July 29, 2018 – Charlie Braszell Handicap – Mt Misery with Hill Top finish, 48 Km

Charlie’s race – 29 July 2018

Charlie Braszell Handicap

Mount Misery with Hill Top finish – 47.5 km

EVCC 2018 Charlie Braszell - poster

CHARLIE’S RACE – ONE TO REMEMBER
DRIVING WHELAN
RETURN OF THE PRINCESS WARRIOR
AGGRESSIVE = RUSHTON

The forecast was correct for the Charlie’s race.  The short break in the weather (we use the term “break” very loosely!) would allow for the staging of the 2018 Charlie Braszell Handicap, in relatively good conditions – compared to what would sweep in during the afternoon.
The fair “west north west” wind dropped the “feels like” temperature to zero, however the rain stayed away and allowed good viewing for the spectators who navigated the circuit in their warm cars.

Interlude: The club had a special visitor today.  Carol Armstrong drove up to Learmonth to watch over proceedings.  Carol often performs commissaire duties for Cycling Victoria and she will be back in mid October when Eureka Cycling co-host the Cycling Victoria Road Championships.  Carol has visited Learmonth for cycling before.  The weather did not surprise her…

Geoff and Neil Braszell were out on course monitoring the events of the day.  We thank the Braszell family for kindly staging this most important race for Eureka Cycling.  The trophies and prize money the Braszell family have supplied over the years is a wonderful and kind gift.  We are very fortunate for the opportunity to race is Charlie’s honour.

Twenty hardy souls signed on for the 47.5 kilometre test around Mount Misery with the finish atop Harrisons Road (Ercildoune).  Not all twenty riders completed the circuit though.
Graeme Parker headed off as the lone Limit rider at 25 minutes.  Five minutes late and Jacqui Dawson also headed off in a solo capacity.  The strength sapping wind would make life difficult for the two out-markers.  Would they be able to hang onto any group that catches them out on the road?

The 13 minute group was stacked with seven riders.  The main question was would they be able to keep themselves as a bunch and use their strength in numbers to hold off the chasers?  Jude Jonasson was back for her first road race in a while.
There were questions asked if the Princess Warrior would be up to the task.  Roger McMillan and Phil McLennan were also promoted to the group.
The rest were the usual cohorts, however each would have to be on-song to threaten today.
Peter Livitsanis had flatted early in the previous week’s GP Doug Garley and Danny Whelan had endured a horror day at the office in the same race.
Mark O’Callaghan is on the comeback trail from some niggling injuries and James Gretton has never made it to Harrisons Road in any race that includes the infamous hill top finish.

Four riders made up the 7 minute group.  Looking at the deficit they had to make up on the bunch ahead had them worried before they had even started.  James Knipe, Jeremy Humber and Grant Dawson were joined by Steve Biram who hasn’t raced for a few weeks.  What would their day look like?

Second Scratch rode off at 3 minutes under the leadership of Dean Wells.  Jason Hendry would provide some good engine power and Andrew Rushton rounded out the group.  For this trio it was just about holding Scratch off until at least Black Bottom Road.

Scratch was led out by pre race favourite – Craig Lee.  The rest of Scratch are in various stages of race fitness.
Tony Mirabella is gradually building his fitness towards the Championship races that are being staged at Learmonth in October and November – he is a man with a long range plan!
Lindsay Burgoyne is reaching peak fitness in preparation for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in Varese, Italy next month.
The final member of the quartet has only been a member with Eureka for a few months.  He circled every “hill” race we have and is targeting each of them.  It is only a matter of time before Dave Olgilvie wins one of our hill classics!

Out on the circuit and Jacqui Dawson was slowly closing Graeme Parker.  The climbing and wind on the first part of the circuit was taking effect and the 13 minute group already had them in their sights.
Danny Whelan is doing all the damage.  He is driving his bunch relentlessly.  The others are swapping turns when they can, but it is Whelan who is keeping the pace high.  McMillan is lost to the group.

Many thanks to James Dixon Barnes for allowing us to adjust the lyrics to his song Driving Wheels…

Well they’re following the flashing lights
Who are on borrowed time
Hurting lungs and pounding hearts all on the line
You swear he’s doing all the work
Dan shifts into overdrive
He’s been up and down this road so many times

It’s Dan on the front
And pushing just keeps him proving
That only the road
Can tame the rebel in his soul

It’s the rhythm of his pedalling
As he rolls on through
And leaders as they loom in his sight
It hurts behind the driving Whelan

The 7 minute group lost Biram inside the first two kilometres.  They are being reeled in by Second Scratch at a steady pace.
Scratch are taking time out of the 3 minute group, however it isn’t as quick as they had hoped.  They are desperate to catch the “chopping block” before the Mount Misery climb at the back of Waubra, however at this rate they may not catch them until Black Bottom Road.

Each group on the road enjoyed the tail wind down Black Bottom Road.  Speed was the key.  Pedal hard because you can bet that everyone behind you is!

Turning onto Ercildoune Road and the 13 minute bunch lose Gretton.  McLennan is the next to drop off.  They have started to whittle down, will they have enough firepower to stay clear of the chasers?
Second Scratch has caught the 7 minute bunch and enlisted their help.
Scratch are on their way, however they can barely see the bunch ahead.

