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October 8, 2017 – Southern Cross Business Machines HILL TOP, Mt Misery, 49 km Handicap

October 8, 2017 – Southern Cross Business Machines HILL TOP, Mt Misery, 49 km Handicap

A New King of the Hill – 8 October 2017

southern cross business machines

Mt Misery with Hill Top Finish – 49 km

EVCC Hill Top 2017 - poster

Tim Canny Does It His Way

…I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way…

Strong northerly winds made the Southern Cross Business Machines HILL TOP a true classic race.   Twenty three riders battled the conditions around the Mount Misery circuit before ascending the infamous Harrisons Road climb to fight for the “King of the Hill” crown.

John Faulkner turned out in his kit today for a rare race with the club he presides over.  Setting off alone at 25 minutes Faulks was soon struggling into the headwind up Edmonston Road – he wasn’t Robinson Crusoe in that respect – before finding his mojo and powering around to Ercildoune Road.
From there the game got tougher and he picked up by bunch after bunch before “missing” the left hand turn into Edmonston Road and cruising back to the club rooms.

Graeme Parker and Terry Collie set off just four minutes later in pursuit of Faulks.  Sharing the load made for an easier time than other races when they have been the lone wolf off limit.  Collie eventually rode off from Parker – who is still returning to race fitness – heading up Ercildoune Road.
Parker was then caught by the combined 14 and 11 minute groups with ten kilometres remaining.

The fourteen minute trio has not seen much racing action recently and it was with a sigh of “do we have to?” that they eventually rolled away from the start line.  Race Referee was heard to say ‘You weren’t meant to see that.’ to the other riders queued up in anxious anticipation.
Out on course and James Burzacott, Roger McMillan and Ralph Jones the rider previously known as James Gretton quickly moved into hurt/survive mode on the road to Addington.  Once they picked up the cross tailwind they flew along Langi Kal Kal Road and smashed it down Black Bottom Road.
They struggled up Ercildoune Road like every bunch, however they were soon swept up by the ten minute group and joined in the pacing.

Had it not been for the wind, the ten minute bunch would have been licking their lips with their mark.  This race fit bunch of six were present throughout the whole winter series and have set themselves up for a great spring.
Today…Jeremy Humber, James Knipe, Brian Ure, Kevin Lee, Danny Whelan and Peter Livitsanis rode their giggleberries off in pursuit of the riders ahead. A noticeable slowing of the pace once they caught Parker and Team Jones put paid to any chance the bunch had.  Parker even slotted in and started working turns to keep the pace respectable.  Riders were sizing each other up almost as if they had forgotten that they were being hunted by the back markers.  There were some itchy trigger fingers and early marking as the enlarged bunch started to ascend the Weatherboard climb in pursuit of Collie.
Knipe eventually attacked and Humber followed.  They cleared out from the bunch, but would they survive?

The three minute group was cobbled together with those who couldn’t make the cut for Scratch.  Jim Crumpler arrived ready to marshal, yet ended up racing in civvies.  Preparing for his next great biking adventure, “Lever” struggled then lost contact on the steps near Waubra.
Impressive today was Matthew Ayres who used his strength and time trialling to guide the bunch around the circuit.  Rick Calvert and Dean Wells supported Ayres as best they could.  Big kudos to the old men of the bunch…we mean the short men of the bunch…
Peter Canny has been training hard to assume his rightful position in Second Scratch and Peter Kiel clearly circles the races with hill climbs at the start of each season.  Kiel races honest on the few times we see him each year and today he slotted in and assumed the leadership role like as though he had been racing all year.

Scratch were licking their lips today…well Matt Bowman, Greg Ley and Jason Birch weren’t, but Tony Mirabella and Tim Canny were pumped.
“Riff Raff” Bowman expected a hard race however he was shelled early and then retired so that he could cheer everyone up the climb.  Birch and Ley turned themselves inside out just to hold wheels let alone contribute to the maddening pace that Canny and Mirabella drove.
In fact Canny led the bunch for many a long turn as they chased the 3 minute group which just would not come back to them.  Eventually they made the catch just ten kilometres from the finish – on that little rise one kilometre out from the left turn onto the Weatherboard climb.

