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July 14, 2019 – W.A.R.S. 4 – Waubra handicap, 42 Km

July 14, 2019 – W.A.R.S. 4 – Waubra handicap, 42 Km

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Winter Aggregate Race Series

Race 4

14th July 2019

Waubra – 42 Km handicap

2019 W.A.R.S. Waubra hcp

LIVITSANIS – FIRST MAN
WHELAN SECOND – WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH
CLARKE FASTEST – SPEED TO BURN
CANNY BACK IN FORM – WINS RAFFLE

Strong winds almost thwarted the launch of race 4 in the 2019 Europa Cafe / Hopscotch Cafe Winter Aggregate Race Series.
Severe weather warnings had caused other clubs to abandon racing on this day, yet Eureka were free to fly after receiving race day approval from the local Highway Patrol.

T minus ten seconds, we are go for launch.
Six, five, ignition complete.
Three, two, one.
We have lift off!

Ground Control – Bill Goldfinch – set the Limit riders off at 9:30 AM.  Kevin Lee was back for his first race in 2019, alongside Darryl Brown.
The slight downhill start helped the pair as they headed off into the strong cross headwind.  At 22 minutes, they had a small advantage over the four man 17 minute group.

Peter Livitsanis, Dan Whelan, Brian Lee and Roger McMillan rolled up to the launch area.  Fast decisions were made about how many layers should be stripped off before the race…not many clothes were discarded though.  The temperature may have been 6.5 degrees, however the “feels like” temp was minus zero point six.

Countdown commencing.
Fire one.
We have launch.

A long, long, ten minute wait until the largest group of the day was set off.  The 7 minute group consisted of Bob Braszell, Jim Crumpler, Scott Keating, Wayne Klauss and Darryn Reed.
This looked a strong bunch on paper, with much firepower to spare!  They also had a handy five minute to spare over the chopping block…

Recent good results by Second Scratch saw the handicapper take some of their advantage away – just a two minute buffer was enjoyed.  The addition of Jason Hendry to the ranks was warmly received.  Tony Mirabella, Greg Ley and Dean Wells made up the numbers.

The formidable Scratch group saw Craig Lee, Tim Canny and Shane Clarke.

Flight controller, we are all systems go!

Out on course, the Limit pair were battling away into the ever increasing wind.  Kevin Lee was wondering why he had chosen today to make his return, whilst Brown was wondering “What fresh hell is this?”
The Whelan group (17 min) were making great time and closing fast.  They had made little time on the leaders as they headed towards Addington, yet once the turn into the wind was made, they quickly stripped the gap away.
The Crumpler group (7 min) had opened a massive gap on Second Scratch as they rocketed down Edmonston Road.  Upon turning into the jaws of the wind, they lost that advantage almost immediately.
For their part, Second Scratch had been struggling to find rhythm.  Mirabella was out of sorts and the other three paddled until Hendry took the lead towards Addington.  Scratch were bearing down quickly on them.  They could almost reach out and tag Second Scratch as they climbed out of Addington.  Over the crest and they soon had their prey…in just 9 kilometres!

Further up the road, Group Whelan took the race lead as they crossed the highpoint of the circuit (for the first time).  The long downhill section beckoned, yet the wind made it a lot harder than normal.
Minutes later, Group Crumpler crossed the highpoint.  The downhill section presented a great opportunity for the booster rockets to get flicked on…yet in the distance a new threat emerged.  Scratch was over the steps near Waubra.

Canny, Clarke and Lee all swapping turns, with Wells, Hendry and Ley all hanging on for a free ride…

Whelan had control of his group.  They had reached the turnaround at the Black Bottom Road intersection with a healthy margin over the chasers and were climbing before they saw anyone.
There goes a bunch…it isn’t Scratch.
Here comes another bunch…that is Scratch!
Quick calculation… we have four kilometres on them!
Let’s go.
Rocket, yeah!

Crumpler’s 7 minute group are through the turnaround.  They can see Scratch coming over the hill ahead.  Looks like a big bunch!

Scratch pass through the turnaround with the passengers still onboard.  Clarke and Canny pace themselves up the first part of the climb.  The strong tail wind is literally throwing them uphill and making it too easy for everyone to hang on.
Into the treed section Canny flicks the boosters on.  The speed is soon pushing 45 Kph… uphill!  He has one aim – drop Hendry.  The big fella represents too much of a threat!  Hendry holds strong.  Others can’t…
Wells is off the back, but he is in good company with a pair of Club Champions (Lee and Ley).  The three quickly unite and start swapping turns.
Canny, Clarke and Hendry keep pulling away…

The three leaders aren’t losing any ground to the Crumpler group.  In fact, as the road continues up, the three slight men are pulling further ahead.
They crest the highpoint still well ahead, however such is the ferocity of Canny & Co. the advantage has been halved to just 2 kilometres.
Once over the crest the tail wind is huge!
There will be some serious attempts at Strava KOMs on this day!

