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Graded Scratch Weatherboard Circuit

Graded Scratch Weatherboard Circuit

Graded Scratch
Weatherboard Circuit

A Grade
Tony Performs a Mira-cle
Commenced with a modicum of decorum as the real A graders behaved themselves a bit so that A- graders could at least get a bit of a ride, but Guy Falla was not taking much notice when he decided to take off down the avenue on the second lap, which resulted in the A- pretender Peter Livitsanis being shelled while the rest of the bunch decided to take chase.

Tony Mirabella was obviously saving himself after the previous days effort as even Rick Calvert was complaining that Tony should be on the front doing a bit more, he was in essence correct if it had been a handicap race, but as it was a scratch race he was entitled to do as little as he could get away with.
On the 3rd lap heading into the wind before the left turn for the finish hill/straight, Tony did actually get to the front but Peter Keil & Phil Cartledge were joking at the back that if Tony went any slower the group may have to stop & unclip (23/kmph). After this amusement Phil decided to attack off the front which got everyone strung out up the hill, the only person that did make it across was actually Tony but just as they thought they could string out a breakaway the red flag came out at the junction for an approaching car, which caused them to ease up & give the rest of the group chance to get back on.

The next couple of laps were a combination of Guy Falla, Rick Clavert, Darren Terry and Richard Taylor having a crack at some sort of break, but all seemed to get brought back in. Time was running out so after a flurry of attacks on the hill after turning out of the Avenue for the last time Phil decided to have a go into the headwind while everyone was still panting to see if he could force a breakaway. No one seemed to be making it across so Phil decided on a solo attempt to the finish line. As the group approached the left turn for the final hill the chasers were slocing on Phil, he kicked again, thinking they would be hurting as much as he, Darren and Guy were chasing hard with Tony enjoying the free ride. Phil thought he had it on the hill however he turned around to see Tony “Harry Potter” Mirabella had appeared as if from nowhere from under his cloak, to the amazement and colourful language of Phil and then as per every other week he couldn’t out sprint him to the line.

Results
1st    Tony Mirabella
2nd    Phil Cartledge
3rd    Darren Terry

B Grade
Scott Denno Sends a Tweet #watchout
Plenty of times in the past we have heard the lament “If Scott Denno ever trimmed down, God help us”. Well he’s lost about 30 kgs and he has redefined himself as a racing bike rider. He has always been strong and he has always had a notable aerobic capacity but you could be confident that he would go out the back when the road went up – but not any more.

He won his first B Grade scratch race with a combination of smarts and strength from a small but handy field of Denno, Bob Morely, the brothers Lee and the mercurial Mal Rock.

Brian Lee was putting the group under pressure early with a number of nasty accelerations and shelled Mal early on the Henderson Road Hill second time around.

Not long after the other brother, Popeye, was put in the hurt locker and popped out the back like he’d been shot. To his credit he cranked up the big legs and rode back into the back of the bunch down the Avenue. The pattern tended to be the same as Brian would scoot off the front on some mad escapade and Scott would cover him easily and Kev and Bob would struggle to get back on. Bob was content to display his talent at soft pedalling whenever he found himself carelessly on the front, content in the thought that he was educating the less experienced racers.

Into the last corner, Popeye flexed his anchor tattooed muscles and opened a gap, the rest content to let him go. In some sort of Lee conspiracy, Brian had gone to the front of the chasing pack and turned off, never before have we seen the Lee’s so charitable to eachother. With Kevin a 100m ahead , Denno finally went around Brian and committed to a long chase. He attacked strongly up the final hill leaving Morley behind. Denno bridged to Popeye with relative ease and held him at his crank wimming the sprint comfortably.

Results
1st    Scott Denno
2nd    Kevin Lee
3rd    Bob Morley

C Grade
Eureka has a new GC rider
Greg “Cadel” Curnow sounded a ominous warning that he may have at last emerged as a thinking man’s bike rider, melding a ridiculous appetite for pain with some race craft.

With the benefit of a new training regime with the senior racers during the week and an experienced company such as Graeme Parker, Terry Constable and Ronnie Larkin some good was bound to rub off. Greg requires very little corrective advice during a race, working smoothly and effortlessly in his bunch.

