Archive for the Race Results Category

Easter weekend – 2018 Australian Veteran Cycling Championships – Maryborough

Easter weekend – 2018 Australian Veteran Cycling Championships – Maryborough

 Easter weekend
31 March – 2 April 2018

Australian Veteran Cycling Championships

Maryborough, Victoria

AVCC 2018 championships - poster

Age Based racing

‘Just remember, when you’re over the hill, you begin to pick up speed’
- Charles M Schulz

The 2018 Australian Veteran Cycling Championships were staged over the Easter long weekend in Maryborough, Victoria.  This report is written with a distinctly Team EUREKA slant, however we will recognise the significant efforts of other medal winners as well.

As with most years, some events had low numbers and some events had reasonable numbers.  To combat low entries in criteriums and road race events, Age Groups are combined until at least six riders are formed.  This can lead to interesting racing with up to four age groups contesting for four sets of medals in just the one race.
The merits of the Age Group system will continue to be debated, but for now, this is the format and we can celebrate the accomplishments of the many who contested the events.

Saturday 31st March – Individual Time Trial

Perfect conditions greeted the riders for the time trial.  Sun, no wind and temperature in the low 20s.  The first rider to compete at the Championships was Eureka’s very own Craig Lee (35-39 Male).
Riders started at one minute intervals and it wasn’t long before Stephen Lane (Northern Cycling) was breathing down Lee’s neck.
The third rider away was James Ogilvie (Eastern) who under the guidance of Lane recently rode the TRACK 1 hour and now holds the World Masters – record!  Ogilvie was just bike lengths away from Lane at the finish and now has an Australian Time Trial title to his name after averaging 48.352 Kph!

The next Eureka competitor away was Ralph Jones (aka James Gretton).  His time made him the sixth fastest veteran Time Triallist in Australia…until the seventh rider started…
Gretton competed in the 45-49 Male age group and Team EUREKA had four of the six riders entered.
Jeremy Vanderklift, Peter Gunston and Matthew Bowman completed the Team EUREKA line up.

Bowman won the SILVER medal for his efforts and finished just 25 seconds behind Justin Hogan (Eastern).  Bowman ranked 9th overall out of the 65 competitors (male and female) who contested the Time Trial.

Gary Beazley and Stephen Biram both contested the 55-59 Male age group, but were no match for Southern Districts (South Australia) rider Michael Davies who recorded the fourth fastest Time Trial all day – behind Ogilvie and Lane (35-39 M) and Eastern’s Troy Drinan (40-44 M).

No EUREKA riders in the female events this year, however Emily May (ACT Vets) who is new to road cycling won the first of THREE (35-39 Female) gold medals for the weekend and ranked fourth fastest out the 17 female riders.
The brilliant Anna Davis (Northern) won gold in the 50-54 Female age group and her 42.02 Kph ranked her 16th overall for the day!!

Davis and Ogilvie each received a Mockridge Championship Jersey, trophies and prize money, on top of their Age Group awards.
*There is video footage of Davis donning one jersey on her torso and the other upside down on her legs…such fun!

Unfortunately the MyLaps timing system failed to upload to the website.  AVCC officials had to photograph the results and post them on the net.

Sunday 1st April – Criterium

Near perfect weather again, with cloud cover and only a light breeze.  The temperature started in the mid teens and reached the mid 20s by the end of the day as the clouds drifted away.

The first event of the day saw the combined 35-39 and 40-44 Male age groups race.
Four scratchings reduced the field to just five riders and what could have been a great spectacle only ended up showcasing the issues with Age Group racing.

Stephen Lane took off from the start and the field imploded within minutes.  EUREKA’s Craig Lee united with Mathew Grealy (Central).  Tim Bennet (Geelong) was somewhere up ahead chasing Lane and EUREKA’s Duncan Bates was somewhere out the back.
To add to frustration, the MyLaps system registered ridiculous times for the first lap and raised further questions about the current software version.

The 45-49 Male event fielded the complete podium from 2017 and the race was on from the start.  Team EUREKA fielded four of the 10 riders.
Craig Feely (Southern Districts, S.A.) won the event in 2017 and exploded from the start with Eureka’s Dean Wells leading the chase pack.  James Gretton took over the pacemaking once Feely was caught and time trialled on the front for a lap.