Canny hit Second Scratch hard and opened a gap which he never relinquished.  Mirabella planned to let the gap widen before jumping across but then he found himself with Ley in no-mans land ahead of Second Scratch which was rallying behind with the added firepower of Birch.
Ayres drove the chase back to Ley and Mirabella, then Kiel started swapping turns and urged everyone to work – a pipe dream as it was all anyone could do just to hang on. Onto the Weatherboard climb and the virtually the whole field is present.

Collie has the race lead and crests the hill with Knipe and Humber in pursuit and they soon claim him.  The remnants of the 10 minute group are pacing themselves, although they have dropped Lee and Parker.
Canny works his way past the distressed riders and detects a whiff of victory.  Mirabella and Ley drive the chase with cameos from Wells and Ayres.
Over the crest and the bunch starts working turns to catch the rest of the field.  Into Edmonston Road for the run towards Harrisons Road and Canny has swept to the lead with Humber in tow.

One hundred metres behind the ten minute bunch is soon caught by Mirabella and Co. Ley and Mirabella brunt the headwind and assume responsibility for the chase as Canny drops Humber and is riding towards victory.
Wells comes through and swaps turns with Mirabella before Ley then Ayres try to ramp the pace up and drop the riders from the ten minute group who are hanging on.

Towards the turn into Harrisons Road and Canny is riding towards the crown.
Wells leads the chase and drives the pace to split the field. Mirabella launches as they turn onto the climb, he can’t catch Canny however he can claim second.
Ley, Birch, Calvert and Kiel chase, but Mirabella has the gap and looks to have sown second place up.

Canny rides to a clear victory and is back at the finish line to watch the rest of the race finish.
Ley surges halfway up the climb and gets a small gap over Birch.  Calvert chases and Wells rallies to claim Kiel not far from the finish.
Pete Canny and Matt Ayres claim top ten places as does Danny Whelan who finishes 9th.

1st – Tim Canny (Scratch)
2nd – Tony Mirabella (Scratch)
3rd – Greg Ley (Scratch)
4th – Jason Birch (Scratch)
5th – Rick Calvert (3 minutes)
Fastest Time – Tim Canny (Scratch) in 1h 16m 15s, ave. 38.2 kph
Photo L-R:
Tim Canny, Colin Matthews (Southern Cross Business Machines), Greg Ley and Tony Mirabella



October 1, 2017 – OSCAR’S Hotel & Cafe spring CRITERIUM series, round 1

October 1, 2017 – OSCAR’S Hotel & Cafe spring CRITERIUM series, round 1

OSCAR’S Hotel & Cafe
Spring CRITERIUM Series 2017

Round 1 - October 1

Ballarat Criterium Circuit, Victoria Park

EVCC 2017 spring crits - poster

Eureka Cycling ventured to Victoria Park in Ballarat to race on the newly resurfaced criterium circuit.  Overcast and windy conditions could not dampen the enthusiasm of the riders who assembled for the first week of the 2017 Oscar’s Hotel & Cafe spring CRITERIUM series.  

A few familiar faces were missing from the line up and we had to go to the record books to see if these three had all been absent at the same time on any other occasion in the clubs’ history –
Tony Mirabella was racing the Red Rock Classic at Colac.
Bob Morley was revisiting his inner hippie at some far flung “blues” festival (probably not true…but we aren’t discounting the possibility…).
Pete Livitsanis was recovering from a morning SCARE (Sudden Cranial Anterior Realignment Event).

Even without the club stalwarts we had good numbers out to try the super smooth tarmac under race conditions. Four riders were out trialling with the club and the new surface received thumbs up all round.

Division 1

With nine riders present, the largest field of the day welcomed two trial riders into the fold for a 50 minute plus two laps race.

