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Livitsanis Takes a Well Earned Victory

After threatening for many weeks to take victory, Pete Livitsanis finally got the nod on a three lap smashfest around the Hetherington circuit.

With the regular handicapper away, I stepped in to set the field.

John Rhook and the in form Scott Townsend were the scratch representatives for the day. The field was book ended by Mandy Rhook was off limit and left the start line with a 25 minute advantage over her husband.

Malcolm Rock and Graeme Parker were chasing off 15 minutes and weren’t waiting for any one.

Greg Curnow Ron Larkin and Peter Marquand were off in pursuit.

Ron Larkin takes up the story………

Big Pete Marquand really fired up on lap two and he and I spat Curnow on the hill. Then we chased well together and bloody hard. Eventually seeing Mal Rock and G Parker and we caught them late into lap two.                                                                

The four of us then worked VERY well and the pace was good. As we speed down the Avenue on lap 3 after passing Mandy I said “We’ve got this one boys’. All of sudden Pete Livi and co went past at a frantic pace.                                                                  

 I got on for a while until Rick Calvert seen me there and promptly spat me on the hill. My four then continued on until the Lees and John Creek got us at the club house. We all got onto them for a bunch sprint over $5.00. John Creek said he could see us on lap two and was gaining until Terry dropped his chain. He waited for Terry and then was caught by the Lee brothers.

The 8 minute bunch of the Lee brothers, Popeye and Flyin’Bryan and myself were hammering along and were surprised to see the 4 minute bunch closing fast, and only on the second lap. They whacked us down past the piggery and the three of us and Terry Collie jumped on. Turning into the head wind the Lee brothers and I jumped in and did turns with the thought that this bunch had every chance of getting up.

I stoically did a long turn past the clubrooms and over the finish line with the bell ringing. I peeled off and was coasting to the back for a rest when Richard “Robocop” Taylor took off with a murderous turn of speed. I was gone and so were the Lee brothers. As they disappeared into the avenue they were back to the four originals of the group and going for it.

I could no longer see what was happening and the eventual winner

Pete Livi takes up the story…………

We rounded up Mandy Rhook on the Weatherboard / Avenue corner, pretty game effort to be out the front of the race for almost 2 1/2 laps! Ron Larkin’s bunch was about 75m up the road, we left them dangle out the front until the bottom of the hill on the Avenue, we weren’t planning on taking any prisoners. Richard, the destroyer of the Morley bunch, hit the gas towards the bottom of the hill and we blew their doors off at 50+, I took over from Richard to keep the pace up as we went up the hill, only Ron had the legs to grab hold of Rick’s back wheel. Rick looked around, saw that we had a passenger, he was having none of that and almost sprinted up the hill – only the brave survived (which didn’t include Ron).

As we rounded the Avenue / Henderson’s Road corner we had about 100m on them, and didn’t see them again. Looking over our shoulder back up the Avenue we couldn’t see scratch, but we knew they wouldn’t be far behind. We kept the work rate high up the little rise to the piggery and continued round the corner into the wind towards home, working short sharp turns. The race was there for us to win (or lose), Richard and I were encouraging the lads to keep working “or Rhooky will get us”.

Coming around the bend at the clubrooms Brad Fry jumped out of his seat thinking the finish line was at the clubrooms – Imagine his disappointment, as no checked flag appeared for him there. Richard thought Brad must be about to pinch the race and had to find a bit extra to grab his wheel in that futile and pre-emptive sprint. Rick and I thanked Richard for putting the collar on Brad and eased up behind him.

Richard got stuck out the front as Brad was spent and gone. Rick was feeling all the hills he’d dragged us up and didn’t have much left in the tank.

Richard went for home about 250m out with me on his hammer. He was in too big a gear to get the acceleration he needed as, with 100m to go, I jumped up the outside (I waited until I could actually see the checked flag). Richard persisted and we duked it out, Richard mashing the 11 cog and me whirring away on, at most, the 14 cog. I got a wheel on him with 10m to go and held just long enough.”