The pace was high and Geelong and Surf Coast rider Kane Airey was one of the early antagonists.  Gary Smith (also Southern Districts) reacted to many of the early attacks, while Scott Riddell (Northern) and Alex Randall (Eastern) helped keep the pace strong.
The high pace and constant attacks was too much for Gretton who eased out after 12 minutes, having sacrificed his Easter Sunday for Team EUREKA.

Mid race and Randall broke away from the pack.  Airey and Riddell waited half a lap then crossed to the leader.  Airey dropped back to the chasing pack after a few laps.
Eureka’s Peter Gunston gave a few efforts on the front chasing, before he too exited the race.  Matt Bowman put in some long efforts on the front which had everyone scrambling for wheels, but the two leaders were strong and had extended their lead to 30 seconds.

Nearing the end of the race and the chase bunch was being tactical with some riders just happy to race for the bronze medal.  The leaders had slowed, however the surging in the chase bunch meant they were always just around the corner.
Bowman started putting in some longer efforts which saw the chase group lose more riders.  Try as he might, Bowman could not get much help from the others in the bunch.  With half a lap remaining he buried himself and all of a sudden the leaders were within 200 metres.

Randall knew Riddell was strong in the sprint, so the two had started playing cat and mouse.  The chasers closed but Riddell blasted away to the gold medal long before contact was ever made.  Randall hanging on for a worthy silver and a four way sprint saw Smith take the bronze.

The next Team EUREKA riders out on course were Stephen Biram, Tony Mirabella and James Knipe in the 55-59 Male event.
Biram had a bad day and turned it into a training ride.  Mirabella and Knipe had a battle royale with the Knipe Rider taking bragging rights over the Italian Stallion.

Lindsay Burgoyne WON gold in his race, which was a combined 60-64 and 65-69 Male event.
Burgoyne was often on the front of the pack leading the chase on the two riders who weren’t even in his event.  A big sprint finish saw Lindsay finish fourth in the combined race, yet easily earn his Australian Champion title!

Team EUREKA had two more riders compete on the day.  Terry Collie and Robert Braszell raced in the 70-74 Male event which fielded nine riders and they averaged over 38 Kph for the race!
Collie bided his time throughout, whilst Braszell was either setting the pace or leading the chase pack.

A close finish saw Braszell just miss the win by 0.183 seconds, but earn a worthy silver.

In the combined 80-84 and 85-89 Male race, Ballarat/Geelong legend Brian Long and Leendert Nieuwenhoven (S.A.) beat the younger men home…

For the Female events, nine age groups were combined into three separate races for what can only be described as a timekeeper and referees nightmare.

Monday 2nd April – Road Race

Sunny weather and a strong southerly, with temperature in the low 20s.  Four different distances were designated to the various age groups and sexes, with each race starting at the top of a hill with a tailwind and concluding in the same place after a steady climb back into the wind.  Fun times!

Team EUREKA’s first riders away were Terry Collie and Bob Braszell in the 70-74 Male race over 50 kilometres.  Eleven riders contested the event and like the previous day, Collie bided his time in the field whilst Braszell made sure the race was hard for everyone.
The climb back to the finish saw the field split, however five riders sprinted for the medals with just two seconds separating them on the line.  Braszell came within millimetres of winning and the photo finish camera was required to declare the results.  The difference in the end was just 0.009 seconds!

The next Team EUREKA rider to roll out was Belinda Burgoyne in the combined 30-34, 35-39 and 40-44 Female event over 50 kilometres.
The field blew apart, however Emily May secured her third gold medal for the weekend whilst being coached how to sprint by Peta Mullens.  Not bad when a former Australian Open Road Race Champion is giving you tips how to ride in just your fifth race ever!  Such is veterans cycling…
Burgoyne collected bronze in her event!

The 35-39 and 40-44 Male combined event saw Stephen Lane say ‘hi’ and ‘bye’ before dashing off on a solo 85 kilometre race…as you do.
Team EUREKA’s Sam Smith probably wondered what the blazes had just happened before deciding he may as well race the other guys.  Smith came to the finish with Tim Bennett (Geelong) and Richard Abel (Eastern) before sitting up to let the two older riders race for gold in their event – Abel taking the win.
David Ogilvie and Duncan Bates were the other two EUREKA riders in the combined field and both endured hellish days.

