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July 28, 2019 – GP Doug Garley – Davenport Rd handicap, 43 Km

July 28, 2019 – GP Doug Garley – Davenport Rd handicap, 43 Km

Champion and legend – 28th July 2019

GP Doug Garley

Davenport Road – 43 Km handicap

2019 GP Doug Garley - poster




Glorious sunshine bathed Learmonth for the 2019 edition of the GP Doug Garley.  The water was like glass with barely a breath of wind touching the pond (formerly known as Lake Learmonth).  It was mighty cold however, with the sun burning off the last of the frost which had fallen overnight, yet it was still perfect racing conditions for all the riders!

Nineteen riders had rugged up well for their warmups, before discarding the extra layers for the race start – which was directly outside the club rooms.
43 kilometres of gravel and tar lay ahead…
the unsealed Davenport Road had been freshly graded during the week…
the sealed roads were dry…
this race promised to be fast…

Darryl Brown and Kevin Lee (2017 GP Doug Garley winner) set off as the Limit group at 16 minutes.  With just a four minute advantage on the next group, maybe saving legs and waiting for the catch would be the best option?

Roger McMillan, Peter Livitsanis and Dan Whelan were due to set off at 12 minutes.  The lack of any wind would certainly play into this group’s hand, but did the start line timing dramas upset their cause?

jgc-2019-07-28-101332 (4)

Four strong riders set off at 7 minutes.  On paper, this was the winning group!
Wayne Klauss, Scott Keating, Dan Crook and Darryn Reed have all got pretty good engines.  The unsealed road held no fear for this group as they powered away.

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A large group in Second Scratch led by road captain Stu Brien.  Rick Calvert and Dean Wells offered significant firepower.  However with just three minutes at hand, the unknown was how Andrew Rushton and Dave Ogilvie would cope as they continue their return to race fitness.

There were doubts over the ability of Scratch to catch the front groups without a certain rider (who shall remain unnamed) donning his lycra.  Still, a formidable bunch rolled up to the starting gate.
Shane Clarke Jr, Dayne Pearce, Jason Shipcott, Jason Hendry (minus the Dinosaur Jersey) and Craig Lee, had a plan that was simple and slightly masochistic… a smash fest with no passengers – at least until everyone was caught… then smash them even more.
Out of the gate, Clarke showed his commitment to the plan – off like a greyhound chasing a lure.  Scratch was flying with everyone working hard and contributing their fair share… they needed to, because the Limit duo of Lee and Brown were already halfway down Henderson’s Road, their advantage bordering on eight kilometres.

Most groups had found their rhythm, however the 3 minute bunch had only taken a few hundred metres out of the distance to the 7 minute group, all the while bleeding time to Scratch.
Within one lap the ‘lure’ (chopping block) had their gap halved and the Scratch plan was looking like a winner!

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The difficulty with this circuit is seeing far enough ahead to spot the other groups.  The undulating parcours and short straights seemed to always hide the other groups from sight.

Not that any of the racers could tell, but the field was only compressing from the rear.  The front groups were holding their gaps, yet Scratch was devouring the space in between.

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Laps two and three saw the Scratch group chip away at the gap to Second Scratch – it was the only bunch they could see.  Second Scratch had lost Ogilvie earlier and Rushton departed just moments before Scratch collared them – nearing the bell on Davenport Road.  At this point, only 45 seconds separated Scratch (now incorporating Brien, Calvert and Wells) from the front of the race.  Pearce pulled the trigger first to begin the last lap.  This was quickly covered by Wells and the combined Scratch / 3 minute.
Lee put in a big effort at the bottom of the Davenport descent – however it was a wasted effort which was easily covered by Shipcott.

Turning onto Avenue Road for the final time the race came together.  The large lead bunch (Brown, Lee, Livitsanis, McMillan, Whelan, Crook, Keating, Klauss and Reed) was taken completely by surprise as the combined Scratch group swept past.