Our new General Contender won from a respectable field which included Constable, Larkin, and Gary Blood. Gary was returning from illness and didn’t have the usual bulldog in him being shelled early. Surprisingly the eventual winner also fell off the back early largely due to a fast early pace generated by Larkin and Constable. Curnow was roundly abused by his fans on the side of the road, this got his adrenalin flowing and with a squawk he clawed his way back to the back wheel as they reached the top of the Henderson’s Road hill.

Terry Constable looked totally in control during the race, and was instrumental in C grade overtaking B-Grade at one stage.

Into the last corner Larkin, Curnow and Constable were locked together not giving eachother any room up the final climb. Curnow got a jump early at he top with Terry and Ron desperately trying to hold wheels. Terry couldn’t maintain the rage and Larkin went around him to chase Curnow however a tad late. Curnow crossing the line 2 bike lengths to the good.

Results
1st    Greg Curnow
2nd    Ron Larkin
3rd    Terry Constable

D Grade
A race in One
Lisa Ritchie was the only D grade racer with a heart big enough to show for a race on a windy day, consequently she won D Grade challenged only by the weather conditions and the course. Terry Collie had stepped back from C Grade to ride with Lisa and still finished 4th in C Grade.

However, Lisa was lucky to even make the start and it did require her to get into Greg Curnow’s pants. You can ask her about that one, rest assured that after such a troubling experience she will be well prepared for race day from now on.

Results
1st    Lisa Ritchie
4th     (C Grade) Terry Collie

Hilltop Handicap – 2013 Eureka Vets

Hilltop Handicap – 2013 Eureka Vets

26 May 2013
Tony’s Triumph on the Roof of Learmonth

On the eve of the 50th anniversary of Hilary’s epic achievement on Everest, Tony “Sherpa” Mirabella was first and fastest to the top of Col de Windfarm, dragging a desperate Phil “Sir Edmund” Cartledge to the peak.
A windy day and a course that required a fair degree of climbing, including the final challenge proved to be most advantageous to the strong riders in Scratch. Tony and Phil were teamed with Andrew Rushton and Darren Terry and this hard working quartet set about rounding up all those in front of them that were left after the wind and hills took their toll.
22kms into the race Scratch hit the 3 minute bunch hard, attacking on the rise in the Avenue. Rick Calvert, John Creek, Dave Peters and Shane Cody found what was necessary to cling to the back of the bunch as Tony went on the assault. Peter Livitsanis was shelled immediately and by the corner into Henderson’s Road was already 30m of the back. Consequently the rest of this report is not from a first hand account.
This was a pattern to be repeated as Tony and his band of Scratchmen caught then attacked each subsequent bunch, some were able to hang on, for a while, some were left to the wind to struggle to the finish alone, and some just gave up and went home.
The 10min bunch was the next on the block. The brothers Lee, Bob Morely and Mal Rock were struggling to find a rhythm when hit with force. Bob disappeared quickly, the Lee boys and Mal hung on for a while and were able to acquit themselves well and finish the race although off the pace.
The front of the race was having its own problems as the wind and the course soon saw a number of retirements. By the time Scratch rolled through on the last lap there was really only Ron Larkin and Greg Curnow left. Tony had taken the foot off the accelerator a bit up Weatherboard Road, the calm before the storm, this allowed Ron to latch on and those that remained to recover. Shane and Rick both appreciating the respite.
Things changed dramatically as the bunch strung out along the Addington Road, then the final left hander and the Hilltop finish. Phil had ambitions of perhaps knocking of the club champion and turned himself inside-out on the final ascent. Shane had also found a reserve of energy and was vying for a podium finish. The final anaylsis saw Tony take a comfortable but hardfought win ahead of Phil, and Shane with Darren Terry and Rick Calvert picking up the minor placings. Ride of the day goes to Rick who seems to have found form very quickly after his recent return to racing.
Results
1st and Fastest    Tony Mirabella (Scratch)
2nd        Phil Cartledge (Scratch)
3rd        Shane Cody (3min)
4th        Darren Terry (Scratch)
5th         Rick Calvert (3min)

Lisa Ritchie Iron Maiden

Lisa’s Iron Maiden
To win a bike race you have to know how to suffer and in a 52km test of character, Lisa Ritchie dug deep into her suitcase of courage to hold off the field for her maiden race win at Eureka Vets. Her characteristic smile was broader than ever as she accepted the winner’s envelope and given her determined performance, it’s a safe bet there’s more to come from the undisputed Queen of Buninyong.

