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February 25, 2018 – Ron Rivette Classic – Eureka Open – 56 km VVCC Open handicap, Weatherboard-Mt Misery

February 25, 2018 – Ron Rivette Classic – Eureka Open – 56 km VVCC Open handicap, Weatherboard-Mt Misery

Shane Cook Homes

Ron Rivette Classic

EVCC 2018 Ron Rivette Classic poster

Victorian Veteran Cycling Council

56 km Eureka Open

February 25th, 2018

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EVCC 2018 Ron Rivette Classic program with start list Eureka Open - Old courseEUREKA Cycling - 2018 Open start list

Strong winds greeted the 107 riders who converged on Lake Learmonth for the first VVCC Open race of 2018.
The wind and thick cloud cover kept the “feels like” temperature hovering around a cool 6 degrees – perfect for the local riders!

Out on the road the wind devastated many groups with riders dropped from each bunch and strewn around the course.
Sixteen riders pulled out of the event and possibly 50 riders wished they had done so before venturing so far.
The dominant force today was the south easterly wind which hovered in the mid 40s and gusted up to 60 kilometres and hour.
The crosswinds were hectic and the headwinds were demoralising…

Limit set off at 38 minutes and quickly disintegrated.  The 30 minute group blew apart inside the first 20 kilometres.

The 24 minute group faired no better and split into ones and twos.

The 18 minute group lost a few riders on the climb out of Addington with the rest being picked up by the following bunches.

As with the front groups, the wind played havoc with the 16:30 minute group.  They also had a rider who had inadvertently started with them.
That rider was subsequently disqualified from the race, however not before inflicting almost as much havoc on the group as the wind.

The 15 minute group was disassembled in the first third of the race and never really recovered.

The 13 minute group was all conquering today and took home the race quinella.  This power bunch was filled with quite a few large riders who revelled in the tough windy conditions and swept all before them, literally.  They started strong and many of the big units kept the bunch powering along.  Their number dwindled, but they held off the chasing pack.

On paper the 11 minute group looked to have a good chance of rolling up the bunches ahead.  They started like rockets, however not enough riders were sharing the workload and they only chipped away at the time difference.

The 9 minute group struggled from the start and completely imploded with 50 kilometres remaining.  The remnants of the group joined in with the next bunch.

The 6:30 minute group gelled and worked together well.  They collected the odd vanquished rider and kept their work rate high.

Second Scratch started at 4 minutes and smashed each other.  A race within a race, some waited for Scratch – well what was left of Scratch – and others raced ahead.

Scratch blew apart early and three riders chased hard.  They easily recorded the fastest times on the day.
Uniting with dropped Second Scratch riders worked in their favour and they eventually collected even more Second Scratch riders.
In the sprint for Fastest Time, Darren Roberts (Northern Cycling) packed too many guns for Michael Borowski (Northern) and Tim Bennet (Geelong & Surf Coast)…however they finished three minutes down on the winner and the race had always been out of reach…

The lap of Weatherboard gave each group an opportunity to experience a strong headwind early and it certainly set the script for how the day would play out.  Those outmarker bunches were smashed and never recovered.

The 13 minute group was on the verge of self destructing with a very keen rider from the 15 minute group (missed his start) leading the way.  Rob Phillips (Eureka Cycling) soon put everything back in order and set the tone for the rest of their day – work smart and work hard.
With powerful riders such as Chris Fenech (GSCC), Grant Dawson (Eureka), Ricky Lovell (Central Victorian Vets), Andrew Rushton (Eureka) and Michael Veal (Eureka) in the bunch, the group always promised to be a threat.

The 11 minute bunch were not working anywhere near as well and found only four or five riders rotating turns.  They also started shelling riders and even though the 13 minute bunch was within reach, the chase was looking grim.
Not as grim as the 9 minute group who had few contributors before the Eureka pair of Lindsay Burgoyne and Dean Wells dropped their bunch on the run to Addington.  Too far ahead to ease up, the pair found themselves in no man’s land and quickly passing dropped riders from the groups ahead.

