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October 22, 2017 – Coghills Creek, 63 km handicap

October 22, 2017 – Coghills Creek, 63 km handicap

Gretton’s Big Statement – 22 October 2017

Club Handicap

Coghills Creek circuit – 63 km


The Ralph Jones Equation

F= CdA p [v^2/2]

F = Aerodynamic drag force in Newtons.
p = Air density in kg/m3 (typically 1.225kg in the “standard atmosphere” at sea level) 
v = Velocity (metres/second). Let’s say 10.28 which is 23mph


Ralph Jones (aka James Gretton) made the 63 kilometre handicap around the Coghills Creek circuit his own today, racing away in a strong solo effort to an emphatic win.
Riders arrived to find misty rain sweeping across Learmonth and a southerly wind which was increasing.  By race start time the threat of rain had passed along with a noticeable rise in temperature.

John Faulkner (Limit) led out the field on his lonesome at 27 minutes.  Terry Collie (also riding in a solo capacity) was next away at 21 minutes.

It was a long wait until the first actual bunch of riders set off at 14 minutes, where handicapper Peter Livitsanis slotted himself in with Danny Whelan, James Gretton, James Knipe, Kevin Lee and regular visitor Noel Said (Northern Cycling).

The Second Scratch (3 min) group set off a whopping 11 minutes later with Mark O’Callaghan, Rick Calvert, Richard Taylor, Matt Ayres and Stuart Brien joining the “in form” Peter Canny.

Last away was the Scratch group led by Club Champion Greg Ley.  Late arrival Jim Crumpler joined the ranks which also included Tony Mirabella, Dean Wells, Craig Lee and Paul Pickersgill.

With twenty riders out on course the key to victory in the windy conditions appeared to be as simple as “the bunch who works together wins”, especially with nine of the riders backing up after racing with sister club Ballarat Sebastopol the previous day.
Riding solo did not augur well for the soloists John Faulkner and Terry Collie.  Faulkner lasted two laps before retiring and Collie was swept aside by every group before also retiring.  The three groups of six riders faired much better out on course, however each suffered early casualties.
Richard Taylor (3 min) was the first rider out after he hit a pot hole and flatted just nine kilometres into the race.
Scratch lost Jim Crumpler after their frenetic chase and surging split the group through Coghills Creek.
The 14 minute group also lost a rider when Peter Livitsanis flatted on the first lap early in Donovans Road.

A consistent theme with each of the (now) five man groups, was that one or two riders in the groups were doing the lion’s share of the work, maybe even dominating… Whelan and Gretton led the charge for the 14 minute group, Ayres and Brien were powering the 3 minute group and Mirabella was clearly above the pack in Scratch.
Cohesive turns were important for a group’s survival and some were doing it better than others!

It was on the second lap that first Collie, then Faulkner were rounded up by the hordes.  The 3 minute group found themselves another man down after O’Callaghan trailed off heading up past the quarry.  The remaining four riders kept their rotations orderly – rolling turns with the tailwind and track turns into the head wind.
Having only made up 30 seconds on the first lap, Scratch finally found their mojo and started to work well together.  They would take another 40 seconds on this lap, however they lost Pickersgill after the hairpin bend at the top end of the circuit.
Now in the race lead, the 14 minute group were working as best they could with the varying physiques they had available and they couldn’t see anyone behind.

Onto the third and final lap and the 14 minute group started to dream big.  Knipe lost contact heading past the quarry.  The remaining four rallied, knowing that the tailwind to Coghills Creek could make all the difference.
The 3 minute group had the race leaders in their sites, however the gap was still large and would require an even greater effort to make the catch.
Scratch were still taking time out of those ahead as they raced up the hill on the south side of the circuit, however disaster soon struck when Mirabella’s power drew him away from the group and a fifty metre gap quickly opened.  All cohesion was gone as the remnants of Scratch struggled just to try and catch up with Mirabella again.

At the head of the race and the 14 minute group realised they had a huge chance of causing a boilover.  The next bunch on the road was back at the bridge near Blowhard – over one kilometre behind.
‘But the hour cometh, and now is’.
Gretton gave a cry of “let’s go” and powered to the front with Whelan, Said and Lee all scrambling for his wheel.