Shane Hayes and Sam Edwards provided an interesting dynamic to the lineup.  Both riders spent time leading the bunch.
Edwards was quick to perceive that everyone was happy for him to sit on the front and so he measured his efforts.  Hayes followed early then worked with the bunch when chasing down Matt Bowman who went off the front early in the race and stayed away for over ten minutes.
At times Bowman had close to 400 metres on the bunch.
Matthew Ayres wore a skin suit but unfortunately didn’t get the full benefit as he was an early casualty during the subsequent chase of Bowman.
Club Champion Greg Ley was looking for a 2000 metre climb somewhere on the circuit just to slow proceedings down and increase his chances.
Tim Canny somehow made it to the start line after cheering home his beloved Tigers the day before and possibly celebrating more than was commensurate to his effort in winning the flag.  Canny spent a lot of time leading the chase of Bowman before was finally bringing him back into the fold.

The race eased for a moment and Jason Birch used this as an opportunity to launch a series of attacks.  Brendan Schiemer and Dean Wells had situated themselves near the front of the bunch for just this reason and they were in prime position to chase Birch down each time.
Bowman went off the front again at the thirty minute mark.  The bunch let him dangle 50 metres up the road for a lap.  Then Canny rode off the front to join Bowman.
The bunch increased their pace and were at almost full sprint to try and bridge the gap – they didn’t make it and the dangerous Bowman/Canny pair were away.
Birch tried to get the bunch rotating in the chase, however most of them were struggling to just hold wheels let alone roll to the front.
After a concerted ten minute chase effort the bunch had almost closed the gap, then Birch flatted and the impetus fizzled.

Bowman and Canny slowly blew the gap out beyond 300 metres and when the bunch got the call for 2 laps they eased up and played cat and mouse for third place.
Up ahead and the lead pair kept powering along taking the bell and not easing the pressure.
Into the home straight and they were shoulder to shoulder before Canny finally edged away near the line for the win over the gallant Bowman.  The pair averaging 39.8 kph.
The bunch were racing for third and Wells couldn’t find a way off the front.  He ramped the pace up from 500 metres out and led to the shadows of the post before Edwards and Schiemer came through.  Hayes wasn’t far behind and Ley was close, but still looking for that elusive mountain.

1st – Tim Canny
2nd – Matthew Bowman
3rd – Sam Edwards

IMG_3471 IMG_3475 IMG_3513

Division 2

Seven riders started and animated the Division 2 race from the get go…Mark O’Callaghan quickly assumed the lead role, however most of the riders were keen to get amongst the action.
Roger McMillan spent some time off the front as did the regular agitator Steve Biram.  Brian Ure impressed yet again and James Knipe played the deft hand covering the dangerous moves.
Pete Canny was happy to watch proceedings and mark wheels, whilst training mate Rick Calvert tried to lure someone else off the front with him to attack.

To the finish and a protracted sprint saw Knipe just hold out a determined Canny – although it must be said that Knipe was extremely confident in sitting up just before the line.  Biram was third just ahead of Ure and McMillan.

1st – James Knipe
2nd – Peter Canny
3rd – Steve Biram

Division 3

Racing for forty minutes and two laps, the seven riders in Division 3 spent most of the race bunched tightly.
Barry Robinson was out racing after hibernating for much of the winter and quite often found himself leading the pack around.
Dan Crook was finding his racing legs again and Terry Collie was keeping a watchful eye over Kevin Lee who he expected to be the main contender on the day.
Monica Canny was trialling with the club and enjoying her first race on the circuit after missing the recent Saturday morning Ballarat Sebastopol CC criteriums.
Phil McLennan was back having his second trial race with Eureka and Steve Linane was hiding somewhere amongst the pack throughout the race.

Division 3 averaged over 34 kph and a bunch finish decided the race – however the stiff headwind up the straight made the finale more of a slug than a sprint.  A well timed effort saw Linane come from the middle of the pack win comfortably over McLennan with Lee in third place.

1st – Steve Linane
2nd – Phil McLennan
3rd – Kevin Lee



September 24, 2017 – Windmill, 53 km Graded Scratch & Victorian Teachers Games

September 24, 2017 – Windmill, 53 km Graded Scratch & Victorian Teachers Games

 Day of Days – 24 September 2017

Graded Scratch racing


Windmill circuit – 53 km

The wind blew throughout he morning and intensified in the afternoon.  A whole day of suffering in cycling on the infamous Windmall circuit…

Eureka Cycling staged graded scratch races on Sunday morning, then hosted the cycling events for the 2017 Victorian Teachers Games in the afternoon.
The Eureka riders fought hard in the wind which averaged 38 kph with gusts up to 50 kph…the teachers were plain smashed by winds averaging 50 kph with violent gust exceeding 70 kph.