The race ahead saw the 13 minute group had set their sights on the 15:00 group and sweep them aside without much ado.  Hungry for more, they licked their lips as closed in on the 16:30 group and caught them at the 30 kilometre mark.
With at least seven riders contributing solidly, the 13 minute group powered on strong enough to hold the chasing 11 minute group whose rotations were not improving.  Too much work being done by too few.  They almost bridged the gap to the 13 minute group as they turned onto Black Bottom Road.  Finally the group started rotating better, unfortunately the pace dropped too much.
The 13 minute group was so close…but it was a bridge too far.  They started collecting riders dropped from other groups, some stuck on, some were dispatched quickly.

Turning off Black Bottom Road and it was time for the 13 minute group to push even harder if that was possible.  The call for middle of the road went out and the peloton squeezed left and made room for just seven bikes. From that point on riders were shelled every few kilometres.
The survivors of the 18 minute group were just ahead and within a few kilometres they too had been rolled up.
They still had passengers from the 15 and 16:30 minute groups in their mix – this doesn’t include Stephen Biram (Eureka) who had missed his start with the 15 minute group, but had contributed solidly throughout.
Paul Ogilivie (GSCC) was also a big contributor to this large bunch mainly consisting of Eureka riders.   They had the race lead at this point and the 11 minute group were still close, but unable to close those few hundred metres.

The 11 minute group was now collecting riders who had been shelled from the raging 13 minute bunch, however the bunch ahead was maintaining a gap.
The 9 minute duo of Burgoyne and Wells weren’t making any ground on the 11 minute group and unbeknownst to them, the 6:30 minute group was closing fast having collected a few other 9 minute riders.

With less than ten kilometres remaining it seemed unlikely that the winner would come further back than the 11 minute group, but they just weren’t getting any closer.  Stuart Brien (Eureka) threw caution to the wind and launched off the front of the group in a last chance effort.  His group rallied and chased…

The race lead turned left and up the final climb towards Weatherboard.  With the strong tailwind they didn’t lose any time to the chasers.
Phillips led the pack and they pushed hard.  Veal surged and the Geelong & Surf Coast riders Laurence Lynch and Daryl Suter from the 15:00 minute group marked him.  Eureka rider James Gretton (16:30) bullocked his way to the top with another 13 minute rider – Chris Fenech (GSCC).
Ogilvie (GSCC) was ever watchful, could he be the Ace in the pack?
The string was stretching, so close, yet so far…and the call was just 20 seconds to the lone chaser.

They crested the hill with two kilometres remaining and they kept driving and driving.  Brien had made some inroads on the climb, but his group had somehow scrambled back to his wheel.  A short breather and then Brien went again and this time he broke free of the bunch.
The odds were against him with one man against ten…but maybe there were some leftover scraps to be had from the lead pack…

Ahead and the unlikely fellowship of 13, 15, 16:30 and 18 minute riders was about to become unfriendly.
Into the gutter they went, words were exchanged, it got messy.
The sole 18 minute rider in the bunch – Jason Hendry (Eureka) – launched early at the dip.  Daring, adventurous and ultimately doomed to fail, Hendry set up the perfect lead out for the other riders.
Veal had Hendry’s wheel, with Phillips just behind and Biram preparing to pounce.  The race got messier – riders jockeyed for position.
One rider zoomed away (subsequently disqualified).
The others started their sprints and the spectators didn’t know where to look.
Veal hit the front and Phillips shot over the top in the final metres.  A home win!

Finish Line

Race Results:
1st – Robert Phillips, Eureka (13:00 min)
2nd – Michael Veal, Eureka (13:00 min)
3rd – Stephen Biram, Eureka (15:00 min)
4th – Laurence Lynch, Geelong SC (15:00 min)
5th – Daryl Suter, Geelong SC (15:00 min)
6th – Jason Hendry, Eureka (18:00 min)
7th – Paul Ogilvie, Geelong SC (16:30 min)
8th – James Gretton, Eureka (16:30 min)
9th – Chris Fenech, Geelong SC (13:00 min)
10th – Stuart Brien, Eureka (11:00 min)
First unplaced lady – Jo Read, Northern (38:00 min)
Fastest time – Daryl Roberts, Northern (Scratch) in 1h 23m 37s, average 40.2 kph

L-R: Steve Biram (3rd), Rob Phillips (1st), Mick Veal (3rd) and Darren Roberts (Fastest Time)

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EUREKA Cycling thank the VVCC referees and time keeper for officiating.
Also, we kindly thank the many volunteers who made this day happen:
corner marshals
kitchen staff
registration staff
general helpers

We must also recognise the generous contributions of food and raffle prizes
which our members donated to the club.
We also acknowledge the fantastic commitment to our club
by the sponsor of the Ron Rivette ClassicShane Cook Homes.
Congratulations to all the riders who tackled the 2018 Eureka Open.
Everyone should be proud of their efforts in such trying conditions.