The race is coming together in spits and spurts.  All the momentum seems to be with the 13 minute bunch under the guidance of Whelan.

Hey, that song again…

Like a revo-lu-tionary
Pushing hard and never letting up
You’ll be wand’ring how to hold onto his wheel
Fifty three twelve on the running gear
Screamin’ legs and chests they do roar
Like a Cuban dic-ta-tor who won’t give up
He’s on a mission
And he’s taking no prisoners
Heaven only knows
He’s still a racer in his soul

It’s the rhythm of his pedalling
As he rolls on through
He pushes with victory in mind
It hurts behind the driving Whelan

And chasing riders strive
to see the distant lead
And rolling roads before the final climb
It hurts behind the driving Whelan

Wells and Rushton are driving their large bunch.  Hendry is strong.  Dawson, Knipe, Humber and McMillan (where did he come from?) are all swapping turns.  The pace is high, then the wind and bumpy road disrupts the flow.  Wells and Rushton go back to track turns – hold on everybody!
Scratch are closing slowly.  Things are starting to look dire.  Will they run out of road?

Parker still has the race lead.  The 13 minute group close upon him like a tsunami.
They have the lead before the Weatherboard climb.  Hold it all together up the climb?  Nah, let’s ride.

The new leaders charge up Weatherboard making every post a winner.  They crest the climb and get back into rhythm. Jonasson (any doubts have been scoffed at) is swapping turns along with Livitsanis and O’Callaghan, however it is Whelan who is guiding this rig.
Second Scratch are cruising up Weatherboard.  Glances over the shoulder reveal an empty road.  Where is Scratch?
Scratch riders are getting frustrated.  They are surging and easing.  The differences in race fitness are showing.  It should be smoother, it’s not.

Edmonston Road and the wind is blasting the leaders again.  Whelan suddenly moves to the right in a Saganesque move.
The bunch scatters like pins in an alley.
Jonasson loses the wheel in the fracas to find Whelan’s wheel.  The gap has opened.
The leaders are three.

The chasers are onto Edmonston Road and the gap is about 600 metres to the leaders.  The leaders are over the crest.  Downhill to Harrisons Road and the climb.  They have a 500 metre gap.
They swing onto the climb and straight into a headwind.  The first of fours steps looms.  O’Callaghan is dropped.
It’s a race in two, Whelan v Livitsanis.

Rushton is driving Second Scratch as fast as he can towards Harrisons Road.  Some confusion at the turn as Hendry and Humber are a little unsure of the turn.  Rushton shouts out “Every man for himself”.  He is spent.  The bunch blows apart.  Wells is in pursuit of the leaders.

Whelan and Livitsanis are marking each other as they come to the second step.  Whelan accelerates and creates a gap.  Livitsanis tries to respond.  Then the rain – or is it sleet – hits.  The gap increases.  Whelan is going for the win.

Finish it off Jimmy…

Well he’s dreamed about this show down
A courageous victory – on the Mount
But in this game of sweat and blood
He’s still got the killer in-stinct

It’s the rhythm of his pedalling
As he surges away
He pushes with the win in his sight
It hurts behind the driving Whelan

He ain’t never gonna give it up
‘til the end of time
He spreads his wings
And flies up the Mount
It hurts behind the driving Whelan

Livitsanis is racing to hold second.  O’Callaghan is protecting third.  Jonasson is pedalling squares and trying to not look back.  Wells is closing on the leaders.
Scratch are now on Harrisons Road.  Lee and Ogilvie are clear.
Everyone is copping the arctic blast.

One last step for Whelan.  He is racing for his second classic trophy in 2018.  He wins.  He has earned it!

Lee and Ogilvie are racing towards the second step.  Ogilvie can’t match Lee he gets a small gap.  Lee starts to pull away.

At the top of the climb and Livitsanis takes second with O’Callaghan making it across for third.  Jonasson holds out Wells for fourth.  Hendry is next with Humber and Rushton close behind.  Lee is next with Fastest Time.
The others come in dribs and drabs.

Results:
1st – Danny Whelan (13 minutes)
2nd – Peter Livitsanis (13 minutes)
3rd – Mark O’Callaghan (13 minutes)
4th – Jude Jonasson (13 minutes)
5th – Dean Wells (3 minutes)
Fastest Time – Craig Lee (Scratch) in 1h 21m 20s, ave. 35.1 Kph

Courtesy of the Braszell family, the top three place getters and Fastest Time all received trophies and prize money.
Andrew Rushton received the Most Aggressive Rider trophy.

The Charlie Braszell Handicap completed a fantastic week of events for EUREKA Cycling.  The GP Doug Garley was raced on the previous Sunday and the club launched its Junior Female Cyclist Support Grant midweek in reverence to the great men of cycling that Doug Garley and Charlie Braszell were.
Charlie and Doug were instrumental to the cycling careers of many young riders.  Though they may be gone, the deeds of these two great men live on.
Simply put, Charlie and Doug will always be legends of the Eureka Cycling Club.

 Photo

L-R rear: Geoff Braszell, Neil Braszell, Jude Jonasson, Peter Livitsanis
L-R front: Craig Lee, Mark O’Callaghan, Danny Whelan, Andrew Rushton

IMG_2786

EVCC 2018 Charlie Braszell - slide

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