Race Report- Scratch Race 31st July


A Grade Scratch race

A field of 6 riders faced the starter, these being Phil Cartledge, Rod Hetherington, Bob Braszell, John Rhook and visiting riders from Bendigo club, Paul Volk and Darrell Stewart .

It was a fairly sedate start with all 6 working honest turns across the quarry road, the only notable event was the clash of Rod’s front wheel and Darrell’s derailleur. As the bunch turned into the wind on the back straight Phil decided to test the riders’ skills by going up the very edge of the road and remained there for the entire length of the straight!! As the riders turned into the tail wind the pace went on and as they turned into Donovan’s Road, Cartledge attacked hard out of the corner catching Braszell off the back. Bob made a gallant effort to get back on but the hill finished his under done legs. It was full steam ahead down the finishing straight and when the riders turned onto the quarry road, Hetherington was gone.

After several attacks down the back straight Stewart was well off the front when the group turned into Donovans Road the second time, again Cartledge drove hard up the small climb and pulled the break away in. It was then a solid 11 cog down the front straight which proved too much for Darrell Stewart and as we crested the quarry hill it was down to 3. Cartledge attacked again down the back straight proving to much for the last visiting rider and Rhook was the only rider left able to hold the wheel .

After a discussion about upholding the stature of the club against those ….visitors. It was a solid last 5 K to the finish. Cartledge lead the sprint out and was too strong for Rhook who was doing all he could just to stay on the wheel for 2nd place, Paul Volk came in 3rd some 5 minutes down.

B Grade

A small but evenly matched bunch fronted the starters with the early money on Peter Livitsanis or Rick Calvert. Richard Taylor was un backable but had not one but two flat tyres before the start and was relegated to marshalling duties. An interesting addition the Michael Veal who set a new standard in warm ups when he wheeled his bike from his vehicle 10 metres to the start line announcing “ Warm up done!”

The bunch was well mannered and dropped into a rhythm of rolling over and sharing the load. It was only a matter of time before somebody shook up the monotony. It was Peter Livitsanis with the aid of the tail wind cranked it up and powered the whole way on the front. The rest of the field was strung out in a line like ducks wondering when he would back it off. Livitsanis won the nonexistent intermediate sprint and kept it going to the next corner. He swung off and thing got back to whatever normal is. Then low and behold he did the same thing the next lap. Lined out the whole field again and backed it off around the corner. He hadn’t finished with us yet and on blowhard road into the side wind he put us into the gutter and lifted the pace in a “Cartledge-esque “maneuver to sort the field out. However Phil Cartledge he aint and no –one suffered too greatly. Then we got to the tail wind straight on the irrepressible Livitsanis was on the front again!!As the finish line loomed, Michael Veal was on his wheel looking for the sit. However he was still copping a fair bit of breeze because he sits a lot higher than the diminutive Pete. The best sit in the house was behind Veal and that was where Bob Morley had parked himself. One of the pre race favourites , Rick Calvert was on Morley’s wheel and Brian Lee was sitting out in the middle of the road for no apparent reason.

400 out Veal’s experience and mind told him it was time to go. He stood up but his legs told him to sit down. He had cramped and all it did was alert Livitsanis that it was on. He committed and went all out for the line. Calvert jumped down the outside and thought he had the race won when the old stager Morley “Bobbed” up and powered down the outside to take a well judged victory.

Calvert hung on for second. Peter Livitsanis carved a new adage” Plenty of guts, no glory” to hold second and the Doc rolling over the line for fourth. Brian Lee was still in the middle of the road and came in fifth.

 

C Grade

Eight riders made up the C grade field with the attacks starting early in the race. John Creek who just continues to grow stronger every week dominated the attacks.  Using the tail wind into Donovan’s Road as a launching pad on each lap he strung out the entire field out for several kms with even the most seasoned riders struggling to hold a wheel.

Ron Larkin dug hard on the quarry hill but to no avail as all of the field were showing better form than him.
All eyes were on Steve Kanga Kennedy, who looked very comfortable though out the race as did Kevin Lee who rode using his brain and holding off any attacks with ease.  Jacinta Welch also cruised along with ease in the male dominated group.  Mal Rock put in a rock solid ride and started the long sprint for the finish far too early.  Kevin Lee and John Creek then opened up the pace and it was a clear duel between these two stronger riders of the field for first place. Lee took the line honors just ahead of Long John Creek with Steve Kennedy finishing comfortable in third place.

 

D Grade

D Grade was well represented and just to make things interesting Gary Blood missed the start and had to race to get back on. The bunch then rode together for some time which was a feat in itself with a group containing Greg Curnow and Gary blood. Alby Chapman was the first to go when the pace was lifted on Quarry hill. Shirley Hetherington was keeping the bunch in check until the main hill on the last lap when Blood had a rush of Blood and left the group to strike out alone. The others thought it was wise to leave him there for a while and worked turns to keep him in reach. But the harder they worked the more blood pulled away. Greg Curnow thought it was time to strike out on his own and tried to get across but found himself in no man’s land.

Gary Blood stayed away for an impressive victory and Curnow held on for second. The sprint was on for third when there was a touch of bikes between Shirley Hetherington and big Nick Verhagen. This worked in Verhagen’s favour and he was the third place getter

 

E Grade

E Grade was the M&M show as Maz Morley and Mandy Rhook fought out D Grade. They both rode well but it was Mandy that was too strong in her comeback ride to take victory with Maz Morley second.

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