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EVCC 2018 mylaps Eureka Open 1 EVCC 2018 mylaps Eureka Open 2 EVCC 2018 mylaps Eureka Open 3

EUREKA Cycling - 2018 Open start list

December 17, 2017 – Eureka Criterium Championships Day, Victoria Park, Ballarat

December 17, 2017 – Eureka Criterium Championships Day, Victoria Park, Ballarat

OSCAR’S Hotel & Cafe

2017 EUREKA Cycling CRITERIUM Championships

December 17

Ballarat Criterium Circuit, Victoria Park

EVCC 2017 Criterium Championships - poster

The inaugural EUREKA Cycling Criterium Championships were staged in Victoria Park under a blue sky and warm sun.  Proudly sponsored by OSCAR’S Hotel and Cafe, the Criterium Championships promised to be an exciting conclusion to the 2017 Eureka racing season.
In homage to the club’s home base at Learmonth, a strong breeze blew across the circuit and reminded riders that there is no such thing as an easy race.
A later than normal start – to accommodate the Ballarat Triathlon Club staging an event in the park – gave riders time to shoot the breeze and relax before the oncoming storm.
Just after 10:30 AM they were able to roll out on course and practise before pre race ventolin administering was conducted under the watchful eye of debut Race Referee – Dean Wells.

Division 3 (40 minutes plus two laps):

Four riders doesn’t allow for much cover from the wind.
In the early stages Dan Whelan and Kevin Lee shared the pacemaking role and maintained a speed that would eventually wear the other two challengers down.
Brian Lee was making a rare 2017 appearance on the racetrack – he was just happy to be out rolling his legs over.
Phil McLennan has made a great start to his cycling career and in his first season he was keen to collect a medal of some description.

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However, Whelan and Lee’s plan to dominate from the start was simplistic to apply and they soon had their foes stretched.  Halfway through tand the race was at their mercy (barring a mechanical incident).
They received the two lap call and were not far off catching McLennan, having previously passed Brian.  Cat and mouse for the final lap before Whelan ramped the pace up from a long way out. He couldn’t shake the wily Lee though!
Swinging into the home straight “Popeye” hooked out and accelerated way from Whelan for a comfortable win.

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Division 3 Championship (40 minutes plus two laps) results:
1st – Kevin Lee
2nd – Dan Whelan
3rd – Phil McLennan

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Division 2 (45 minutes plus two laps):

With the no-show of a few pre-race favourites, the Division 2 race quickly became a showdown between the two “trackies”…would James “Mac The Knipe” be able to stop the bullocky sprint of James “Ralph Jones” Gretton?
Michael Veal rolled up on his bespoke alloy Kermit The Frog/Miss Piggy fusion. All metallic green and pink, “the Doc’s” bike certainly reminded us of another reason we ride bikes…because they are things of beauty!
Roger McMillan was hoping to collect another Division 2 Championship medal and maybe even go one better than his silver from the Road Champs.
Peter Livitsanis was planning on sheltering behind all the big guys in the wind and trying to out-sprint them at the end.

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From early on McMillan was riding away from the other four – unfortunately it was out the rear.  This required much sharing of the headwind between the other four and they all duly took their turns on the front.
Resigned to the fact that no-one was crazy enough to attempt a breakaway, the race was always destined for a sprint finish and the four had already “turned off” well before receiving the call for two laps.

At the bell and they were all keeping a watchful eye just in case someone tried to steal a last minute break.  All were poised as they swept into the home straight.
Livitsanis lacked the required firepower as Gretton opened a small gap.  Knipe loomed on the outside, but Veal came through smashing the gears and taking great chunks out of Gretton’s advantage with each powerful stroke.
With contorted faces they raced to the line with Veal clearing out to score a length win.