The Crumpler group is caught by the rampaging Scratchies on the climb.  Reed and Keating hang on.  The others can’t and Hendry is finally dropped.
A few hundred metres behind, Club Champion Lee has his men working well.  They fly up the hill closing on the riders that Canny & Co. have left in their wake.

Canny and Clarke are over the highpoint.  They can’t see anyone ahead.  Group Whelan is already down the dip past Waubra.  They are hidden from view!  Heads down, they find another gear!  Down the dip and there in the distance they finally see riders.

Group Whelan is through the sharp right hander at Addington.  One minute later Canny & Co. take the same turn.  The gap is just over one kilometre.

The three leaders are at the steep section, passing Harrison’s Road.  Their lead is being whittled away with each pedal stroke.

Reed finally loses contact with Canny and Clarke.  The pair of Scratch riders are free of all burden, yet the gap to the leaders has stopped closing… at about 250 metres.

Whelan, Livitsanis and Brian Lee crest the last rise on Edmonston Road.  The road is smoother here and their speed increases yet again.  Final turn.

The leaders are on the home straight!  The tail wind is still huge.  Their pace is above 50 Kph.  Their lead is less than 200 metres.

Past the Avenue and down the dip.  Up the other side.  The three are eyeing each other off.
Whelan takes a quick look back.  The chasers are almost upon them.  “Here they come. We have to go now!”
Livitsanis senses trickery from the older rider, yet Whelan has exploded away for the line.  It’s too early.

Livitsanis knows this race finish to the centimetre, yet his hand has been forced.  He chases Whelan…

Canny and Clarke are pushing well over 60 Kph.  They are closing fast.  The line is coming up quick.  They pass Brian Lee.

Whelan and Livitsanis are just ahead.  Livitsanis now has the lead.  The tree is very near…

Clarke has an extra surge.  He misses.  Livi WINS!
Just a bike length in it, from Whelan who is a wheel ahead of Clarke.
Canny next, then Lee.  A short gap to Reed.  Then a bunch as Hendry and Keating just hold off the fast finishing Lee, Ley and Wells.

Race results:
1st – Peter Livitsanis (17 min)
2nd – Dan Whelan (17 min)
3rd – Shane Clarke (Scratch)
4th – Tim Canny (Scratch)
5th – Brian Lee (17 min)
Fastest Time – Shane Clarke (Scratch) in 1h 4m 30s, ave. 38.9 Kph

2019 WARS version 2 poster

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July 7, 2019 – W.A.R.S. 3 – Mt Beckworth (short) graded divisions, 37 Km

July 7, 2019 – W.A.R.S. 3 – Mt Beckworth (short) graded divisions, 37 Km

EUROPA cafe and HOPSCOTCH cafe
Winter Aggregate Race Series

Race 3

7th July 2019

Mount Beckworth (short) – 37 Km graded divisions

 2019 WARS Mt Beckworth short - Made with PosterMyWall (1)

LEE (Brian NOT Craig) – FIGHTS LIKE A TIGER
DOMINANT KLAUSS – PLAYS WITH RIVALS
REED – VICTORY TO THE STRONGEST
ALL HAIL THE NEW EUREKA SPRINT KING – HENDRY


Division 4
 – as reported by Brian Lee

Seven riders set off into a stiff cross and head wind for the short 37 kilometre race.
Jakkii Dawson, Laura White and Linnea Bjornsson spent most of the time on the front of the group, with Darryl Brown and Brian Lee also doing some of the pace making.
Rob Kinna was more than happy to let the others argue about riding into the head wind. (Graeme Parker and Rob Young were also both out for a training ride as they make their comebacks)

The group pretty much stayed together until the climb up Mt Beckworth.
Lee put in an attack on the hill – McLennan held the wheel.  Gaps opened up.
Brown followed the duo and Jakkii was also on her own.  The others banding together for the fast ride back down the hill, with the wind at their backs.

The leaders swapped turns on the front – determined not to let anyone ruin their party.
They made it all the way back to the finish line and a short sprint saw Lee edging over the line ahead of McLennan.

Action aplenty in the race for third, with Jakkii quickly closing the gap to Brown as they tore down the home straight.  Brown held out the fast finishing Jakkii by just a wheel.