Heavy rain and strong winds at sunrise surely discouraged many from venturing outside to race – but 16 hardy souls fronted at the club rooms for graded scratch racing.

A Grade

A Grade saw yet another “trial rider” appear.  Sam Smith is well known in the Ballarat Sebastopol CC ranks.  Smith was looking forward to getting some racing legs having spent the bulk of the winter cycling solo in his shed.
Also welcomed back into the fold was Matt Bowman.  “Riff Raff” Bowman has been MIA for much of the season and will now hopefully string a few races together.
Club Champion Greg Ley is wasting no time getting back into the racing scene.  The other members of the bunch – Jim Crumpler, Tony Mirabella and Dean Wells – were all backing up from Saturday morning criterium racing with BSCC on the newly resurfaced criterium track in Victoria Park.

With so many different faces, there was no group dynamic and fluid turns were fleeting in appearance.  A fast pace was maintained for much of the race.  Crumpler enjoyed ramping the pace up each time he was on the front.  Smith was prominent in his first outing with the club.
Bowman was having a torrid time with the wind and the short hills.  Often he would find himself off the back, then in true Riff Raff style he would roll straight through to the front and press the pace.  Bowman also provided the first attack of the day.
Having been dropped on the second lap, he time trialled his way back to the group before being dropped up the rise in Donovans Road.  The bunch roared along with the tailwind, but Bowman once again time trialled his way back.
He then attacked on quarry hill and opened a 150 metre lead.  Smith quickly rallied the troops into rolling turns.  The extra effort did not seem to bring the group any closer to Bowman who was now flying into the headwind past Blowhard.
The effort did take its toll on Ley and Wells who both started to labour.  Up towards Huckers Road and Bowman was weaving all over the road.  The catch was about to be made.  A slight easing of the pace allowed Wells to rejoin the group after almost being dropped.

The games started as the bunch neared the church corner. Ley found himself stuck on the front.  Finally Crumpler came through.  Wells allowed the gap to open so Mirabella and Smith both jumped across.
Into Addington Rd and Mirabella had them in the gutter as the bunch regrouped.  Crumpler goes onto the dirt to get a draft.
Smith attacked soon after – he doesn’t want to take Crumpler to a sprint finish!  Mirabella waits then tries to jump across but Smith has a decent gap.
Crumpler marks Mirabella, who launched again to try and cross to Smith.  Crumpler tows Wells and Ley back up to Mirabella and like Bowman his race is over after the multiple efforts.

Smith has a significant gap as he sweeps into Donovans Road.  Wells surges just before Donovans and Ley sticks fast to his wheel but they are only racing for second.
Mirabella takes the lead up the rise and has to ease to allow Wells and Ley back on.  They chase hard and swap turns however Smith has simply outclassed them.

Nearing the line and Wells has found himself on the front of the trio.  Only pride is at stake and he goes to his biggest gear and ramps up the pace before accelerating away to second.  Mirabella getting the better of Ley on the line.

1st – Sam Smith
2nd – Dean Wells
3rd – Tony Mirabella


B Grade

B Grade was the largest field of the day.  An early highlight was Steve Biram missing the start, then setting off to chase his bunch down – he didn’t make it, but his confidence at the start line when deciding he would “give it a crack” was inspiring…

The rest of the B grade field consisted of the usual suspects in Peter Livitsanis, Bob Morley and Mark “have bike will race” O’Callaghan.
James Knipe, Brian Ure and Kevin Lee all once again stepped up into the higher grade to test themselves.
The men also welcomed back Duncan Bates for a rare race.  We are sure that Dunc checks the weather forecast before venturing out to Learmonth.
If the forecast is for good weather he stays home, if it is for deplorable weather…well then it is time to race.

James “Mack” Knipe was the first to liven things up.  Making an early solo break off the front Mack soon found himself wallowing in the wind.  Eventually the others had tired of leaving Mack dangling out in front and he was brought back to the fold.

