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Metaland Handicap – Eureka Veterans Cycling Ballarat

Metaland Handicap – Eureka Veterans Cycling Ballarat

Return of the Iron Lady; Mandy’s Sterling Maiden Win
In a sterling performance, Mandy Rhook solo time trailled the second half of the race, never to be headed she won by over 30 seconds easing down.  Mandy, the iron fist in a velvet glove, spent the first lap coaching the female limit riders in good race craft, she then instructed them in the fine art of how to rip legs off.

With steely determination in her eyes, Mandy departed the start line with Lisa Ritchie and Jude Johnasson, with gentleman Geoff Braszell along as chaperone.  This quartet worked well for the first lap before Mandy opened the furnace, Jude lasted the longest, (surviving in second until 3km from the finish) but the bunch gradually splintered chasing Mandy.

Some 12 minutes back Terry Collie and Ron Larkin were trying to maintain a semblance of control over an unruly alloy of Greg Curnow, Mal Rock, Terry Constable and Mat Ritchie. Like cheap silver plate, this bunch promised much but tarnished early as their uneven pace setting and a puncture to Mat disrupted the group – the 10 minute bunch catching them before halfway.

Bob’s 10 minute threesome was about where the race split, nobody behind featured in the finish as Bob’s bunch forged ahead rolling up the rest of the field. Kevin Lee, relishing his demotion back to a double figure handicap, found a hardened edge and worked well with the irrepressible John Rhook whose rusty legs are starting to loosen up. Of course Bob was applying the blow torch to any would-be passengers as this bunch caught and dismissed most of the rest of the field.

Into Donovan’s Road for the last time they could see Jude just up the road and Mandy a further 500m along. John, playing his role as super-domestique to a tee, dropped the blacksmith’s hammer and got Bob up to Jude, but the bridge to Mandy was out of reach. Bob scorching home to take second, Rhookie third. The trail of destruction behind them took the minors, Terry Constable grabbing fourth and Mal fending off Greg for fifth.

Behind the main feature it was Scratch that brought the back markers together. Tony Mirabella, Adam Smith, Darren Terry, Andrew Rushton and Phil Cartledge put in a blistering first lap to quickly account for the 3 minutes to the 3 riders in front. Peter Livitsanis, Scott Denno and Grant Dawson had been working hard but only lasted to the Quarry second time around before Scratch hit them. Tony punctured shortly after as the combined bunch set to work to bring back the 7 minute bunch of John Creek, Craig Lightfoot and Brian Lee. Onto the back straight and a flurry of attacks whittled the field down to 7 with Andrew, Scott, Grant and Brian calling it a day. Phil hammered hard up Donovan’s road but with 300m to go it was Darren and Adam who simultaneously jumped, sprinting side by side it was Adam on his steel horse, that just clipped Darren on the line to take fastest time.

Thanks to our long time sponsors of this week’s racing, Metaland.

1st        Mandy Rhook (26 min)
2nd        Bob Morley (10 min)
3rd        John Rhook (10 min)
4th        Terry Constable (14 min)
5th        Mal Rock  (14 min)
Fastest        Adam Smith (Scratch)  


Eureka Veterans Cycling Club
Race Report
4 August 2013

Forty Winks Handicap – Eureka Veterans Cycling Ballarat

Forty Winks Handicap – Eureka Veterans Cycling Ballarat

All Hail – Dan the Man
In his first race with Eureka, Dan Hale short-sheeted Bob Morley in a two up sprint to win the Forty Winks handicap held over 3 laps of the Hetherington circuit.

The wind was strong enough to blow a brown dog off its chain and proved to be a decisive factor as the front markers struggled to maintain their advantage. First out of bed was the Lisa Ritchie, John Faulkner and Geoff Braszell, the trio toiled away as race leaders for 45 of the 48km race. The final catch coming in slow motion into the wind on the home stretch.

Chasing this bunch off 18 minutes came the two sleepy heads, Jude Johnasson and Mandy Rhook. With 5 mins in front to the leaders and 3 min back to the next bunch they worked well but nodded off mid way and the race came and went leaving these two to struggle home as best they could. A brave ride, considering the conditions, and more can be expected from these two as Mandy gets fitter and Jude gets race-smart.