Results:
1st – Brian Lee
2nd – Phil McLennan
3rd – Darryl Brown

Division 3 – through the eyes of Steve Biram

The smallest field of the day was the hardest to pick.  Race smarts in Peter Livitsanis, Bob Morley and Roger McMillan, versus the unknown in new riders Wayne Klauss and Andrew Wilson, versus the enigma that is Steve Biram (literally no-one knows what he is capable of – including himself).

With only six in the bunch it never was going to be too easy to hide at the back – but the games were on with some rolling softly through and some putting pressure on the first climbs.
McMillan is lost early.  Nobody was putting the pressure on when the field turned onto the next long straight and some were even slowing down when they hit the front.. but then this is a scratch race and there is a hill with a head wind out there.
Klauss decides to have a crack at breaking away… “leave him out there” was the call…however his 100 metre advantage soon became 300 metres.  The bunch lifted the tempo, forcing some turns and even riding a little dirt here and there (blasted wind!).  The gap was soon back to one hundred metres and closing.

A few dips and false flats later and Klauss is back in the fold, not long before the main climb.  Again nobody was willing to wreck themselves on the climb, the head wind was enough to sap anybody wanting to push the tempo up.
Biram made a little surge which was quickly covered, as were any other efforts on the climb.

This U-turn promises to be the breaking point… turn and immediately have a tail wind and a fast down hill… no-one wants to be caught out here!

Biram is the first rider around the cone… stepping on the pedals to get a gap while the others are still turning… he opens a small gap, yet measures his effort.
Klauss has matched Biram and yells “Get going now! We have a gap!”

The two unite in their efforts, but wait, there is another!  Wilson has also latched on.
The odds are better with three riders in the lead!
Pushing it hard down the hill they soon broke the rubber band to the chasers.  Rolling turns, all doing what they could without cooking themselves, yet still keeping the tempo moving…

Back to Donovan’s Road and the games have started.  The race is their’s, yet only one will win.

Biram keeps the speed high enough to discourage any attack as they hit the short rise.
No attacks – everyone is hurting!  Everyone is cagey!

Rolling turns as they close to the last kilometre…
Wilson isn’t waiting for anyone.  He launches his sprint with 400 metres to go.  Klauss is glued to his wheel.  Biram is just hanging on.

Wilson starts to fade and that is enough for Klauss who explodes off his wheel.  Biram is in pursuit.  The gap doesn’t close and Klauss takes the victory.

Results:
1st – Wayne Klauss
2nd – Steve Biram
3rd – Andrew Wilson

Division 2 – as witnessed by our man on the spot

Tough decisions had to be made by the Handicapper whilst framing up the fields for the graded division races.  With just five riders on the board for Division 2, yet eleven listed for Division 1, he was forced to relegate the three “lowest rated riders” – Lindsay Burgoyne, Greg Ley and Dean Wells – c’est la vie.

With the field set and sunshine on their backs, the race commenced.  A tight fit through the first turn saw Geoff Martin squeezed out the back.  He soon latched back on as the rider rotations started.
Ash Burke and Jim Crumpler joining in with Burgoyne, Ley and Wells.  Darryn Reed and Bob Braszell playing cool heads and staying close yet not on the front.

A stiff cross breeze from the north making the early kilometres harder than they needed to be.  They were still together up the hill past the quarry, then the turn onto Coghill’s Creek Road brought them into the teeth of the head wind.
Passing through Blowhard, Wells ramped the pace up whilst protected from the wind by the high trees.  This set up Reed to take a bit of a flyer off the front.
The field came back together and Burgoyne took off.  The field came back together again, yet everyone was wary now.  Many ensuring they were not on the front for too long.

Ley provided the next attack as the lower slopes of Mount Beckworth were encountered.  This too was brought back.

Burke went off the front on the approach to the Glendaruel CFA shed.  The field caught up and he was left to bake before Burgoyne made an aggressive attack.  Out of the saddle, straight into the gutter.  Ley had his wheel, followed by Burke, Wells, Reed…after that it was hard to find any sort of sit…

Burgoyne’s effort was shredding riders out the back.  Burke sensed mechanical issues nearing the crest.  He moved out of line and Wells launched.  Ley quickly found the wheel.  A small gap to Reed and Burgoyne, the rest were gapped.

Onto the flat and Wells pressed the pace.  Burgoyne almost latched back on, but at the turnaround he had to go wide on an excursion in the dirt to avoid Ley’s wheel.  Reed swooped past and turned himself inside out to catch Ley and Wells who were already heading downhill.