Three races over 68 kilometres were the final events staged on the day.  Team EUREKA had representatives in each event and they all faced well seasoned opposition.

Stuart Brien raced in the 50-54 Male event and certainly put himself into the race early on, when attempting to cross to a sole breakaway rider.  In “No Mans Land”, Brien soon saw the peloton go charging past as the likes of Neville Laffy (Goulburn Valley), Brad Haskett (Geelong), Martin Banfield (Central) and Phil Smith (Eastern) took up the chase.  Brien’s day did not improve…

The 55-59 Male event saw Team EUREKA’s chances headed by Tony Mirabella, with Gary Beazley, Stephen Biram and James Knipe in supporting roles.  Another Southern Districts (S.A.) in Michael Davies, joined with Northern’s Philip Bramich to make the race their own.  They streeted the field by minutes. Mirabella was in the group of five racing for bronze.

The final Team EUREKA rider to race at the carnival was Peter Kiel in the 60-64 Male event.  Kiel acquitted himself well and got into the winning breakaway with ACT rider Owain Tilley and Northern’s Kevin Russell and Trevor Coulter.  Heartbreakingly, Kiel missed a medal by just 0.015 seconds as the quartet raced across the line.

This final write up is long!  Grab a cuppa and settle down to read what is probably more exciting than most pro races in Europe…

With a staggering 23 entries, the feature race on the day was the 45-49 Male event.  Fielding the likes of Darren Roberts and Tony Giuliano (Northern), David Newett (Geelong), Hudson Crothers (Central), Craig Feely and Gary Smith (Southern Districts, S.A.), the stage was set for an epic duel…and so it was!

On a sour note, the race was marred by no less than three incidents involving vehicles connected to the event…

Team EUREKA’s Matt Bowman did not start, however six other riders did including new member Tavis Baker, Jason Birch, Robert Ellis, Greg Ley, Michael Veal and Dean Wells.
Baker was a “bit flat” after doing a 24 hour ride around Lake Wendouree from 6 PM Thursday to 6 PM Friday.  That 108 lap effort (645 km) was equally matched by his feat in raising over $10,000 for the Royal Children’s Hospital.  It was only natural that Baker would be up the front driving the pace as the peloton roared along with the tail wind early in the race.
Three different Northern riders rode off the front during the first leg out towards Dunolly – curiously, other Northern riders led the chase each time.  Most of Team EUREKA sat back in the pack watching these events unfold without exerting much effort, of course Baker was always up near the front.

Giuliano survived his stint off the front through the turn near Dunolly.  Now the race headed straight back into the wind and also onto the hills.  Wells rolled up to the front of the peloton and closed the gap to Giuliano.  He was joined by Veal and they started rolling turns.
Ellis was the next EUREKA rider on the front as everyone waited for the inevitable attacks.  Giuliano tried again and was left to dangle for a while.  Fellow Northern rider – Darren Roberts – then started to ramp the pace up, all the while being followed closely by South Australian Gary Smith.  The pair tried multiple surges on the hills, however nothing stuck.  Wells and Ley chased down the mini attacks and Baker resumed taking turns on the front.
Unfortunately Veal was unhitched during the flurry of surges – he would go on to ride the next 55 kilometres to the finish, solo…

The next turn saw the field head downhill and Geelong’s Kane Airey led the field at speed through a corner cambered so steeply it looked like a velodrome.  Up ahead the road narrowed and turned again, opening the peloton to a fierce crosswind.
Roberts and Smith continued their games, now surging and crossing from one side of the narrow road to another at speeds over 40 Kph.  Wells and Baker were both close to the front when one dive to the left pushed Wells off the road and Baker followed.  The peloton had split and the race had ignited.
Baker waited for Wells and they started to chase the second group on the road.