Scratch had found the front of the race – enter Clarke!  He hit the afterburners heading up the Avenue dropping all but Lee and Shipcott.  The rest scrambled for wheels!
A flick of Clarke’s elbow sent Lee to the front which allowed Hendry and Brien to bridge as they crested the hill.  A sharp effort from Keating saw him cross the gap just in time.
The split had been made!
For the others, it was a tough chase to try to get back on.  Pearce and Reed led the charge, Wells and Calvert chimed in, yet the leaders were edging away.

The lead group became disorganised after turning into Henderson’s Road for the final run down to the pig farm.  Some riders were willing to work, others were just trying to sit on.  Finally the remaining Scratch riders started rolling turns.  Brien and Keating more than happy with this turn of events!

Only three riders remained in the chase.  Huge efforts from Pearce and Calvert set Wells up to finally cross to the lead group.
Pearce also joined soon after – just as the leaders turned at the pig farm.  Hendry was on the front, yet when he rolled off, Clarke lit the afterburners (again).  There was a little separation, Lee got nervous and went after him – dragging most of the others along.  Wells was off the back again.

There would be no getting away in these easy conditions – the weather gods had proven too kind to the less punchier riders.

Onto Davenport Road for the final time and unfortunately for Clarke found himself on the front without any friends.
Hendry had his wheel and every time Clarke flicked his elbow, the big hairy guy just looked the other way.
Lee, Brien, Shipcott and Keating were tucked in behind (Pearce cruising at the back) and waiting for the right time to pounce.

The pace eased enough that Wells almost rejoined before the final climb started – then the fireworks started!

Brien threw caution to the wind and opened up first.  Clarke locked in on his wheel, but it was fruitless for both of them.
Lee, Hendry, Shipcott and Keating were all still in the game!

The finish line came into view and Lee first ensured Hendry was boxed in, then he made his dash for the line…
The Sprint Monster would have to do it the hard way and come around the outside – if he wanted the victory today…
Shipcott was chasing, Clarke sat up as Keating flew past, Brien was watching from afar…

The finish line drew closer – it was furious – Lee was unsure if he had the break…
He put all the power he had left into the pedals – the finish line couldn’t come quick enough…
Hendry drew alongside – they reach the line – Lee wins!

Less than a wheel separated Lee and Hendry, a few lengths behind was Shipcott in front of Keating, then Clarke and Brien.
Wells claiming Pearce just before the line for the final paid placing.

1st – Craig Lee (Scratch)
2nd – Jason Hendry (Scratch)
3rd – Jason Shipcott (Scratch)
4th – Scott Keating (7 min)
5th – Shane Clarke (Scratch)
6th – Stu Brien (3 min)
7th – Dean Wells (3 min)
Fastest Time – Craig Lee (Scratch) in 1h 6m, ave. 39.3 Kph

Craig Lee GP Doug Garley

2019 GP Doug Garley - slide

July 21, 2019 – W.A.R.S. 5 – Windmill graded points, 52.5 Km

July 21, 2019 – W.A.R.S. 5 – Windmill graded points, 52.5 Km

EUROPA cafe and HOPSCOTCH cafe
Winter Aggregate Race Series

Race 5

21st July 2019

Windmill – 52.5 Km graded Points Race

2019 W.A.R.S. Windmill points race

“Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you.”
- Arnold Palmer

The perfect winters day for a bike race – not too cold, dry roads and sunshine!  Overnight the wind had been strong and gusty, yet as the sun rose over Learmonth the wind died down and continued to ease throughout the period of racing.

Division 4

The smallest field saw Jakkii Dawson, Robert Young and Kevin Lee go head to head.
Robert is on the comeback trail with spring targets on his agenda, so he contested the first two sprints before retiring for the day.
Kevin had proven too fast in the first two sprints.  With Robert out of the running he was assured of the win, however Jakkii was not planning on giving up so easily.
She tried hard, yet Kevin collected the three points for the final sprint as well.

