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April 3, 2016 – Handicap – Weatherboard, 60 km

April 3, 2016 – Handicap – Weatherboard, 60 km

The Power Of One – 3 Apr 2016 

Weatherboard Circuit – 60 km


Veni, Vidi, Vici

On a glorious sunny Autumn day, 18 riders watched Tony Mirabella ride past them and onto victory.
With the Ides of March behind him, Tony Mirabella had his lean and hungry look on today, and today he also had a plan, such men are dangerous. The stony-hearted Mirabella took full toll of an early lapse in speed in the scratch bunch, and let slip the dogs of war.  He mercilessly rode through the field only taking those that could endure pain with patience with him, until finally no one could take any more and he rode off the front alone to capture the chequered flag – first and fastest.

Tony’s pre-emptive strike early in the race took Brendan Schiemer and Matt Bowman by surprise, before they knew it Tony had bridged the 3 min to the strong second scratch bunch of Rick Calvert, Matt Ayres and Rob Phillips.  The die was caste, two chasing four was bad juju and from that point on Brendan and Matt were on a training ride.  The second scratch bunch of Rick, Rob and Matt are all in good knick and were able to work with Tony to chase down the rest of the field, Tony taking care not to shell anyone until he had ruthlessly drained everything out of them.

Up ahead the 7 minute bunch was travelling well, although they had lost Duncan “Pyscho” Bates to a puncture early, the four remaining riders were making big inroads into the front of the race.  The sinuous Danny “Fidel” Whelan was relatively well behaved and worked like a Trojan on the front, Bob “Muncher” Morley didn’t miss a beat and even had his climbing legs on.  The return of Michael “the Doctor” Veal provided extra firepower and Peter “Fifi” Livitsanis joined in for comedy relief.

Three laps in and the middle markers were starting to pick off the flotsam and jetsam shelled from the front of the race, Roger McMillan had been shelled by the 12 min bunch and sat up waiting, to his credit he joined in working turns, however the Henderson Hill proved his undoing.  A lap later and Bob’s 7 min crew caught the remnants of limit, Graeme “Colonel” Parker and Rob Young had persevered deep into the race but were now cooked.

The remaining three riders of the 12 min bunch, Terry Collie and the brothers Lee (Brian and Popeye) were rollicking along.  Terry is in great knick and despite not racing for a while the Lee boys were contributing as honestly as ever.  Morley and friends caught up with them in the Avenue with two laps to go.  Fidel wound it up to attack speed and burst passed Terry’s crew determined not to take any of them with him.  Those that could jumped on his wheel, by the end of the Avenue there were no prisoners.

However into Weatherboard Road, the Emperor of Eureka, Tony, with a panting entourage of Rob, Matt and Rick in tow, cruised past.  The Doctor, Fidel, Muncher and Fifi all climbed on-board the Mirabella express. Two laps of punishment then ensued as Tony tested the rest with gradual accelerations and more violent stuff.  Rick and Matt were shelled and the remaining five gritted their teeth.  Tony eventually finished toying with his quarry and with 5 km to go he sauntered off the front, everyone else was somewhat thankful for this small mercy and contented themselves with battling it out for second.

With Tony 50 metres up the road and free to fly to victory, the remaining four left it to the last hill to sort out the minors.  Fidel lead it to the foot of the hill and Rob launched from the bottom, Fifi jumped on his wheel and they put a gap into Muncher and Fidel.  However, Rob had burnt too many matches earlier and faded towards the top, Fifi slipped away and scampered for second. Muncher had put in a good climb and had enough left to launch a sprint and put Rob in his wake for third.
Despite this final furious flurry, Tony had already crossed the finish line, no need for the whip, a hands and heels effort was all that was required of this thoroughbred.

Race Results:
1st – Tony Mirabella (Scratch)
2nd – Peter Livitsanis (7 Min)
3rd – Bob Morley (7 min)
4th – Rob Phillips (3 min)
5th – Danny Whelan (7 min)
Fastest Time – Tony Mirabella in 1 hr 36 min 36 sec

March 20, 2016 – Criteriums – Production Drive, Alfredton

March 20, 2016 – Criteriums – Production Drive, Alfredton

Criteriums – 20 Mar 2016

Graded Scratch Races
Production Drive Circuit, Alfredton

What a difference a week makes.

