March 17, 2019 – Ercildoune / Addington Loop – 55 Km Handicap

Irish Eyes Are Smiling – 17 March 2019

St. Patricks Day Handicap

Ercildoune – Addington Loop – 55 km



There are only two kinds of people in the world, The Irish and those who wish they were.
? Old Irish saying

It was Saint Patricks Day and whilst most of those with Irish heritage were thinking about getting an early start at Irish Murphy’s or the Munster’s Arms, some of the more crazy ones were lining up to ride bicycles.  They prepared to tackle the infamous Mt Ercildoune circuit – with the Addington Loop up Harrisons Road thrown in for good measure.

Twenty eight brave starters, including many from good Irish stock!
The field was littered with Gaelic heritage…there was O’Callaghan, McMillan Linane, Dawson, Whelan and Livitsanis (what the Janey Mack – that’s not Irish!).

Today, lady luck would smile on the Irish, but we of the clovered isle were only too pleased to see names like Schiemer, Kiel, Verberne and Burzacott.
Seven groups started the race, spread out from 33 minutes for the out-markers to Scratch for the big guns.
Mal Rock and John Faulkner led the race out – neither would finish.

Robert Young and Graeme Parker were next away at 31 minutes.  They would have the race lead until the infamous Harrison’s Road climb.

John Creek and Jakkii Dawson were away at 21 minutes and rounded up by halfway.

Darryl Brown, Brian Lee, Roger McMillan and Rob Parker formed the 18 minute group, their fortunes would vary greatly.

Yours truly (the future hero of the day) was in the 15 minute bunch, and that’s really where we take up the story…
Three with Irish heritage: Linane, O’Callaghan and Whelan (the anglicized form of the ancient pre 10th century Gaelic name O’ Faolain, meaning a male descendant of Faolan, itself a personal name meaning ‘Young wolf’)…actually, ‘Old fox’ would be more appropriate, but I’ll get to that later.
Livitsanis with Greek heritage, and Burzacott with possible Cornish heritage. *He was seen eating lots of pastries after the race!

The 9 minute group saw the return of Cameron Farrington – the lone rider of English heritage, surrounded by yet more Irish lads – Shaun Martin, Grant Dawson and Geoff Martin.

Dennis Neale returned to the fold and rode from 6 minutes with Matt Angus and newcomer Mark Verbene.

Scratch welcomed Brendan Schiemer back.  Matt Bowman brought his brother Vaughan along to play.  Jason Birch, Peter Kiel and Rob Ellis rounded out an impressive bunch.  However this day was not to be theirs!
This day, Irish eyes would be smiling as the 15 minute group raced away…

Up and over Weatherboard and into Ercildoune Rd – the bunch was working together beautifully.  Burzacott (following Whelan) was heard to remark to Linane, ‘Wow, he pushes through pretty hard’.  ‘Yeah’, thought Linane, ‘that’s why I’m doing my turns after O’Callaghan, but I’m not letting you in on the secret!’
Unfortunately, Burzacott realised the error of his ways a little too late and was dropped once the bunch turned into Black Bottom Rd.

The remaining four kept sharing turns, but Livitsanis was having heritage flashbacks and raised the white flag once they turned into Beaufort-Waubra Road.  Only the three Irish laddies were left.
They drove past the 18 minute bunch, with a quick tag on from McMillan and Brown, before they both realised this was no place for pretenders.
O’Callaghan bravely hung on until about halfway up the seemingly never ending rolling hills of Beaufort-Waubra Road, but he too eventually surrendered (must be from Northern Island!).

It was down to the ‘Old Fox’ and the ‘Young Dog’… Linane and Whelan kept working together taking turns and when they rolled onto Edmonston Road they caught Mal Rock, who let them know that there were only two in front, Parker and Young.

To the foot of the Harrisons Rd climb and Whelan says to Linane ‘I’m going to need a bit of a hand getting up here’.
Linane, an ex-catholic schoolboy trained to respect his elders said ‘No worries, kind Sir, just sit on my left and I will block this nasty north wind for you’, which he preceded to do.

Three quarters of the way up Harrisons Rd and Whelan thought ‘sucker’ and took off, getting a nice break on Linane.  They both went past the front markers – Whelan cresting the climb in the lead and Linane finally clawing over the top some seconds later.
Much cursing was heard as Linane proceeded to chase down Whelan over the next 4 km.  

Linane caught Whelan as they turned back onto Beaufort-Waubra Road and thought ‘No more turns from me you old fox!’

Whelan screamed back down onto Edmonston Rd and proceeded to do what Whelan does best – try to drop anyone who’s trying to get a sit on him.  Linane hung on for dear life over the bumpy bits of Edmonston Rd, but once it smoothed out, started thinking of his victory speech…ah to be young and cocky…

Linane and Whelan kept working well together, with Linane deferring to his elder and letting Whelan have the lead, before deciding 100 metres out to be a complete mongrel and take the win.

Minutes later the Scratch riders raced through the finish line – with visitor Vaughan Bowman taking third place and Fastest Time ahead of Brendan Schiemer. 

Race results:
1st – Steve Linane (15 mins)
2nd – Danny Whelan (15 mins)
3rd – Vaughan Bowman (Scratch)
4th – Brendan Schiemer (Scratch)
5th – Matt Angus (6 mins)
Fastest Time – Vaughan Bowman (Scratch) in 1h 26m, ave. 38.4 Kph


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