The script had been written.  Burgoyne chased hard.  He got within thirty metres, however the three leaders had quickly united and held him at bay.
The gap opened.

The leaders headed back through Coghill’s Creek and onto the Windmill circuit.  Turning onto Donovan’s Road the unspoken word was that all truces were off.

Ley hit out over the short rise.  The other two fought back onto his wheel.  The pace barely eased, yet Ley worked his way to the back of the trio so that he could plot his next attack.

Ley hit them hard again, two kilometres from the finish.  Wells limited the lost ground and held the gap.  Reed rolled through and took up the chase.  He brought the race back together just 500 metres from the line.

The pace was hard.  The breathing was harder.  Three riders in what amounted to a heavyweight bout.  From here the strongest would win.

Reed was on the front, Wells on his wheel, Ley barely in touch.  Wells launched at 100 metres to go.  Ley followed.  Reed responded.
Reed holds them out!

Results:
1st – Darryn Reed
2nd – Greg Ley
3rd – Dean Wells

 

Division 1 – courtesy of Craig Lee

Fair conditions greeted the Div. 1 brigade today out at Beckworth.
A light northerly breeze would make racing interesting when the road becomes a little narrower and heads upwards.  Many of the mere mortals in the group were salivating the fact that Eureka’s number 1 rider (and veterans poster boy) Tim Canny had assigned himself to marshalling duties.
The question on spectators minds was “If Canny isn’t here to attack everybody and everything, who would take his position as Master and Destroyer?”

The natural choice was the reigning Club Champion – Craig Lee – however a whole bunch of talent was ready to make this a true test…

Sam Smith made a last minute decision to race – returning from hibernation.  This might seem odd given it is the middle of winter…
The decision was so last minute, that he forgot his entry fee.  He remembered 15 minutes into his ride out to the clubrooms and in a brief panic, he phoned his troops back home to deliver the much needed funds in order to enter the race.  We bet the interest attached to that $10 might take a while to pay back!

Dayne Pearce and Shane Clarke are new riders at the club and pose a real threat to the Canny domination that has been lingering for 3 years.
Tony Mirabella was back following his win last week.  There was some confidence starting to creep into his riding style again.  Smug grin, signing autographs and warming up as if his bike had no chain.  Could today be his chance to consolidate his form and really let his rivals know he was back?

Stu Brien managed to dislodge his bike from the trainer and remove himself from the comfort of a warm training environment.  His impressive numbers and questionable “power to weight” – on an extremely popular electronic training platform – would be required if he was to latch on to the puncheurs of the group heading towards Mt Beckworth.

Brien’s “warm up” looked very pro and was duly noted by… Jason Birch who had returned to the fold.  Birch was not impressed with a former Phoenix bearer and a certain TMB Vice Captain both convincing the handicapper of a demotion to Division 2.  Some would say Birch was on point with the commentary, particularly when both those riders were a part of the formidable ‘chopping block’ from the previous week…

The inform rider of the club – Jason Hendry – also lined up.  No one was letting last week’s hiccup fool them!  Hills don’t suit Hendry’s style, but when there is a sprint at the end you’d better hope he isn’t anywhere near the front.  Hendry’s plan was to surf wheels into the wind and conserve energy for the assault up Beckworth.  He was keen to hold his rivals when the roads pointed slightly upwards and if he was still there at the end of the race, he’d open a can of fury in the last 200 metres…well, that was the plan.  If it came to fruition he would be hard to dislodge from the top step of the podium.

The race began with Mirabella hitting the front and setting the pace.  Unfortunately it would be short lived, as he was left off the back and out of breath coming into Blowhard – he was certainly doing that!
The group sniffed blood – Brien and Lee drove the pace along Coghill’s Creek Rd to ensure it was the last the group saw of poor Mirabella.
Enter Clarke, heavily rumoured as the reason that some (who shall remain nameless, had demoted themselves back to the 2’s).  He attacked on a number of occasions and eventually managed to gap the field as they entered Coghill’s Creek.  Thankfully, he sat up and the group was able to find his wheel.

Little occurred leading up to the rise to Beckworth, most looking for a good sit and positioning themselves for the pending attacks.  At the base of the climb, Brien went to the front of the pack, hoping to set a controlled tempo, whilst riding at his own pace.
Clarke had other ideas and unleashed a strong effort on the climb.  This removed all out of contention except Lee, Hendry and Smith.  Unfortunately it was lights out for the rest of the field when Clarke delivered the fatal blow!

