Archive for the Race Results Category

August 17, 2014: Hetherington Hill Top Handicap, 58km

Popeye is the Waubra Mauler

Kevin “Popeye” Lee is proud in polka dots having conquered the Towering Turbines of Terror climb. After riding down a bold bid by Bob Morley and withstanding a late charge by the Rampaging Richard “Robocop” Taylor, Popeye joins a short but illustrious list of previous winners, including Adam Smith and Tony Mirabella.

19 of Eureka’s bravest and finest “Hilltop Hoods” raced for glorious victory to the lofty heights of the Waubra windfarm, where the brooding giant sentinels honour champions. It’s not that high but everyone notices the lack of oxygen by the top!

The 10 min bunch was imperious today, despite windy conditions this gallant group of four and a half riders held off larger chasing bunches and if not for some last minute helter skelter would have won the race relatively unchallenged. From the shadowy underworld of lower Navigators, came the not-so big guy Scott “Reduction Man” Denno, unseen for weeks, his fitness was a mystery until he started pulling big turns into the wind down the Avenue. The Beast from Buninyong, Matt Ritchie has been up at the pointy end of the last few races and this recent form continued, he emptied the tank today to keep his bunch in a winning position. John Creek gave his all today too, pity that was bugger all, after a bout of nastiness over the last few weeks his return to racing was agonising, he gave what he could and gracefully retired to watch the finish. Bob “the Professor” Morley, soon realised he was in a strong bunch, and patiently waited for his chance in a race he would love to win, and has come close a few times – he’s been “cheated” out of places on that final pinch several times, would he turn the tables today?.

With the wind in the right quarter the front of the race was always going to be hard to catch, especially if they worked their bunches smoothly. Off 22 min, Lisa “Princess” Ritchie didn’t have to worry about a smooth working bunch, taking off by her lonesome. It takes a special resolve to ride a course like that on a windy day by yourself and Lisa performed with true grit and a smile (or perhaps a grimace).

The three man team of terrifying tempo chasing her off 17 min made up ground quickly. Greg “Cadel” Curnow is slowly building his form and worked well with Mal Rock who is also returning to racing but has been in a good paddock over winter, let’s just say the power-to-weight ratio needs some “fine tuning”. In a bunch with a critical mass of unpredictability, Graeme Parker had his work cut out for him ensuring things stayed on a relatively even keel. They soon had the race lead and held it until the 10 km run toward the hilltop finish. A great ride by this bunch with all three finishing inside the top 10.

They were caught by the Lee 10 minute express late in the race, which signalled the start of the fireworks. The coltish Bob Morley made his move from way “downtown”, keen to hit the final ascent with some sort of lead. With his adrenalin levels spiking he hit the turbo charger on Weatherboard Rd just before the Edmonston Rd corner, then downwind but uphill he opened nearly 100m on his comrades. But Popeye was having none of that, he set off in pursuit clawing back half the lead by the final corner. The group was destroyed, Reduction Man left Matt to chase Popeye, Matt throttled back, content to just make the finish, but pedalling squares this was going to be a challenge in itself. Onto the brutal ascent and with every pedal stroke Popeye ground down the gap to overhaul Bob, Popeye’s hill climbing stamina proving the difference in the final kick up to the line.

Halfway down the hill Reduction Man was in his own little corner of hell, suffering his way up the hill in third place, but not for long, he felt a cool breeze and saw something flash past, out of nowhere, with full lights and sirens, a rampaging Richard “Robocop” Taylor screamed past.

Richard had started with the 4 min bunch, a hard working gang lead out by a comfortable looking Rob Phillips and the selfless Dean Wells, both riding solid tempo that had Peter “Fifi” Livitsanis gasping. Ross MacDonald is a big unit and had chosen a pretty tough race for a come-back and while he was Superman for the first lap the undulating course soon revealed Clarke Kent, Ross’ demise coming just under the circling magpie on Weatherboard road. Matt “Riff Raff” Bowman used the most energy in the bunch, most of it getting back on after being continually gapped, he is a man of tenacity and never gave in and seemed to find what he needed to get him across every time. After three laps they could see the front of the race up the road already beginning to stretch out as the heat came on for the finish.

