Archive for the Race Results Category

What a Win for Wells

What a Win for Wells

In an impressive display of strength, Dean Wells rode through the field to secure a commanding win. With a pair of riders 2 minutes behind and a group of five 4 minutes up the road, Dean, with only Peter “Fifi” Livitsanis for company, made the courageous decision to chase rather than wait, believing his best chance of victory lay up the road, not behind him.

A small field of 14 assembled in windy conditions to contest the Windmill circuit handicap. First  away was Tony Herbert off 20 minutes, a lone rider in the wind he was soon joined by Graeme Parker  (17 min) fresh from his top 10 finish at Benalla, and Greg Curnow and Gary Blood (14 min). This combination fared better, only losing Gary and holding the race lead until the rise up to Blowhard on the last lap.

The largest group of the day was the 9 minute mob of 5 riders consisting of Mal Rock, John Creek, Brenton Keats, Bob Morley and Kevin Lee – a group of solid riders with the potential to sort out the podium places amongst themselves. John is coming into some good form and the mercurial Keats was tenacious in his return from an extended spell, however they were losing time and quickly.  After the race Bob was heard to lament that they would have won it if they had ridden faster – well that is the general principle n’est par?

The 5 min pairing of Wells and Livitsanis got off to a fast start and once Dean had pumped up those massive thighs of his the pace quickened further. After the first lap they had cut the chase to the Morley bunch in half, and turning into Donovan’s road for the second time Dean could read the numbers of the bunch in front. He surprised everyone by attacking on the inside, with Peter tucked up behind him. This caused the Morley bunch to scramble to jump on. Up past the Quarry on the last lap, the front of the race came into view, Parker, Herbert and Curnow providing another target for the rapacious Wells. Up the rise Wells again surged past on the inside, those that could went politely around the outside to join him, but Bob and Kevin got lost in the mix.

At Coghills Creek it was down to just 5 riders Wells, Livitsanis, Rock, Keats and Creek, victory seemed a possibility – Wells even exclaiming “We’ve got it in the bag”. However, behind them was Darren Terry and Paul Humphries (3min), who had ridden particularly well to defend their slender 3 min advantage on Scratch, they could see the leaders and were chasing hard. The Scratch pairing of Shane Cody and Tony Mirabella were less than 2 minutes behind the race lead now and knew they still had a chance.  No time for complacency, the race leaders continued to share the work around.

Up the rise on Donovan’s Road for the last time and into a cross wind, Wells put the race into the gutter and found yet a bigger crank-bending gear to mash. Creekie was biting hard on the handlebar to hold Wells’ wheel and Livitsanis was turning himself inside out to make this final selection. The cross wind and the relentless brutality being dished up out front took Keats first , then Rock. At the top of the rise Creekie and Livitsanis had survived, but Wells wasn’t finished yet, into the headwind he ground out a small gap. Instead of a bigger gear, Sunbeam Mixmaster Creekie opted for a smaller one – the biggest man in the field spinning the smallest gear – he whizzed his way back on. However this effort put him well into the red and the gap opened again, this time Wells was free to fly, crossing the line 40m in front of Livitsanis with Creek hanging on for third, smoke pouring from his cassette.

Into Donovan’s Road for the last time, and having averaged over 38km/hr for the race, the Scratch-men had rounded up Terry and Humphries. Shane Cody buried himself in a big lead out to try to grab the race which was tantalisingly close. The very appreciative Tony Mirabella flashing home for fourth and fastest, just seconds behind Creek. Fifth went to Paul Humphries who rode very well to outlast Darren Terry and get over Shane.

 Results

1st                                    Dean Wells (5 min)

2nd                                    Peter Livitsanis (5 min)

3rd                                    John Creek (9 min)

4th                                    Tony Mirabella (Scratch)

5th                                    Paul Humphries (3 min)

Fastest Time                  Tony Mirabella (Scratch)

Ritchie Rich Grabs the Cash

Ritchie Rich Grabs the Cash

Race Report 19 September 2012 

Hetherington Circuit Handicap

Matt Ritchie has been improving all season, and despite sacking his coach (Bob) earlier in the week, showed a clean pair of heels on Sunday to win from a difficult mark – a group of two stuck between a much larger group behind and another pair in front. Assisted by the other big improver for 2012, Gary Blood, Matt made the courageous decision to chase the pair in front rather than wait – a race winning decision.

