October 8, 2017 – Southern Cross Business Machines HILL TOP, Mt Misery, 49 km Handicap

A New King of the Hill – 8 October 2017

southern cross business machines

Mt Misery with Hill Top Finish – 49 km

EVCC Hill Top 2017 - poster

Tim Canny Does It His Way

…I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way…

Strong northerly winds made the Southern Cross Business Machines HILL TOP a true classic race.   Twenty three riders battled the conditions around the Mount Misery circuit before ascending the infamous Harrisons Road climb to fight for the “King of the Hill” crown.

John Faulkner turned out in his kit today for a rare race with the club he presides over.  Setting off alone at 25 minutes Faulks was soon struggling into the headwind up Edmonston Road – he wasn’t Robinson Crusoe in that respect – before finding his mojo and powering around to Ercildoune Road.
From there the game got tougher and he picked up by bunch after bunch before “missing” the left hand turn into Edmonston Road and cruising back to the club rooms.

Graeme Parker and Terry Collie set off just four minutes later in pursuit of Faulks.  Sharing the load made for an easier time than other races when they have been the lone wolf off limit.  Collie eventually rode off from Parker – who is still returning to race fitness – heading up Ercildoune Road.
Parker was then caught by the combined 14 and 11 minute groups with ten kilometres remaining.

The fourteen minute trio has not seen much racing action recently and it was with a sigh of “do we have to?” that they eventually rolled away from the start line.  Race Referee was heard to say ‘You weren’t meant to see that.’ to the other riders queued up in anxious anticipation.
Out on course and James Burzacott, Roger McMillan and Ralph Jones the rider previously known as James Gretton quickly moved into hurt/survive mode on the road to Addington.  Once they picked up the cross tailwind they flew along Langi Kal Kal Road and smashed it down Black Bottom Road.
They struggled up Ercildoune Road like every bunch, however they were soon swept up by the ten minute group and joined in the pacing.

Had it not been for the wind, the ten minute bunch would have been licking their lips with their mark.  This race fit bunch of six were present throughout the whole winter series and have set themselves up for a great spring.
Today…Jeremy Humber, James Knipe, Brian Ure, Kevin Lee, Danny Whelan and Peter Livitsanis rode their giggleberries off in pursuit of the riders ahead. A noticeable slowing of the pace once they caught Parker and Team Jones put paid to any chance the bunch had.  Parker even slotted in and started working turns to keep the pace respectable.  Riders were sizing each other up almost as if they had forgotten that they were being hunted by the back markers.  There were some itchy trigger fingers and early marking as the enlarged bunch started to ascend the Weatherboard climb in pursuit of Collie.
Knipe eventually attacked and Humber followed.  They cleared out from the bunch, but would they survive?

The three minute group was cobbled together with those who couldn’t make the cut for Scratch.  Jim Crumpler arrived ready to marshal, yet ended up racing in civvies.  Preparing for his next great biking adventure, “Lever” struggled then lost contact on the steps near Waubra.
Impressive today was Matthew Ayres who used his strength and time trialling to guide the bunch around the circuit.  Rick Calvert and Dean Wells supported Ayres as best they could.  Big kudos to the old men of the bunch…we mean the short men of the bunch…
Peter Canny has been training hard to assume his rightful position in Second Scratch and Peter Kiel clearly circles the races with hill climbs at the start of each season.  Kiel races honest on the few times we see him each year and today he slotted in and assumed the leadership role like as though he had been racing all year.

Scratch were licking their lips today…well Matt Bowman, Greg Ley and Jason Birch weren’t, but Tony Mirabella and Tim Canny were pumped.
“Riff Raff” Bowman expected a hard race however he was shelled early and then retired so that he could cheer everyone up the climb.  Birch and Ley turned themselves inside out just to hold wheels let alone contribute to the maddening pace that Canny and Mirabella drove.
In fact Canny led the bunch for many a long turn as they chased the 3 minute group which just would not come back to them.  Eventually they made the catch just ten kilometres from the finish – on that little rise one kilometre out from the left turn onto the Weatherboard climb.

Canny hit Second Scratch hard and opened a gap which he never relinquished.  Mirabella planned to let the gap widen before jumping across but then he found himself with Ley in no-mans land ahead of Second Scratch which was rallying behind with the added firepower of Birch.
Ayres drove the chase back to Ley and Mirabella, then Kiel started swapping turns and urged everyone to work – a pipe dream as it was all anyone could do just to hang on. Onto the Weatherboard climb and the virtually the whole field is present.

Collie has the race lead and crests the hill with Knipe and Humber in pursuit and they soon claim him.  The remnants of the 10 minute group are pacing themselves, although they have dropped Lee and Parker.
Canny works his way past the distressed riders and detects a whiff of victory.  Mirabella and Ley drive the chase with cameos from Wells and Ayres.
Over the crest and the bunch starts working turns to catch the rest of the field.  Into Edmonston Road for the run towards Harrisons Road and Canny has swept to the lead with Humber in tow.

One hundred metres behind the ten minute bunch is soon caught by Mirabella and Co. Ley and Mirabella brunt the headwind and assume responsibility for the chase as Canny drops Humber and is riding towards victory.
Wells comes through and swaps turns with Mirabella before Ley then Ayres try to ramp the pace up and drop the riders from the ten minute group who are hanging on.

Towards the turn into Harrisons Road and Canny is riding towards the crown.
Wells leads the chase and drives the pace to split the field. Mirabella launches as they turn onto the climb, he can’t catch Canny however he can claim second.
Ley, Birch, Calvert and Kiel chase, but Mirabella has the gap and looks to have sown second place up.

Canny rides to a clear victory and is back at the finish line to watch the rest of the race finish.
Ley surges halfway up the climb and gets a small gap over Birch.  Calvert chases and Wells rallies to claim Kiel not far from the finish.
Pete Canny and Matt Ayres claim top ten places as does Danny Whelan who finishes 9th.

1st – Tim Canny (Scratch)
2nd – Tony Mirabella (Scratch)
3rd – Greg Ley (Scratch)
4th – Jason Birch (Scratch)
5th – Rick Calvert (3 minutes)
Fastest Time – Tim Canny (Scratch) in 1h 16m 15s, ave. 38.2 kph
Photo L-R:
Tim Canny, Colin Matthews (Southern Cross Business Machines), Greg Ley and Tony Mirabella



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