Northern’s Roberts, Riddell and Giuliano, David Newett (Geelong), Hudson Crothers (Central), Alex Randall (Eastern), Smith (Southern Districts, S.A.) and another two riders were in the first group and had quickly opened a hundred metre gap.
Ellis, Birch and Ley were doing their bit to drive the chase bunch of about nine riders.
Baker and Wells were still trying to catch the second group on the road.  Two chasing nine was not easy and the gap was gradually increasing until the first of three vehicle incidents occurred…

On a narrow road, with a strong crosswind and riders stretched to their limit, a trailing referee vehicle passed all the chasing riders, even though the gap to the leaders was less than 200 metres.
Hot on the official car’s tail was a medical van, which could not get past the second group and actually towed Baker and Wells along with it.  The driver of the medical vehicle even sounded the horn to alert riders to its presence.
Try as they might, the Baker and Wells could not get the driver’s attention and so they were stuck just twenty metres behind the bunch they were trying to catch.
Eventually they risked a small gap on the left side of the vehicle, caught the bunch ahead and joined in the chase.
The sudden increase in pace as Wells and Baker shot through unfortunately resulted in Ellis being lost to the bunch…he too would ride to the finish alone.

The chase continued and picked up a rider who had been dropped from the lead bunch.  A left turn had the race back on the original road from Maryborough to Dunolly and the chase bunch picked up Randall who had also dropped from the leading group.
With a tailwind the gap stayed about 300 metres wide.  One rider rallied the chase bunch and had almost everyone rotating through track turns.

The gap to the leaders still remained the same as the race worked its way back to the Dunolly turn.  Back into the headwind and the gap started reducing.
Up the hills the race continued and riders were gasping for breath everywhere.  The gap continued to narrow as the highest peak was passed, then the second vehicle incident occurred in the leading bunch when Newett clipped wheels, crashed and had his bike allegedly run over by an official vehicle.
Crothers eased out of the lead bunch to attend Newett, however other vehicles had arrived by this time and Crothers joined in with the chase bunch.

The gap eventually narrowed, then a few of the chasers who had been “sitting on”, took turns at trying to cross the final gap in the headwind.  This both broke up the group’s rhythm and put some riders to their absolute limit.
The catch was made just hundreds of metres before the turn back towards the crosswinds.
The pace ramped up again and the field of sixteen stretched out before the pace was slackened and the race compressed again.

The third vehicle incident came in the form of a car racing towards the peloton as it neared the turn onto the narrow crosswind road.
Calls went out and the leaders surged as the race went into single file.  The vehicle pulled up (still partially on the very narrow road) and the driver jumped out with his telephoto lens camera and started taking snaps…mind boggling!

The race was stretched out and on in earnest.  Wells, Airey and Ley were early casualties in the crosswind.

Three riders – Roberts, Smith and Giuliano – had opened a gap with about 15 kilometres remaining.
The chase was blowing apart as riders went into survival mode…and the gap grew.
The final turn back into the headwind meant a 6 kilometre climb to the finish.

The leaders were three, the chasers were ten…

The odds were with the chasers but only Baker and one other faced the breeze.  The gap grew.

To the finish and Giuliano didn’t try to match Smith and Roberts as they sprinted for the line.  Roberts winning gold by a few bike lengths.

One minute later the peloton appeared.  Baker eased aside as the sprint started and Birch sprinted clear to claim fourth place and provide some reward for Team EUREKA’s efforts.

 

 

Team EUREKA results:

25 Km Time Trial
bronze – Craig LEE, 35-39 Male
silver – Matthew BOWMAN, 45-49 Male
4th – Jeremy VANDERKLIFT, 45-49 Male
5th – Peter GUNSTON, 45-49 Male
6th – James GRETTON, 45-49 Male
4th – Gary BEAZLEY, 55-59 Male
6th – Steve BIRAM, 55-59 Male

Criterium 40 minutes plus 2 laps
silver – Craig LEE, 35-39 Male
bronze – Duncan BATES, 40-44 Male
5th – Dean WELLS, 45-49 Male
6th – Matthew BOWMAN, 45-49 Male
also, Peter GUNSTON, 45-49 Male
also, James GRETTON, 45-49 Male

Criterium 30 minutes plus 2 laps
6th – James KNIPE, 55-59 Male
8th – Tony MIRABELLA, 55-59 Male
9th – Steve BIRAM, 55-59 Male
gold – Lindsay BURGOYNE, 65-69 Male
silver – Robert BRASZELL, 70-74 Male
5th – Terry COLLIE, 70-74 Male

