July 8, 2018 – EUROPA cafe W.A.R.S. round 5 – handicap, Waubra

EUROPA cafe
Winter Aggregate Race Series
23rd June 2018

W.A.R.S. – race 5
Handicap

Waubra – 42 km

 EVCC 2018 WARS July poster

Dirty Bakers Dozen

“Accomplishment will prove to be a journey,
not a destination.”
-Dwight D. Eisenhower

It was a bleak day.

The wind roared down the finishing straight, as the riders milled before the referee at “the big tree”.
The revised start line provided some relief for the small field – it meant there was one less kilometre of headwind to ride into.  The wind brought misty rain and cold down upon the riders.

Staring into those sharp teeth, it was hard to imagine they would ever make the turnaround point.  Oh how glorious that tailwind would be on the return leg. Please, let there be a tailwind!

Limit rode off at 14 minutes.  Terry Collie, Kevin Lee and Roger McMillan were joined by Peter Livitsanis.
In an act of kindness, the Handicapper had moved Livitsanis out a bunch.  With precious little time in the saddle recently, Livi was going to need every advantage just to make it to the finish.
In the conditions, Limit would certainly have to earn their stripes today!

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The 10 minute group saw Brian Ure return to racing.  Joined by Bob Morley and Danny Whelan, the bunch had one aim in mind – don’t get caught before the turnaround!
Whilst they might not rotate as smoothly as the bunches behind, strength in numbers would be the key to any success.  They protected each other as best they could.

At 5 minutes Grant Dawson, Peter Canny and Jeremy Humber set off in pursuit of the out-markers.
The Second Scratch bunch were strong riders, one and all.  Today they needed everyone to measure their efforts early and not overdo it.  Straight into formation, they slipstreamed when they could and drove hard when it was their turn.

Scratch was a three man affair as Tim Canny lined up with Craig Lee and Greg Ley.
Comparing the handicap marks of the previous week, one would surmise that some members of this bunch would go deep into the hurt locker.
The previous Sunday seemed like a lifetime ago.
Last week, there was but a breath of breeze.
Last week, there was sunshine.
Last week, Ley was victorious.
Last week, Canny caught a six strong super group within fifteen kilometres…
Three, two, one, go…and they did.

Up ahead and Limit was battling its way forward.  Four had dared to venture over the parapet, but their number was now just three.
Barely one thousand metres down the road they had lost Collie.  He had struggled to find forward momentum into the fierce wind and was distanced before the turn onto Edmonston Road.
He pushed forward, alone.

A similar tale had befallen Scratch.  Ley found himself out of sorts and with no rhythm.
Forlornly he had watched his bunch disappear into the mist.
He pushed forward, alone.

The race was on the downhill section away from Weatherboard.  The easy ride did not fool anyone!  They all knew that the headwind would be waiting for them as they climbed out of Addington.  It was and it pounded them.

The long straight road allowed the chasing groups to finally catch a glimpse of the riders ahead.  Through the swirling mist the tail lights could be seen.  Like beacons, those lights gave each rider hope and something to aim for.

The bunches continued to split.  Here a rider, there a rider.
One at a time they succumbed to the wind and rain.

Craig Lee had lost contact with Canny.  One metre off the wheel had quickly become five, then ten.  The cord broke.
Head down and time trial.
Maybe catch someone ahead, maybe.
He pushed forward, alone.

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Club Champion Tim Canny, powered forward.  Each pedal stroke bringing him closer to the lights ahead.
Approaching Waubra there was more climbing.
Hills are opportunity, hills are friend.
He pushed forward, alone.

Limit had blown apart.  Past Waubra and Livitsanis found himself out in front.
He had no-one to share the work with.
No one to shelter behind.
He pushed forward, alone.

Morley, Ure and Whelan had picked up McMillan for the ride.  Four riders gave them an advantage over everyone else on the road.
Kevin Lee was just a few hundred metres ahead.  It was only a matter of time, then they would be five strong.

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Humber, Dawson and Peter Canny were fluent in their chase.  They were slowly closing on the lights ahead.
Behind them the misty rain made it harder to see what was coming.

Down to the turnaround.

Glory to one and all.  That sweet tailwind!
There is a long hill to climb, but now the wind was their friend.

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Livitsanis struck out on the return leg.  The chasers were not far behind.
He found his pace and held them off through the early steeper climbs.

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Morley, Ure and Whelan were just three again.  Soon they would have the race lead.

Dawson, Canny and Humber were climbing fast.  Tim Canny was climbing faster and he swept past them in a flash.
Dawson and Humber struggled to lift their effort higher.
The elder Canny held his son’s wheel for a few hundred metres.  Then he too was cast adrift.

There is just one bunch on the road.  Morley, Ure, Whelan and Livitsanis.
Everyone else is riding solo.
They each push forward, alone.

The leaders raced towards Addington.
Canny steadily closed the gap.

Carefully through the sharp right turn.
Canny was within striking distance.

Climbing back towards Weatherboard and here comes the Champ.
Canny hits hard before the steep section.
Ure momentarily grabs the wheel and pulls away from his mates.  They rally and start swapping turns.
Ure comes back to them.
Canny is leading.

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Then the downhill section to Weatherboard.
The climbing is over.
The wind is their friend.

Canny leads by a long margin through the final turn.
Morley, Ure, Whelan and Livitsanis follow.

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Two and a half kilometres remain.
Mostly downhill.
The tailwind is strong.  So strong that each rider experiences something unique…pushing close to 70 kilometres per hour, they simply cannot pedal any faster!
The smooth road, the wind, the speed and their own exhaustion.
Hang on and enjoy the ride!

Ahead and Canny takes another amazing victory in his stride.
Minutes later and Ure is leading Morley out.  Morley launches for second.  Livitsanis and Whelan trail them in.
Canny, Dawson and Humber come through individually – what might have been…

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The rest are still out there.
They each push forward, alone.

Results:
1st – Tim Canny (Scratch)
2nd – Bob Morley (10 minutes)
3rd – Brian Ure (10 minutes)
4th – Peter Livitsanis (14 minutes)
5th – Dan Whelan (10 minutes)
Fastest Time – Tim Canny (Scratch) in 1h 8m 20s, ave. 36.9 kph

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