The next two or so laps was described by some of the participants as a knitting meeting – no attacks and O’Callaghan waffled on incessantly with mind numbing observations.  O’Callaghan’s talk was all part of the game and nearing the church corner (turn into Addington Road) he attacked the bunch and opened a gap.
Climbing the short rise before the turn he started to second guess his tactic as the task got immensely harder.  Once around the corner he was away and he daren’t look back.

The others were caught off guard by O’Callaghan’s attack and everyone started looking at each other to see who would lead the chase.  Ahead and O’Callaghan is increasing his gap out to 20 seconds.
The bunch started to close in just before Donovans Road, but once O’Callaghan had the wind at his back the gap blew out again as he powered over the short climb.
The chase group started to fragment and with each dropped rider O’Callaghan’s chances increased.  Screaming down towards the line and he is still clear of the chasers.
Knipe is racing into second position and Morley has third sown down ahead of Bates.  At the line and it is all O’Callaghan for a well earned win with a gap of some twenty seconds over his rivals.

1st – Mark O’Callaghan
2nd – James Knipe
3rd – Bob Morley


C Grade

C Grade was a mano a mano battle between septuagenarians Graeme Parker and Terry Collie. Round and round they rode.

Their fight was more with nature than each other and down to the line they could not be split – despite the new age technology that was filming the finish line – deadheating for first place.

1st – Terry Collie – deadheat
1st – Graeme Parker – deadheat


2017 Victoria Teachers Games – Road Cycling


IMG_0943 IMG_0958

As mentioned earlier the weather turned even worse in the afternoon as Eureka Cycling hosted the road cycling events for the 2017 VTG.
The participants should all be commended on their positive attitudes against such ferocious wind.  Various distance races were conducted on the Windmill circuit – some over two laps (35 km) and some over 3 laps (52.5 km).

Eureka rider Mark O’Callaghan backed up from the morning for another race and placed third in his age bracket.  Mark praised his fellow riders for their efforts in sticking together throughout the race and working solid turns. Kudos to Mark for racing 105 kilometres today in that wind!

Tremendous efforts were witnessed throughout the events as some bunches stuck together to combat the wind.  Other bunches were blown apart, but the riders showed great fortitude to battle on and finish their event.
Kudos also to Emma Govan who had raced a duathlon in the morning, then travelled to Learmonth to compete in a 52.5 km road race.  Emma was distanced by her bunch then battled leg cramps with just 9 kilometres remaining.  A short stop for afternoon tea – salt & vinegar chips, water and cramp tablets – then back on the bike to finish the race. Emma’s story was just one of many from todays event and Eureka congratulate all the riders and family and friends who braved the weather.

September 17, 2017 – Handicap – Weatherboard, 60 km

September 17, 2017 – Handicap – Weatherboard, 60 km

Find Every Race – 17 September 2017 Handicap

Weatherboard circuit – 60 km

2017 EVCC Bicycle Calendar Hcp - poster

Sunny skies greeted riders for the Handicap race on the Weatherboard circuit.  Start at Learmonth and head out through the chicane and over the Hendersons Road hill, then FIVE more laps of Weatherboard to reach 60 kilometres.
Riders travelled from afar to contest the race – Geelong & Surf Coast members Chris Fenech and Craig Van Dort joined Northern rider Noel Said in challenging the locals, but all the glory went to a “trial” rider.

The name McLennan is synonymous with Ballarat athletics, in particular cross country running.  Phil McLennan finally made his long awaited road cycling debut and he didn’t disappoint – leading from the gun to the flag for a warmly received victory.

Eureka also hosted the creator of – Jason Williams.
Cycling, like many sports has unsung heroes and volunteers who go the extra yard week in, week out, to ensure the event goes ahead.  Jason created the website so that ALL the Victorian road, track and cyclocross events would be easily accessible to cyclists throughout Australia.
It truly is a genius idea and gift to the Victorian cycling community.  No matter whether you are a veteran cyclist or a member of a Cycling Australia club, you can easily find all the races that are being run each day.
We applaud Jason for his initiative and it is our honour to help promote this FREE to use website.