Road Race 50 Km
bronze – Belinda BURGOYNE, 35-39 Female
silver – Robert BRASZELL, 70-74 Male
8th – Terry COLLIE, 70-74 Male

Road Race 68 Km
10th – Stuart BRIEN, 50-54 Male
6th – Tony MIRABELLA, 55-59 Male
11th – Gary BEAZLEY, 55-59 Male
17th – Steve BIRAM, 55-59 Male
18th – James KNIPE, 55-59 Male
4th – Peter KIEL, 60-64 Male

Road race 86 Km
silver – Sam SMITH, 35-39 Male
7th – David OGILVIE 40-44 Male
also, Duncan BATES, 40-44 Male
4th – Jason BIRCH, 45-49 Male
12th – Tavis BAKER, 45-49 Male
14th – Greg LEY, 45-49 Male
15th – Dean WELLS, 45-49 Male
17th – Robert ELLIS, 45-49 Male
19th – Michael VEAL, 45-49 Male

Well that is the wrap. It was a long weekend and Team EUREKA should be proud, not only of the efforts of our riders, but also for the efforts of our members who volunteered to perform corner marshal duties or acted in an official capacity.
Thank you Marika, Darwin and Paddy.  Huge applause for Lois, Bill and Terry.
A standing ovation for Eureka President John Faulkner who battled with the timing system all weekend.

March 25, 2018 – Criterium Championships Day, Victoria Park

March 25, 2018 – Criterium Championships Day, Victoria Park

OSCAR’S Hotel and Cafe Bar 

2018 EUREKA Cycling CRITERIUM Championships

March 25

Ballarat Criterium Circuit, Victoria Park

EVCC 2018 Criterium Championships - poster

GLORIOUS SUNSHINE
 CREEK – FLOWS FAST
KNIPE-RIDER – KISS MY KITT
LEE – BACK TO BACK CLUB CHAMPION

Early morning showers didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of Eureka members as they flocked to Victoria Park for the 2018 Oscar’s Hotel and Cafe Bar Criterium Championships.  Windy conditions dried out the damp tarmac as the three Divisions raced towards Championship glory…
Here is the lighthearted race report –

DIVISION 3 (40 minutes, plus 2 laps):

Five riders enjoyed close racing until the call for two laps.  The race split when the diminutive Belinda Burgoyne put me in a surge.  Mal Rock and Rob Young slipped off the pace, but John Creek scrambled for Burgoyne’s wheel and Phil McLennan followed.
Bell lap and Burgoyne led them through – Creek and McLennan taking what little sit was available.  No change in order down the back straight before sweeping into the head wind for the final time.  Creek hooked out and quickly put paid to his counterparts, McLennan second and the courageous Burgoyne taking the final podium place.  All riders completed the event.

DIVISION 2 (45 minutes, plus two laps):

Seven riders rolled up to the start line after Peter Livitsanis suffered a flat tyre during his warm up.  The wind had certainly picked up by this stage and the tailwind down the back straight was begging for fast riding.
Ralph Jones (James Gretton) stretched the race out each time they went through the hairpin bend.  Eventually he rode off the front in a premeditated plan.  His power output was so awesome and his style so perfect that he was in complete control of the race until he wanted it to regroup just four laps from the finish.

Bob Morley worked his way through the field asking if anyone knew who Tim Tyler was – everyone was wary of this unknown rider!  Two laps to go and Mark O’Callaghan went on the front, Gretton second wheel, James Knipe third wheel and Jeremy Humber close behind, with Brian Ure and Roger McMillan both keeping out of trouble and staying well positioned.

The sprint train was set up for Knipe today…
Bell lap…
O’Callaghan lifted the pace then peeled off with 700 metres remaining, Gretton took up the running and powered through the second last bend and into the head wind.
Final bend and Knipe sweeps through and explodes away.  Humber came out of the pack, but couldn’t close the gap.  Roger McMillan nabbing third after weaving his way through the pack.

