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February 5, 2017 – Mt Misery, 50.5 km Handicap

February 5, 2017 – Mt Misery, 50.5 km Handicap

First handicap race for 2017 – 5 February 2017

Mt Misery Handicap

Mt Misery (extended) circuit – 50.5 km

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Welcome to the Jungle

There is a new rival for king of the jungle at Eureka,
Tim “Dandelion” Canny backed up from his A Grade Scratch race win last weekend,
with a handsome victory in the first handicap race of the season.

Tim led a powerful scratch bunch – which averaged in excess of 40 kph – over a testing course.  The race was their’s for the taking 10 km from home.  The pride of lions roared off the starting line, with Tony Mirabella savaging the bunch on the first climb just 200 metres into the race.  Dean Wells made it back on, as did Greg Ley with Matt Bowman clinging onto Dean’s wheel, well, until the climb out of Addington that is…
Matt has been training with the cheetahs, his pursuit technique is coming along great, but long chases up hills are not his thing at the moment.
Scratch settled and found a good rhythm which relied on Tim doing double length efforts on the front.  The older, wiser lions were happy with this arrangement and Tim thought the chase was progressing with relative ease.

The eternal enemies unite…
Second Scratch bunch of hyenas were caught by the 25 km mark.  Keen to follow the lions around to pick on any tasty morsels left on the carcass of the race and perhaps pinch a top 5 finish.  They were barely tolerated by the scratch lions and contributed as little as possible to the chase.
Pete Canny pulled himself inside out just to get on the lion’s tails – after having just done a turn on the front before scratch caught him.  Richard Robocop Taylor comfortably found a spot with the combined scratch bunch,, as did Pete Kiel.
Darren Terry and Matt Ayres found the going tough and were dropped later in the race.  A big welcome back to one of the legends of the club – Adam Smith – who stayed with the combined bunch to Ercildoune Road…a good first hit out.

Bob Morley’s 8 minute group of wildebeest had left the waterhole minus Danny Fidel Whelan who had strayed from the herd and was left to chase by himself.  His was an eventful ride, being swept up by the hyenas and then the lions, but was shelled before they caught up with Bob’s wildebeests.
Craig Lightfoot made his first appearance for the year and while he struggled up the hills, he switched the gravitron on going down and accelerated the bunch to break neck speed.  The geographically challenged Noel Said was trying out the course as a prelude to the Eureka Open in a few weeks time.  Said spent much of the race gambling and frolicking around the bunch and trying as hard as possible to go the wrong way.
Mark O’Callaghan put in another solid ride and is building towards something big (Geelong 70.3 Ironman) while Bob was keen to keep the herd together.
They worked hard to get off the Misery hill without being caught and rounded the corner into Ercildoune Road oblivious to the impending doom stalking them.  Two kilometres down the road, Lightfoot turned around and spies the lurking lions and hyenas a mere 100 metres back.  He bellowed a warning to the others to prepare.  As the lions and hyenas descended upon them, Lightfoot wished everyone good luck and retired out the back.

All gnashing teeth and slashing claws, such was the ferocity of the attack that the wildebeest had no chance and the herd was decimated, reassembling a little while later to limp home.  The lions were in full cry, Tim and Tony still doing bulk of work, Dean, Brendan and Greg taking longer spells back in the bunch wondering when the pain might stop.  Richard and Pete Canny doing the odd turn and Kielly just hanging on for dear life.  Ever onward the pride coursed in search of the succulent front markers.

Off 15 min was Terry Collie and a pair of elegant, fleet-footed gazelles in Jude Jonasson and Sue Parker.  Jude and Sue were in stellar form and with limit in sight they soon left Terry.  However, something startled them… Losing sight of the Limit markers, they also lost concentration and went “off reservation”, not realising their mistake until they were almost road kill on the Western Freeway.  An unfortunate end to their event as they were obviously the “form” riders in the front of the race.