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Division 2 Championship (45 minutes plus two laps) results:
1st – Michael Veal
2nd – James Gretton
3rd – James Knipe

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Championship Event (50 minutes plus two laps):

An impressive mix of new and old lined up in the Championship Race.  Old as in “old hands” at this racing caper and new as in “first year Eureka members”.
Bob Braszell, Rob Phillips and Matt Bowman were flying the flag for the older generation, Tim Canny, Jason Birch, Craig Lee and Jim Crumpler (arguably the best four sprinters in the club), along with Peter Gunston and Jeremy Vanderklift made up the “new” challengers.

The race was always going to be fast and hard on the flat course especially with the Canny/Bowman rivalry.  Canny knew his best chance was to line the field out and drop Bowman early, then out-sprint any challengers that may remain.  Bowman knew his best chance was to time trial off the front and grind them all into the tarmac.
Everyone else knew pain was in their future.  And it was so!

Early attacks by Canny had the field stretched and struggling.  Less than ten minutes into the race and oxygen masks were being handed out.
Surges into the wind broke the field apart and Braszell retired to the sidelines.  Vanderklift was way out the back, however he could still make out Phillips in the distance.
Gunston was in no man’s land with Bowman just ahead.  He tacked on for a few laps, but once Bowman recovered his heart rate he accelerated away to try and rejoin the front of the race.
Crumpler eased off from the Canny, Lee, Birch juggernaut – when your heart is trying to jump out of your chest and you can hear your own death rattles…it’s time to stop.
He linked up with Gunston for a while, but the race was effectively over for them both and like Phillips and Vanderklift they would just enjoy the rest of the day on the smooth surface.

Up ahead and Canny kept pushing the envelope.  Birch and Lee rolled through for the odd turn, but Canny kept the high pace rolling as he wasn’t convinced Bowman was quite done with.  He was right!
Bowman rejoined and took a breather at the back whilst the other three continued the assault.  No friendly pacemaking here, the race was always in the gutter and everyone was always on their limit.

Short attacks soon had Bowman off the back again.  This time the gap blew out to a few hundred metres and with half the race remaining it looked like the three leaders would be the medallists.  But!
The name is Bowman, Matt Bowman.  The man who makes the impossible possible!  And once again…he rode back to them.  Just before rejoining, Birch announced to his cohorts (with a great deal of exasperation) ‘He’s back on!’.
If only Bowman would just concede, maybe Lee and Birch would get some reprieve from the ridiculous pace Canny kept forcing on them…

More short attacks ensued and Bowman was again off the back.  Settling into time trial mode he gradually rode back to the leaders…again!
This time, with less than ten minutes to race, the short attacks did not resume.

Now was danger time, because Canny, Lee and Birch fully expected the freak to ride off the front and put pay to them.  Two laps to go and the four are in tight formation.
Bowman was now in control, because he had won their minds…
Three sets of eyes looking for the shadow…
Three sets of ears listening for the whoosh…
Three hearts pounding…

Bell lap and the formation is still tight.  The ball is completely in Bowman’s court.  He knows they won’t attack.  They know that he will…but when.

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Out of the trees straight and onto the east road, Bowman is winding up and then accelerating.  He goes to the lead and opens a small gap as they enter the straight.

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Birch can’t respond and Canny looks to be the danger.  He comes down the outside and goes to the lead.
Lee is coming down the centre and draws level.
It’s desperate, it’s close, it’s Lee!

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Championship Race (50 minutes plus two laps) results:
1st – Craig Lee
2nd – Tim Canny
3rd – Matt Bowman

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Winners and place getters from each race received a Championship medal and a voucher from event sponsor OSCAR’S Hotel & Cafe.
Craig Lee also received the Club Criterium Champion sash.

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Also presented on the day were the silver and bronze medals from the EUREKA Cycling Club Championship Road Race – to Craig Lee and Jason Birch.

Tony Mirabella received a trophy for winning the 2017 Club Aggregate.  Tim Canny received a silver medal for finishing second in the aggregate.
Peter Livitsanis and Dean Wells received bronze medals for tying in third place.