 The remaining interest was to see if scratch were going to capture fastest time as they still seemed a long way down.

John Rhook takes up the story

Rhook pulled up at the start line next to Darrel and Darren thinking they were off scratch with him and Scotty, after all Livitsanis had been gone for a minute and a half!! Then Darrel says you still have 2 n half minutes. A quick glance at Bill and Scotty confirmed this and Rhook thought Holly crap we’ll get slaughtered today!

Anyway no one  paid much attention to Townsend’s talk about how bad he felt and how tired he was. After all he is a bike rider!! How many times have we heard that?

So Rhook shoots out of the gate, bolts down the road waiting for Mr T to come on by and he didn’t!  A quick look around revealed he was off the back eventually Townsend builds up comes by to start work on the first lap. When Rhook  rounded the corner on the avenue he looked back and  knew Townsend wasn’t joking about his form.  Scotty was 60 meters off the back! Even old Billy in the tail car  was wondering what was going on. Rhook realising the futility of a lone  chase  waited for Townsend to “get on” and after that he took it easy on him ,J, until he warmed up. With the tail wind the big fella wound up and scratch were back in it. A solid chase ensued with Rhook doing the lion’s share of the work.  

Scratch caught Second scratch (Darrel Stewart) down weatherboard Rd for the second time. Stewart  jumped on and between them Townsend and Stewart could assist Rhook in the monumental 4 minute chase to the four  third scratch riders. Entering the third lap there was still no sign of the fleeing third scratch bunch so it was nose to the handle bar to save fastest time.

It wasn’t until Charles’s piggery that the back markers finally started to pick up some dropped riders.

John Rhook did most of the heavy lifting as he belted out his fearsome time trial turns.

He surged as hard as he could to the finish and in a remarkable ride claimed fastest time.

This was a race that had everything including a worthy winner.

1st – Pete Livitsanis
2nd – Richard Taylor
3rd – Rick Calvert
4th – Brad Fry
5th – John Creek

Fastest Time John Rhook

Race Report- Scratch Race 31st July


A Grade Scratch race

A field of 6 riders faced the starter, these being Phil Cartledge, Rod Hetherington, Bob Braszell, John Rhook and visiting riders from Bendigo club, Paul Volk and Darrell Stewart .

It was a fairly sedate start with all 6 working honest turns across the quarry road, the only notable event was the clash of Rod’s front wheel and Darrell’s derailleur. As the bunch turned into the wind on the back straight Phil decided to test the riders’ skills by going up the very edge of the road and remained there for the entire length of the straight!! As the riders turned into the tail wind the pace went on and as they turned into Donovan’s Road, Cartledge attacked hard out of the corner catching Braszell off the back. Bob made a gallant effort to get back on but the hill finished his under done legs. It was full steam ahead down the finishing straight and when the riders turned onto the quarry road, Hetherington was gone.

After several attacks down the back straight Stewart was well off the front when the group turned into Donovans Road the second time, again Cartledge drove hard up the small climb and pulled the break away in. It was then a solid 11 cog down the front straight which proved too much for Darrell Stewart and as we crested the quarry hill it was down to 3. Cartledge attacked again down the back straight proving to much for the last visiting rider and Rhook was the only rider left able to hold the wheel .

After a discussion about upholding the stature of the club against those ….visitors. It was a solid last 5 K to the finish. Cartledge lead the sprint out and was too strong for Rhook who was doing all he could just to stay on the wheel for 2nd place, Paul Volk came in 3rd some 5 minutes down.

B Grade

A small but evenly matched bunch fronted the starters with the early money on Peter Livitsanis or Rick Calvert. Richard Taylor was un backable but had not one but two flat tyres before the start and was relegated to marshalling duties. An interesting addition the Michael Veal who set a new standard in warm ups when he wheeled his bike from his vehicle 10 metres to the start line announcing “ Warm up done!”