The next bunch on the road was a troop of cheeky monkeys, swinging from trees and teasing the approaching lions.  Rob Parker assumed the role of president Ape-raham Lincoln to govern the monkey business.  Brian Lee and Duncan Bates worked hard while James Gretton and Roger McMillan were particularly valuable in the crosswinds.
Confidence was high as they hooped and hollered their way around the course, gathering up Terry and then the front of the race was just ahead…

Limit consisted of the old stagers of the Learmonth Serengeti – John Faulkner and Graeme Parker.  They had began well, with both riders sharing the work to set a challenge for the rest of the race.  Whilst they were successful in evading the gazelles (Jonasson and Sue Parker), their 22 minute handicap would ultimately prove insufficient.
Rob Parker and company collected the Limit riders with under 15 kilometres remaining.  The combined bunch powered on with an air of confidence that was about to be shattered.

A large shadow loomed behind the race lead…
The rampant lions and opportunistic hyenas closed on the pack at speed…for a moment the chase stalled as vehicles were encountered…then in one fell swoop…
The startled monkeys went bananas and all semblance of control lost as they scattered in all directions to avoid being picked off by the pack behind.

The game was over though and the lions now had the race at their mercy.

Down to Hendersons Rd everyone was expecting it to go nuts, but they had already dealt with the monkeys, so a more calculated race plan unfolded, sort of.  Tim surged halfway up the Hendersons Rd hill and caused an immediate split.  Dean pulled it back – or perhaps Tim was playing with them, like a cat does with a mouse.
From then on the pace was easy (fast…but easy) and steady to the pig farm.
Into the home straight and Mr Bronze Brendan and Tim were left on the front.  Both desperate to back away from the block headwind which continually slowed the pace, but the wiser lions and hyenas would have none of it…and they too slowed to maintain the status quo.
Until, a suicide raid by Dean who went for glory one kilometre out.  His attack lasted about 400 metres before the headwind took its toll and he he was caught by the pride.  The attack and subsequent chase shelled Greg and Kielly…but the pride now sat on Wells’s wheel awaiting the final showdown…the moment everyone had been waiting for…
Would Tim prove worthy, or would Tony remain King of the jungle?

Tim and Tony opened the final sprint very late, but it was Tim who proved swifter “Dan de Lion”, winning by maybe a bike length.
Close between Mr Bronze and Robocop for 3rd, but when it comes to taking bronze, Brendan always prevails.  Pete Canny a respectable 5th.

Back to the den for the glorious lions to bask in the sun, sleep off a purrfect meal of victory and lick themselves clean.

Race Results:
1st – Tim Canny
2nd – Tony Mirabella
3rd – Brendan Schiemer
4th – Richard Taylor
5th – Peter Canny
Fastest Time – Tim Canny, in 1h 14m 10s (ave. 40.8 kph)

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January 29, 2017 – Windmill, 53 km Graded Scratch racing

January 29, 2017 – Windmill, 53 km Graded Scratch racing

Season Opener – 29 January 2017

Graded Scratch

Windmill circuit – 53 km

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As the lazy days of summer holidays
draw to a close,
The attention of the cycling world,
once again turned,
To the start of a new cycling season,
at Eureka. ?

With great anticipation,
the class of 2017 assembled,
Kit bags emptied of old bananas,
and leftover sandwiches,
Clean shoes and freshly laundered jerseys,
with hair washed and neatly parted,
but for one notable exception. ?

What glory would the new season bring,
Who is in form,
And,
is that a new bike?

The anxious needn’t concern themselves, cycling is a sport that you get out what you put in, (problem is, most put in blood, sweat and tears and get the same in return).
In glorious sunshine an expansive field of 25 were organised into four grades for a three lap season opener around the Windmill circuit.
A new year brings new riders, and this year Eureka are pleased to welcome Jeremy Vanderklift, Stephen Birem and Tim “Junior” Canny.  All acquitted themselves well in today’s affair and are most welcome to their new club.  Good hunting gentlemen.
We also welcomed back our prodigal son – Greg “Cadel” Curnow – recently returned from his extensive world tour as a psychology lecturer, also Brad “Crit Monster” Eppingstall who was perhaps looking for a shorter and flatter parcour to break in his new bike (and his old legs).