The race became that much more difficult for the back markers when Matt and Gary rounded up Graeme Parker and Ron Larkin. Graeme, resplendent on his new Fuji, then orchestrated this quartet to perfection. The time gap to the chasers was tumbling but not quite quick enough. The awesome foursome had the race lead early, with no sign of the chasing bunches. Into the final lap they negotiated the hilly part of the circuit as a group, but the pace went up around the piggery corner and Gary exploded. Rounding the final turn past the clubrooms Matt jumped, usually this is pure folly from this far out, but Matt proved he has been building a bigger engine, and powered to the post. Graeme and Ron left to squabble over second, Ronnie edging a fast finishing Graeme on the line.

Bob Morley, John Creek, Mal Rock, Terry Constable and Brian and Kevin Lee were also not waiting for the bunch behind and committed to the 6.5min chase to Matt and Gary. They rocketed out of the start gate and despite being pursued with vigour they only gave up seconds on the first lap. They rode with precision and purpose, the average speed remaining solid every lap, and not dropping a rider until late in the race when Scratch eventually caught them. Still in the mix for the minor placings, Bob sprinted well to be the first rider home from this bunch and finished a creditable 6th.

Off 4.5 minutes was what looked a winning bunch on paper (well the whiteboard anyway). Dave Peters, Pip Read, Dean Wells, Craig Lightfoot and Peter Livitsanis have all made life miserable for many riders before. However, it was not to be today. Even from the start they couldn’t get the combination working and one by one their numbers were depleted.

Second scratch were making big inroads in the 2 minute gap to the 4.5 minute bunch with Darren Terry and Rob Phillips both riding strongly, but Richard Taylor struggled to hold the pace. Darren and Rob caught up with Dave Peters who had been dropped from the bunch in front and dragged him back up to Peter L and Dean Wells. This odd assortment worked OK until scratch caught them on the final lap at the start of Weatherboard Road. Tony Mirabella and his fellow Scratch riders, Peter Kiel and Guy Falla, went on the attack, and went clear on the first hill. Rob Phillips was incensed and tore his bike apart to successfully get back on the back of Scratch, taking Darren and Peter L with him, the rest all perished on the hill. The next rise to the Avenue proved a challenge too soon for Rob and the final hill in the Avenue took care of Peter and Darren, leaving Tony and friends unencumbered by passengers and they powered away in search of race glory.

They caught Bob’s band of merry men just after the piggery. There was no settling down for the final sprint though, Guy attacked several times and popped several riders, but probably burning his chances in the process. Tony jumped from the bend and spread-eagled the field, no one could go with him. Around a minute behind the race winner, Tony easily took 4th and Fastest, even had time to smile for Bill’s camera. Kiely continued his good form from last weeks Open top ten finish, riding strongly he was rewarded with 5th.

 

Results

1st                        Matt Ritchie (14 minutes)

2nd                        Ron Larkin (16 minutes)

3rd                        Graeme Parker (16 minutes)

4th                        Tony Mirabella (Scratch)

5th                        Peter Kiel (Scratch)

Fastest Time            Tony Mirabella (Scratch)

Eureka open run and won

Eureka open run and won

Clarke First and Fastest

Congratulations to Eastern Vets Roy Clarke, who won this year’s Eureka Open handicap in a thrilling bunch sprint, taking fastest time in the process.

In good weather conditions, over 80 riders contested the 62km event held on the Mt Misery circuit at Learmonth. With limit at 27 minutes, the challenge was set for the Scratch riders who haven’t contested a finish in any of this year’s Opens to date. The Scratch bunch had some in-form riders, the likes of Steve Young, Neville Laffy and Tony Mirabella combined to form a potent force that quickly made in-roads on the time gaps to the bunches in front. With Roy continually driving the bunch hard they rounded up the 2 minute bunch and conscripted Andrew Joiner and Peter Keil into service, these two riders acquitting themselves very well.

One bunch after another Scratch rattled through the field and by mid race had captured and dispatched the middle markers and were in hot pursuit of the front markers. The front markers were not giving up their advantage easily and the Scratch bunch didn’t grab the front of the race until the last km or so. Rodney Cheyne rode a great race off 18:30min, riding through and clear of the bunches in front he looked the winner until the dying stages on Weatherboard Road when Scratch flew past, Rodney hanging on to pick up a well earned 10th.

The race came down to the final sprint, no lead outs here, the top four place getters lining up across the road in a test of speed and strength. Roy Clarke had more than enough to win by a length from Steve Young and Neville Laffy with the fast finishing Tony Mirabella flashing home for fourth.

Thanks to the VVCC for staging the event, and a special thanks to those Eureka Vets and friends of Eureka Vets who volunteered their time to ensure this year’s Open was a resounding success.