The sun was out and so were our club members, 26 riders in all.  Some new, some old – some even older – but all with visions of glory.
The racing proved so hotly contested and eventful that a few of them were just seeing visions by the end.

A Grade


The Man In Strava Orange

There was worry at the start line, for the word had passed around,
That Pepe Griffin was going for four crits straight,
And scared off half the others – he was fastest pound for pound,
So only a handful had gathered to test their fates.
A few tried and noted riders from towns near and far,
Had entered at the table with Old Bill,
For the try hards love fast racing – especially on smooth tar,
And the smart money tumbled in for Club Champ – Farky Phil.

There was Mirabella, whose name is on every cup,
He’ll launch without a second thought or glance,
And few can ride beside him when his blood is fairly up,
Tony attacks whenever he sniffs a winning chance.
And Sheems from Buninyong, also came to try his hand,
No fitter rider holds the bars,
For no challenger can keep the K-O-Ms where Strava segments stand,
He’ll only ride when it’s dry and safe – to dodge cars.

And Dean Wells was there, he lives out east,
He’s something of the librarian type,
With a touch of show pony – out of depth to say the least
He started the race like a rat up a drain pipe.
Wells raced fast and handy – just the sort that won’t give up,
There was courage in his lumbering ride,
But he betrayed his lack of tactics, did the youngest pup,
And he would end up – getting fried.

They went round and round the circuit – each minute felt like ten,
Fast down the back straight and up along the front,
Pepe keeping the pace high and making them bend,
No point in hiding – or you’re out of the hunt.
With Farky marking wheels, and often making fight,
Each lad rode boldly, none fearing the spill,
Yet no one could match Pepe in full flight,
But they could all push harder – without any hills.

More than once Tony rode away from them – racing on a whim,
Out front where the boldest take their place,
And he raced his Cervelo past them, and made the chain sing,
With a high cadence, opening up a space.
The others eased off a moment, while he made another forlorn dash,
Then they chased with renewed vigour – so impressive from so few,
And they rounded up Tony just like a lightning flash,
And some time later they saw the sign that said two.

When they reached the bell lap, Dean continued the grind,
The others all sitting in single file,
The speed never dropping – each straight so well timed,
The slightest touch of wheels would cause them to pile.
But the man from Moonambel was stuck to Pepe’s tail,
Nearing the home turn he up clicked a gear,
And following Pepe to the corner he knew he couldn’t fail,
Then Sheems took his chances, for the bridesmaid hath no fear.

Brendan’s pedals a blur, he opens a gap in a blink,
Leaving Farky stranded on the wrong wheel me reckons,
Behind Pepe who has nothing left for the sprint,
And Tony chases hard – but daylight is second.
Through the lactic threshold – The Man In Strava Orange rode,
Tears of pain, turn to joy as he closed to the flag,
And he never stopped pedalling until he crossed the painted road,
Sheems finally the bride, and it’s his time to brag.


And down by Lake Learmonth, where the lake bed is dry,
The clubrooms stand on the foreshore east,
Where whispers of riders past, and their ghostly shadows roam,
Both before and after the post-race feast.
The gathered, you often hear them say,
Tales about hard men who rode with pride,
Like The Man In Strava Orange – a household name today,
And the veterans tell the story of his ride.

1st – Brendan Schiemer
2nd – Tony Mirabella
3rd – Phil Cartledge

B Grade


Matt Ayres ran down his Bacchus Marsh buddy Greg Ley late on the last lap to claim yet another win in his rookie year at Eureka.
The two of them the pulling off the perfect race plan and a Bacchus Marsh quinella.