Race Results
1st – Kevin Lee, 9 pts
2nd – Jakkii Dawson, 6 pts

Division 3 – report courtesy Bob Morley

Six riders fronted for the Div 3 event.  The different format made for different tactics.
The pace was slow but strategic – no point attacking!

Brian Lee and Phil McLennan we’re appreciative of the tactics and remained in the group for the whole event.
Brian Ure doesn’t not turn up that often and seems to be able to win whenever he does, yet still maintain his mark.  There was a one off moment when Ure said that he was talking to Danny Whelan before the race and asked him how he was going.  Whelan replied that he was feeling really good and was hoping to do well.  Now there’s a first!

The first sprint was an orderly affair with riders lined up and waiting for the sprint.
McLennan muddied the waters with a burst down the outside with Lee following him.  This instigated a move by Pete Livitsanis who was forced to go from too far out.  The next two in line were Bob Morley and Ure.
Morley jumped Fifi in the last 50 metres to take the points for the first lap.  Pete Livi held on for second and Big Ure took out third (although it was noted that he was keeping his powder dry for the next two sprints).

The next lap followed the predictable pattern of saving the legs for the sprint.  This was set up with Whelan on the front, Fifi next, then Morley and Ure lurking.
Morley saw the Big Ure shadow jump from a long way out – he called it – it was on – like Donkey Kong.
Ure opened up a big break and Livitsanis was closing fast but to no avail.  Ure, Livi, Morley were the top three again.

Last lap.
Three riders all on 4 points so it was do or die for overall victory.
Turning into Donovan’s Road (home straight) and the strapped kneed physiotherapist – McLennan – went to the front and stayed there… well until 200 metres to go.
Morley jumped off his wheel and hit out rightly thinking this was his only chance to catch the others napping.
Yet again the big motor of Ure took the lead and held it comfortably to take his second sprint and overall victory.
Livi got over Morley for his third second for the day which was enough to give him the points for second overall.  Morley held third for an overall third in the race.
A good event with no one being dropped in the race.

Division 3:
1st – Brian Ure, 7 pts
2nd – Peter Livitsanis, 6 pts
3rd – Bob Morley, 5 pts

Division 2 – reminiscing with Darryn Reed

The group started off fairly civilized, with everyone pulling turns and rotating nicely along Learmonth-Sulky Road.  In fact with so many riders from the famous World Tour feeder squad – The Thinking Man’s Bunch – it truly did just seem like a Sunday ride.

Andrew Rushton was back for his first race since summer.  Shaun Martin, Bob Braszell, Darryn Reed and Rick Calvert all ready to play their part for a “team” win.
The outsiders included Scott Keating and Wayne Klauss.

The friendships all came to an end once the race turned onto Coghill’s Creek Rd with everyone trying to stay out of the headwind.  Calvert went to the front for a bit and pushed the pace up the hills.
Reed and Calvert tried a few attacks and maybe someone else had a crack as well… but the memories are already blurring…
All attacks were closed up reasonably quickly though!
Calvert again did all the work turning down Addington-Creswick Road – he was still there as they turned onto Donovan’s Road – in fact he led the bunch down towards the line!
Reed was the first to go for the sprint, followed by Keating.  Klauss was also in the mix, however at the line it was Keating-Reed-Klauss.

The second lap was a steady pace along past the quarry as everyone got their heart rates back down.  At this point the entire bunch was in conservation mode and the games had begun.
The run along Coghill’s Creek Rd was similar to the first lap, with a couple of little efforts put in – but they were shut down pretty quickly.  Nobody was keen to be sitting on the front except for Calvert (who obviously enjoys it, a bit like Dan Whelan and therefore cannot be trusted).
Calvert again did the bulk of the work on the way back to Donovan’s Road and turned for the run towards the finish line.  This time however, Calvert steadily picked up the pace as the pack neared the line.
Klauss pulled out from Calvert’s wheel to momentarily assume the lead, yet Keating was lurking and chased him down with Reed also closing.
Sprint 2: Keating-Klauss-Reed