Lee led them into the hairpin turn and organised for the remaining four to “track turn” their way to the finish.  The pace remained high and there would be no letting up until Donovan’s Rd where victory would be guaranteed for one of the riders who had broken clear.

Four riders and four different finishing styles…
Hendry – the big strong sprinter
Clarke – a mid range track endurance type racer
Smith – the long range attacker
Lee – a vulture who circles for easy prey (during other’s moments of weakness)

Smith attacked at the top of Donovans Rd – long range as expected – he gapped the other three, but some handy work by Hendry bought him back to the fold.
Clarke went next – Bang!  Hendry covered the move again which had Smith and Lee snivelling at the back.

The pace eased – this would come down to a sprint!

At 200 metres to go, Clarke threw the first punch.  Hendry and Lee were quick to react.  Smith ducked when he should have weaved – it was down to three.

The pace was furious, but Hendry had another gear!  He ripped past a fading Clarke.  Both managed to easily hold off Lee.

Note 1: Hendry is fast proving he has become a very smart racer and coupled with his awesome power…(insert gush of adoration)
Note 2: All hail the new Eureka ‘Sprint King’.

Results:
1st – Jason Hendry
2nd – Shane Clarke
3rd – Craig Lee

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June 30, 2019 – Charlie Braszell Hcp – Mt Misery with Hill Top, 49 Km

June 30, 2019 – Charlie Braszell Hcp – Mt Misery with Hill Top, 49 Km

Charlie’s race – 30th June 2019

Charlie Braszell Hcp

Mt Misery with Hill Top finish – 48.5 Km

EVCC 2019 Charlie Braszell - poster

ITALIAN STALLION – BACK ON TOP
SECOND SCRATCH – DOMINANT FORCE
JAKKII DAWSON – MOST AGGRESSIVE RIDER

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Twenty two riders signed on for the original Eureka classic race, the Charlie Braszell Handicap.  2019 was the second year that Charlie’s race was contested on the Mount Misery circuit, with the finish atop the Harrison’s Road climb.
It was cold and windy, yet the blue skies and sunshine made it seem warmer that it actually was.

Jakkii Dawson headed off alone as the sole Limit rider. 25 minutes didn’t seem enough time for Jak to be able to stay clear of the pack…however on this day her legend grew!

Second Limit rode off a mere 15 minutes.  Newly installed Veteran Cycling Victoria handicapper – Peter Livitsanis – did not take his place in the field and so just four riders set off in pursuit of Jakkii.  Roger McMillan, Darryl Brown, Bob Morley and reigning champion Danny Whelan rode off as one.  They soon struck trouble with the incessant headwind in the first five kilometres.  The split was unavoidable – the consequences dire for their chances…

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Just two riders set off at 12 minutes.  Steve Linane does not avoid the watchful eye of the State Handicapper anymore.  New member Andrew Wilson was probably wondering why he drew the short straw.  It would be a tough task chasing the bunch ahead and a game of patience if they intended to wait for the group behind.  Ultimately the wind had its say – the pair left to lament what could have been if they had more numbers.

The back of the field was stacked with talent, youngsters and much brawn.  The six minute group gave themselves a big chance in staying clear of the chasers.  Jim Crumpler, Scott Keating and Ash Burke provided the muscle, whilst Bob Braszell and Peter Kiel were the climbers.  Could Crumpler contain his excitement on the long downhill section and not blow the bunch apart?  Only time would tell…

Second Scratch rode off 3 minutes and fielded two former Club Champions – Tony Mirabella and Greg Ley.  Along for the ride was Stu Brien, Rick Calvert and Dean Wells.  The fact these guys were all riding off 3 minutes gives some inkling to the calibre of the Scratch group on this day.  Track turns was the order of the day, but keep a bit in reserve for when Scratch catch us…

Club Champion Craig Lee led out a most formidable Scratch group which included the likes of Tim Canny, Rob Ellis, Jason Hendry and new member Dayne Pearce.  Pearce was lucky to qualify for this event – or unlucky depending on when you asked him – riding just his third event with Eureka, he was keen to make an impact.  That opportunity came quicker than he had hoped for, when Ellis was out the back early…

It was like Team Time Trial day for most bunches on this day.
Jakkii was way out front doing a solo effort.  So far out in front that nobody saw her until the 45 kilometre mark!
Morley and Whelan were smashing through the turns.  They had lost Brown in the first few kilometres, then McMillan afterwards.  The pair weren’t making any inroads on Jakkii, infact, she was pulling away from them!