CHAMPIONSHIP RACE (55 minutes, plus 2 laps):

Come one, come all.  Challenge yourself!
Reigning 2017 Club Criterium Champion – Craig Lee – was a picture of concentration before the race.  He decided well before the gun that he would play one hand today…
Unfortunately the race was robbed of one competitor before the riders even lined up, with Tony Mirabella suffering multiple punctures.
Jason Birch was eyeing off a higher podium position in the 2018 rendition of the race; Dean Wells was aiming at not being dropped; Paul Pickersgill was hoping to be the surprise packet and Peter Gunston was eyeing off a special birthday present for himself.  Lindsay Burgoyne, Stuart Brien, Dave Olgivie and Mick Veal (2017 Div 2 Champ) were excited just to race, after missing out the previous day (Open race at Newham cancelled).

The race started off slowly – with a gentleman’s agreement to get the feel for the damp road and gusty wind.  A few riders tried early breakaways, with Mick Veal going solo for three or four laps.  Other “attacks were short lived by various riders in an attempt to draw someone else out to play.

Jason Birch launched the first major attack of the day which actually stuck – or was “allowed” to stick.  The others quickly eased off and left Birch out front for five or six laps before eventually regrouping.
The remainder of the race played out in a similar vein.  Anyone excited enough to roll off the front, quickly found themselves isolated in the wind.  Then the pace would back off as soon as the field regrouped.

Burgoyne and Pickersgill were always prominent near the front.  Ominously, Lee just casually followed the field around…
Birch tried to stretch the field mid-race.  Ogilvie joined him, however the bunch rallied quickly and shut it down.

At some stage during this passage, Veal pulled aside with a “flat” tyre, much to the disappointment of son Toby who looked up to Jude and was heard to say ‘You never stop riding Mummy’.  Veal performed a ridiculously fast “repair” and rejoined the race after his rest…only to pull out a lap or so latter with another “mechanical”.

With less than 5 minutes remaining Ogilvie tried again down the right side in the home straight, Wells also attacked on the left side.  This split the field and the pair quickly formed up to press the advantage, however it was short lived as a Brien, Birch and Burgoyne shut it down.

Pickersgill found himself on the front with two laps remaining and Burgoyne was staying close to the front.  The order remained unchanged as they came through for the bell.  Pickersgill pressed the button and charged towards the hairpin bend, Burgoyne went into the dirt and was out of the running, Wells now in second and waiting for the imminent attacks…

Ogilvie launched down the right and Birch went with him.  Pickersgill was soon overtaken and Wells was giving chase.  Ogilvie’s attack had lined the field out as they swept through the second last bend and into the head wind.  Birch tried to hang onto the wheel and Wells led the rest.
Ogilvie eased with 400 metres to go and the group rejoined with hearts pounding and riders gulping for air.

Final bend and Lee emerges for the first time and plays his one card – SNAP!
His attack is so swift some riders don’t even try to rally.
Brien follows and Gunston and Wells also came out of the pack.  Lee streaked away to claim his second Club Criterium Champion title in just four months.

Championship results -
Division 3:
1st – John Creek
2nd – Phil McLennan
3rd – Belinda Burgoyne
Division 2:
1st – James Knipe
2nd – Jeremy Humber
3rd – Roger McMillan
Championship Race:
1st – Craig Lee
2nd – Peter Gunston
3rd – Stuart Brien

The winner of each race received a voucher from the criterium series sponsor, before heading down to the CBD and enjoyed coffee at Oscar’s Hotel and Cafe Bar. Championship medals will be awarded during April at the club rooms at Lake Learmonth.

…Michael Veal was last seen carrying one wheel and dragging the rest of his bike as he muttered something about wet narrow roads and the dangerous wind…

Photo (L-R): “The Winners”
John Creek, James Knipe, Craig Lee

2018 crit champs

March 12, 2018 – Labour Day Criterium racing, Victoria Park

March 12, 2018 – Labour Day Criterium racing, Victoria Park

 Labour Day races – 12th March 2018

OSCAR’S Hotel & Cafe Bar criterium series – round 2

Victoria Park – criterium circuit

EVCC Criterium - Monday - poster

Something new – racing on a public holiday!