The largest field of the day saw some animated evenly matched racing.  Both Matt and Greg gauged who had the legs with attack and counter-attack, while Danny “Fidel” Whelan was keen to keep everything on tempo for as long as he could to discourage an attack that would put him out the back.
Bob Morley managed to stay upright and despite not finishing in the places actually posted the fastest final sprint of the race – he was just too far back when he launched.
John Creek astride his new stealthy whip (well as stealthy as a farm gate can get I suppose) played a masterful hand, not the strongest in the race, he relied on his noodle to stay competitive, never on the front, but never out the back either and declining several invitations to close down an attack his was a well-crafted race.
Rick “Sudso” Calvert rode strongly and his attack on the last lap from a long way out put him on the podium.  However the day belonged to the two boys from Bacchus, Greg riding very aggressively and Matt with his supreme dominant finishing power.
With only a few laps to go, Greg went on the attack, opening a 20m gap, with the powerhouse Matt not keen to chase down his mate this gap grew to 40m, it was left to the others to try to close down Greg, knowing full well that if and when they did Matt would counter.  With one lap to go Greg was still clear when Rick decided to put it all on the line, and Matt was sitting on him all the way.  Around the last corner Rick hadn’t bridged across and was running out of puff, Matt took his queue and hammered home passing Greg 50m out and sprinting clear.

1st – Matt Ayres
2nd – Greg Ley
3rd – Rick Calvert


C Grade


Brains over brawn, that wily old stager Terry Collie timed his sprint to perfection to nip Roger McMillan in the final sprint.
Great start to the year for Terry who is showing the benefit of hard race fitness acquired from racing Opens.
Shelled last crit here, this time James Gretton steps onto the podium, an encouraging result from an improving rider.  The pre-race favourite Roger looked the strongest rider of the day in the mounting yard and is looking pretty fit since last outing when he managed a win.  The fourth racer for the day was the Crit Monster himself, Brad Eppingstall, making a late start to the year he’s got a way to go to get back to his monstering best, but he managed to stay handy to the placegetters and was far from disgraced.


1st – Terry Collie
2nd – Roger McMillan
3rd – James Gretton

February 28 – Ron Rivette Classic – Mt. Misery, 57.2 km

February 28 – Ron Rivette Classic – Mt. Misery, 57.2 km

Hickey Triumphs – 28 Feb 2016

Ron Rivette Classic

proudly presented by
Shane Cook Homes

VVCC Open Handicap – 57.2 km


Gerard Hickey (Colac Veterans Cycling Club) has taken the win in the 2016 Ron Rivette Classic on a windswept Mt. Misery circuit.
Hickey who finished second in the 2015 open race, was not going to be denied taking the win in 2016.  With fifteen kilometres remaining, Hickey broke away with Chris Shay (Geelong & Surf Coast Cycling Club) and Tamara Riddell (Northern Cycling) from the remnants of their 24 minute bunch and chased down the lone leader.
The chasing bunches could only watch on as the trio maintained their margin at the head of the field.
A strong tail wind in the home straight ensured the trio would not be caught.
Hickey and Shay fought out a sprint finish with Hickey prevailing by two bike lengths.  Riddell was a few seconds behind.

The first Eureka rider across the line was Scott Denno (21 min), leading home a bunch sprint for fourth place, 30 seconds behind the winner.

In the race for fastest time, Darren Roberts (Northern Cycling) proved too strong for the Scratch bunch, winning a very fast sprint finish.

This was the first time that the Eureka club has held their open race in the summer and it attracted a large field with over 120 entrants.  The field was handicapped into 12 groups of riders with a spread of 37 minutes.
Many riders struggled early in the race as the southerly wind and climbing took its toll.?  By mid race the climbing was almost done for the day, however riders were already being dropped from their groups as they battled the head wind.
Turning onto Ercildoune Road with 20 kilometres remaining, Limit riders Paula McGovern (Eastern VCC) and Diane Jane (Central Victorian VCC) still led the way holding a three minute lead over the chasing groups.  At the back of the race the Scratch bunch were making some headway and had started picking their way through the field.

Hickey, Shay and Riddell chased the leaders down in the final 10 kilometres and drove for home.  Behind them, the 19 and 21 minute groups had combined and had the trio in their sights, however they couldn’t close the gap and a bunch of 20 riders contested a sprint finish for the minor placings.

Spot prizes were awarded to Grant Dawson (Eureka) and Craig Harvey (Northern) for continually driving the pace for their (12 min 30 sec) group throughout the race.