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Linane and Wilson had been swallowed up by the Crumpler group.  Seven riders made for a good sized bunch, however some were only barely hanging on.  The gap to the chasers was dropping with each pedal stroke…

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Second Scratch were on a flyer.  Mirabella was powering through each time.  Brien was fluid and strong.  Ley, Calvert and Wells were helping out where possible.  Thus far no one had missed a turn.  The groups ahead were growing larger.  Look over the shoulder and there was no sight of Scratch!

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The back markers were not making an impression on the “chopping block”.  The convoy of cars hid the bunches ahead from view, yet it seemed the cars were driving away from them.  Surely they would see riders soon…maybe not…

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Jakkii maintained a large lead as she swung back east onto Ercildoune Road.  The tail wind was now a cross wind and the 19 kilometre climb to the finish line had begun…
Morley and Whelan still held a handy break on the rest of the field as they too swung east.  Maybe this could be their day…

Second Scratch are bearing down on the Crumpler/Linane group (McMillan is also in the bunch!).  The last two kilometres of Black Bottom Road are fast.  Brien is driving the pace at every opportunity.
Onto Ercildoune Road and Wells and Calvert are almost dropped.  They fight back on as the Crumpler group is caught.
Two kilometre long narrow road!  Strong cross wind from the left!  Thirteen riders!  Just seven make it through to the far side.
Kiel and Keating have latched onto Second Scratch.
Morley and Whelan are the next targets…

Scratch have also turned east.  They soon come across dropped riders. T hings are looking up, the field appears to have imploded.  Maybe, maybe not…

Jakkii has almost reached the turn onto the Weatherboard climb when Second Scratch catch Morley and Whelan.
Scratch finally catch a glimpse of Second Scratch.  It’s fleeting, yet it gives hope.

Second Scratch are on the Weatherboard climb.  Somewhere ahead is the race leader.  Ley, then Brien do the pace making duties up the climb.
A fast acceleration near the top doesn’t catch anyone out.

Scratch are flying up Weatherboard.  Hendry loses contact.  Just three remain.  The odds are against them, yet you never know…

Into the headwind on Edmonston Road and Second Scratch finally catch the gallant Jakkii.  Soon after, Brien takes the lead and stays there for the final kilometre to the base of Harrison’s Road.
Onto the climb and the pack quickly splits with Mirabella, Ley, Kiel and Calvert getting a small gap on the rest.

There are four steps on the mile long Harrison’s Road climb.  There are four talented climbers making the ascent together…
Calvert has won on this hill twice before.
Mirabella has won on every circuit Eureka races on.
Ley has proven strong on this hill at Championship level.
Kiel is as light a climber as they come.

Scratch have turned onto Harrison’s Road.  They see the leaders stretched out ahead.  There is a some hope of reeling them in.
Canny takes off in pursuit.  Lee and Pearce can’t hold the wheel.  Hendry is on the climb as well.

At the head of the race it seems that two riders have it between themselves – each step sees Mirabella and Ley open a few metres on Calvert and Kiel.
Wells appears to be clear in fifth place.  Keating and Brien just behind.  Canny is closing fast.

The final step looms.  Mirabella has one last card to play.
He attacks from behind and quickly opens a gap on Ley.
Kiel has a break on Calvert.  Canny has picked riders off one by one.  He is gaining on Kiel and Calvert.
Mirabella races away to a twenty metre win.  Ley is second.  Kiel hangs on for third ahead of Calvert.  Canny almost catching them at the death and taking another Fastest Time.

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At the post race presentation both Geoff and Neil Braszell were on hand to present the prizes for Charlie’s race.
The first prize awarded was the Most Aggressive Rider, which went to Jakkii Dawson for her outstanding effort in staying away – solo – for forty five kilometres.

Eureka Cycling thank the Braszell family for their ongoing support of the club, in particular, presenting this race for us each year.

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Race Results:
1st – Tony Mirabella (3 mins)
2nd – Greg Ley (3 mins)
3rd – Peter Kiel (6 mins)
4th – Rick Calvert (3 mins)
5th – Tim Canny (Scratch)
6th – Dean Wells (3 mins)
7th – Stu Brien (3 mins)
8th – Craig Lee (Scratch)
9th – Scott Keating (6 mins)
10th – Dayne Pearce (Scratch)
Others: Jason Hendry, Dan Whelan, Jakkii Dawson, Bob Morley, Bob Braszell, Jim Crumpler, Ash Burke, Andrew Wilson, Steve Linane, Roger McMillan, Darryl Brown, Rob Ellis
Fastest Time – Tim Canny (Scratch) in 1h 16m 45s, ave. 37.1 Kph
Most Aggressive Rider – Jakkii Dawson (Limit)