Results

1st                        Roy Clarke (Scratch) – Eastern

2nd                        Steve Young (Scratch) – Geelong

3rd                        Neville Laffy (Scratch) – Goulbourn Valley

4th                        Tony Mirabella  (Scratch) – Eureka

5th                        Brian McNamarra (Scratch) – Warrnambool

6th                        Andrew Joiner (2 min) – Central Victoria

7th                        Mathew Grealy (4 min) – Hume

8th                        Peter Keil (2 min) – Eureka

9th                        David Tozer (Scratch) – Warnambool

10th                      Rodney Cheyne (18:30 min) – Gippsland

Fastest:                 Roy Clarke (1:24:18, 41.42km/hr)

The Empire Strikes Back – race report

The Empire Strikes Back – race report

Returning from the primordial wilderness, Shane “Jedi” Cody out-sprinted his fellow Scratch storm troopers to claim a merciless victory over 6 laps of the Weatherboard circuit.  But just when the Scratchies thought they had restored order to vets racing, Mal Rock surprised many by hanging on defiantly to the back of the marauding scratch bunch to bob up for 6th place overall………Amazing!

 

On a day for the hard men of racing, the headwind on Weatherboard road ensured less than 50% of the 25 that started the race, completed the course. First away, the lone Ray Hodgson stayed well clear, at one stage holding a full lap lead over scratch. However, the tough conditions soon brought him back to the chasing bunch of Graeme Parker, Ron Larkin, Jacinta Welch, Mandy Rhook and Terry Collie, they had also previously picked up Greg Curnow. Together they formed a solid unit, working so well that they were not caught until the dying stages of last lap. Graeme, Ron and Greg coming into good form and outlasting the rest of the bunch.

 

The trio of Matt Ritchie, new rider Shane Cook and the legendary Gary Blood, off 16 minutes could have done anything. Matt and Shane rode very well, but Gary was suffering from a gut full of kryptonite and soon fell away. The remaining pair only made marginal gains on the bunch in front while relinquishing plenty to the bunch behind.

 

Chasing them was a large bunch of evenly matched riders off 10 minutes. Bob Morley, John Creek, Brian and Kevin Lee, and the indefatigable Mal Rock were riding a high average speed and steadily chiselled away at the gap to the race lead. This week Bob hung around and didn’t get the arse until the backmarkers put everyone in the hurt box.

 

Second scratch had been reduced with a few of the usual suspects on marshalling duty. Monster Masher Darren Terry was having a blinder of a ride with Andrew Rushton and Paul Humphrey riding strongly in a vain attempt to maintain their slender 3 minute advantage for as long as possible. Andrew stayed in touch until dispensed with by Scratch, Darren spent a lot of bikkies early and tired late in the race, the Weatherboard wind finally separating him, but Paul showed plenty to stay in the mix right to the end, even mustering a spirited sprint to claim a podium position.

 

But all of that was just preamble to the main event. Scratch were not to be denied today and despite losing fabulous Tony Mirabella in the first 300m to a puncture the scratch bunch of Phil Cartledge, Shane Cody, Guy Falla, and Peter Kiel were in murderous form. Phil and Guy were giving lessons at every corner, Shane and Peter using the force to keep a hot tempo. They soon combined with second scratch and the gap to the front of the race tumbled quickly with every lap. With two laps to go they caught the Morley/Rock bunch on Weatherboard Road. The chicane on Burrumbeet Road opened a gap in the combined bunch, Bob went around a tiring Darren Terry to bridge but didn’t quite have enough, he did however succeed in towing Mal back onto the back of the lead bunch, and Mal did complement him on his heroic effort.

 

Guy attacked hard into the Avenue for the last time, only the strong survived. Phil, Guy, Peter, Paul, Shane and Mal pulled away and went in pursuit of the front of the race. They blasted past the race leaders of Graeme, Ron and Greg and opened a commanding lead into Weatherboard road for the last time. Shane attacked just before they turned Into Hendersons Road which strung out the survivors, Phil was able to get back on to Shanes wheel and lead the charge up the hill, the final sprint saw Shane light up the afterburners to step clear of Phil with Paul sprinting well for 3rd over the line. Peter and Guy were some way back with Mal ‘Barnacle’ Rock astonishingly clinging on to stay in the money.

 

Unsung hero of the day was Tony Hebert. He missed his start time due to mechanical issues and rode a gutsy race pretty much by himself as each consecutive bunch picked him up and dropped him, but he did finish. Bravo Tony.

 

Results

1st                                        Shane Cody (Scratch)

2nd                                       Phil Cartledge (Scratch)

3rd                                        Paul Humphrey (3 minutes)

4th                                        Guy Falla (Scratch)

5th                                        Peter Kiel (Scratch)

Fastest Time                     Shane Cody (Scratch)

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