‘If all the year were playing holidays, to sport would be as tedious as to work.’
- William Shakespeare

Taking advantage of the long weekend, Eureka Cycling staged round 2 of the Oscar’s Hotel & Cafe Bar criterium series at Victoria Park on Monday 12th March.
The strong south south east breeze made for very cool temperatures, especially after the warm weekend.  Sunscreen was replaced by arm warmers and barely a drink was touched as four divisions raced on the super smooth tarmac, each rider donning one of the brand new coloured race dossards.
Once again great numbers were present, particularly in Division 4 and Division 3.

The wind and unseasonal cold would prove the limiting factor for many riders today and attrition was the name of the game…

Division 4:

Terry Collie was backing up from an impressive 13th place at the Bendigo Open the previous day.  Unfortunately Terry was soon off the back and ended up in a long, lone time trial to the finish.  John Faulkner, Malcolm Rock, Graeme Parker and Shane Cody all suffered similar fates as the wind whittled the field of ten down.
John Creek proved too strong in the race to the chequered flag, winning ahead of Phil McLennan and Robert Young, with Barry Robinson and Brian Lee close behind.

Division 3:

James Knipe and Mark O’Callaghan were also backing up from high finishes in the Bendigo Open on Sunday.  A tale of two riders as the triathlete succumbed to the cold and the Knipe Rider zoomed away to win the race.  In between there was much action…

Roger McMillan and Kevin Lee both found the wind tough and couldn’t hold onto the bunch.  Ash Burke fought off his criterium demons and finished up a credible third.  Justin Foster finished the race off, as did Peter Livitsanis who is making a habit of going onto the dirt.  Craig Lightfoot rode handy to finish second and was unpurturbed at having played a significant role in Fifi’s off-road experience.

Division 2:

Jeremy Humber was the sacrificial lamb today – cast in with the likes of Paul Pickersgill, Peter Gunston, Jeremy Vanderklift and Stuart Brien.
The pace was fast and the small field averaged over 37.5 kph for the race.  In the wind it meant there were few chances for anyone to ride off the front.

Humber had a training ride of sorts then settled in to watch the others battle it out.  Vanderklift must be wondering where these strong fellas come from…he meets a new brigade every time he races.
Honourable mention to Pickersgill for somehow being able to wedge his dodgy foot into a cycling shoe and actually race.  Gunston is getting back into form and the short course races suit his style.  Once again he played with the field and his tactics were almost perfect.
All the pre race talk was about how Brien would demoralise the Ensemble…and he did just that.

With less than two laps remaining, Brien surged off the front and the others all looked at each other to see who would commit to the chase.  The moment of hesitation was all Brien needed to create a race winning gap which he held to the line, winning by the length of the straight.
Gunston taking second with a throw on the line.

Division 1:

Small field, big egos.  Craig Lee was out in one of his return races.  It is fair to say that he was not completely on song today as he fine tunes for his Club Criterium Champion title defence in two weeks time.  Tony Mirabella is almost back to full fitness and Dean Wells rounded out the field of three.

The first few laps were fast and the trio averaged over 41 kph as they tore around the track in an early frenzy.  Eventually a settling before one of the few attacks of the day, when Lee took off (midrace) into the headwind up the straight.  It took almost two laps for Mirabella and Wells to reel him in, by which time Tony had formulated a plan…
”When we catch him, you attack, I’ll sit on Craig”

And so it was, no sooner had the trio regrouped than Wells took off (wondering how he could maintain this for at least 25 minutes).  The gap was never huge, but Mirabella and Lee soon engaged in cat and mouse to see who could cross to the lead.  Mirabella eventually won the hand and finally caught Wells with just a few laps remaining (although some confusion lead to an extra few minutes being tacked onto the race).

Swapping turns the pair eventually came to the bell lap and the inevitable played out with Wells opening the sprint and Mirabella taking the win.

