November 6, 2016 – EUROPA CAFE Graded Scratch – Windmill-Mt.Beckworth, 55 km

The Perfect Storm  – 6 Nov 2016 

Europa Cafe – Graded Scratch Races
Windmill-Mt.Beckworth Circuit – 52.5 km


Remember that time it was calm on Windmill – Mt.Beckworth?
…said no one ever!

Spring really turned it on with a fine day of racing on the 54 km Windmill-Mt.Beckworth circuit today.
Ok, it was really windy and cold early in the morning, however once the sun came out it was only really windy…

D Grade:

Robert Young, James Gretton and John Faulkner all had to contend with Terry Collie (who finished 3rd in the 2016 VVCC Aggregate) on a typically windy Windmill-Mt.Beckworth circuit.
Terry designed this course two years ago to make full use of the ridiculous winds that this area is renowned for…hence the Waubra wind farm.
This circuit has a fair bit of climbing in it, so John was struggling as they neared the turnaround point.  He professes to be able to climb like an overloaded semi-trailer = slowly!

The ride back towards the finish line was even less fun than climbing that forsaken hill with the cross wind…but ALL 4 riders did make it back onto Donovans Road together.  Those little rises dropped finally John, and allowed Rob and James to get a break on Terry.
James has progressed a long way this year and he showed plenty of smarts to make Rob lead him towards that finish line for the last kilometre.  Rob pulled out a little bit extra when the sprint started and was able to hold James off to claim the win.

1st – Robert Young
2nd – James Gretton
3rd – Terry Collie

C Grade:

Dan Whelan found himself pushed down to C Grade and made good use of the chance.  Kevin Lee found the wind quite awful and abandoned early in the race…but we all know he will be eyeing off the Commodores Cup at the end of the season…so this was merely a stepping stone!  Roger McMillan and Brian Lee also lined up, as did James Knipe in his first race back with Eureka after an almost tragic incident earlier in the year where he was knocked from his bike by a fast moving car.

Riding for survival (after losing Kevin) always meant that Dan would be out the front doing the lion’s share of the work (which he would have done if he was in B grade anyway!).
All still together at the turnaround, however the elastic band was starting to stretch for some of the lads.  Through Coghills Creek and gaps had started to appear.  Roger found himself off the back as the pace and strain of the efforts started to tell.
Into Donovans Road and Dan started to assert his authority and opened a gap over James and Brian.  Dan winning the day by a comfortable margin over James and Brian.

1st – Dan Whelan
2nd – James Knipe
3rd – Brian Lee

B Grade:

A few newish faces today as some of the Bacchus Marsh lads returned for a ride.  These fellows all had a taste of A Grade/Scratch earlier in the year, so they were some tough nuts that the B Grade stalwarts Peter Livitsanis and Mark O’Callaghan welcomed back. (rumour has it that Bob Morley heard about the imminent return on the Bacchus Marsh Mob…so went on a weekend trip…)
Matthew Ayres and Greg Ley were both back for some racing action.  Mind you, they haven’t been idle in their absence and one would expect a rapid progression through the ranks again.  Joining the Bacchus boys was Grant Dawson for his first race since breaking a collarbone after Carl Judd hip and shouldered him at the Eureka Interclub race earlier in the year.

Pete knew what to do in a race surrounded by strong giants – hide amongst them.  Mark however was to experience something new (don’t worry, we won’t put you up a grade, we’ll bring the strong riders too you!).  With Grant along for a training (and testing) ride, the pressure was on Matt and Greg to deliver whilst in the “lower ranks”.
At the turnaround, all were present and ready to race.  Greg and Matt quickly doused any excitement flames the others had and opened a gap as they raced downhill towards Coghills Creek.  Into Donovans Road and the race for first and second place seemed to be up the road, however there was still a fight to be had for third place…or could someone get across to the leaders?
Pete turned himself inside out to get back to Greg and Matt, but they then rode away again.  Grant and Mark were just watching it unfold and counting down the metres to the finish line.  Then Mark rallied and tried to cross the gap.  He got well entrenched in No Mans Land!

The sprint for the finish saw a ding dong battle between Greg and Matt with only a length separating them as Matt took the win.

1st – Matt Ayres
2nd – Greg Ley
3rd – Peter Livitsanis

A Grade:

Whatever happened to a simple roll around then sprint finish?  Seems those days are gone!
Brendan Schiemer, Andrew Rushton, Dean Wells and Peter Kiel all came out to play today.  Only a small bunch as others were either off recovering, or in Tony’s case performing marshal duties (and seemed happy about it…not having to race in the wind).
A fast start with the tailwind, then pushing on with the cross wind.  There was even a moment of… ‘Everyone knows this is a Scratch race right!?’

Second lap with the wind on “quarry road” saw Andrew “light it up” each time he rolled through to the front.
Up quarry hill he opened a gap and only Brendan could get across.  Gradually Dean and Pete reeled them back in, but at the turn onto Coghills Creek Road Andrew accelerated again and that was that!  Twenty metres turned into 50, 100, 200.  By Coghills Creek they almost had half a kilometre.

At the turnaround Andrew and Brendan had opened a one minute gap on their rivals, Dean and Pete who try as they might couldn’t close the gap at all.
The run back through Coghills Creek to the finish line saw much of the same with Andrew and Brendan increasing their gap up to almost two minutes…or about 1 kilometre.
In the end the two leaders went to either side of the road and opened their sprints.  Andrew claiming the win.

1st – Andrew Rushton
2nd – Brendan Schiemer
3rd – Peter Kiel


Europa Café is located in the Ballarat CBD at 411 Sturt Street.

Breakfasts, lunches, coffee and cake…maybe even a nice glass of wine,
the spacious, inexpensive family style café, offers a range of tasty treats, hearty meals and scrumptious snacks.

We thank Kathryn and Jason for their ongoing support of our club and the Winter Aggregate Race Series.

The winners of EVERY race in the 2016 W.A.R.S. receive a Europa Café voucher.

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