February 10, 2019 – Mount Misery – handicap, 45 Km

First Handicap of 2019 – 10th February

Mount Misery Handicap

Mt Misery – 45 km

good v evil

Age old story

‘Good triumphs over Evil’

- Stuart Brien

It is a story as old as time itself.
It has been captured in writing as far back as the bible.
It has been celebrated in the operas and of course, Hollywood has immortalised it on celluloid.
We see it everyday…the fight of…Good versus Evil.

In the world of veterans cycling, Limit and the Middle-markers are but small parts.
For in this tale, Scratch is the Evil and Second Scratch is the Good.

The summer heat had been swept away by the storm of the previous morning.  The winds softened and the clouds had cleared.  It was a glorious day for a bicycle race!
Thirty six entries for a short 45 kilometre handicap made for a compressed race.  The venue was apt for this battle – Mount Misery…

The bold and the beautiful set off from Limit at 24 minutes.
Mal Rock promised to look after Marika Ley who is still learning the ropes.  Off into the light headwind they went, Marika all nerves, Mal all smiles.

Graeme Parker, Robert Young and trial rider Darryl Brown were next away at 18 minutes.  Brown quickly proving just that little bit faster than his mates.

At 14 minutes, James Gretton, Roger McMillan and Jakkii Dawson were sent off.  The tiny Jakkii would be sure to use the bulk of her fellow riders to shield from that fair breeze…

Bob Morley and reigning (also dual) Aggregate winner made his much heralded return to racing in the 9 minute group.  Danny Whelan and Dan Crook were also making their 2019 debuts.  Tim Tyler and Mark O’Callaghan made up the bunch.

The 7 minute group was full of journeymen – Shaun Martin, Steve Biram, James Knipe and Brian Ure – oh the adventures they have each had over the past six months.
The most journeyed of them all – Jim Crumpler – had forgotten an important piece of kit and missed the start whilst dashing home.
For the others, there fate was sealed with so few to carry the flame.

As gallant as those in the front part of the race were, this story is not about them.  For this story is about Good and Evil.

At 5 minutes rode Peter Canny, Ash Burke, Grant Dawson, Geoff Martin, Jeremy Humber, Matt Angus and seventy two year old – Bob Braszell.
A large bunch, yet just one minute to spare over the 4 minute group of Stu Brien, Peter Kiel, Andrew Rushton, Richard Taylor, Dean Wells and trial rider Darryn Reed.
Such a small margin meant the 5 minute bunch was always in the crosshairs of the chasers.
Humber was lost early and Martin was dislodged climbing out of Addington.  For the chasers, they lost Rushton early and Taylor as they caught their target less than a quarter into the race.

The most formidable 2 minute bunch (technically Second Scratch, however it doesn’t count when there is a solo Scratch rider!) consisted of Craig Lee, Andrew Sullivan, Dave Ogilvie and Greg Ley.
They enjoyed a two minute advantage over Tim Canny who was keen for a solid hit out.
Ogilvie was lost early and that made the task that much harder for the 2 minute crew.  They picked up Rushton, however the juggernaut that is Tim Canny would steamroll them by the 20 kilometres mark.
Play time is over boys – jump aboard the train, you’re all Scratch men now!

A supergroup of eleven riders had formed out on the road with the 4, 5 and 7 minute groups all combining.  Better still, everyone was contributing!
Brien, Kiel, Reed and Wells, Braszell, Burke, Peter Canny and Dawson, Knipe, Shaun Martin and Ure.
They closed in on the 9 minute group, then an attack as soon as the merge occurred, had riders scrambling for wheels left, right and centre.
A brief lull before turning onto Black Bottom Road, then another attack had riders strung out in a long line.
Plenty of targets ahead as the Out-marker groups came into view, ensured the pace stayed high.  The group staying tight on the left side of the road to try and whittle the “hangers on” away, however the group kept enlarging as bunch after bunch was caught.
One final effort before turning off Black Bottom Road could not shake anyone free, however now this mega-group had the race lead.

The hunters and had just become the hunted!

Cameo pace making efforts from McMillan are noted, however the bulk of the pace work is shouldered by Brien, Wells, Kiel, Reed, Braszell, Burke, Canny and Dawson.

Group Canny (Tim) was chasing hard.  Even though Lee, Ley and Sullivan contributed, the leader of the pack was evident…it’s Tim Canny…always was, always will be…

Fast forward to Weatherboard and even though the mega-group has kept a high pace, many passengers are still clinging.
Brien leads the bunch off Ercildoune Road and onto the Weatherboard climb.  Wells is on the far side of the road.  Canny is present and even moves into the lead.
A select group is forming.  The climb, the crosswind and the pace all take their toll as the mega-bunch explodes. Nearing the top, Wells rides clear and opens a gap – maybe fifty metres.
Brien and Canny lead the chase group.  Kiel and Braszell are present.  Dawson and Reed recover and join the chase.

The seven at the front of the race have worked hard for this chance to win the race…sometimes Good wins.
They race inside the final two kilometres…however a dark shadow has emerged behind them.  The Evil have crested the Weatherboard climb and can see the Good.
The Evil can almost taste victory and they pour down the road in pursuit of the Good.

Wells is still clear as he rides down and out of the dip. Just one kilometre between him and victory.
The rest of the Good is close behind.
Dawson and Reed leap out in one last effort for glory.
Brien and Canny slingshot off that attack.
Kiel and Braszell launch late in a final bid.
They all sweep past Wells.

Canny has the lead in the shadow of the big tree, he eases enough and Brien takes the win.  Kiel is third and the outstanding Braszell takes fourth.

The Good has prevailed over the Evil!

Moments later the Evil arrive…
They seethe.
They promise revenge.
And, they are reminded at the race presentations
‘Good triumphs over Evil’

Maybe, there will be a sequel…

Race Results:
1st – Stu Brien (4 min)
2nd – Peter Canny (5 min)
3rd – Peter Kiel (4 min)
4th – Bob Braszell (5 min)
5th – Grant Dawson (5 min)
Fastest Time – Time Canny (Scratch) in 1h 4m 45s, ave. 41.3 Kph

 

 disney villaindisney good

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