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December 3, 2017 – Commodores Cup, Windmill circuit, 35 km handicap

December 3, 2017 – Commodores Cup, Windmill circuit, 35 km handicap

Brien is Master and Commander – 3 December 2017

Commodores Cup

Windmill circuit – 35 km

EVCC 2017 Commodores Cup & breakup

The sun shone down upon the Eureka Cycling club rooms on the edge of Lake Learmonth today –
just long enough to trick a few riders into wearing less clothes than the “feels like 5 degrees” temperature actually warranted.

The Commodores Cup has been staged since Eureka Cycling was first founded and although it has been moved around on the calendar, it now takes pride of place at the end of the season. A short, two lap handicap race around Windmill before returning to the club rooms for the 2017 season Presentation Day.
A healthy sized field had entered and once out warming up, the riders soon endured something akin to a typical winter’s day – a strong southerly wind was present – with plenty of cloud and rain showers.

Robert Young and Graeme Parker were first away at a meagre 18 minutes.
Terry Collie and Phil McLennan set off five minutes later at 13 minutes.
Kevin Lee, Peter Livitsanis and Bob Morley were next away at 10 minutes.
James Knipe, Roger McMillan and Dan Whelan set off at 8 minutes.
Rob Phillips, Mark O’Callaghan, Peter Gunston and Dean Wells were off at 6 minutes.
Lindsay Burgoyne, Paul Pickersgill and Stuart Brien launched at 4 minutes. Greg Ley, Matt Ayres and Rick Townsend (visiting from Central Vets) were the chopping block at 2 minutes.
Matt Bowman sacrificed himself on Scratch with new Club Champion Tim Canny.

In such a short race there is no warm up section.  It’s ready, steady, BANG!  Straight to your limit!  35 kilometres of full speed…because if you’re doing it easy, you are not going fast enough.  As such, the field implodes and leaves riders strewn all over the road.

O’Callaghan was an early victim of the pace as the 6 minute group barely took a breath in the first 5 kilometres.  Wells succumbed to pressure in his return ride and it was just Phillips and Gunston with 3/4 of the race remaining.
McMillan had also lost contact with the 8 minute group.  Somewhere up ahead both McLennan and Young were struggling to stay with their cohorts.
Somewhere behind Ayres had blown apart and Bowman had been spat out.  Virtually a third of the field was out of the race inside the first lap!

Some were coping well – the 4 minute group of Brien, Burgoyne and Pickersgill were on a flyer and had taken a full minute out of the group ahead after just 8 kilometres.
Their fluid turns not only ripped the advantage away from the groups ahead, it kept the chasing bunches at bay.

Into lap two a Parker was riding for glory.  Collie was the next rider on the road with something resembling a chance.  With a numerical advantage, Morley and Co. had opened the gap to Knipe and Whelan and were now closing in on the leaders.  Phillips and Gunston had reeled Knipe and Whelan in – they were the next target for Brien’s crew and they duly collected as they raced past the quarry.  Ley and Townsend were swapping turns nicely and Canny was not far behind.

The star bunch out on the road was Brien, Burgoyne and Pickersgill. All three were strong and none missed a turn.  Phillips had joined in rotations when caught and Gunston put in the odd effort.  They picked up Whelan and Knipe.  Whelan held on and in typical never say die fashion did a few turns…although it wasn’t expected!
Other riders missed the boat and chugged home under their own steam.  Canny had linked with Ley and Townsend however they were too few against so strong a bunch ahead.

Turning into Donovans Road and Brien’s ever enlarging crew had caught Morley and Co.
With Brien, Burgoyne, Pickersgill and Phillips doing the lion’s share to try and bridge to the leader – Graeme Parker who stands out like a beacon in his red kit.  Desperate to drop any “hangers on” and not be pirated in the sprint, Brien attacked a few times after they had crested the rise, but the others kept being brought back to his wheel by Pickersgill and Phillips.
Lee lost contact, but Morley and Livitsanis have been doing this for a long time and it will need a better effort than that to dislodge them from the plank…