1st – Gerard Hickey (Colac), 24 min
2nd – Chris Shay (Geelong), 24 min
3rd – Tamara Riddell (Northern), 24 min
4th – Scott Denno (Eureka), 21 min
5th – Daniel Monaghan (Grampians), 19 min
6th – Grant Rogers (Geelong), 21 min
7th – John Parello (Geelong), 21 min
8th – Robert Parker (Eureka), 19 min
9th – Paul Bird (Geelong), 19 min
10th – Noel Said (Northern), 19 min
Winner’s time 1 hr 43 min 04 sec
Fastest Time – Darren Roberts (Northern), Scratch in 1 hr 22 min 27 sec


Gerard Hickey and Darren Roberts show off their sashes.


Chris Shay leads Tamara Riddell and Gerard Hickey up a sharp rise.
The trio would ride away from their group and fill the first three placings.


Hickey winning the sprint finish.


Darren Roberts winning the sprint for Fastest Time ahead of Gary Wearmouth and Wayne Collins.

EVCC open - Ron Rivette 2016

EVCC open - Ron Rivette 2016 teaser poster #2

EVCC open - Ron Rivette 2016 teaser poster #1

February 14, 2016 – Handicap – Mt. Misery, 46 km

February 14, 2016 – Handicap – Mt. Misery, 46 km

Long way to the Top – 14 Feb 2016 

Mt. Misery Circuit – 46 km

Age no barrier for Long


Geelong & Surf Coast CC rider Brian Long made a triumphant return to Learmonth on Sunday 14th February, taking the win in a 46 km handicap around Mt. Misery.  With a palmares as impressive as Brian’s, a lowly handicap win on a windswept course around a faux mountain shouldn’t rate high…but when you’re 83 years old it’s pretty impressive…and popular!

An invitation went out to GSCCC early in the week as they were unable to stage their own race due to bureaucratic red tape (no permits).  In a complete surprise, a handful of riders from a variety of vets clubs showed up for the day, some even bringing their own cheer squad (Carl Judd came along with Brian Long for a day out).
In total we had 30 riders roll up to the start line.

On a sunny yet windswept course, Long was sent out first with Eureka handicapper Bob Morley – who was nursing a broken rib – for company.  Essentially this would prove to be a time trial effort for Long, as Morley was only there to guide him around the course and try and maintain his own fitness in preparation for the upcoming Ron Rivette Classic (28th Feb).

A long 13 minutes later, the next group (at 16:00 min) consisting of Graeme Parker, Brad Eppingstall and Mandy Rudwick set out in pursuit of glory.
Losing Brad on the long climb to the top of Edmonston Rd, Graeme and Mandy then set about maintaining a consistent rhythm as they rode through Addington and into the westerly headwind.

The 9:00 min group looked strong on paper – if everyone was at the top of their game – however still being early in the season meant there were a few under-done riders.
Led by Barry Robinson and Terry Collie, the group was quickly under pressure as Geelong rider John Long (Brian’s son) was soon dropped on the way up to the first turn.  John’s day done, he rode the whole way home alone, not quite being able to latch onto any of the chasing groups.
Alan Barnett (Goulburn) adapted quickly to the relentless speed of a Eureka Vets race and was able to do his fair share. However it was Roger McMillan and Scott Denno whom would prove the powerhouses in the bunch.
Roger would ultimately pay for his youthful enthusiasm (being dropped by the halfway point), but Denno reminded us that there is a big engine hidden inside and kept driving the pace when others missed a turn or faltered.

The 6:00 min group proved be a mixed bag of talent and fitness.
Led by Steven Kennedy and John Creek, the group also contained Matt Ritchie (entering his second year of  returning to match fitness ) and Rob Parker whose long training miles weren t suited to the speed of a short whirl around Mt. Misery.
Joining the Eureka riders were two unknown quantities – Ian Flannery (Central) and Noel Said (Northern) – both fine tuning their preparations for the Ron Rivette Classic.  Both Ian and Noel had interesting days to say the least…Noel’s chain jumped off in the first few kilometres, leaving him in no man’s land by Addington (and about to hit the head wind alone).  Noel ended up riding the rest of the way home – alone.
Ian lost contact with the group halfway around the course and then got a helping hand from a Eureka rider, back to the club rooms…more on that later…

