February 25 – Ron Rivette Classic – Eureka Open – 56 km VVCC Open handicap, Weatherboard-Mt Misery

Shane Cook Homes

Ron Rivette Classic

EVCC 2018 Ron Rivette Classic poster

Victorian Veteran Cycling Council

56 km Eureka Open

February 25th, 2018


EVCC 2018 Ron Rivette Classic program with start list Eureka Open - Old courseEUREKA Cycling - 2018 Open start list

Strong winds greeted the 107 riders who converged on Lake Learmonth for the first VVCC Open race of 2018.
The wind and thick cloud cover kept the “feels like” temperature hovering around a cool 6 degrees – perfect for the local riders!

Out on the road the wind devastated many groups with riders dropped from each bunch and strewn around the course.
Sixteen riders pulled out of the event and possibly 50 riders wished they had done so before venturing so far.
The dominant force today was the south easterly wind which hovered in the mid 40s and gusted up to 60 kilometres and hour.
The crosswinds were hectic and the headwinds were demoralising…

Limit set off at 38 minutes and quickly disintegrated.  The 30 minute group blew apart inside the first 20 kilometres.

The 24 minute group faired no better and split into ones and twos.

The 18 minute group lost a few riders on the climb out of Addington with the rest being picked up by the following bunches.

As with the front groups, the wind played havoc with the 16:30 minute group.  They also had a rider who had inadvertently started with them.
That rider was subsequently disqualified from the race, however not before inflicting almost as much havoc on the group as the wind.

The 15 minute group was disassembled in the first third of the race and never really recovered.

The 13 minute group was all conquering today and took home the race quinella.  This power bunch was filled with quite a few large riders who revelled in the tough windy conditions and swept all before them, literally.  They started strong and many of the big units kept the bunch powering along.  Their number dwindled, but they held off the chasing pack.

On paper the 11 minute group looked to have a good chance of rolling up the bunches ahead.  They started like rockets, however not enough riders were sharing the workload and they only chipped away at the time difference.

The 9 minute group struggled from the start and completely imploded with 50 kilometres remaining.  The remnants of the group joined in with the next bunch.

The 6:30 minute group gelled and worked together well.  They collected the odd vanquished rider and kept their work rate high.

Second Scratch started at 4 minutes and smashed each other.  A race within a race, some waited for Scratch – well what was left of Scratch – and others raced ahead.

Scratch blew apart early and three riders chased hard.  They easily recorded the fastest times on the day.
Uniting with dropped Second Scratch riders worked in their favour and they eventually collected even more Second Scratch riders.
In the sprint for Fastest Time, Darren Roberts (Northern Cycling) packed too many guns for Michael Borowski (Northern) and Tim Bennet (Geelong & Surf Coast)…however they finished three minutes down on the winner and the race had always been out of reach…

The lap of Weatherboard gave each group an opportunity to experience a strong headwind early and it certainly set the script for how the day would play out.  Those outmarker bunches were smashed and never recovered.

The 13 minute group was on the verge of self destructing with a very keen rider from the 15 minute group (missed his start) leading the way.  Rob Phillips (Eureka Cycling) soon put everything back in order and set the tone for the rest of their day – work smart and work hard.
With powerful riders such as Chris Fenech (GSCC), Grant Dawson (Eureka), Ricky Lovell (Central Victorian Vets), Andrew Rushton (Eureka) and Michael Veal (Eureka) in the bunch, the group always promised to be a threat.

The 11 minute bunch were not working anywhere near as well and found only four or five riders rotating turns.  They also started shelling riders and even though the 13 minute bunch was within reach, the chase was looking grim.
Not as grim as the 9 minute group who had few contributors before the Eureka pair of Lindsay Burgoyne and Dean Wells dropped their bunch on the run to Addington.  Too far ahead to ease up, the pair found themselves in no man’s land and quickly passing dropped riders from the groups ahead.

The race ahead saw the 13 minute group had set their sights on the 15:00 group and sweep them aside without much ado.  Hungry for more, they licked their lips as closed in on the 16:30 group and caught them at the 30 kilometre mark.
With at least seven riders contributing solidly, the 13 minute group powered on strong enough to hold the chasing 11 minute group whose rotations were not improving.  Too much work being done by too few.  They almost bridged the gap to the 13 minute group as they turned onto Black Bottom Road.  Finally the group started rotating better, unfortunately the pace dropped too much.
The 13 minute group was so close…but it was a bridge too far.  They started collecting riders dropped from other groups, some stuck on, some were dispatched quickly.