Sharing the 15 min bed was the odd couple of Graham Parker and Terry Collie. Both riders proving skilful and strong in the difficult conditions, both managing to stay in touch with the race leaders until the clubrooms the last time round.

The 11 minute bunch was a pillow fight, there were four in the bed and the little one said roll over, roll over, so they all rolled over and Mal Rock, Gary Blood and Gregg Curnow all fell out, boom. Only Dan Hale could cling to the 8 minute “midnight express” as it ploughed through the field.

The 8 minute bunch of Bob Morley, John Rhook, Kevin Turley, new rider Owen Tudball and Brian Lee proved to be the dominant force in this week’s race. These guys all sleep on solid granite blocks with blankets made from the lycra of lesser riders they have slaughtered in the past. On their day anyone of these race hardened vets can smash a field, today they bedded down together, and worked as one to withstand the challenges thrown at them from the weather gods and from the poursuivants. They methodically rolled up the splintered field of left overs in front of them, their tempo and the wind shelling most.

Chasing, off 4 mins, was the triple bunk bed bunch of 6. Michael Veal looked resplendent on his beautifully preserved Team Telekom Pinarello from an era when tele was still in black and white, it must reside on a bed of peacock feathers when not racing. Dean Wells pounded away out front seemingly tirelessly, John Creek and Richard Taylor are slowly finding form and warmed to the task as the race progressed, Ken Heres is improving with every ride, Peter Livitsanis helped on the hills, while the early pace was a bit of a stretch for the promoted Kevin “Linus” Lee took his blankie and went home. This bunch gobbled up 3 of the 4 minutes to the winners, however when Dean popped in the Avenue the bunch hesitated and lost some momentum and a work horse. The winners maintaining the 1 min advantage to the line.

Past the clubrooms the alarm clock went off for the 8 minute bunch who immediately stepped up the pace. This rude awakening caught out John Rhook who went reaching for the peptides as he started cramping everywhere. Bob had tactically placed himself on the self destructing Rhook’s wheel and probably got caught snoozing a bit as Dan slipped between the sheets. Down to the wire it was a very close thing, Dan eclipsing Bob by a tyre width.

For Scratch it was always going to be a tough gig at the back today in windy conditions with Tony Mirabella having contested the Melb to Ballarat the day before and Phil Cartledge still getting over his man-flu. Smokey Dawson has rocketed back in the Eureka Vets peloton, now riding in Scratch after starting his season 5 weeks ago off double figures. However today the going was a bit tough.  The first lap was an onslaught which found out Smokey, however he perservered and rode out the race not disgraced. The remaining 5 of Tony, Phil, Peter Kiel, Andrew Rushton and Darren Terry worked solid turns which paid off as half way through the second lap they could even see the group in front. However the front of the race seemed to be holding and on the third lap with the race gone but fastest time up for grabs, Tony turned on turned on the electric blanket down the Avenue. At the piggery Tony had stolen a march on the rest, Phil found his superman pills and managed to bridge the gap. Pete managed to claw his way back and it appeared that Darren and Andrew were gone for all money but rounding the corner before the club rooms both of them appeared again, which was a great effort by big Dazza in those winds. Tony wound up his sprint with about 300m to go and easily accounted for the exhausted Scratch bunch to take fastest time.

Special thanks this week to our valued sponsors, Forty Winks for their ongoing support of the Eureka Vets Cycling Club.

1st        Dan Hale (11 min)
2nd        Bob Morley (8 min)
3rd        John Rhook (8 min)
4th        Owen Tudball (8 min)
5th        Kevin Turley  (8 min)
Fastest        Tony Mirabella (Scratch)

Forty-Winks copy


Eureka Veterans Cycling Club
Race Report
28 July 2013

July 2013 Graded Scratch – Weatherboard Circuit

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Skipton Street Bakery Graded Scratch Racing – Eureka Vets Cycling Ballarat

Skipton Street Bakery Graded Scratch Racing – Eureka Vets Cycling Ballarat

Skipton Street Bakery Graded Scratch Racing
39 keen racers, one of the clubs biggest fields for the year, contested 5 grades of scratch racing over the challenging Mt Misery circuit, with some surprising results.