“They’re only a minute up the road”, an exhausted Parker wheezed as they caught up with him at the Avenue corner. Terry Collie drove past to get to the finish and Robocop decided he wanted to get there quicker too and took off. Fifi put in half an effort to bridge, but when he looked back for assistance he could see Dean and Rob were cooked and Riff Raff was still struggling on the Weatherboard Hill, by this time Robocop was 100m up the road and disappearing fast. In no-man’s land Fifi set himself to time trial to the finish.

Robocop caught up with Matt, then Mal and Greg each informing him the race was still up the road. In Ride of the Day, he swung onto the final hill in fourth, upped the heart rate to maximum and explored new ways to turn himself inside out. Past Denno into third, then past Morley into second, by the final short kick to the line he could almost touch Kevin, but Popeye found just enough to hold him off. Victory is always possible for those that refuse to stop fighting.

The last spot “in the money” went to Fifi who eased past Mal and Greg half way up the final climb to a howl of anguish from Greg.

With the wind assisting the front of the race on the more challenging uphill sections it was always going to be a struggle for Scratch. Coupled with a few usual suspects missing and some illness in their ranks they soldiered on but weren’t up to it for line honours today. Today the scratchies cooperated from the beginning and set out at a good pace, gaining close half the time to 2nd scratch. However, they couldn’t sustain that pace and they slowed, even started losing time, by the last lap the writing was on the wall, they were racing for fastest time, and they watched each other till the climb began.

Phil Cartledge led into the final hill and Tony Mirabella made a solid attack at the first steep gradient, which detached Bob Braszell, Dane Hale clung to Tony’s wheel with Phil following. They eased up considerably with none wanting to make the first move in this Mexican standoff. At the bottom of the last pinch Phil, Tony and Dan were still pretty much all together and it came down to a mad uphill sprint with the lightweight Tony edging out the under-the-weather Dan.

Thanks to Dan Hale for sponsoring the impressive trophies for this race.

Results

1st           Kevin Lee (10 min)

2nd          Richard Taylor (4 min)

3rd           Bob Morley (10 min)

4th           Scott Denno (10 min)

5th           Peter Livitsanis (4 min)

FT           Tony Mirabella (Scratch)

ROD       Richard Taylor (4 min)

Winners time     1:48:12

Fastest time       1:41:44

August 10, 2014: Weatherboard Handicap, Weatherboard Circuit, 48km

Phabulous Phil Phirst and Phastest

Phil “Harry Potter” Cartledge donned his cloak of invisibility to sneak off the front around the final corner to catch the sprinters napping and take line honours. By the time the rest of the scratch bunch worked out that Phil wasn’t with them and that the riders up the road weren’t just the remainders of the 9 min and limit bunches, it was too late, Phil had crested the final hill and was pressing for the line.

But he had to reel in a determined Matt “Mr Valiant” Ritchie first, last week Matt’s determined efforts saw him reach 500m from the line before being swamped, this week it was 50m, and if Phil hadn’t decided to make that cheeky move, Matt would have won the day. The other smokey in the finale was Richard “Robocop” Taylor, a gutsy ride saw him hold scratch when they came through the 4 minute bunch and a powerful kick up the final hill saw him on Phil’s back wheel, if it hadn’t been for a bit of manoeuvring around riders in front he may have challenged Phil in the final sprint.

23 riders spread evenly between 4 groups tackled the windy conditions on the Weatherboard circuit. Most groups got off to fast starts with the first leg down to Burrumbeet being reeled off at Strava smashing times.