Two kilometres to race and Parker still leads by a few hundred metres.  The usual suspects from Brien’s crew are leading the chase and the rider in red is coming back to them at a fast rate.
Inside the final 500 metres and Brien has eased off towards the rear of the pack looking for a wheel.  Parker will be caught and the excited raiders are jostling for position.
Pickersgill comes through with 300 metres to go and he and Brien collide.  They steady and resume there windups.
Parker is caught and Livitsanis is facing the breeze as Pickersgill swoops by (and almost into the grass).
Brien tacks to the right with 100 metres to go and draws alongside Pickersgill who starts to fade.
Burgoyne has almost drifted off course to find new air and makes a late dive.
And at the line it is Brien savouring victory from Pickersgill and Burgoyne with Livitsanis and Gunston in the pack picking up the minors.

The rest of the field – who hadn’t weighed anchor on the first lap – come in sporadically with Canny claiming another Fastest Time.

Results:
1st – Stuart Brien (4 minutes)
2nd – Paul Pickersgill (4 minutes)
3rd – Lindsay Burgoyne (4 minutes)
4th – Peter Livitsanis (10 minutes)
5th – Peter Gunston (6 minutes)
Fastest Time – Tim Canny (Scratch) in 53 min 40 sec, ave. 39.2 kph

Photo: Stuart Brien races to victory

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Photo L-R: The brilliant 6 minute group – Lindsay Burgoyne, Stuart Brien and Paul Pickersgill

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2017 season Presentation Day 

Post race a BBQ feast was enjoyed by all at the 2017 season Presentation Day.  

Club President John Faulkner conducted proceedings and after the Commodores Cup presentations moved onto handing out the medals for the recent Club Championship Day.
Rob Young (silver) and Graeme Parker (gold) were on hand to receive their medals for the Division 3 Championship.
Roger McMillan received his silver medal for the Division 2 Championship.

Tim Canny received his gold medal for winning the Championship race and earning the Club Champion title.

Photo L-R: Stuart Brien (Commodores Cup), Tim Canny (Club Champion) and Tony Mirabella (Aggregate Champion)

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Bob Braszell and Dean Wells were commended for making the “100 ride” board – with 103 and 115 lifetime rides respectively at Eureka Cycling.

Tony Mirabella was announced as winner of the 2017 Club Aggregate from Tim Canny in second place.
Peter Livitsanis earned enough points in the Commodores Cup to tie for third place with Dean Wells.

Photo 2017 Club Aggregate L-RDean Wells, Tony Mirabella, Tim Canny and Peter Livitsanis

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The Steelsmith TrophyEureka Club Person – was awarded to Dan Whelan.
Dan rode the equal most races in 2017 (with Tony Mirabella) at club and VVCC level.  He is renowned for his hard riding and has towed many rider around the race circuits.
Dan has been a superb representative for Eureka in 2017 and his week in, week out efforts and attendance are acknowledged and applauded with the presentation of the Steelsmith Trophy – which is kindly donated by one of the club’s founding members, Adam Smith.

 

November 19, 2017 – Championships Day, scratch racing – Weatherboard

November 19, 2017 – Championships Day, scratch racing – Weatherboard

EUREKA CYCLING
ROAD RACE

Championships

Ken Heres Bobcat & Backhoe Hire

19 November 2017

EVCC 2017 road race Championships - poster

Weatherboard circuit

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Race morning presented and riders travelled from near and far to contest the Eureka Cycling ROAD RACE Championships.
Glorious sunshine bathed Learmonth, yet a fierce north east breeze was present and the racers knew they were in for a hard day at the office, especially as the temperature was predicted to rise into the 20’s.

Much conjecture over who would race each division was had during the week…rumours had spread that certain riders would not be present…others issued challenges to their nemesis….alliances were formed…social media fuelled speculation and various scenarios were discussed.

At the sign in desk the numbers grew for the Championship race and the Division 2 race, yet entries were light for the Division 3 race.
The officials planned the day, the marshals collected their gear, the kitchen prepared the food, the riders warmed up…the stage was set…three championship races run concurrently…three stories to be told…

Division 3

Consisting of just three riders – John Faulkner, Graeme Parker and Rob Young – the Division 3 championship race was over 50 kilometres and the wind would have much to say about who would survive.

