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May 6, 2018 – Criteriums, Victoria Park, Ballarat

May 6, 2018 – Criteriums, Victoria Park, Ballarat

OSCAR’S Hotel and Cafe Bar 

Autumn Criteriums

May 6

Ballarat Criterium Circuit, Victoria Park

Oscars logo 2

Autumn Leaves

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

- Ed Sheeran

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

2018 Autumn Classics 

Steelsmith Engineering
graded racing

29th April

Weatherboard circuit – 60 km

EVCC 2018 Autumn Classics - Weatherboard

Successful 2018 Autumn Classics draw to a close

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

Division 4

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

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

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

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

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

Division 3

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

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

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

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

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

Division 2

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

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

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

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

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

Division 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

1st – Jason Birch
2nd – Dave Ogilvie
3rd – Tony Mirabella


EVCC - Autumn Classics 2018 - poster

April 22, 2018 – Rising Sun Trophy – Windmill with Wall finish

April 22, 2018 – Rising Sun Trophy – Windmill with Wall finish

2018 Autumn Classics 

Rising Sun Trophy

22nd April

Windmill with finish over “The Wall” – 56 km

EVCC 2018 Rising Sun Trophy - poster

Rising Sun Trophy

In honour of those
who served their country

in peacetime and conflict



Perfect cycling conditions – clear blue skies and barely a breath of wind – for the 2018 Rising Sun Trophy race.
With no need to form into echelons to shelter from wind, the groups were able to ride and work more consistently.  Twenty nine riders warmed up (including two trial riders) and everyone wore a smile to be out on such a glorious autumn day…

The Limit group rolled off at 30 minutes.  Mark O’Callaghan was slotted into this group as he returns to race fitness.  He joined Graeme Parker – who won the 2017 edition of the Rising Sun Trophy – Terry Collie, Mal Rock and trial rider Marika Ley.
Parker suffered two punctures early in the race and was out of contention.  The others rode on, with O’Callaghan more than happy to ride well within himself and help the bunch.

The 23 minute group included Jacqui Dawson and trial rider Kirsty Reid; Phil McLennan and the Lee brothers – Kevin and Brian.
Mechanical issues cost this group as Reid and McLennan retired to the sidelines for mid-race repairs.  They continued on, however their race was now a training ride.
The Lee brothers were too strong for Dawson and were able to hitch a lift with the chasing 19 minute group as they swept by.

The 19 minute group fielded a cracking lineup, many of which had never seen such a large number against their name.
Led by James Gretton with able support from Danny Whelan, Peter Livitsanis, James Knipe, Bob Morley and regular Northern Cycling visitor – Noel Said – the group soon found their mojo and everyone contributed.  Gretton used his massive engine to great effect as he drove the bunch at high speed on the fast sections, he owned those downwind sections.  Little guys were hanging on as best they could, bigger guys were trying to help out without hindering Gretton’s efforts.
They rounded up the 23 minute group (brothers Lee joining in the workload) and soon had the Limit riders in their sights.

A long, long wait for the 5 minute group, who finally set off with controlled their start.  Ash Burke had been promoted and the bunch were keen not to overextend him, or anyone else early.  Powerhouse Matthew Ayres gradually ramped the pace up.  Andrew Rushton, Rob Phillips, Bob Braszell and Dean Wells all played their parts.
Wells suffered a flat on the third lap, however the group still held a 90 second advantage over Second Scratch.

Second Scratch enjoyed a 90 second buffer over the Club Champion – Tim Canny – who was the sole rider off Scratch.  Canny closed within 150 metres halfway through the race, however it was just a gap too far as the Second Scratch group rolled away from his grasp.