With a meagre 15 min advantage the limit bunch was a fairly broad church of abilities, from Rotten Ronnie Larkin’s irrepressive tempo riding to Tony Herbert dour grinding. The bunch included Roberto Parker who is steadily riding back into his Italian mountains form and provided the sun stays out he’ll be riding back a bunch or two soon. Greg “Cadel” Curnow is still looking for that elusive magic from last season and Jude Jonasson always rides an honest race and again put it all out on the road today. Brad Eppingstall must have done something nasty in a previous life, suffering a flat in the first 100m, then another one immediately afterwards, his race became an ugly training ride pretty quickly. The Limit gang were desperate to hang on to their slim margin and in the process, over-reached the capabilities of the group and destroyed themselves, the bunch falling to pieces in the wind. Although he was shelled early, Tony epitomised the courage of the road racer to soldier on alone when all hope is gone and complete the circuit, Tony wins Ride of the Day.

6 mins behind off a 9 min mark was the bunch of the day. Mr Valiant Matt Ritchie had a pair of golden race winning legs and with Bob Morley along to mentor the young colt he was in good hands, although Bob’s plan didn’t include being beaten by Matt – ah, Grasshopper, it is time for you to leave. Brian and Kevin Lee were the heart and soul of this hard working rhythm and blues band. The inclusion of Dave “Pixie” Peters raised eyebrows, however while he contributed to some solid early tracks, he’s a tad out-of-tune and couldn’t stay with the group. The remaining four, despite being hunted in earnest by the back of the race, stayed clear and rolled up the front of the race at the death, the Cinderella story being dashed just metres from the chequered flag.

Chasing bunch-of-the-day was the chopping block, Rod Hetherington was back racing, Peter “Fifi” Livitsanis was tucked away in his back pocket, Michael Veal has got some form going and was a solid contributor as were the demure Robocop and one-speed machine Dean Wells. Matt Bowman’s training exploits had reached the handicappers ears and he was “promoted” to second scratch, riding a high cadence and a dodgey line he had the group on edge. Not the most fluent of bunches, they did make good progress, reaching the half way mark and only succeeding half their advantage to scratch.

The Scratch bunch should never have got up, Craig Fromhold and Andrew Rushton started attacking from the gun, by the Avenue memorial corner things had come back together but the die had been cast and the adrenalin was flowing. The tempo stayed high on the first lap with Bob Braszell still trying to warm up and some riders deciding the manic pace was a little too extraordinary and were missing turns.

At the completion of the first lap they had gained a few minutes on limit, big bad Brad Eppingstall quickly came into, then disappeared from, view. At the end of the second lap with 2mins to make up on 2nd scratch, Tony jumped and put space between himself and the bunch. Second scratch appeared on the radar and Tony set about reeling them in. “Come on guys, help me” he yelled as he rode into them, at which point two errors of judgement were made, firstly by Tony for thinking that working with lesser riders would hold off a scratch bunch now dedicated to catching him, and secondly by the second scratch riders who thought that helping the clubs fastest sprinter to the line was a good idea.

Scratch started working smoothly under the command of “Mr Phabulous” Phil and with a single mission – Get Tony. Second scratch worked with Tony as he pushed them on, but cracks began to appear. Big Rod “knee” Hetherington was one of the first to pull up stumps followed by Dean Wells. Mr Phabulous again barked instructions to keep the chase going as Tony was just 50m off the chasing group. As they turned into the headwind for the last time Tony finally relented and tucked in at the back of what was left of the bunch. The front of the race was now in sight about 100m up the road coming into the final corner. Rounding the corner several riders tucked in looking for a wheel – all except Phil and Robocop who snuck off the front & momentarily leapfrogged members of the Ritchie bunch and limit to stay hidden. Half way up the hill the remains of the backmarkers kicked, but by this time Phil and Robocop were cresting and chasing Matt for the win, Phil just holding off Robocop, Matt both demoralised to lose the race so close to the finish and elated to podium in such strong company.