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A silent gentleman’s agreement was had and the trio set off to engage the circuit.  Work together, defeat the circuit, sprint for the prize, may the best man win.

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Faulkner lasted for 35 kilometres before the elastic broke, leaving just Parker and Young out on the road.  Swapping turns, yet being wary not to over exert, the cat and mouse began.
Whilst Faulkner pulled up at 40 km and put the cue in the rack – so to speak – Parker and Young started the mind games.  Parker surged down Weatherboard road towards the chicane and attempted to unsettle Young, yet the challenge was matched.

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A sprint would decide the medals and each was wary not to give anything away.

Through the final turn and just 1500 metres to decide the champion.  Onto the hill and they raced side by side, over the crest and Parker edged just a little ahead then unleashed his sprint.  A blink of an eye and the contest is over, Parker raced away to the win and Young crossed a few seconds later, gallant as ever.

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Result Division 3 Championship, 50 km:
1st – Graeme Parker
2nd – Robert Young

Division 2

The 60 kilometres race saw one of the larger fields ever assembled to contest for the Division 2 Championship medals.  A few riders were backing up after competing in the Misery 100 race staged by Ballarat Sebastopol CC on the previous day.  Others had set their sights on the event weeks before and planned meticulously for the event and yet others had emerged from the veritable cycling wilderness to compete or literally through their hand up to race in a higher grade…
At the start line thirteen amassed – Jim Burzacott, Terry Collie, James Gretton, Jason Hendry, Jeremy Humber, Jude Jonasson, James Knipe, Kevin Lee, Phil McLennan, Roger McMillan, Bob Morley, Brian Ure and Dan Whelan – then set off in search of victory.

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The wind decided much of the day’s play as riders jockeyed for wheels and hiding in the pack was a much desired tactic.  Early in the race the likes of Whelan, Humber, Knipe and Burzacott made much of the running.
Not many attacks would ensue, for the plan was to reduce the numbers by attrition.  Stay in the gutter and keep the pace strong…  McLennan was an early casualty and others were seen to yoyo off the back as the halfway mark approached.

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Rarely on the front at this early stage, yet always within striking distance were the experienced Collie, Morley and Gretton.  Others remained hidden, yet ready to chase as required.
The race wore on, yet the dozen remained intact and bar for sporadic quickenings through the chicane the race was nullified to the point that a sprint finish seemed inevitable.  McMillan had placed himself comfortably in the rear half of the field and noted how easy Ure was coping with the race.  This was a man to follow!

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The bell lap and by now the stronger riders were worried that to attack would leave them exposed to those whom had stayed relatively hidden throughout proceedings.

Ure casually rode off the front over Weatherboard and opened a small gap down towards the chicane.  Gretton (who is at one with gravity) followed and crossed the space to Ure who was now in full fledged attack mode.  They quickly opened the lead to over 200 metres.  Ure powered through the final turn with Gretton tucked in behind.  A quick glimpse over his shoulder gave him the confidence to launch early on the climb.  Be damned if there s a hill in the way!
The pack rounded the turn and riders jumped from wheel to wheel as they watched Ure and Gretton commence the climb – then in a moment Gretton has lost contact and Ure races away.  Could they close to Gretton?

Ure crested the Hendersons Road hill and has a clear margin.  The pack charge past Gretton on the climb and crest the hill.  Lungs and legs are bursting yet medals can be won and Ure is just ahead and racing to the line to claim victory.
McMillan has exploded out of the pack and races to second a few lengths ahead of Humber.  Morley appears to have fourth place sewn up until Collie ducks around and grabs it on the line.

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Result Division 2 Championship, 60 km:
1st – Brian Ure
2nd – Roger McMillan
3rd – Jeremy Humber
4th – Terry Collie
5th – Bob Morley

Championship Race

The feature event of the day was the Championship Race to decide whom would be crowned 2017 Club Champion and earn the right to wear the blue dossard emblazoned with the white phoenix during season 2018.
Sixteen of Eureka’s fastest riders signed on to ride in one of the largest fields yet assembled for the Championship race, almost half of them had ridden the Misery 100 the day before…would that be a factor?