The bunch was well mannered and dropped into a rhythm of rolling over and sharing the load. It was only a matter of time before somebody shook up the monotony. It was Peter Livitsanis with the aid of the tail wind cranked it up and powered the whole way on the front. The rest of the field was strung out in a line like ducks wondering when he would back it off. Livitsanis won the nonexistent intermediate sprint and kept it going to the next corner. He swung off and thing got back to whatever normal is. Then low and behold he did the same thing the next lap. Lined out the whole field again and backed it off around the corner. He hadn’t finished with us yet and on blowhard road into the side wind he put us into the gutter and lifted the pace in a “Cartledge-esque “maneuver to sort the field out. However Phil Cartledge he aint and no –one suffered too greatly. Then we got to the tail wind straight on the irrepressible Livitsanis was on the front again!!As the finish line loomed, Michael Veal was on his wheel looking for the sit. However he was still copping a fair bit of breeze because he sits a lot higher than the diminutive Pete. The best sit in the house was behind Veal and that was where Bob Morley had parked himself. One of the pre race favourites , Rick Calvert was on Morley’s wheel and Brian Lee was sitting out in the middle of the road for no apparent reason.

400 out Veal’s experience and mind told him it was time to go. He stood up but his legs told him to sit down. He had cramped and all it did was alert Livitsanis that it was on. He committed and went all out for the line. Calvert jumped down the outside and thought he had the race won when the old stager Morley “Bobbed” up and powered down the outside to take a well judged victory.

Calvert hung on for second. Peter Livitsanis carved a new adage” Plenty of guts, no glory” to hold second and the Doc rolling over the line for fourth. Brian Lee was still in the middle of the road and came in fifth.

 

C Grade

Eight riders made up the C grade field with the attacks starting early in the race. John Creek who just continues to grow stronger every week dominated the attacks.  Using the tail wind into Donovan’s Road as a launching pad on each lap he strung out the entire field out for several kms with even the most seasoned riders struggling to hold a wheel.

Ron Larkin dug hard on the quarry hill but to no avail as all of the field were showing better form than him.
All eyes were on Steve Kanga Kennedy, who looked very comfortable though out the race as did Kevin Lee who rode using his brain and holding off any attacks with ease.  Jacinta Welch also cruised along with ease in the male dominated group.  Mal Rock put in a rock solid ride and started the long sprint for the finish far too early.  Kevin Lee and John Creek then opened up the pace and it was a clear duel between these two stronger riders of the field for first place. Lee took the line honors just ahead of Long John Creek with Steve Kennedy finishing comfortable in third place.

 

D Grade

D Grade was well represented and just to make things interesting Gary Blood missed the start and had to race to get back on. The bunch then rode together for some time which was a feat in itself with a group containing Greg Curnow and Gary blood. Alby Chapman was the first to go when the pace was lifted on Quarry hill. Shirley Hetherington was keeping the bunch in check until the main hill on the last lap when Blood had a rush of Blood and left the group to strike out alone. The others thought it was wise to leave him there for a while and worked turns to keep him in reach. But the harder they worked the more blood pulled away. Greg Curnow thought it was time to strike out on his own and tried to get across but found himself in no man’s land.

Gary Blood stayed away for an impressive victory and Curnow held on for second. The sprint was on for third when there was a touch of bikes between Shirley Hetherington and big Nick Verhagen. This worked in Verhagen’s favour and he was the third place getter

 

E Grade

E Grade was the M&M show as Maz Morley and Mandy Rhook fought out D Grade. They both rode well but it was Mandy that was too strong in her comeback ride to take victory with Maz Morley second.

Townsend Wins Braszell Memorial Race.

Scott Townsend was the inaugural winner of the Charlie Braszell memorial race indifficult conditions on Sunday. Charlie was prominent in the cycling industry for many years involved in many aspects of the sport.