A Grade

Tim “Junior” Canny looks barely old enough to shave let alone be signing on for a vets race, or perhaps the rest of us are just getting older.  Nevertheless Tim brings an injection of cycling talent into A grade and Eureka is better for it, and today his maiden outing with his new club proved very successful.

A relative small field of 4 class riders challenged for the first A grade event of 2017.  As is their want, A Grade avoided an attacking style of racing instead settling for essentially a time trial training event with placings settled on the last lap.
Fear not, this was no social outing with tea and scones, Dean “all sunglasses and thighs” Wells, Matt “Riff Raff” Bowman and our club champ Greg “Marathon Man” Ley all excel at this style of racing and managed to average close to 40km/hr – for a scratch race – insane.
No attacks of any description on the first two laps, however Riff Raff was reacquainted with the rear of the field going up Quarry Hill on the second lap.  Matt got back on and the “team time trial” continued.

Third lap and the fun and games started with the race going straight into the gutter.  Little if any wind virtually eliminated that tactic, so Bowman took a fly off the front 400 metres before Quarry Hill.  Wells wasn’t worried, he knew that together with Canny and Club Champion Greg Ley they would easily reel Bowman back in by the top of the climb.  Canny wasn’t so sure though – having witnessed Bowman ride off and not get caught in Ballarat Sebastopol CC races – so he gave chase.  Wells and Ley both had to commit to bridge the gap.  Ley made it just as they reached the hill but Wells was still off the back and couldn’t rejoin.

Racing through Blowhard and Bowman attacked again.  Ley attacked going up Cricks Hill, then Canny opened a small gap.
Holding just a few lengths, he gradually ramped the pace up.
The gap eventually opened to 100 metres and try as they might Bowman and Ley couldn’t shut it down.  Bowman made a late solo effort, but Canny held a comfortable 50 metre advantage to the line…averaging 40 kph for the race.

Results:
1st – Tim Canny
2nd – Matt Bowman
3rd – Greg Ley

 

B Grade

His golden locks streaming out behind him, Rick “Rapunzel” Calvert is cultivating a new image for himself, however if he’s not careful “Rapunzel” might become “Catweasel”.
Today Rick provided never ending nuisance value, insisting on a little spurt every time the race went uphill.  The chagrin of the field was mild as they drew him back into the fold each time with relative ease.
Tour director of the TdU training camp for hopeful elder Ballarat riders, the original Canny – Peter – favoured a low profile approach to the race, never on the front unless by mistake, he bided his time somehow foreseeing a bunch sprint for glory.
The story was much the same for Matt Ayres, who never professes to being fit but manages to stay with what ever field he’s placed in and then whip them in the sprint.
After a fractured 2016, Grant Smokey Dawson has returned seeking to impose himself once again as the hard man in the bunch, he only has two speeds, go and stop and today it was all go as he ensured an honest pace to test the rest.
New member Jeremy Vanderklift was welcomed to Eureka with a start in solid B grade company, many of whom contested last year’s club championship race.  The rest of the bunch were wise to treat him with caution as Jeremy proved to be yet another hard riding ring-in from the east.
Rob Phillips has reached a stage in his life where he never ages and never goes out of form, finely tuned, and sinewy he seldom exceeds 80 rpm and has forgotten what the top of his cassette is for.

So as predicted by the soothsaying Canny, the race came down to a sprint and Matt Ayres proved to have the juice to account for rivals, out-gunning Phillips and crafty Canny for the win.

Results:
1st – Matt Ayres
2nd – Rob Phillips
3rd – Peter Canny

C Grade

The handicappers keen eye sees all, he had studied the entrails and consulted the cycling gods and as a consequence James Gretton was elevated a grade as penance for pre-season training.  He joined 8 others in a new look C Grade.  James is riding well and had little difficulty slotting into the race.
Roger McMillan has also cemented his spot in faster company, although today he looked like the poor orphan having to borrow an old Eureka pyjama jersey from the lost property basket, he rode comfortably and featured in the finish – for all the wrong reasons.
Mark O’Callaghan had just dried himself off from his summer triathlon training and looks in superb nick.