At some point during the frenetic sprint, Martin fell off the back of the bunch.  Calvert dropped back to try to help his fellow coffee drinker make it back to the group.
The final lap was a steady effort again until hitting quarry hill.  Braszell put in a solid effort up the rise with everyone jumping on his wheel.
The pace remained high until they turned back onto Coghill’s Creek Road.  By now the wind had swung around to the west, which set Reed and Calvert up to attack down the hill.
Rushton was soon joining in with rotations – having towed everyone else back to the aggressors.  The effort dissolved.

Business as usual as the bunch passed through Blowhard and down to Donovan’s Road again.  Calvert managed to find himself back on the front again for the run to the finish line.  As the metres ticked down, Calvert kept increasing the pace and left it all out on the road.
Nearing the finish line and anyone who had anything left in the tank attempted to join in for the final sprint.
Keating again proved too strong, ahead of Rushton and Reed.

To summarize, Scott Keating is a sprinting machine and was hands down the strongest sprinter in the bunch, also, Rick Calvert just loves to sit on the front.

Division 2:
1st – Scott Keating, 9 pts
2nd – Darryn Reed, 4 pts
3rd – Wayne Klauss, 3 pts

Division 1 – our man on the spot

Sporting eight riders, the Division 1 field looked like a Ballarat Sebastopol CC race…
Points racing master Jason Birch was back for more sprinting fun.
Tony Mirabella was up and about, whilst Dayne Pearce was ready to get spanked.
Shane Clarke was keen to show his training mate – Jason Shipcott – all about vets racing.
Dean Wells and Lindsay Burgoyne were experiencing delusions of grandeur by requesting an elevation up to Division 1.
The eighth member (the outsider) was none other than Sprint Monster – Jason Hendry.

First lap and Clarke was keen to warm up as he led the bunch towards the quarry.  Eventually he rolled off the front and everyone else got a turn to rotate through.  Wells showing a clean pair of heel as they ascended the quarry rise.
Into the head wind and Clarke was soon launching off the front.  This sparked little reaction until Hendry followed – then everyone else jumped.

The rise out of Blowhard saw Clarke go off the front again, Mirabella quickly marked the move, then decided to join in for some rotations.
Hendry, Shipcott and Wells shut the move down, whilst Birch, Burgoyne and Pearce played it smart.

Heading down towards Donovan’s Road and Wells took over the lead.  Into the gutter at barely even pace.  Everyone more than happy to play follow my leader.  A slight speed up before the turn and bang the next Clarke attack was made, before another regrouping for the short rise.

None of the locals wanted to commit to pace making as the race headed towards the first sprint.  Clarke was happy to set the pace though.
Pearce was edging forward, Hendry was sitting about third wheel, with Wells tucked in behind and Birch next in line.
With the tail wind it seemed everyone wanted to leave the sprint until late.
Pearce hit out first.  Most of the pack responded immediately.
Clarke went as well, took the lead and quickly opened a few bike lengths, yet Hendry was only just starting to wind up.  Once he had clear air he shot to the lead with Wells close behind.  Birch loomed out wide, but the three points went to the big fella in the dinosaur jersey – who stayed seated for the entire sprint!  Wells held Birch out (more on that later!) whilst a few others were thinking what the blazes just happened.

Back onto Learmonth-Sulky Road and riders are taking big gulps of air when Clarke rolls through to the front and ups the pace again.
Shipcott joins in with Clarke and Hendry.  Others are still trying to catch their breath.
Quarry hill and Wells goes off the front again – for no reason other than to dissuade Clarke from attacking – the group sits up and recovers.

Back into the headwind through Blowhard and only Clarke seems keen to be on the front.  Some aren’t rotating turns at all.  Gaps open when the leader swings off, yet the pace is not very fast.
Shipcott dives off the front and Burgoyne marks him.  Everyone else looks around to see whether Clarke or Hendry are going to follow.
Hendry goes to the front of the chase group, a few riders rotate through, but the tactics have started.  Let T-Rex do the chasing is the call.
The Sprint Monster soon works out what is going on.  He sets his own pace while the riders line out behind him.