A Grade. The Great Escape
In Ride of the Year (so far) Darren Terry teamed with Andrew Rushton in a daring breakaway from a hot A Grade field, Darren winning the sprint from Andrew, the rest of the field left in their wake nearly a minute behind.
Proceedings got underway in a fairly orderly manner with a few little attacks here and there, Andrew  “I could wear Yellow” Rushton being the most aggressive, testing the field every time the road went up, however despite his exuberance he wasn’t permitted any room by the field. Peter “I did it before Crawf” Kiel was back with the up and down course likely to suit him.  Tony Mirabella was threatening to give it everything today and Phil Cartledge has been there or there abouts for a couple of weeks. These two were predicted to determine the pace of the race, but someone forgot to tell Andrew and Darren.
Finally in a flagrant disregard for reputations the winning move came on the Beaufort Waubra Rd when Darren rode off the front, Andrew saw his opportunity and attacked again and rode straight past Darren. It took a short while for Darren to work out the potential of this move and respond, he finally dug in and caught up with Andrew. The pair started to work together to try to hang onto this long range raid leaving the rest left just looking at each other. This dynamic duo not only hung on but prized open a considerable gap, into Weatherboard Rd their lead was now unassailable, the win assured they came to a gentlemanly agreement, Darren riding on for the win. A most impressive display of scratch racing.
The remaining bunch were left to sprinting it out for 3rd place in which Paul Humphries had the legs to take him to the last spot on the podium.
Andrew & Paul now proving they are worthy of a spell in scratch & Darren actually starting to feel comfortable at home in A grade with a couple of good results in recent weeks. Darren at the start of the race said he had not been training this week & would just hang on see how it goes. God help us when he starts training.
1st    Darren Terry
2nd    Andrew Rushton
3rd    Paul Humphries

skipton street bakery

Very special thanks to our tremendous sponsors, Skipton Street Bakery, who have generously been supporting our post-race recovery with donations of their award winning pies, pasties, foccacias and cakes for many years.

B Grade Bun Fight
Dave “Gingerbread Man” Peters could not be caught in the final sprint as the toasted the B grade field of a magnificent 7.
Peter Livitsanis started as early as a baker’s apprentice, stoking the oven with pace from the gun. The rest of the field sat off, deciding to enjoy tea and scones and wait for him to cook. Scott Denno almost slim enough now to slice bread with his shoulderblades, took to kneading the legs of his opponents up Mt Misery. Rick Calvert and Michael Veil were rising to the occasion and were on a roll trying to rip the doughnuts off the other riders. Good to see Ken Heres back in the kitchen and riding strongly. Brian Lee wasn’t loafing around either, proving yet again that he has stepped up this year.
The B Grade Boys stayed together with the occasional cream pie thrown to stir things up, but all seemed content for an honest hit out and a sprint finish, or so it seemed. Rick telegraphed his move by continually asking where we were going and how far to the finish. Finally on the Weatherboard Rd corner he took out his rolling pin and fairly whacked the field. Brian scurried after him but was soon puffing harder than he would on a hot jam doughnut, and was soon Swiss-rolled up in the bunch again. Rick looked like his gutsy move might pay off but Veil and Denno didn’t sit like sacks of flour and worked huge turns to slowly bring back a now desperate Rick – Dave sat happily in the pie-warmer waiting for the inevitable sprint. Out in front by an ever diminishing margin, Rick realised it was a case of loaf or death and attacked the last rise before the finish. However, the bunch caught him with 150m to go and he had muffin left for the sprint. With a yell of “Hot Pies” Dave jumped just as Rick was caught, and on the line it was Dave, Peter and Ken who took the dough.

