November 12, 2017 – Mount Beckworth, 54 km scratch racing

Praise the Sunshine – 12 November 2017

Scratch racing

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Mount Beckworth circuit – 54 km

Glorious sunshine and a light breeze made for brilliant racing conditions at Learmonth.  Graded racing gave riders an opportunity to put the finishing touches on their preparation for the Club Road Race Championships which were being staged the following weekend.

Division 4

Michael Lynch dusted off his steed, donned the lycra and made his long awaited return to racing.  Well it was more like a training ride as Michael “raced” solo around the Windmill circuit for a few laps.

Division 3

John Faulkner, Graeme Parker and Robert Young comprised Division 3 today and a hearty hit out was had by all.  A team time trial was the order of the day and for the most part they stayed close together.

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The long climb up the lower slopes of Mount Beckworth stretched the field out with Parker scooting away, Faulkner trailing off the back and Young between them in no man’s land.

They regrouped on the long downhill section after the turnaround and resumed their team time trial back to Learmonth.
The finish was highly exciting affair as the three fanned out and raced head to head down to the flag.  Faulkner edged ahead in the final metres and held on for a courageous win.

Results:
1st – John Faulkner
2nd – Graeme Parker
3rd – Robert Young

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Division 2

The largest field of the day provided some interesting discussion points as the eclectic bunch used the race to size each other up ahead of the Championships next weekend.  Bob Braszell, James Gretton, Jeremy Humber, James Knipe, Peter Livitsanis, Roger McMillan, Bob Morley, Brian Ure and Dan Whelan provided some hints as to what we can expect to see next Sunday.

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Early in the race the group settled into a steady rhythm and rotated turns evenly.  Then the word went out that it was a Scratch race and not a handicap.  Soon after the shenanigans commenced and Ure was at the forefront.  He opened a gap through Coghills Creek which had riders scrambling for wheels.  Morley was keen to regain control and with Knipe they quickly reigned in the loose cannon.
Unfortunately the surging caused McMillan to start yo-yoing off the back and he was jettisoned not long after.  Livitsanis, Humber and Whelan rolled onto the front of the bunch as the road turned upwards.  Morley kept a good position tucked in behind. Gretton was starting to feel the heat of the day and Braszell seemed to be coping easily and without expending too much energy.

McMillan appeared on the back of the bunch after hitching a ride with Division 1, however he was off the back again passing the Glendaurel CFA shed.
Gretton was starting to lose contact as the bunch neared the top of the climb.  The turnaround point was closer to the crest of the hill today and Gretton was able to rejoin on the descent.

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Back through Coghills Creek and Livitsanis, Whelan and Humber were still present at the front of the pack trying to stretch everyone out in a true staying test – rather than make it a sit and sprint.

Into Donovans Road and eight riders were still present.  No one could get away up the rise and after all that effort the race would be decided by a sprint after all.

Knipe opened up his sprint from a long way out with Livitsanis close behind.  Are sprinted through the pack and Humber responded.  They swept to the lead and opened a small margin.  Morley and Braszell emerged out of the pack, however they were racing for third as Ure and Humber match raced to the flag.  Ure taking the hard fought victory.  Morley and Braszell unable to be split by the naked eye.

Results:
1st – Brian Ure
2nd – Jeremy Humber
3rd deadheat – Bob Braszell, Bob Morley
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Division 1

Gasps aplenty as the Division 1 riders realised they were going up against Tim Canny.  Some discussion as to how this race could be anything than a “benefit for Tim” and the protagonists had soon talked him into giving them a head start!  Canny was keen to oblige as he is after hard racing in preparation for the upcoming Tour Of Bright.
And so, what was listed as a Scratch race had just become a virtual handicap race.  One versus Six.  Time gap 4 minutes.  Distance 54 kilometres.  Seems fair!

Steve Biram, Stuart Brien, Rick Calvert, Peter Canny, Paul Pickersgill and Brendan Schiemer set off and quickly got into prefect rotations.
After what seemed an eternity, the younger Canny set off in pursuit.  At the end of the lap of Windmill he had taken over 90 seconds out of the gap.
Up ahead and the two big powerhouses Pickersgill and Brien started taking longer turns and stretching the limits of the group.  Biram was hanging on for dear life and Canny, Calvert and Schiemer were rotating through in between gasps for air.

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The younger Canny kept his power output around 330 watts and gradually ate away at the time gap, however with road curving road and the dips and crests he could never see his prey up ahead.  That prey was led up the hill by Schiemer as the lightweight rider showed his liking for all things upwards.  Calvert and Canny both enjoyed the slight easing in pace and were able to match it with Brien and Pickersgill.  Somehow, Biram was still hanging on.
Onto the steeper part of the climb and Schiemer started to roll away from the pack.  He was dangling a carrot and trying to tempt someone else out to play, alas there were no takers so he allowed the bunch to regroup after the turnaround.  And there was Tim, not that far behind…

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Back through Coghills Creek and there is still a big chance that the Six can hold off the One.  Calvert is struggling and Biram is coaching him through the pain.
Behind them young Canny is coming, but is he coming fast enough?
Onto the Windmill circuit and there is still a gap.  It’s unlikely that Tim can catch them, yet the bunch still swap turns.  Over the crest and the games commence.
No one wants to be on the front so Biram comes through and urges the others to follow.  Biram pushed for 600 metres, it’s the least he can do after being towed around the circuit.
Nearing the sprint point and the others are raring to go.  Brien goes first and Schiemer follows quickly grabbing the lead and holding it to the line for the first “disc brake” victory at Eureka.  Five cross the line in a blur, Biram is only 15 seconds behind and Tim crosses fifteen seconds after that.

Results:
1st – Brendan Schiemer
2nd – Stuart Brien
3rd – Peter Canny

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