Thanks to Dan “Eddie Van” Hale(n) for special comments from the back of the race

Results

1st           Phil Cartledge (Scratch)

2nd          Richard Taylor (4 min)

3rd           Matt Ritchie (9 min)

4th           Tony Mirabella (Scratch)

5th           Craig Fromhold (Scratch)

FT           Phil Cartledge (Scratch)

ROD       Tony Herbert (15 min)

race time 1:23:30 at 35.0kmph

August 3rd, 2014: Commodores Cup, Hetherington Circuit, 48km

In an exciting finish which saw the whole field come together in the final 500m, Tony “Iron Sails” Mirabella hoisted the spinnaker and keel-hauled the rest in the final sprint to secure the 2014 Commodores Cup.

No wind, no water in the lake, no boats, great day for EVCC regatta on wheels with 22 riders chipping ice off their bikes to participate in this year’s edition of one of the clubs original “trophy” races.

First to hoist the sails on this sparklingly cold morning was the Icebreaker limit bunch of Lisa “Princess” Ritchie, Tony Herbert and the in-form Terry Collie. With a sizeable time advantage and some serious heave-ho, they maintained the race lead until the final lap. In fact the Princess, after discarding the flotsam and jetsam of Terry and Tony, was still out in front by her lonesome with barely 200m to go. Pre-race predictions of a win looked like they might be realised, until Mirabella lowered the boom, dashing the Princess’ hopes on the rocky shore of despair, a mere 10 seconds from glorious victory.

Next to weigh anchor was the 15 min corsairs, Greg Curnow, Rob Parker, Mal Rock, Jude Jonasson. A true collection of seasoned old salts and a viking spirit they were provided a bit of latitude but rode a true heading to stay off the radar for as long as possible. It was pretty much plain sailing until about mid race.

Leaving port at a great rate of knots was the 10 min frigates Matt Ritchie, Kevin Lee, Brian Lee and Albie Govan. They caught and boarded the 15 min bunch just after midway and looked to have the race at their mercy until the last 2km. In the final analysis they got caught in the rigging as the back of the race surged past them. Resigned to their fate that sat up for a chat as they bobbed across the line.

Dean Wells rode strongly in the 6 minute bunch for the first lap but must have swallowed a gut full of bilge water and started to struggle on the Weatherboard hill, eventually his fellow tars had to cast him adrift. Ride of the Day went to Bob Braszell who was relentless in pulling half lap turns, chewing on hardtack, asking for no quarter and giving none he finished on the back of scratch sprinting for the win. Able bodied seamen Bob Morley, who had handicapped himself back a bunch, and Peter Livitsanis toiled to stay with Braszell and work a turn every now and then.

While no sails appeared on the horizon until after the ships bell sounded for the last lap the Scratch Armada of Tony Mirabella, Andrew Rushton, Dan Hale, Guy Falla, Phil Cartledge, Lindsay Burgoyne sailed close to the wind, working surprisingly well to gradually roll up behind the field. First to feel the fire power of the scratch broadside was the 6 min bunch, who just survived and with 5km to go, took up positions in the hammocks at the back of Scratch.

The front of the race had become becalmed, with the last few seconds between the bunches holding until the scratch bunch accelerated to ramming speed to roll up the race. The combined backmarkers rounded on the port side and torpedoed the combined 15 and 10 min bunch. Most of these shipmates knew they were dead in the water and hoisted the white flag. By the clubrooms the Princess came into the range-finder, and the main contenders picked up the pace, Dan Hale was the first to light the blue touch paper with Tony Mirabella and Andrew Rushton clinging to his back wheel like barnacles. Dan had nailed his colours to the mast way too early, Tony came over the top like a tidal wave, opened a gap on Andrew and sprinted clear for the win.

Results

1st           Tony Mirabella (Scratch)

2nd          Andrew Rushton (Scratch)

3rd           Dan Hale (Scratch)

4th           Guy Fella (Scratch)

5th           Phil Cartledge (Scratch)

FT           Andrew Rushton (Scratch)

ROD       Bob Braszell (6 min)

 

Mt Misery Race Results

Mt Misery Scratch Racing

27 July 2014

Scratch racing returned to Learmonth with this week’s racing on the Mt Misery circuit. Early morning fog thick enough to be a danger to shipping delayed the start but did not dampen the enthusiasm of the 22 racers in three grades. Special thanks to this week’s guest reporters, Dean and Lisa.