1st           Dave Peters
2nd          Peter Livitsanis
3rd           Ken Heres

C Grade. “Smokey” Dawson On Fire
Grant Dawson has proven to be an instant bike rider after only three races. He polished off a quality field to take victory for the Bacchus Marsh contingent of the club.
There was a quality field on the starter’s line for a C Grade hit out. Rod Hetherington was back for a ride and Brad Fry was making a comeback. Long John Creek was coming back after illness to round out a quality field
C Grade regulars Bob Morley, Popeye Lee and mal Rock were there as usual hoping for at least a placing. New rider Ed Rozyeki was ready to go as well.
The Mt Misery circuit is a challenging course with the first half always a test for the non-climbers. Brad Fry and the eventual winner Grant Smokey Dawson were spending a lot of time on the front whilst the others were hanging on. As Dawson ripped up over the hills the others were battling to hang on, or were getting back on the downhill runs. The field was fractured when Mal Rock punctured and new rider Rozyeki had a mechanical.
After the main turn home the serenity was only interrupted when A Grade escapees, Andrew Rushton and big Darren Terry, went flying past.                                                                                                                                                     Dawson was a little bored with the pedestrian pace and saw fit to stay on the front for the last ten km. He wisely or naively put the others down the road. Perhaps he is benefitting from the coaching from the experienced Bacchus Marsh contingent, Messer’s Hodgson, Collie and Faulkner.
Then he turned left into the home stretch and upped the pace as the road went up. Brad Fry grabbed his wheel and the others lined up behind. Brad Fry sat up, Morley Hetherington and Lee blew up!
This left Dawson clear and it was only the rangy Creek that worked hard to get across to the leaders wheel. They continued to pull away leaving it a two horse race with the others fighting out the placings. They went to the line in that order with Creek showing respect for Dawson’s efforts allowing him the honours.
Morley just pipped the faltering Kevin Lee for third place.
1st    Grant Dawson
2nd    John Creek
3rd    Bob Morley

D Grade. Matt Mangles Many
The field of five D grade riders had an enjoyable but solid ride. In fact the race average speed would have worked very effectively in any handicapped race event. Greg Curnow constantly flexed his muscle as did Terry Constable.  Ron Larkin and Matt Riche did their turns but did not do any more than they had to. As is his want, Gary Blood opted to ride his own race, not even attempting to stay with the bunch right from the start.  So independent was he that at one stage he also decided to ride his own course, missing the Ercildoune Rd left turn.
Apart from the odd energy burst out of Curnow and Constable the race proceeded in a stately manner. Larkin and Curnow attacked up the last hill but were soon reeled in again. It came down to a test of patience, who would go first and would they go too early. Matt Richie ran out of patience first, with half a km to go he leaped out of the saddle in an incredible display of strength, adrenalin and callous disregard and won the race by at least fifty meters.
Larkin, Curnow and Constable were all neck and neck for the minor placings.  Terry Constable was in the perfect third wheel position and took out the long sprint for second place. Ron Larkin just got past Greg Curnow thinking he had third place when Curnow let a deafening scream, kicked hard and pinched 3rd by 10cm.

1st    Matt Riche
2nd    Terry Constable
3rd    Greg Curnow

E Grade. Hey Jude

Eureka Veterans welcomed new rider Jude Jonasson on her first trial ride/race with the club. While perhaps on a learning curve when it comes to racing, she proved to be no slouch and tested her worthy adversaries.  Early on Jude had John Faulkner in trouble as she attacked each rise in the road, Terry Collie was along for the ride to provide some guidance but found that he needed to shut up every now and then and concentrate on pedalling to keep up.  Once they got on to the Beaufort-Waubra road and the flatter parts of the course John more than came good and was doing long turns on the front.  The trio tried out track turns most of the way and maintained good speed along Ercildoune Rd.  Jude never missed a turn, in fact Terry often had to say “Ok that’s enough, swing up”. Up the hill after turning into Weatherboard Jude seemed to be enjoying herself and had forgotten this was a race, she politely asked “Shall we wait for John” who had lost contact.  Terry panted “No go for it” – so she pressed on.  Over the top of Weatherboard, the Big Friendly Giant John was able to use his strength and the big chainring to slowly but surely grind his way back up to Jude.  So it came down to a sprint of sorts, with Jude prevailing, a deserving win to a very handy rider with plenty of promise.

1st     Jude Jonasson
2nd    John Faulkner
3rd    Terry Collie

Very special thanks to our tremendous sponsors, Skipton Street Bakery, who have generously been supporting our post-race recovery with donations of their award winning pies, pasties, foccacias and cakes for many years.

Eureka Veterans Cycling Club
Race Report 29 June

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