The 3:00 min group was full of firepower, strength, skill and tenacity…which made Pete Livitsanis wonder what he’d done to the Handicapper to find himself in this bunch.
Fifi is nowhere near the supreme fitness level that he normally has in the early part of the season, his time will come during winter when everyone else is struggling!  As it was, Livitsanis found himself off the back before reaching Addington.
Dan Whelan also found the early pace too tough and he was off the back even earlier than Livitsanis.
Both Whelan and Livitsanis would use their race smarts to latch onto the Scratch bunch and enjoy some assistance around the course.
New rider Peter Canny found himself left with a mate from his cafe bunch (Rick Calvert) and two Bacchus Marsh boys (Richard Taylor and Grant Dawson) who were both very strong.
After the early hiccups, the lads finally found their mojo and worked out that by sharing the workload they could actually go faster.  The only problem was that they started picking up the remnants of other groups.  Would this slow them down?  Could they hold Scratch off?

Scratch consisted of a veritable who’s who of Strava.  From the Pyrenees region came none other than Club Champion, Phil Cartledge; from the Gorge region came that ball of muscle and hair, Matt Bowman; from the quaint village of Buninyong came Mr Orange himself (Strava orange), Brendan Schiemer; then throw in a few local Ballarat hopes such as Lindsay Burgoyne, Dean Griffin and Tony Mirabella…what a line up.
Could anything stand in their way?  Well apparently yes.  As it turns out, in order to win a bike race you need to ride fast…who knew?
The general consensus post race was that Scratch just didn’t ride fast enough into the headwind.
Losing powerhouse Griffin didn’t help their cause.  Dean blew up out on the course – his supremacy on the criterium circuit not yet translating to the road. Yet!  Dean would guide visiting rider Ian Flannery home…the wrong way.  Both riders earning a DNF for their efforts (or was it a DKW, Didn t Know the Way?).

At the head of the race, Long still maintained a five kilometre advantage over his nearest rivals passing the halfway mark.  The following bunches were being torn apart by the wind whilst Long – with the occasional update from spectators – started to believe he could hang on.
Forever chasing, the 3:00 min bunch had dropped most of their passengers as they closed in on Weatherboard.
Calvert sensing victory attacked off the front of the group with 7 kilometres remaining…too bad that he didn’t sense Long and Morley up the road.
Rick’s attack only served to encourage Taylor to launch his own attack up Weatherboard.  Canny followed at a distance whilst Dawson, Calvert and Kennedy scrambled for wheels and tried to bridge the gap.
Taylor was time trialling to the finish with Canny gradually closing the distance.

Up ahead, Long was sailing away to the win, whilst Morley was slowing down due to the effort.  Scratch finally made their way over Weatherboard, dropping Bowman for a short while before he latched onto Mirabella and was brought back.

At the finish, Long won by a big margin over Canny who caught Taylor in the shadows of the big tree.
Calvert just got in over Kennedy, with Morley and Dawson following.
The race for Fastest Time was ignited by Bowman coming out of the dip.  His massive effort being enough to hold the other Scratch men at bay.

1st – Brian Long (Geelong SCCC)
2nd – Peter Canny
3rd – Richard Taylor
4th – Rick Calvert
5th – Stephen Kennedy
Fastest Time – Matt Bowman,  in 1h 11m 5s

For Long it was a homecoming of sorts.
Born in Ballarat in the 1930’s, Long commenced bicycle racing with the Sebastopol Amateur Cycling Club in 1949.
He has proven to be rather handy at it, winning many track and road events during his 66 years of racing.  Long won the inaugural Victorian Veterans Road Championship race in 1977 on a circuit around Learmonth.


Brian kitted out in his Sebastopol Amateur Cycling Club jersey, circa 1950.


Allan Barnett gives Brian Long a hand up.  Ian Nunn is a bit worried it might all go pear shaped, and Scott Denno is simply marvelling at it all.

Photo at top of page – Brian Long leading Bob Morley down Black Bottom Road.

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