It was an emotional victory for Scott considering the late Charlie Braszell coached Scott’s father the late Peter Townsend.

The race was set by the handicapper with 46 participants making the start line.Marilyn Morley was first away and she rode by herself and was caught well into the race at the 45 kilometre mark. The back end of the field was pumping with Doug Garley Tony Mirrabella Peter Kieland eventual winner Townsend cutting a swathe through the field picking up the occasional helper and shedding riders to obscurity.The middle bunch was making great time with Alby Govan and Gail Oliver quickly taking time out of the bunch in front. Bob Morley fell off the pace and Alan Barnett just fell off.

There was plenty of interest in the out markers as Shirley Hetherington and big Nick Verhagen had caught Marilyn Morley and Steve Atkinson. Shirley Hetherington could sense Nick should go ahead because she was holding him back. Verhagen took off and was making great pace on his new Shogun and looked a likely winner. The scratch bunch had not faltered their pace and had picked up Dave Peters, Peter Livitsanis, Gail Oliver and Alby Govan. They still had not sighted the Flying Dutchman and it looked like he was home. He turned left into the final stretch of Weatherboard road. It was uphill and into the wind. It was only a kilometre to go but it was like someone had dumped a bag of wheat on his shoulders.Scratch hit him on the final rise with the race being on for line honours.

Townsend broke clear with hard man Doug Garley not far off him wrestling a bike with a brokenderailleur. The mercurial Mirrabella was third. Peter Kiel who never misses a turnwas fourth. Gail Oliver rode a tremendous race to be easily the first woman home.Nick Verhagen held on for tenth after winning the intermediate sprint at Erclidourne.

Rod Hetherington did a masterful job with the handicapping and the day was a great tribute to a man that was, and always will be, held in the highest of regard in the cycling community.

 

Cartledge Crushes Field in Emphatic Win

Phil Cartledge di his growing reputation no harm with a comfortable victory on Sunday at Learmonth.
The field was noticeably smaller because riders took too much notice of the forecast.
The riders that did turn up were rewarded with fine but crisp conditions.

Cartledge started off the scratch position and was joined by master handicapper Rod Hetherington. They had 45 seconds to make up on second scratch that consisted or Peter Livi, RivhardTaylor and Rick Calvert.

Hetherington led off for the first turn and Cartledge took over to attempt to close down the gap as quickly as possible. He twitched his elbow and waited , looked behind and Hetherington was 100 metres behind. Decision time. He took off on a solo chase with the likely hood that he was no chance. He did however catch the trio in front at the top of quarry hill in an exhibition of power riding.

Further out, the five minute bunch of Bob Morley and Kevin Lee fancied their chances as they quickly reeled in Ian Wallis and Terry Collie.

As they started the second lap and turned the first corner they were deflated to see riders coming quickly from behind. The backmarkers enveloped the bunch of four and only had to round up the brave Greg Curnow and the bunch was up. This was completed on quarry hill and Curnow was out the back.

Cartledge led them left after quarry hill and slowly increased the pace and put it down the road as well. Those that were hoping to be carted along were disappointed and Collie, Wallis and Lee found the going too hard and their race was over.

Cartledge continued on the front and swung off to give the also rans a chance to feel some wind. He must have been bored with the pedestrian pace as he got on the front and proceeded to ride every one off his wheel. Only the powerful Richard Taylor had enough juice to get across.

Morley, Livitsanis and Calvert were making ground when Cartledge went off the front again to burst everyone’s bubble.

The only option for the chasers to work turns behind him. They were making good pace, or so they thought, but Cartledge treated their combined efforts with distain and disappeared into the distance to score a very impressive victory.

The only interest was in the placings. Rick Calvert fancied his chances and went from a long way out. The others jumped, and it was Richard Taylor, pushing an inhuman gear, claimed second place. Peter Livitsanis rode well to claim third and Calvert tired but held fourth place.

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