The classics in Belgium may be over, but the Belgian weather is migrating south. The 22 riders on the start line were greeted by a taste of the winter to come, single digit temperature, light drizzle, and a southwesterly wind. Couple these weather conditions with a newly resurfaced dead road and the riders steeled themselves for a day for pain. Front markers struggle to even finish on a day like that, let alone win, the backmarkers were super keen.

First away off 29min, was Maz Morley, with Lisa just 1 min behind. They weren’t exactly riding solo. John Rhook, riding with one good knee, accompanied them on the first lap and a bit, providing some words of advice and encouragement. Not used to having people of John’s calibre to ride with, Lisa appreciated the company. However she was left to ride the last lap solo, and not knowing how close the chasing field was, she really had to bite down hard on the handlebars as the headwind picked up and the legs started to tire. Winners don’t look around and Lisa buried herself in a final dash for the line, winning by a comfortable margin, it was over a minute before the chequered flag was raised again for the second place getter.

Graeme Parker and Brad Eppingstall off 15 minutes were teamed with an exceptionally svelt Scott Denno. Scott has dropped 20 kilos since last we saw him and has been quietly building himself up again. This trio were the pre-race favourites as everyone can remember what happens when you underestimate Scott. Despite Graeme losing touch late in the third lap the bunch performed very well to hold their advantage, Scott and Brad taking it down to a sprint for second and third. With no corners to negotiate, and no bunch ride the day before, you would have given Brad half a chance but Scott proved he still has some raw power in those legs and easily accounted for Brad. Welcome back not-so-big-guy Mr Denno.

Ron Larkin, Greg Curnow and Terry Constable set to the task some 3 min behind Graeme’s bunch and where working hard to pull them back. But it took quite an effort to keep Greg at heel so eager was last week’s winner for the chase. Despite the changes of pace the bunch held its ground with the bunch behind making no ground on them.

Bob Morley had spent most of the morning servicing the peloton of bikes that arrived on top of his team car. Obviously this affected his warm up and his 8 min group of Mal Rock and Matt Ritchie used the first lap to get the legs lubricated. Consequently they weren’t going anywhere fast and pretty soon they had company, good thing they were now warmed up and could go with them. Matt Ritchie rode very well, posting his fastest lap time on the Windmill circuit, not bad on a windy day.

Shane Cody had returned from a galaxy far far away to team up with Richard Robocop Taylor and John Creek in the 5 min bunch. These three held time against the chasing bunches and quickly eroded the 3 min gap to Bob’s merry men, within the first lap they had rounded them up and were in pursuit of Rotten Ronnie’s 12min bunch. Looking good for a victory, it was probably only that Jedi and Robocop lacked a bit of match fitness that prevented them riding away with the race.

Off 2.5 minutes Craig Lightfoot almost didn’t make the start as his front derailleur on his new Time bike was stuck, with the handicappers help he managed to secure it in the big ring  – good thing he doesn’t really need the little one (see, told you the French can’t make bikes, looks good though!).  Rick Calvert’s form is picking up with every race and together with Peter Livitsanis and Craig the group kept the tempo high, but it wasn’t long before they saw the bunch behind closing fast.

Off 30 seconds, Darren Terry was belting out his leg snapping, heavy metal pace with Andrew Rushton trying to stay dry in his plastic coat/bag/parachute which only made him sweat more. But the surprise was Tony Mirabella. Off scratch he had caught Darren and Andrew at the Coghills Creek corner on the first lap, this being Tony’s third race in four days made this accomplishment more remarkable. Together these three caught the 2.5 minute bunch inside 2 laps. The 2.5 min riders all hung on, well, hung in to be exact.

Into the last lap the combined backmarkers caught up with the middle markers on the uphill back straight. Tony and Darren immediately lifted the pace to shake off as many as they could. The effort succeeded largely, but several stronger riders found enough true grit to stay with them. Bob Morley, John Creek, Mal Rock, Richard Taylor and Shane Cody all had the legs, even Ron Larkin stayed in there for a while. Round into Donovan’s road and into the headwind the hammer came down ascending the small rise. First Tony attacked, then Darren, then Tony again and the group was reduced to 5. With the race won and Scott and Brad sailing away for 2nd and 3rd, these 5 remaining riders were now sprinting for 4th. Peter Livitsanis and Shane Cody were trying to recover at the back while Darren was smashing himself out front, Tony was on Darren’s wheel with Andrew Rushton third wheel. Shane backed off a length, dropped a gear and punched past Tony and Darren. Getting the jump on a surprised Tony, Shane was the more determined to take the minor prize and held Tony to the line.