The race began with a flurry of furtive attacks as riders tested each other but soon settled to a solid tempo until Danny Fidel Whelan took exception to riding with so many people and decided on a long range solo attack.  He was quickly joined by visiting rider, the diminutive and geographically challenged Noel Said, together the pair separated themselves from the bunch by 50 metres, and that’s where they stayed for the next lap or so.
The bunch were organised into a holding pursuit by Bob Muncher Morley, who was determined to let the pair fry out the front – it also calmed the rest and eliminated further attacks.

After having completed the first lap, Noel “Goldfish” Said missed a left hand turn, by the time he recovered the bunch had sped passed still chasing Fidel.
Without Noel to regulate his enthusiasm Fidel’s madness expanded as he surged past B Grade and continued with his futile escape. Eventually the bunch had had enough of his antics and by the quarry it was all back together and settled for an inevitable final sprint finish.
That’s when the “Scarlet Pimpernel” Brian Lee emerged from cover – most had forgotten he was even in the race – not keen on sprints Brian tried one of his trademark drawn out drags attempting to ride a few out of his wheel.  As he began to fade, Stephen Biram wound up from the back of the bunch and exploded off the front in a spectacular “skyrocket” attack (lots of speed and fire, then – poof!).

Into Donovan’s Rd all together and everyone jostled for wheels, some good, some not so.
With 500 metres to go – just like Easter eggs in Coles in January – Roger opens the sprint far too early.
It did catch a few by surprise and fractured the bunch.  Mark was thanking his lucky stars for such a well organised, professional and sacrificial lead out and went around the fading Roger and looked home, until the renaissance man Muncher Morley surprised him with a late gut-busting burst to pinch victory on the line.
The powerful Biram unleashed a commanding sprint and distanced the rest to finish third.
It’s been a long time between drinks for Bob and Ken stretched the presentation out to keep him waiting a bit longer for his podium glory.

Results:
1st – Bob Morley
2nd – Mark O’Callaghan
3rd – Stephen Biram

 

D Grade

If the measure of a cyclist is his/her ability to persevere then the assembled D grade were draped in greatness amassed from years of “ordeal by veto”.  Their halcyon days may be fading memories, but these are tenacious and competitive sportsmen that fear no pain and never shy away from a contest.
John Faulkner has spent so much time this summer recruiting new riders that he just forgot about pre-season training, apart from a few quick trips to the shops for milk and bread his training has just consisted of today’s race.  Nothing like racing to get race-fit, and his abbreviated outing today will help.
Brad “Crit Monster” Eppingstall is also eyeing off future targets as he re-acquaints himself with racing, a new bike is a clear indication of renewed enthusiasm.  He was also a DNF today, but the endurance and power are likely to return quickly.
After a year he’d rather forget it was great to see a rejuvenated and eager Rob Young suited up and ready to go.  So today it was mostly a race in four, Graeme Parker, the evergreen Terry Collie, princely Rob Young and the venerable orator of Eureka Greg Curnow.

A fairly evenly matched quartet with no grand designs to attract the handicapper’s attention early in the season with foolish solo wins off the front.
Down to the line and Collie opened up his sprint first, instantly opening a gap on Parker and Curnow, however Young was tucked in behind.
Rob swung out with 50 metres to go and powered over the top for a two length clear victory.
A tight tussle for third saw a determined Curnow just edge an ambivalent Parker.

Results:
1st – Rob Young
2nd – Terry Collie
3rd – Greg Curnow

200 Race milestone

Eureka also celebrated the new inductees to the prestigious 200 Race club –
Bob Morley, Peter Livitsanis and Terry Collie join Tony Mirabella on the honour board.
Congratulations to these club stalwarts.

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