The 3 minute group could barely make out the leaders on the horizon.  They looked behind and struggled to see anyone.  Beating Scratch home would be a victory in itself!

Scratch were coming, however Mirabella was still out on his own.  The others finally linked back up racing through Blowhard.
The gap to the bunch ahead was under two minutes, so the catch is unlikely and they are now just racing for Fastest Time.  Wells was shelled on the next climb and just three remained.

Gretton was still on the front as the race leaders are neared Coghills Creek.  He turned around to see that he has dropped his bunch.
With ten kilometres to race he makes the decision to GO!  Whelan, Said and Kevin Lee have watched the all powerful Gretton ride away from them.
Maybe they could still claim all the minor placings if the headwind after the hairpin doesn’t rip them apart…but maybe, their bell has tolled.

Ayres, Brien, Calvert and Canny still worked their turns.  They didn’t know the lead group had started to disintegrate, but they did know that Scratch was still a long way behind.  No further encouragement needed!

Scratch raced through Coghills Creek and Craig Lee was off the back, leaving just Mirabella and Ley to continue the chase.

Gretton was through the chicane and onto Donovans Road for the final time.  He batts away the headwind and focuses on the now.
His former cohorts have blown apart and are strung out in their own battles.  Second Scratch catch Knipe who has continued on after being dropped back at the quarry – he offers that they still have a chance.
Soon after and Ayres bids his mates adiue and eases off the back – stuffed!  Brien, Calvert and Canny continue on, they catch and drop Whelan.  Lee is the next rider up the road.  He cannily jumps onto the 3 minute express as it flies past.  They see the next rider ahead (Said), however they don’t realise Gretton is charging towards a famous victory.  In fact, they don’t even realise they are now racing for a minor placing.

Mirabella and Ley are still chasing, however they are losing their hard fought time over the Second Scratch group.  Fastest Time should be safe though…shouldn’t it?

Gretton is over the final hill.  Two kilometres of fun as he roars down to the finish line with songs of victory sounding in his mind.  One last look over his shoulder and he knows he is home.  “Come ON!”
And, the flag.

Said comes through in second place.  Brien and company are still rotating turns and don’t even really bother to sprint as they near the line.
Brien takes third and Canny is fourth.  Kevin Lee knows he can grab a placing and he whips around Calvert at the line to claim fifth.

Mirabella and Ley aren’t far away.  They are now foxing each other in the run to the line for Fastest Time.
Unbeknownst to the pair the stopwatch has counted on so far that they may even have fallen in arrears.  Ley makes a late dive and claims a victory over Mirabella.

*A recheck of the times in the clubrooms eventually shows that Stu Brien from the 3 minute group has ridden the Fastest Time on this day.

Race Results:
1st – James Gretton (14 minutes)
2nd – Noel Said (14 minutes)
3rd – Stuart Brien (3 minutes)
4th – Peter Canny (3 minutes)
5th – Kevin Lee (14 minutes)
Fastest Time – Stuart Brien (3 minutes) in 1h 41m 10s, ave. 37.0 kph

Photo (L-R): A happy Second Scratch group rejoice in beating the formidable Scratch bunch home…


October 16, 2017 – OSCAR’S Hotel & Cafe spring CRITERIUM series, round 2

October 16, 2017 – OSCAR’S Hotel & Cafe spring CRITERIUM series, round 2

OSCAR’S Hotel & Cafe
Spring CRITERIUM Series 2017

Round 2 - October 16

Ballarat Criterium Circuit, Victoria Park

EVCC 2017 spring crits - poster

Twenty six riders converged on Victoria Park for round 2 of the OSCAR’S Hotel & Cafe spring CRITERIUM series.
Eleven of those riders were backing up from racing the Camperdown to Warrnambool on Saturday.  Also backing up from a busy day was John Faulkner and Lois and Bill Goldfinch.

EUREKA Cycling welcomed some visitors to the races with Peter Gunston out on trial again and Mandy Hosking travelling up from Geelong to race.  Brian Long chauffeured Mandy up to Ballarat then volunteered to marshal a corner.  This didn’t impress Terry Collie who lightheartedly complained post race “I had to race because Longy did the corner”.

