December 4, 2016 – Commodores Cup – Windmill, 52.5 km Handicap

Final Race For Season – 4 December 2016

Commodores Cup

Handicap

Windmill circuit – 52.5 km

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Collie Claims Commodores Cup

Summer arrived for the final race of the 2016 Eureka Season.
The time honoured Commodores Cup (52.5 km handicap) was raced on the iconic Windmill circuit,
which was bathed in brilliant sunshine and swept with a fair north wind.

Eight riders were backing up from a 130 kilometre ride from Ballarat to Lorne on the previous day – congratulations to them all for a BIG weekend of riding.  Rocky manned a corner, as did Marika and Darwin (the big cuddly labrador); Lois and Lyn manned the kitchen; Bill and Bill performed referee duties; Pete Livi was stand in handicapper and Nunny was crowd control…those Taylors are a rowdy lot!

Graeme Parker set sail as the lone limit rider.  At twenty five minutes, he was going to be out through the heads before the porters had even packed the Scratch riders luggage.  Big effort though!  The wind was strong and Graeme’s knee has been giving him hell all year, yet here he was backing up after a 130 km ride the day before.

Richard Taylor headed up the 15 minute group – savour those words, because they will NEVER be repeated!
Crook as the galley rat, Richard would lead his band of merry men…but take no part in any chase downs if someone from the group broke away!
John Creek was out for another race, as was Brian Lee, James Gretton and club stalwart – Terry Collie.

Peter Livitsanis handicapped himself off a whopping 9 minutes with Danny Whelan, Mark O’Callaghan, James Knipe, Roger McMillan and visiting rider Noel Said.
It’s always great to have visiting riders come and race with Eureka…we particularly like Noel because he doesn’t bloomin’ win every time he races with us! Noel was once again surprised by just how much water was in lake Learmonth…and the water is STILL running in…according to Rocky…
Back to Pete Livi giving himself NINE minutes!  Then again both he and Dan were also backing up from the 130 km Lorne ride.

The 4 minute group saw Matthew Ayres, Grant Dawson and Ricky Calvert heading out into the maw.
Chasing SIX…being chased by SIX.  Tough day ahead especially with Rick also backing up from the Lorne ride.

Scratch had probably the largest group they had assembled all year.
Club Champion Greg Ley was resplendent in his newly won blue and white phoenix dossard.  The other fresh legs in the group belonged to Robert Ellis.
They were joined by four riders who had given their all in the previous day’s ride to Lorne (and also the bus ride back home!) – Tony Mirabella, Andrew Rushton, Brendan Sheems and Dean Wells.

So the race panned out like this:
Battle the cross wind on the road past the quarry; heads down and butts up into the wind towards Cricks Hill; ramp up the speed down Creswick-Addington Rd; spinnakers out and let ‘er rip down Donovans Road with the tail wind.
STRAVA tells us there were Personal Records all over the place.
Scratch broke 27 minutes on the first lap; slowed down for a lazy 27:30 on the second lap; then brought it home with another sub 27 minute lap.
They lost Rushton on the second lap, but picked up Ayres, Calvert and Dawson.  Ayres soon fell off and Wells was struggling.  Early powerhouse Mirabella was also struggling, but Ley and Schiemer were able to assist Ellis as he started to take longer turns out front.

Up ahead, the 9 minute group had lost Livitsanis and O’Callaghan and hadn’t been able to reel in the leaders.  McMillan succumbed to the wind, but Knipe, Said and Whelan were left in no man’s land.

The race lead was where the action was at.  Gretton had been unhitched from the 15 minute group, leaving Taylor, Creek, Collie and Lee to chase down Parker.  Upon the catch, Parker was able to find the sweet spot and hitch a ride.
The last time up Cricks Hill saw Lee unleash a powerful effort and split the group.  Collie was able to go with him, but Creek and Parker were left in arrears. Taylor kindly explained that he wasn’t allowed to chase, so Creek and Parker swapped turns as Lee and Collie gradually stretched the lead.

Into Donovans Road and the leaders were clear with Knipe, Said and Whelan still paddling in between them and the Scratch boys.
At the rear, Ellis had put the race in the gutter and blown apart the Scratch bunch.  Good and bad really.
That left just three to chase down the leaders, but at least they didn’t have to worry about any passengers beating them.  The Scratch trio caught and passed the remnants of the 9 minute group, but the leaders were a step to far.  Not so much an ocean sized gap…more a lake.

Collie and Lee settled down to fight out the sprint with Collie prevailing over a gallant Lee who had made the race.  Creek was just strong enough to take out third ahead of Parker.
The Scratch lads were right behind.  Schiemer taking the sprint for fifth place (and Fastest Time) ahead of Mirabella in a close finish.

Thank you to all involved for yet another great day of racing!

Results:
1st – Terry Collie (15 min)
2nd – Brian Lee (15 min)
3rd – John Creek (15 min)
4th – Graeme Parker (25 min)
5th – Brendan Schiemer (Scratch)
Fastest Time – Brendan Schiemer (Scratch) in 1hr 21m 15s

Picture: Terry Collie and Brendan Schiemer congratulate each other on jobs well done.

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