As mentioned, Phil McLennan owned the day and led from start to finish.  Setting off from Limit, his early partner in crime was Terry Collie who coached McLennan so well throughout the race that he dropped Collie with about fifteen kilometres remaining and soloed to victory.
Collie meanwhile had a few confusing moments when passed by multiple groups.  With a whopping 30 minute handicap mark, Collie and McLennan didn’t see anyone else until they exited Avenue Road the first time.
Eventually Collie and McLennan were passed by the other bunches on the road…but they were still ten kilometres ahead.
Multiple passings led to great confusion for the leading pair.  After being dropped, Collie was going to pull out of the race and it took strong convincing from the corner marshal that Collie was still actually second on the road.? Inevitably Collie was swallowed up by the field with about six kilometres remaining.
All the while McLennan was racing away to an easy victory…

James Knipe and James “Ralph Jones” Gretton were the next away in the glorious sunshine.  They rotated turns well, however with a 17 minute gap to make up on the Limit pair and only a 3 minute advantage over the next group, they were literally sitting ducks.
Eventually they were caught by the chasing group and worked as well as they could.?Today was not their day.

The 10 minute group was missing two of its regular members who had been promoted.?  This left Dan Whelan, Bob Morley, Peter Livitsanis and Noel Said (Northern) to chase down James and Ralph Jones.  They achieved this however with Livitsanis and Said just battling to stay upright in the wind they lost too much ground to stay in the hunt for overall victory.
They stayed away from the chasers until late in the Avenue on the last trip into that horrendous headwind, their chances were quickly snuffed thereafter.

Five riders set off from 3 minutes in the Second Scratch group.  Rob Phillips led the way with Rick Calvert, Mark O’Callaghan and Chris Fenech (GSCC) providing ample support.
Unfortunately today was not a good day for Jeremy “The Jet” Humber who was like a single engine F35 Joint Strike Force fighter running with one engine down.  Dropped in the first 10 kilometres, Jeremy eventually linked up with the 10 minute group and used the day as training.
The remaining four worked cohesively and stayed away from Scratch until the second last time up the Avenue.
Scratch surged as they exited the Avenue with Phillips also pushing the pace.  Calvert and O’Callaghan were dropped, however Fenech was able to hang on.  Both Phillips and Fenech worked turns with Scratch and were present at the end.

Scratch welcomed back Club Champion Greg Ley in his first ride with the club in months.  Ley has been touring with the white phoenix on blue field “Champion” dossard – and who knew that riding over 300 kilometres a week (including some of the most famous mountain passes) would keep a rider fit?
Tony Mirabella was typically strong as was Brendan Schiemer.  Dean Wells was making up the numbers and the group also welcomed Craig Van Dort (GSCC) to the fold.
Unfortunately Van Dort’s day ended early with the Eureka riders a bit too keen in the first few kilometres with the tailwind.  The remaining four soon set about their schedule and lap after lap it was observed that certain riders would excel on certain sections of the circuit.
The increasing headwind in the Avenue helped the Scratch bunch reel in the other groups, however it also took its toll.
Phillips and Fenech were able to hang tight after being caught with 15 kilometres remaining.  Group Morley was the next to be caught just six kilometres from the finish.?  Collie was just ahead and he let everyone know that McLennan was up the road.?Scratch surged out of the Avenue and dropped Group Morley and Wells.
Not long after they realised they were racing for second place and Fastest Time.  Schiemer pressed the issue down towards the chicane the final time and Phillips responded.?  Regrouping with about four kilometres remaining the bunch of five would fight out the lesser placings on the final climb.
Mirabella proving far to dominant and took both 2nd and Fastest.  Phillips in third, then Ley, Schiemer and Fenech.

Once again we thank the corner marshals and officials for enduring the elements – it may have been sunny, but the cold north wind made for a less than pleasant day standing on a corner or at the finish line.

1st – Phil McLennan (30 min)
2nd – Tony Mirabella (Scratch)
3rd – Rob Phillips (3 min)
4th – Greg Ley (Scratch)
5th – Brendan Schiemer (Scratch)
Fastest Time: Tony Mirabella (Scratch) in 1h 36m 40s, 37.1 kph


Picture (L-R) – Jason Williams, creator of the website and race winner Phil McLennan.


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