Second Scratch was an interesting mix of riding styles – Stuart Brien, Rob Ellis, Matt Bowman, Brendan Schiemer and Greg Ley.  Unfortunately they lost Matthew Bowman at the very start of the race when he suffered a mechanical.  Bowman eventually got underway and joined Canny for half a lap, before easing out of the race and enjoying a training ride in the sun.
Second Scratch gradually closed the distance to the 5 minute group, however the race for the trophy was more than five minutes up the road…

The all powerful 19 minute group thundered through the final lap with the pace staying high.
Gretton, Said, Knipe, Whelan and Morley shouldered the work as they raced towards the “Wall”.  Victory was almost assured, nothing was coming from behind on this windless day to steal their glory!
The race was anyone’s at the base of the climb.  Riders glanced at each other to see who would make the first move…

In true spirit, our man Gretton thrust himself forward.  His muscles rippled, glistening with beads of perspiration as he surged upwards…then he slowed…then slumped as the wiley Whelan launched his own attack and quickly opened a gap.  Said tried to follow and Morley who relishes hill climbs tacked onto the smaller rider’s wheel.  Gretton, Knipe, Livitsanis and “Popeye” Lee are dropped, but this hill has a kick, can they rally?

Over the steepest part of the climb and Whelan increased his advantage as the road levelled out.  One last surge over the final rise and Whelan was away with an insurmountable lead.  Said was chasing hard and Morley was still tight on his wheel.  Knipe comes over the hill next, Gretton follows…

Down to the line and Whelan wins comfortably.
Said is putting all the effort he can into the downhill sprint, but Morley packs too much punch a claims second by a length.

Minutes later the 5 minute group reach the foot of the Wall with Second Scratch hot on their heels.  Second Scratch know that they are racing for Fastest Time.
At the base of the hill they are even, then the usual suspects exert their climbing authority as they pass the steep section and kick away.  Ley is chasing Schiemer…who makes a gap and holds it to the line.

1st – Danny Whelan (19 minutes)
2nd – Bob Morley (19 minutes)
3rd – Noel Said (19 minutes)
4th – James Knipe (19 minutes)
5th – James Gretton (19 minutes)
Fastest Time – Brendan Schiemer (1 min 30 sec) in 1h 26m, ave. 39.0 Kph

 Photo: Due rewards for the selfless Danny Whelan.


EVCC - Autumn Classics 2018 - poster

April 15, 2018 – Ron Rivette Memorial – handicap at Balliang 54 km

April 15, 2018 – Ron Rivette Memorial – handicap at Balliang 54 km

2018 Autumn Classics 

Ron Rivette Memorial

15th April

Granite Road – Balliang – 54 km

EVCC 2018 Ron Rivette Memorial - poster

Back to the future…

‘If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything’
- Marty McFly


Eureka Cycling staged the annual Ron Rivette Memorial race at Balliang on a cold, wet and windy autumn day.  Temperatures had soared right across the state during the week, which made the sudden weather change seem even fresher than it was.
Twenty three riders warmed up in the windy conditions and it appeared that maybe the rain gods would smile down upon those clad in lycra…they did not!

The race started with the Limit riders Jacqui Dawson, Peter Farren and Mal Rock charging out the gates at 25 minutes.  The tailwind start was exactly what the doctor ordered, however just a few kilometres later the winds were already starting to take their toll.  Their day would not be one of glory…

At 15 minutes Pete Livitsanis, Roger McMillan and James Burzacott set off with exactly the right man for these conditions – Kevin Lee.  A quick glance over the history books clearly shows that when the weather is poor, Popeye excels!  Out they went, however they too would have a joyless day.
One exciting moment – reminiscent of The Dukes Of Hazzard – saw McMillan launched off the road.  Cousin Daisy had deserted him as he plummeted back to earth sans his General Lee.
* McMillan would go on to finish the race though!

The next bunch away included Jason Hendry, Matt Ayres, James Gretton and James Knipe.  Yes, you read correctly…Matt Ayres.
What potion he conjured to achieve such a fine mark, we do not know, yet there he was…at seven minutes…
Mixed fortunes for this bunch as the “James twins” went off the back in the first few kilometres and Hendry and Ayres surged forward.  Would glory be theirs?

