July 1, 2018 – EUROPA cafe W.A.R.S. round 4 – handicap, Weatherboard

Winter Aggregate Race Series
1st July 2018

W.A.R.S. – race 4

Weatherboard – 51 km

EVCC 2018 WARS July poster

The art of W.A.R.S.

“Take time to deliberate,
but when the time for action has arrived,
stop thinking and go in.”
- Napoleon Bonaparte

Brilliant sunshine greeted the twenty two riders who signed on for round 4 of the EUROPA W.A.R.S.
A new start line at the top of the climb in Hendersons Road was warmly received and for once confusion did not reign.  Five laps of Weatherboard – simple.

Five Limit riders (14 minutes) rolled away in the near perfect conditions.  No time to waste on this circuit though.  You’re either climbing or descending and there are no “easy” sections.
Bob Morley led the charge out with Brian Lee, Steve Linane, Roger McMillan and Phil McLennan.

So what did you do on Saturday?  Coffee and no bike ride?  Indoor trainer maybe?
Well, Phil McLennan ran to the top of Mount Buninyong, then ran back down…dedication!

The 9 minute group consisted of James Knipe, Jeremy Humber, Ash Burke and James Gretton.  The smallest bunch of the day (we don’t count the sole Scratch rider – Tim Canny – as a bunch) aimed to limit their losses and hitch a ride towards the end.
With the lightest of breezes they would struggle to catch Limit, with just four riders they would struggle to stay clear of the chasers.  Today’s chopping block?

At 4 minutes, Greg Ley led out an interesting mix of reward and respite – Jim Crumpler, Peter Canny, Dean Wells, Grant Dawson and Jason Hendry.  Surely enough firepower here to hold off the chasers with the Handicapper’s gift, but could the talent work together?

Second Scratch rode off at 1 minute and included Tony Mirabella, Craig Lee, Brendan Schiemer, Jason Birch, Rob Ellis and Peter Kiel.  Their challenge was to hold the sole Scratch rider – you know who – at bay, whilst taking time out of the four minute bunch.

Out on course and the 4 minute bunch was taking huge chunks of time from the out-markers.  It was coming at a cost.  Crumpler (in recovery from illness) was suffering and Hendry was grimly hanging on.  Canny, Dawson, Ley and Wells kept the engine at close to full throttle.

Second Scratch held Canny off for about 15 kilometres.  During that time they took mere seconds out of the 4 minute group.  Once Canny joined them, the race got harder and the time gap started to fall.

Limit were working well under the guidance of Morley and they maintained much of their gap over the 9 minute group through the first two laps.

Knipe and company pushed hard, but they could almost feel the 4 minute group closing in as they neared the end of lap number two.

The high pace of each group started to take its toll…
Crumpler pulled out from the 4 minute group at the twenty kilometre mark, which was around about the same time that McMillan lost contact with Limit.
Gretton couldn’t hang onto the pack when the 4 minute group caught the 9 minute bunch on the third lap.

The 4 minute group (now with added passengers) kept rolling turns.  They could see the leaders ahead, yet they couldn’t see Scratch.
For their part, Scratch had halved the gap to the 4 minute group and looked on track to make the catch, however it had come at cost.  Schiemer struggled with low race fitness and dropped off the Scratch bunch nearing the end of lap four.

Onto the final lap and Limit started to struggle.  They could see the pack closing and Linane dropped off the back.  The fluent turns of the early laps was replaced with choppy efforts as Lee, McLennan and Morley sensed the inevitable.
Caught halfway along Avenue Road, they showed their tickets and jumped on board the train.
Ley wasn’t keen on towing too many to the finish.  He surged up the Avenue climb, however the group rejoined.  The next chance to ditch the passengers would be out of the Avenue.
Humber, keen to rack up more valuable W.A.R.S. points, was paying close attention, as was Morley, who rolled towards the front in anticipation…
Out of the corner and Ley went again.  Morley left in No Mans land and the rest all looking for wheels.
The rush eventually came and Ley was brought back – bunch still intact – however Scratch had just exited the Avenue and had their sights planted firmly on the leaders.

Over Weatherboard for the final time and Ley tried his luck again.  Peter Canny followed and so did Wells, but they pack came back…again.
Down through the chicane and Hendry found himself on the front with no-one really willing to help out.  There wasn’t too much time to spend playing games because Scratch was closing rapidly.

Through the final corner and Wells put the race into the gutter.  The wind was at their backs as they lined out on the road edge.
Over the bridge and the last ascent of the Hendersons Road hill.  Morley was in second wheel and ready to pounce, when Ley hit hard down the inside.
Humber was on his wheel.
Burke and Canny quickly jumped out of the pack to follow.  Hendry followed late, but with more speed than Canny and Burke, he quickly passed them and started bearing down on the two juking it out ahead.

Ley was leading.  Humber was closing.  Hendry was closing faster.
At the line Ley takes the prize with a bike length over Humber and two bike lengths to Hendry.  Canny and Wells follow, the rest of the train has disintegrated.

Just 15 seconds behind and Scratch are charging towards the line.  The sprint is for pride only.  Tim Canny has Fastest Time already sown up.

1st – Greg Ley (4 minutes)
2nd – Jeremy Humber (9 minutes)
3rd – Jason Hendry (4 minutes)
4th – Peter Canny (4 minutes)
5th – Dean Wells (4 minutes)
Fastest Time – Tim Canny (Scratch) in 1h 17m 40s, ave. 39.3 kph


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