October 1, 2017 – OSCAR’S Hotel & Cafe spring CRITERIUM series, round 1

OSCAR’S Hotel & Cafe
Spring CRITERIUM Series 2017

Round 1 - October 1

Ballarat Criterium Circuit, Victoria Park

EVCC 2017 spring crits - poster

Eureka Cycling ventured to Victoria Park in Ballarat to race on the newly resurfaced criterium circuit.  Overcast and windy conditions could not dampen the enthusiasm of the riders who assembled for the first week of the 2017 Oscar’s Hotel & Cafe spring CRITERIUM series.  

A few familiar faces were missing from the line up and we had to go to the record books to see if these three had all been absent at the same time on any other occasion in the clubs’ history –
Tony Mirabella was racing the Red Rock Classic at Colac.
Bob Morley was revisiting his inner hippie at some far flung “blues” festival (probably not true…but we aren’t discounting the possibility…).
Pete Livitsanis was recovering from a morning SCARE (Sudden Cranial Anterior Realignment Event).

Even without the club stalwarts we had good numbers out to try the super smooth tarmac under race conditions. Four riders were out trialling with the club and the new surface received thumbs up all round.

Division 1

With nine riders present, the largest field of the day welcomed two trial riders into the fold for a 50 minute plus two laps race.

Shane Hayes and Sam Edwards provided an interesting dynamic to the lineup.  Both riders spent time leading the bunch.
Edwards was quick to perceive that everyone was happy for him to sit on the front and so he measured his efforts.  Hayes followed early then worked with the bunch when chasing down Matt Bowman who went off the front early in the race and stayed away for over ten minutes.
At times Bowman had close to 400 metres on the bunch.
Matthew Ayres wore a skin suit but unfortunately didn’t get the full benefit as he was an early casualty during the subsequent chase of Bowman.
Club Champion Greg Ley was looking for a 2000 metre climb somewhere on the circuit just to slow proceedings down and increase his chances.
Tim Canny somehow made it to the start line after cheering home his beloved Tigers the day before and possibly celebrating more than was commensurate to his effort in winning the flag.  Canny spent a lot of time leading the chase of Bowman before was finally bringing him back into the fold.

The race eased for a moment and Jason Birch used this as an opportunity to launch a series of attacks.  Brendan Schiemer and Dean Wells had situated themselves near the front of the bunch for just this reason and they were in prime position to chase Birch down each time.
Bowman went off the front again at the thirty minute mark.  The bunch let him dangle 50 metres up the road for a lap.  Then Canny rode off the front to join Bowman.
The bunch increased their pace and were at almost full sprint to try and bridge the gap – they didn’t make it and the dangerous Bowman/Canny pair were away.
Birch tried to get the bunch rotating in the chase, however most of them were struggling to just hold wheels let alone roll to the front.
After a concerted ten minute chase effort the bunch had almost closed the gap, then Birch flatted and the impetus fizzled.

Bowman and Canny slowly blew the gap out beyond 300 metres and when the bunch got the call for 2 laps they eased up and played cat and mouse for third place.
Up ahead and the lead pair kept powering along taking the bell and not easing the pressure.
Into the home straight and they were shoulder to shoulder before Canny finally edged away near the line for the win over the gallant Bowman.  The pair averaging 39.8 kph.
The bunch were racing for third and Wells couldn’t find a way off the front.  He ramped the pace up from 500 metres out and led to the shadows of the post before Edwards and Schiemer came through.  Hayes wasn’t far behind and Ley was close, but still looking for that elusive mountain.

1st – Tim Canny
2nd – Matthew Bowman
3rd – Sam Edwards

IMG_3471 IMG_3475 IMG_3513

Division 2

Seven riders started and animated the Division 2 race from the get go…Mark O’Callaghan quickly assumed the lead role, however most of the riders were keen to get amongst the action.
Roger McMillan spent some time off the front as did the regular agitator Steve Biram.  Brian Ure impressed yet again and James Knipe played the deft hand covering the dangerous moves.
Pete Canny was happy to watch proceedings and mark wheels, whilst training mate Rick Calvert tried to lure someone else off the front with him to attack.

To the finish and a protracted sprint saw Knipe just hold out a determined Canny – although it must be said that Knipe was extremely confident in sitting up just before the line.  Biram was third just ahead of Ure and McMillan.

1st – James Knipe
2nd – Peter Canny
3rd – Steve Biram

Division 3

Racing for forty minutes and two laps, the seven riders in Division 3 spent most of the race bunched tightly.
Barry Robinson was out racing after hibernating for much of the winter and quite often found himself leading the pack around.
Dan Crook was finding his racing legs again and Terry Collie was keeping a watchful eye over Kevin Lee who he expected to be the main contender on the day.
Monica Canny was trialling with the club and enjoying her first race on the circuit after missing the recent Saturday morning Ballarat Sebastopol CC criteriums.
Phil McLennan was back having his second trial race with Eureka and Steve Linane was hiding somewhere amongst the pack throughout the race.

Division 3 averaged over 34 kph and a bunch finish decided the race – however the stiff headwind up the straight made the finale more of a slug than a sprint.  A well timed effort saw Linane come from the middle of the pack win comfortably over McLennan with Lee in third place.

1st – Steve Linane
2nd – Phil McLennan
3rd – Kevin Lee



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