The chopping block made a right old mess of it before the race had really began.  Warming up the tarmac had been dry, however, so long was the wait for the Second Scratch bunch, that a rain shower changed the road conditions.
Jim Crumpler and Stuart Brien led the charge to the first turn.  Rick Calvert, Grant Dawson, Richard Taylor, Andrew Rushton and Peter Kiel all pedalled hard just to stay in touch.  That first left hand turn is sharp at the best of times; with a layer of water on top it turned into the veritable  ice rink.
Down they went – Brien, Crumpler and Calvert.
Brien and Crumpler regained their composure, checked their bodies and bikes, then restarted.  Calvert sensed something amiss and retired*.
With so much lost time and the aches and pains setting in, the bunch was surely to be caught early by Scratch…and so it was.

Scratch saw the long awaited return of Club Champion – Tim Canny.  Gone are those carefree days of racing.  The Shark is back, but how would he fair in just his second race since a pre-season injury?  Filled with former Club Champions, the Scratch bunch was something to behold – Tony Mirabella and Greg Ley were joined by Craig Lee and Sam Smith.
The race was an important event for Canny, Smith and Lee as they will be tackling the time honoured Fred Icke event at Creswick next weekend.
A shout of caution from Calvert (as he returned to the Balliang Hall), served Scratch well and they safely negotiated that tricky first turn.
They collected the fragmented Second Scratch before reaching the sanctuary of the Brisbane Ranges trees.  However the difference in strengths was obvious to all and the mega bunch blew apart as it ascended the Granite Road climb.
Canny and Smith went clear, whilst the others were spread out.  Brien united with Lee, Ley and Mirabella, but the others were off the back and alone.

Over the hill the race went.  Towards the turnaround and the combination of downhill and tailwind made everyone fly even faster than usual.
The turnaround soon brought everyone back to reality, yet there was some relief from the wind once the return climbing began.

Jacqui Dawson and Peter Farren were still out in front.  The field was in hot pursuit and Canny and Smith were scything their way through it towards the leaders.

Back along Staughton Vale Road and Dawson and Farren were quickly dispatched by Canny and Smith as they rocketed back to the Balliang Hall.

So harsh was the race that the chasers were being reclassified as survivors.  In dribs and drabs did they come, following the mighty Canny and Smith duo…

Hendry and Ayres were in pursuit of Dawson and Farren.  They claimed their prey after passing the Balliang Hall.
Brien, Ley and Lee were in pursuit of Dawson and Farren – they were oblivious to Hendry and Ayres being up the road at this stage.  They too claimed their prey with just a few kilometres remaining.

Way up ahead the leaders had swung into the home straight.  Aided by the tail wind, Smith hit out early and opened a few bike lengths…
But the Shark was circling.
Towards the line and Canny pounced…taking back to back victories too boot!

So dominant was the duo’s performance, that they had almost returned to the finish line before Hendry and Ayres battled for third place – Ayres taking the final podium position.

Brien, Ley and Lee rounded the final turn and heard the marshal shout out that FOUR riders were ahead.  Stunned, they sat up and congratulated each other for their efforts.  Lee offered a lead out for the battle for fifth place…
*The Fallen…
Rick visited the hospital and has suffered a bone injury that will see him out of action for a few months.
Roger also visited the hospital as he suffered deeps cuts.
Stuart was quite stiff, sore and sorry for himself.
Jim did gardening in the afternoon.

1st – Tim Canny (Scratch)
2nd – Sam Smith (Scratch)
3rd – Matt Ayres (7 mins)
4th – Jason Hendry (7 mins)
5th – Stuart Brian (3 mins)
6th – Greg Ley (3 mins)
7th – Craig Lee (3 mins)
Fastest Time – Time Canny (Scratch) in 1h 23m 30s, ave. 38.1 kph


EVCC - Autumn Classics 2018 - poster

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