There were quite a few interested onlookers at todays’ criteriums including Veronica Micich and Shane Miller who are keen to join up with EUREKA Cycling for the 2018 season.  We also spotted Brad Eppingstall and Neil Braszell checking out the super smooth crit circuit. 

Photo courtesy Mandy Hosking (GSCC): riders warming up before the racing commences


Division 1

Ten riders presented for the Division 1 race and promised to be a hard race over 50 minutes plus two laps.
Attacks, chases and an average over 40 kph saw that everyone felt the hurt… Tim Canny, Tony Mirabella and Dean Wells were backing up from the Camperdown to Warrnambool the previous day.
Jeremy Vanderklift, Stuart Brien and Craig Lee were out racing for the first time in a while.
Rob Phillips is on the come back trail after suffering the dreaded man flu.
Tellingly, Brendan Schiemer had ditched the disc brake bike for a steed running old school rim brakes…

All eyes though were on Matt Bowman.  After he dished out much pain in the first round of the spring criterium series his opponents intended to keep him on a short leash.  Riff Raff duly launched the first attack of the day – this was quickly marked and all subsequent attacks by Bowman were followed so quickly that he often shut down the booster jets before they reached full power.
Canny on the other hand found it easy to ride off the front early in the race.  He spent time alone pondering sciencey things before being roped back in.

Mid race and away he went again for a few laps.  Schiemer, Brien and Matt Ayres did the bulk of the chasing to bring him back, Bowman took over and drove the pack, yet just before the catch was made Canny rallied again and opened a large lead.
Finally the bunch regrouped a few laps later.  Mirabella was looking to press his own attack, however the fast pace made venturing off the front a large gamble.

Bowman found himself stuck on the front at the bell and no-one was letting him get off.  He started to lift the pace from 700 metres out.
Wells pushing the 53×11 was the first to go at the turn.  Canny was stuck to his wheel and everyone else was scrambling for position.
Inside the last fifty metres and Canny surged through on the inside of Wells and raced away for the win with Lee and Schiemer coming down the centre of the road to claim the minors.

1st – Tim Canny
2nd – Craig Lee
3rd – Brendan Schiemer

Division 2

The largest field of the day was Division 2 with eleven rolling out from the start for 45 minutes plus two laps.
Rick Calvert, James Gretton, James Knipe, Mark O’Callaghan, Danny Whelan and Amanda Hosking (Geelong & Surf Coast) were all backing up from the Camperdown to Warrnambool and they made their presence felt in todays race which averaged just over 37 kph.

Steve Biram was spritely early and had the field stretched out as they came around to complete the first lap.  Attacks throughout the race where punctuated by “go slows” where the speed dipped below 30 kph, however much of the race was ridden at tempo.
Hosking rarely relinquished second wheel and Pete Livitsanis was present at the front of the field ensuring anyone who drifted off the front was left dangling for a lap or two.
Whelan kept the pace on, whilst Gretton and O’Callaghan hung about the tail biding away their time.
Calvert felt every pedal stroke after his efforts the day before and Knipe was in auto-cruise.
Kevin Lee impressed once again and Bob Morley was wondering if he would have better legs had gone to one less hippy jazz bar in recent weeks.

Bell lap and the pace ramped up after the tight left-hander.  With 500 metres to race the pace was pushing 50 kph and it only got quicker as the field swept into the home straight for the flag.
At just his second race with EUREKA, Peter Gunston unleashed his massive sprint with precision timing to claim the win from Knipe and O’Callaghan.

1st – Peter Gunston
2nd – James Knipe
3rd – Mark O’Callaghan

Division 3

Raced 40 minutes and two laps the Division 3 race saw Ken Heres out for his first race in two years.  Heres was joined by Phil McLennan, John Faulkner and two riders who were backing up from Camperdown to Warrnambool – Terry Collie and Graeme Parker.

Early action saw Faulkner dispatched out the back.  Collie was caught in no man’s land and the other three were away.
The pack regrouped, however Faulkner eventually retired, leaving just four to battle out the placings.

Heres took the win with a strong sprint from the fast finishing Parker.  McLennan rounded out the podium.

1st – Ken Heres
2nd – Graeme Parker
3rd – Phil McLennan


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



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