Division 4 (30 min + 2 laps):
1st – John Creek
2nd – Phil McLennan
3rd – Robert Young

Division 3 (30 min + 2 laps):
1st – James Knipe
2nd – Craig Lightfoot
3rd – Ash Burke

Division 2 (35 min + 2 laps):
1st – Stuart Brien
2nd – Peter Gunston
3rd – Paul Pickersgill

Division 1 (44 min + 2 laps):
1st – Tony Mirabella
2nd – Dean Wells
3rd – Craig Lee

March 4, 2018 – Weatherboard, 60 km handicap

March 4, 2018 – Weatherboard, 60 km handicap

Weatherboard – 4th March 2018

Handicap

Weatherboard circuit – 60 km

Weatherboard map 60 Km

Weatherboard 60 Km

LOYAL COLLIE LEADS HERD HOME

Another large field in near perfect racing conditions for the Weatherboard handicap race.  The southerly breeze kept the temperature just right, which meant every group felt the pressure from the start.

Limit were off 30 minutes and had completed their first lap before Scratch even got out of the gate.  Graeme Parker led the way with John Faulkner (winner at Super Vets during the week) and returning riders Mal Rock and Greg Curnow for company.  Unfortunately that was about as far as they got before being rounded up by the 24 minute group of Terry Collie, Brian Lee and John Creek.
The group of seven lasted but mere minutes until Collie and Lee surged away, leaving the rest to pull out one by one.  Handed a generous mark, Collie and Lee exploited every minute of it…

The 10 minute group welcomed Les Bilney back into the fold for the first time in a couple of years.  New rising star Jason Hendry was once again under the tutelage of the experienced Bob Morley.  The rest – Jeremy Humber, James Gretton, Pete Livitsanis, Paul Crack and Roger McMillan – were a mix of trying not to blow the bunch apart, or trying to hang on.

Second Scratch raced like demons – Rob Phillips, Mick Veal, Stu Brian, Lindsay Burgoyne, Peter Kiel, Grant Dawson, Ash Burke and trial rider Matt Sheehan – setting off at a cracking pace with a 3 minute start on Scratch.  Burke had soon broken away off the back, leaving the rest to go it alone.
They were equally desperate to catch the middle group off 10 minutes and stay clear of Scratch.

In the absence of Club Champion Tim Canny, all eyes turned towards Sam Smith in the expectation that he wouldn’t smash them senseless.
Smart riders one and all, the group had duly learned their lesson from a few weeks earlier and ensured they measured their efforts.  Smooth turns and hard work from Tony Mirabella, Brendan Schiemer, Jason Birch and Rob Ellis didn’t make the race any easier, but reinforced the teamwork aspect of handicap racing.
Ultimately the Scratch group were probably lacking just one more rider as they chased the larger bunches ahead.

With 13 kilometres remaining the Second Scratch reeled in the 10 minute group over the Weatherboard climb.  The combined forces were still well clear of Scratch, however the Lee/Collie duo were so far ahead they could only be seen on the longer straights.

Onto the last lap and Second Scratch riders led the charge up Avenue Road for the final time.  Swinging towards Weatherboard and the narrow road made finding the right spot difficult.  Cresting the hill riders jockeyed for position as the speed ramped up.
Gretton threw caution to the wind and wound up an attack into the chicane.  Livitsanis and Morley were on his wheel and well positioned through the turns.
All power towards Hendersons Road saw all kinds of tactics – no hope of the win, but scraps to race for!

Up ahead and Collie and Lee climbed the Henderson Road hill with minutes to spare.  Collie a bit fitter at present, dashed away for the win over Lee.

The excitement was building behind as the bunch rounded the tight last turn and lined out for the assault on the climb.  Phillips, Burgoyne and Kiel let go at the bottom of the hill, surprisingly Hendry went with them!  Halfway up the final pinch and it was carnage – Phillips blew, Veal sat up, Brien was pedalling squares, Morley was pedalling bigger squares.
Over the top and the final effort saw Bilney, Burgoyne, Kiel, Hendry and Humber all survive and empty their tanks in the final dash.
Burgoyne claiming third ahead of Hendry, Kiel and Brien who rallied late.

A minute later and Scratch raced over the hill with Sam Smith flying away to Fastest Time and Mirabella easily out-sprinting the rest.

Results:
1st – Terry Collie (24 min)
2nd – Brian Lee (24 min)
3rd – Lindsay Burgoyne (3 min)
4th – Jason Hendry (10 min)
5th – Peter Kiel (3 min)
Fastest Time – Sam Smith (Scratch) in 1h 36m 50s, ave. 37.2 kph
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