A Grade

Seven riders fronted the starting line, earlier there were a few groans when out of the early morning fog Shane Miller rolled up to the clubhouse – so much for an easy day.

However, rumours started to circulate that Shane had exerted a lot of effort during the Melbourne to Ballarat on the Saturday. Maybe he hadn’t recovered from his duties of waving the chequered flag… Tony Mirabella was up front telling everyone that his legs were tired after actually ridding in the Melbourne to Ballarat.

Bob Braszell was his usual quiet self before rolling off for some pre-race mechanical adjustments which subsequently held up the A Grade start for five minutes.

Finally the A graders rolled off into the heavy fog of the neutral zone. The pace was quick to pick up and on the first rise, but still in the neutral zone, Craig Fromhold and Andrew “Sparky” Rushton put in a half attack. Phil Cartledge and Dean Wells tried to chase this down, but the early escapees had opened a considerable gap as they started swapping turns.

Bill Goldfinch was having none of this. He quickly drove up to Craig and Andrew and reminded them that they were still in the Neutral zone. Bill’s adjudication allowed the A Graders to regroup before the actual race started.

Turning into Edmonston Road the group tactics were plain to see, leave Shane on the front into the wind. This lasted until Dean rode up from mid pack and took over the lead as they crested the hill. Phil rolled through as the bunch neared the turn into Langi Kal Kal Road.

The Mt. Misery climb started with the bunch spread across the road. Dean lost contact halfway up the rise but tacked onto the rear of the bunch over the crest.

Shane had gone to the front by this stage and put the whole bunch in the gutter as he gradually ramped the pace up to 38 kmph. This thinned the bunch rapidly as first Dean then Bob fell off the back. Unfortunately for Phil he was behind Boband was slow to realise a significant gap had opened. He was able to cross to Tony, but Tony was also for the plank.

Up front, the three leaders had opened a considerable space. Andrew was clinging to Shane’s wheel and Craig was hanging on grimly as they neared the rises near Waubra Road.

In one kilometre Shane had decimated the bunch. Shane later commented that he didn’t know the circuit too well and that the fog was good because couldn’t see the rises ahead – no one else thought that!

At the rear of the bunch Dean found the gap to Bob was too large, whilst Bob was chasing Phil and Tony who had joined together. Over the rises Craig eventually fell away from the leading bunch and dropped back to Tony and Phil. That ended Bob’s hopes of catching their group. Both Bob and Dean were left with 35 km individual time trials just to get home.

Up front Sparky was working turns with Shane however Shane was concerned for the punch of Sparky’s sprint and was determined to take his legs away before they got to the finale. They turned into Weatherboard Road and Shane put in a few efforts up the rise and was able to drop Andrew and sustain his lead, riding hands and heels to a comfortable victory.

Andrew was desperate to hold onto second and kept the heat on to hold the chasing group at bay. He crossed in second, well clear of the Craig who was able to outsprint both Tony and Phil. Bob rolled through next with Dean a long way behind in the Lantern Rouge position.

Results

1st        Shane Miller

2nd        Andrew Rushton

3rd        Craig Fromhold

 

B Grade

Michael “Sawbones” Veal continued his winning form with a well-timed sprint to eclipse Peter “Fifi” Livitsanis and Bob Morley on the line.

Only B Grade in name, the racing was on early for the six starters. A few skirmishes into the wind on Edmonston Rd signalled the intent of this race. For some reason Bob Morley was particularly keen to slice and dice the field as quickly as possible, perhaps the pre-race trash talk had strengthened his resolve. He quietly passed around the order, as soon as the group turned left onto the Misery hill and a side wind, Fifi was to halve the road, only providing shelter for two, of course Bob was one of those. But Brian Lee, Albie “Honolulu” Govan and Matt “Trashman” Ritchie were not. In the fog the climb up Misery seems to go forever and with Fifi and Sawbones sustaining a fast climb, Honolulu and Trashman began to struggle, Fifi attacked the final short steeper ramp and they were unhitched. Bob, Sawbones and Fifi raced the top and attacked downhill, by the time they caught C Grade, Brian had lost contact too.