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 EVCC 2019 Charlie Braszell - slide

June 23, 2019 – Race for Ray – Windmill handicap, 52.5 Km

June 23, 2019 – Race for Ray – Windmill handicap, 52.5 Km

Remembering a mate – 23rd June 2019

Race for Ray

Windmill circuit – 52.5 Km handicap

 2019 Rescheduled Race for Ray - slide

YOUNG MEN QUINELLA – RISE OF THE MACHINES

THE HENDRY EQUATION – WINNING WAYS

THE CLARK ARRIVAL – CONVERT TO VETERAN

ONE FOR THE AGED – BRIEN IN 3RD FASTEST TIME

The best way to describe the 2019 Race For Ray, would be “bracing”…for both the racing and the weather.  Brace for the onslaught of the back markers – bracing for the hard men and women who found an extra pint of courage, to brave the near freezing and pea soup conditions.
Two weeks earlier the race was cancelled due to severe wind warnings, on this day the lightest of breezes would gradually increase throughout the race and it would finally blow the fog away on the last of three laps.  The chill remained throughout the race.  The feels like temperature hovering below two degrees for the entire race…

The rescheduled event was not an entirely Eureka affair.  Diane Jane, Gavin Gamble and Adrian McMillan had all travelled to compete…as had Eureka’s own Don Steward.  Twenty seven riders signed on for the Race For Ray.
All entry money would be pooled with the post race raffle money for donation to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute.  Ray had fought and defeated cancer TWICE!  Ray found cycling late in his life and quickly dedicated himself to discovering every new gadget and piece of bling for his bike.  Decades of working in the fashion industry (selling hats and mens clothing) saw Ray have a keen eye for matching kit… lots of it.

The riders were racing for Ray and the wonderful trophies which had been kindly donated by race sponsor Krehalon Australia.

Limit rode off with just 22 minutes in hand.  Terry Collie, Jakkii Dawson, Laura White and Diane Jane (Central Victorian VCC) stuck together, worked well and were hidden from view for the first two laps…
The largest group on the day was Second Limit. Danny Whelan, Bob Morley, Roger McMillan, Don Steward, Andrew Wilson and Adrian McMillan, their 14 minute handicap looked generous with the talent on offer, yet the cold can do funny things to the human body and psyche.
The 11 minute group saw Peter Livitsanis, Shaun Martin, Wayne Klauss and Gavin Gamble (Geelong Surf Coast CC) head out into the fog…it was the last time the four riders would be seen together…
At eight minutes a trio of engines took off – Rob Phillips, Grant Dawson and Bob Braszell.  It’s fair to say that none of these men would shirk their turn on the front!
Second Scratch had five riders with a handy three minute buffer over Scratch.  Old Uni mates (and powerhouses to boot) Greg Ley and Jim Crumpler, joined up with Matt Bowman (apparently he does still ride road bikes), Dennis Neal and Rick Calvert.  With so much firepower on offer, the question was could they harness it?
For Scratch, well the thought of chasing three minutes to Second Scratch had the five scratch riders brimming with confidence at the start line.  Jason Hendry and Tony Mirabella were fresh off their stellar performance the previous week taking 1 and 2 and Stu Brien was keen to atone for failing to finish due to a mechanical.  Add power house Dane Pearce and new comer Shane Clark to the group and you have a pretty formidable bunch.
Clark hails from the land of Ararat but is known as a quality, strong rider who can mix it with the A Graders at our sister club Ballarat Sebastopol.

The cold, damp and foggy conditions made finding the group in front difficult and demoralising for all the groups – except Limit who were flying along as comfortably as could be expected.  They were one of the few groups not to suffer early losses.
The 14 minute group had already lost Don Steward on the first lap.
The 11 minute group lost Livitsanis in the first few kilometres as he fell off the pace on the quarry hill climb.  Klauss dropped back to wait for him, Gamble and Martin pushed on with the intention of closing the distance on Limit and Second Limit – but the fog was playing tricks.

Scratch were out of the blocks – the pace was controlled and methodical.  No explosive first turns, just a gradual ramp up to speed that meant everyone was able to build to threshold in a controlled manner.  All except Mirabella that was – who suffered cramping in both legs in the first few kilometres.  He decided that today was not his day and he put the cue in the rack before the quarry the first time around.  This dampened the enthusiasm of the bunch a little, as it would require a big effort by all remaining Scratch men to round up the field before the finish line.
The cold conditions and the poor visibility made for a very lonely first lap, but the tempo was strong and consistent with all parties swapping track turns.  When the call came at the end of lap 1 that Scratch had made up a minute on the bunch in front, the spirits lifted along with the tempo.