Turning off Black Bottom Road and it was time for the 13 minute group to push even harder if that was possible.  The call for middle of the road went out and the peloton squeezed left and made room for just seven bikes. From that point on riders were shelled every few kilometres.
The survivors of the 18 minute group were just ahead and within a few kilometres they too had been rolled up.
They still had passengers from the 15 and 16:30 minute groups in their mix – this doesn’t include Stephen Biram (Eureka) who had missed his start with the 15 minute group, but had contributed solidly throughout.
Paul Ogilivie (GSCC) was also a big contributor to this large bunch mainly consisting of Eureka riders.   They had the race lead at this point and the 11 minute group were still close, but unable to close those few hundred metres.

The 11 minute group was now collecting riders who had been shelled from the raging 13 minute bunch, however the bunch ahead was maintaining a gap.
The 9 minute duo of Burgoyne and Wells weren’t making any ground on the 11 minute group and unbeknownst to them, the 6:30 minute group was closing fast having collected a few other 9 minute riders.

With less than ten kilometres remaining it seemed unlikely that the winner would come further back than the 11 minute group, but they just weren’t getting any closer.  Stuart Brien (Eureka) threw caution to the wind and launched off the front of the group in a last chance effort.  His group rallied and chased…

The race lead turned left and up the final climb towards Weatherboard.  With the strong tailwind they didn’t lose any time to the chasers.
Phillips led the pack and they pushed hard.  Veal surged and the Geelong & Surf Coast riders Laurence Lynch and Daryl Suter from the 15:00 minute group marked him.  Eureka rider James Gretton (16:30) bullocked his way to the top with another 13 minute rider – Chris Fenech (GSCC).
Ogilvie (GSCC) was ever watchful, could he be the Ace in the pack?
The string was stretching, so close, yet so far…and the call was just 20 seconds to the lone chaser.

They crested the hill with two kilometres remaining and they kept driving and driving.  Brien had made some inroads on the climb, but his group had somehow scrambled back to his wheel.  A short breather and then Brien went again and this time he broke free of the bunch.
The odds were against him with one man against ten…but maybe there were some leftover scraps to be had from the lead pack…

Ahead and the unlikely fellowship of 13, 15, 16:30 and 18 minute riders was about to become unfriendly.
Into the gutter they went, words were exchanged, it got messy.
The sole 18 minute rider in the bunch – Jason Hendry (Eureka) – launched early at the dip.  Daring, adventurous and ultimately doomed to fail, Hendry set up the perfect lead out for the other riders.
Veal had Hendry’s wheel, with Phillips just behind and Biram preparing to pounce.  The race got messier – riders jockeyed for position.
One rider zoomed away (subsequently disqualified).
The others started their sprints and the spectators didn’t know where to look.
Veal hit the front and Phillips shot over the top in the final metres.  A home win!

Finish Line

Race Results:
1st – Robert Phillips, Eureka (13:00 min)
2nd – Michael Veal, Eureka (13:00 min)
3rd – Stephen Biram, Eureka (15:00 min)
4th – Laurence Lynch, Geelong SC (15:00 min)
5th – Daryl Suter, Geelong SC (15:00 min)
6th – Jason Hendry, Eureka (18:00 min)
7th – Paul Ogilvie, Geelong SC (16:30 min)
8th – James Gretton, Eureka (16:30 min)
9th – Chris Fenech, Geelong SC (13:00 min)
10th – Stuart Brien, Eureka (11:00 min)
First unplaced lady – Jo Read, Northern (38:00 min)
Fastest time – Daryl Roberts, Northern (Scratch) in 1h 23m 37s, average 40.2 kph

L-R: Steve Biram (3rd), Rob Phillips (1st), Mick Veal (3rd) and Darren Roberts (Fastest Time)


EUREKA Cycling thank the VVCC referees and time keeper for officiating.
Also, we kindly thank the many volunteers who made this day happen:
corner marshals
kitchen staff
registration staff
general helpers

We must also recognise the generous contributions of food and raffle prizes
which our members donated to the club.
We also acknowledge the fantastic commitment to our club
by the sponsor of the Ron Rivette ClassicShane Cook Homes.
Congratulations to all the riders who tackled the 2018 Eureka Open.
Everyone should be proud of their efforts in such trying conditions.


EVCC 2018 mylaps Eureka Open 1 EVCC 2018 mylaps Eureka Open 2 EVCC 2018 mylaps Eureka Open 3

EUREKA Cycling - 2018 Open start list

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