Results
1st    Lisa Ritchie (28 min)  1:48:40
2nd    Scott Denno (15 min)
3rd    Brad Eppingstall (15 min)
4th    Shane Cody (5 min)
5th & Fastest    Tony Mirabella (Scratch) 1:22:11

Eureka Veterans Cycling Club | Race Report 28th April | Windmill Circuit Handicap

Greg Grabs Gold

Greg Grabs Gold

Eureka’s likeable larrikin, Greg Curnow, tasted sweet victory after unleashing an aggressive attack on the final Henderson’s Road hill and holding on for all he was worth in the sprint to the line. His bunch struggled all day to keep the shackles on him and there was not holding Greg back when there was a sniff of victory in the air. He must have known he was going to podium today, he’d had a hair cut for the occasion.
It is certainly true that the bunch that stays together gets paid together, especially when the wind is a factor, and certainly the wind is almost always a factor on the Weatherboard circuit. With an increasing northerly making the Avenue a real grind there was safety in numbers and the well-matched 14 minute bunch of Graeme Parker, Greg Curnow, Ron Larkin, Terry Constable and Barry Robinson shared the load to stay clear of the field. Apart from Greg’s occasional ill-conceived foray off the front, the group combined exceptionally well. Terry relished a return to a double digit handicap, while Barry continues to go the other way with the handicapper keeping a close eye on his improving form. Captain Graeme ensured the bunch moved with precision and purpose, and Ron instilled a bit more ‘purpose’ than the rest of the bunch was always comfortable with.
First away was the punchy Liz Ritchie, riding solo with a big smile on her face, or perhaps that was a grimace. The wind made things difficult for the lone rider, and she was caught by the pursuing pair of last week’s winner Ray Hodgson and Tony Herbert off 22 minutes. When these three were wrapped up by the 14 minute bunch only Tony could carry on, Liz and Ray retired to fight another day at the end of the fourth lap.
Chasing them was a real mixed bag of 5 riders in the 6 minute bunch. Phil Cartledge was feeling a bit ordinary so the handicapper (Phil) took pity on him and gave him a lift. Despite operating on only 6 or 7 of his 8 cylinders Phil was a welcome addition and worked well with the other lesser riders.  Peter Livitsanis had benefited from some free mechanical advice on the start line from Stephen Brown and his bike was purring. Central Vets visitor Ross McDonald is a big unit and grinds a big gear, he’s also a good sit for the other diminutive riders in his bunch. Mal Rock and Kevin Lee rounded out the group and were probably surprised to be only one group in front of scratch, Rock crumbled and Popeye had gone without his spinach both were relegated to a training ride on lap 2. The remaining three riders chased hard, staying clear of scratch and getting to within 30 seconds of the winner.
The other bunch in the race was Scratch, and what a powerhouse it was. The return of Guy Falla, combined with the bottom-bracket destroying Darren Terry and the mercurial Tony Mirabella, supplemented by Andrew Rushton and Stephen Brown resulted in a very impressive fastest time (ave speed 38.35km/hr) and nearly getting Scratch up, finishing within a minute of the winners. The group played nicely together until Weatherboard road on the last lap when Guy opened up a huge drive that popped Stephen and Andrew, with Darren and Tony hanging on. They rounded the Henderson’s Road corner at full tilt and hit the last hill hard. Tony popped over the top, timed his run well and bounced away for fastest time, however this time Darren was right there and is getting close.
Results
1st    Greg Curnow (14 min)  1:31:30
2nd    Ron Larkin (14 min)
3rd    Terry Constable (14 min)
4th     Barry Robinson (14 min)
5th    Graeme Parker (14 min)
Fastest Time    Tony Mirabella (Scratch) 1:18:15

 

Eureka Veterans Cycling Club
Race Report
21 April 2103
Weatherboard Handicap

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