November 25, 2018 – Secret Handicap – Waubra, 42 Km

It’s A Secret! – 25 November 2018

Secret Handicap

Waubra Out & Back, 42 km

EVCC secret hcp 2018

Colonel Parker serves up a winner with new secret recipe

“I didn’t realise they would go so fast at the start”
- unnamed rider

Smashing performance by Ellis as he pilots Smith to Fastest Time

Emma – New girl on the block

VOGA influence increase with arrival of Chatham

The inaugural Secret Handicap was a resounding success with the new format applauded by the power riders…

Overcast and cool with a southerly breeze made selecting race wear tricky – at least it wasn’t raining!
To ensure the timing wasn’t activated early, the twenty two riders lined up about five metres short of the timing strips for the mass start.  All appeared set, before a last minute reshuffle by Race Referee Bill Goldfinch saw the field strung out two wide and eleven deep.

James Knipe and Matt Ayres had read the memo about guarding positions at the start line.  In positions 1 and 2, they had accelerated away before others had even clipped in.
The reshuffle hardly made a difference once the race started though – with some riders from the rear, passing 3/4 of the field before they had even reached the actual start line.  Riders caught up in the traffic jam lamented their positioning as Dean Wells in hyperdrive blue took off around the field to find Knipe’s wheel.  Ash Burke and Rob Ellis soon caught up.  Sam Smith found some clear road and powered forward, towing Richard Taylor, Jason Hendry and Peter Gunston along for the ride.
It had taken just 500 metres to spread the field out and Ellis and Wells pressed the advantage.

By the turn into Edmonston’s Road the lead bunch had just eight riders and that number halved as Ellis put the power down and threatened to ride away.
Smith, Hendry and Taylor made the cut.
Wells, Ayres and Gunston the next group on the road.
Burke was soon joined in no man’s land by new rider Chris Chatham and as they raced down towards Addington, Dan Whelan caught them as well.
James Knipe and Steve McLennan had united down Edmonston’s Road as well.  Steve Linane caught them, took a few breaths, then dropped them climbing out of Addington.
Bob Morley was struggling to put much power into his pedalling after a fall during the week.  He had the race doctor with him – Jude Jonasson – to render motivation and assistance.
Pete Livitsanis had teamed up with new rider Emma Goodall.
Roger McMillan had teamed up with Jakkii Dawson.
Graeme Parker was in Time Trial mode.
Rob Kinna and Bill Dwyer were making sure no one had been left behind.

At the head of the race the Smith & Ellis Power Show was climbing the steps on its way to Mount Misery.  Tactical accelerations had not dislodged Hendry or Taylor.  Finally the Bacchus Marsh pair were encouraged to take a turn at the front, which proved their undoing as both were immediately shed from the lead.  The final selection had been made!

The chase group behind behind (Wells with Gunston on his wheel) could see the split in the leaders, however they had lost the powerful Ayres from their number.
Burke and Whelan kept powering along.  Chatham dropping off on the climbs, then catching them on the faster sections.
Linane had joined Morley and Jonasson the remaining riders still in their early groups.

Down to the turnaround and Smith and Ellis had a considerable advantage over the field.  They already had more than a minute on Taylor.  Hendry was another twenty seconds behind.
Ayres had caught Wells and Gunston in the last few kilometres to the turnaround, however they blew apart through the turn with Wells setting off in pursuit of Hendry and Taylor.

Smith and Ellis were flying back up the Mount Misery climb and increasing the gap with every pedal stroke.  A moment of terror for Ellis as Smith somehow failed to see a pine cone sitting in the middle of the tarmac and duly rode over it with both wheels…just remember that the next time you’re flying and hear the pilot say, “I’m Sam Smith, your captain for today’s flight…”

Hendry and Taylor had regrouped behind the two leaders – a long way behind.  Uniting had helped the pair slow the rate that Wells was catching them.  Ayres was next on the road with Gunston along for company.  Whelan and Burke were next – having lost Chatham on the hills.
Chatham is another triathlete and accustomed to riding alone.  Time Trial mode suited him!
Linane, Morley and Jonasson were next on road and they held their advantage over Knipe and McLennan.
Semi disaster further back in the field with Parker narrowly missing a rock which had been flung onto the road by a passing car.  Dawson was not so lucky and struck the rock and punctured.  McMillan was quickly alongside and swapping his wheel out so that Jakki could continue and he could retire due to her mechanical – such chivalry!

Fastest Time would be decided by the two leaders.  At some stage Smith would have to consider riding away from Ellis if he wanted to also win the Handicap.
Both riders had correctly guessed that Smith would be the lone Scratch rider, however what handicap advantage did Ellis have?  More importantly, did he have the power to get away from Ellis who had been riding in Mental Mode all day?

Through Addington our leaders had an insurmountable lead over Hendry and Taylor.  That pair had pulled away from Wells who was still in No Man’s Land, however Ayres and Gunston were steadily closing on him.
Nearing Weatherboard Smith tried to get away from Ellis.  It didn’t work and Ellis reminded Smith that “You’ll win the sprint, keep working for time.”
And so it was…
To the finish line and Smith accelerated away for the Fastest Time.  The pair waiting three and a half minutes before Hendry and Taylor crossed the line. Just over a minute later Ayres and Wells crossed, ahead of Gunston.  A few minutes later Burke won the sprint of the non-sprinters against Whelan.  Another minute to Chatham who rounded out the Top 10 across the line.

Back to the club rooms for the calculations…with the final standings (on handicap) showing Graeme Parker taking the win ahead of Rob Ellis who claimed his first ever prize money at Eureka in three years!
Third place went to Sam Smith ahead of Emma Goodall in her first ever road race and Richard Taylor in fifth place.
Post race discussions revealed some riders were very surprised by the violent acceleration off the starting line…even though it was telegraphed in the race preview…
We doubt anyone will be caught unawares next year!

Race results (with secret handicaps):
1st – Graeme Parker (22 min) in 1h 22m, ave. 30.7 Kph
2nd – Rob Ellis (2 min)
3rd – Sam Smith (Scratch)
4th – Emma Goodall (18 min)
5th – Richard Taylor (2 min)
Fastest Time: Sam Smith (Scratch) in 1h 6m, ave. 38.1 Kph

EVCC secret hcp 2018

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