avenue than usual and it requires a huge effort – Birch delivers and wins comfortably.
Ogilvie closed fast to finish second ahead of Mirabella who capped off a sensible ride with third place.
*First rule of Scratch Racing – Never take Birch to a sprint finish!

Results:
1st – Jason Birch
2nd – Dave Ogilvie
3rd – Tony Mirabella
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EVCC - Autumn Classics 2018 - poster

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