The conditions were still having an effect on some groups during lap 2.  The 14 minute group lost Roger McMillan.  He got back on, then was lost again in the fog.  Whelan reacquainted himself with his breakfast and was off the back as well.
The 11 minute riders – Gamble and Martin rode well, swapping turns.  They started passing riders.  Maybe they were racers, maybe they were coffee riders.  Who could really tell in these conditions?

For Scratch, the second lap was a carbon copy of the first – keeping the pace consistent and solid, whilst the fog shrouded the front groups.  The back half of the course proved much more challenging than the front half with the south westerly coming into play.
Riders started to appear out of the mist as the front of the race started to fall apart and rounding the finish line for the second last time, the gap to Second Scratch had dropped to less than a minute.  No sight of them, but the knowledge gave the back markers hope and wings!

Second Scratch was riding very well – all still present and accounted for!
No one really knows where the 8 minute group was at this stage.  That fog was playing havoc with everything, including reality!

On the final lap the fog finally started to lift.  Limit still had the race lead as they climbed quarry hill for the final time.  Wilson, Morley and Adrian McMillan powered past and Limit blew apart.  Jakkii Dawson and Collie found the slipstream, yet White and Jane were out the back.
Soon after, Collie also dropped away as he watched Wilson on the front seemingly at ease as he led the bunch away.  “Maybe there is something in being in your thirties…” Collie mused to himself.

Scratch were pushing up toward the quarry for the last time, the 3 minute bunch appeared out of the fog and Clark seemed to find another gear at the climb before the turn onto Coghill’s Creek Road – leaving Brien and Pearce gasping for air and scrambling for a wheel.  The corner marshal yells there is 3 minutes to the front of the race.  It’s an ominous sign with 3/4 of a lap to go and Pearce says in a cheerful voice “3 minutes, that’s doable”.  Whooshka!

That race lead was Wilson with Morley and Adrian McMillan in tow.  McMillan spotted a bunch behind… which just happened to be Gamble and Martin who had passed yet more riders and now bore down on the three leaders ahead.  Wilson wasn’t waiting and he took off up the Crick’s Hill rise.  The mature Morley and McMillan wisely waited for Gamble and Martin to catch them.  Wilson was brought back soon after.

Scratch were still closing on the smooth rolling 3 minute group.  It would take until the crest of the hill to effect the catch.  The bunch had quickly doubled in size and Ley immediately turned himself inside out to rip out a turn.
Turning left onto the Addington-Creswick Road for the last time, the sting came out of the pace as the front markers came into view and it became clear that it was going to be a Scratch kind of day.
The Donovans Road left hander had been a tricky one to negotiate with conditions a little sketchy, this time was no different except there were quite a few more riders.  Over the rise and the remnants of the front of the race were swept up after the road flattened off with under three kilometres remaining.

The race was together for a bunch sprint – fifteen riders and four different bunches represented.  Calvert launched a brave (yet futile) attack about one kilometre from the crest of the final rise – which was quickly covered.
With the race together, none of the Scratch riders were keen to put their noses into the wind at this point, so the cats played with the mice.  Some attacks came from a few brave souls hoping to break the will of the group – but nothing stuck or rattled the cage enough to change the script.
This would be a Scratch Trifecta.
Heart rates dropped, anticipation grew.

The bunch widened as riders held back their sprint as the finish line approached.  800, 500, 300 to go, then “BANG”, it was on like Donkey Kong!

Clark launched with Pearce locked on like a guided missile.
Clark gets an early break, but out wide Hendry was winding up.  He had been calm and well placed for the sprint.  His judgment was spot on – no one was able to grab his wheel as he took off and held a handy margin to the line for First and Fastest.  Brien peeled off the Pearce ”lead out” to challenge late, yet Clark held out for second.  Brien third, Ley fourth and the brilliant Martin in fifth.

Results: 1st – Jason Hendry (Scratch)
2nd – Shane Clarke (Scratch)
3rd – Stu Brien (Scratch)
4th – Greg Ley (3 min)
5th – Shaun Martin (11 min)
Fastest Time – Jason Hendry (Scratch) in 1h 20m, ave. 39.4 Kph

*Thank you to the many contributors who made this report possible.  Stu Brien provided the bulk of the report, with input from Terry Collie and short reports from Bob Morley and Shaun Martin.  It truly makes our job of weaving the story together easier, when most of the words are provided. 

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