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A veritable who’s who of Eureka riders mounted for the fray – defending champion Greg Ley, Matt Ayres, Jason Birch, Matt Bowman, Bob Braszell, Stuart Brien, Rick Calvert, Peter Canny, Tim Canny, Peter Gunston, Craig Lee, Paul Pickersgill, Tony MIrabella, Rob Phillips, Brendan Schiemer and Richard Taylor – listened to the race referee’s instructions then set out in pursuit of glory…

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The early laps were fast and Braszell and Phillips soon found themselves a tad off the pace.  Pickersgill, Calvert, Peter Canny and Gunston were also stretched and soon enough the field had been reduced to ten.  The dropped riders fought on in their ones and twos…sometimes closing the gap to the riders ahead, then watching the gap drift further apart and never rejoining.

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The race for the ten remaining riders wore on.  No major attacks, yet plenty of pace and stretching of the elastic bands.  Seemingly from nowhere Tim Canny made an attack heading up Avenue Road with just under 30 kilometres remaining.  Timed to perfection – at the top of a rise and just as the road turns due north – Canny’s effort utilised the marginal cross headwind to maximise his effort and open a space.
The others looked left and right with no-one willing to commit to lead the chase.

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Out of the Avenue and Canny had not increased his margin, yet the bunch were not working to chase him down.  No one wanted to over exert with so far left to race.  Canny meanwhile was watching his watts as he crested Weatherboard.  He needed to conserve his effort with the tail wind without conceding too much ground.  Through the chicane and his lead is around 400 metres.  Birch leads the chase and with dare has shaved a few lengths off the gap as the bunch fly through.  He looks over his shoulder and realises he is in no mans land, the bunch has sat up…is the chase over already?
With barely a hint of organisation the “chase” bunch has been reduced to nine individuals intending to just survive.

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Over the Hendersons Road climb and they pass through the finish line with two laps remaining.  Canny is already heading up the Avenue, though with some teamwork they could possibly bring him back.
Survival trumps teamwork…they head up the Avenue and watch the distant Canny blend into the sea of greenery.

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Canny is racing away to possibly his first win in the Club Championship.  He watches the power meter and he remembers to drink.  The gap has been made, now to press the issue!  The bunch is no longer chasing.  They have consigned themselves to racing for the minor placings and a race within the race has developed.
One by one, individuals surge or make a short attack, all with the aim of wearing opponents down and it works as Bowman finds himself off the back.  Brien uses his skills to open a gap through the chicane.  The bunch respond and bring him back by the climb in Hendersons Road.  They crest the rise, receive the bell lap and have just ten kilometres to stake a claim on a medal.

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Mirabella is quite active over the next five kilometres – surging, easing, then surging again.  He has riders on their absolute limits, but they keep clawing back.

Ahead and Canny is time trialling his way to yet another famous victory.  The slightest of hiccups as he receives a red flag for a vehicle at the base of weatherboard – then away he goes again.  His gap is measurable in minutes…

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Canny sweeps through the final bend when the bunch sweep through the chicane.  He takes the final ascent with ease and cruises to the finish where he is greeted by much applause – all hail the new Club Champion.

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The bunch take the final turn.  No-one wants to play their cards too early.  The sprinters are happy to be towed up the hill, but the slow twitch riders need to stretch it out into a grind.
Ley goes first early on the hill.  Lee is on his wheel in a flash and Birch is next.  Mirabella draws alongside Birch as they all overtake Ley.
Over the hill and Lee kicks, Birch can’t respond immediately but they have gapped everyone else.  Lee holds his gap to the line and claims second ahead of Birch.  Ayres rallies late to come through in fourth with Brien close behind in fifth.

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Championship race results, 70 km:
1st – Tim Canny
2nd – Craig Lee
3rd – Jason Birch
4th – Matt Ayres
5th – Stuart Brien

Thank you to all who made the day a success – referees, marshals, kitchen, spectators and of course the riders.

Photos L-R:

Tim Canny unpinning the Phoenix dossard from Greg Ley’s (Club Champion 2016) jersey.
Greg and Tim hamming up the handover of the dossard.
The Champions – Brian Ure (Division 2), Tim Canny (Club Champion), Graeme Parker (Division 3)

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