Truce was declared and the remaining three worked turns to build an advantage. Brian continued to chase for all he was worth, and on the downwind section along Black Bottom Rd he was joined by Honolulu and Trashman who had decided not to put their swords away just yet. Bob, Fifi and Sawbones could see them dangling back there, about 500m off, raging against the machine, and rode tempo along Ercildoune Rd to maintain the gap and tease them a bit more. Sawbones was enjoying the ride so much he had time (and the breath) to remark on the scenery.

Into Weatherboard Rd for the run home and the headwind discouraged any insane move up the hill, they had the podium, it was just a matter of what order. Downhill Fifi tapped his brakes which put Sawbones on the front, Bob sat back a few bike lengths probably looking to hit the other two with a flyer. At the farm gate the lightweight Fifi launched, back wheel dancing all over the shop like a mad woman’s breakfast, Sawbones had no trouble grabbing a back wheel that was literally spinning in mid-air, and with a steady acceleration all the way to the line he outgunned Fifi to snatch a close one. Mr Consistent Bob kept his gun in its holster but still grabbed another podium placing in third. For his courage and never surrender attitude Brian thoroughly deserved Ride of the Day.

Results

1st       Michael Veal

2nd      Peter Livitsanis

3rd       Bob Morley

Ride of the Day:          Brian Lee

 

C Grade

After an encouraging 5th last week, Terry Collie has found some (very) early Spring form to conquer C Grade in a sprint finish.

 

You’d be forgiven for thinking the handicapper had waved his magic wand and pulled the C grade names out of a hat. The race board listed a mix of abilities and experience, combined with a few ‘not-in-the-race-today’ riders, and the group of 10 stood at the start line wondering what the hell was going to happen.

“Still got a lot to learn” Lisa and Brad took off at the front from the start and that’s where they stayed for the neutralised section of the race. In between huffs and puffs up the Weatherboard hill Lisa commented that Coach Bob’s voice was in her head colourfully telling her to get off the front. Meanwhile, Terry Collie and Jude were behind discussing the finer points of the American and Australian political systems, with not a huff or a puff to be heard as they cruised up the hill.

Turned right and things immediately kicked up a gear. The two Terry’s (Constable and Collie) were through to the front while the group got organised. John Creek and Ken kept things together at the back, while Terry Collie and Graeme kept things organised up front. Over the hills and through the fog, the motley group stuck together, everyone relishing the chance to ride in a decent sized bunch.

As they tip-toed through the turbines, the fog began to lift. Jude more than held her own up and down the hills. Rob Parker was momentarily gone, but those who knew him were sure he would make his way back, and he did. Brad was gone, but in the opposite direction – he was off the front. Realising just how far he still had to go, he returned. Tony, also held his own in the larger group. Lisa got dropped, and then dropped again, but made her way back with some coaching, and a sugar fix from Ken.

It wasn’t until about ¾ of the way up Ercildoune Road that things began to splinter. Brad, Tony, Rob and Lisa were gone, with the 2 Terry’s, Graeme, Ken, John and Jude left to battle it out up and over Weatherboard Road. A left turn, a nasty hill and a nastier headwind, and the final 6 had to dig deep. It was Terry Collie who dug the deepest as the finish line came into sight, sprinting for a convincing win. Ken crossed over second, but as another not-in-the-race-today rider, chose not to accept. So second went to Graeme Parker and third to a deserving Jude who rode a consistent and impressive ride.

Moral of the story – the motley bunch brought together a little bit of magic!

 

Results

1st        Terry Collie

2nd        Graeme Parker

3rd        Jude Jonasson

 

 

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