Up ahead, Shipcott has urged Burgoyne to join in rotations.  The pair work well together into the headwind.  They have a 50 metre lead as they swing onto Addington Road.
Hendry is still leading the pack into the wind.  Wells attacks off his wheel and quickly opens a gap.  If he can cross to Shipcott and Burgoyne he could go to the points lead…
The pack let Hendry stay on the front.  He really has to do the work now.  The main danger (at this point) is up the road.

Shipcott and Burgoyne are pulling away from Wells, who is struggling into the cross headwind.  The pack behind is closing.
By Donovan’s Road, Hendry has brought the bunch back up to Wells.

Shipcott and Hendry are around 200 metres ahead – it looks like they will take the first two places – the pack will be sprinting for just one point this time around.  Hendry is still doing all the pacemaking.  Wells marks him.  Everyone else is more than content to sit back.

Shipcott and Burgoyne are closing fast on the finish line.  Shipcott packs too much power and takes maximum points.  The pack is also closing fast on the finish line.
Hendry is still on the front when Pearce launches a long range attack from over 300 metres out.  Clarke responds and is quickly closing on Pearce who has drifted from the middle of the road back towards the left side.
Hendry is threading between Clarke and Pearce.  Wells dives down the left and opens a small gap on the field – the single point beckons – yet the Sprint Monster surges late and snatches the last point by a wheel.

Clarke is straight onto the front and pushes it through the corner.  The wind is now a cross tail as he strikes out in pursuit of the leaders.
Shipcott and Burgoyne have the spinnaker out and are hurtling towards the quarry.  They have a superb rhythm and aren’t going to give up easily.

Clarke leads the chase – he is going so hard that no-one could rotate over the top even if they wanted to.
Hendry has Clarke’s wheel, then Mirabella, Birch, Wells and Pearce.  It’s all the passengers can do, just to hang onto Clarke’s miniscule wake…

The gap to the leaders is closing gradually.  Past the quarry the gap is down to 50 metres, yet Shipcott and Burgoyne find extra power in the slight downhill and maintain their gap.
The quarry rise looms… This time the bunch take it at pace.
Clarke is flying, Hendry is holding the wheel, the rest are struggling and gaps appear, but finally the catch is made as they turn onto Coghill’s Creek Road.
Barely any reprieve is given.  Some quick rotations as mini attacks are made.  Wells goes off the back – he won’t rejoin.

The pace eases through Blowhard – maybe the bunch will reform… Mirabella attacks, then Shipcott… the pace is back on.

Any of three riders can win the race.
Hendry has 4 points, Shipcott 3 points, Burgoyne 2 points and unbeknownst to Birch, he also has 2 points (race referee having awarded him second place on the first sprint).
Any of Clarke, Mirabella or Pearce can collect a prize if they get first or second in the sprint… and other cards fall their way.

The bunch is watching each other.  Attacks are immediately covered.  The attacks cease.  The pace is high enough to make it difficult for anyone to attack.

The riders start evaluating their chances.
Hendry is confident he can out sprint them all.
Shipcott is prepared to sprint, or go long range – he rues how he messed up the first sprint.
Burgoyne is hoping to find the right wheel and have enough kick on the young blokes.
Birch is unaware that he could win, he plans to leave his sprint till late.
Clarke realises his best chance lies in riding the others off his wheel.
Mirabella knows which wheel he wants, it’s the same as everyone else.
Pearce is prepared to back himself in a long range effort.

Into Donovan’s Road for the final time and the bunch is one as they climb the rise.
Clarke works to the front as the road straightens for the long run to the finish line.  He has the race in the gutter.

The wind has kept turning throughout the race.  It’s a due westerly and makes life hard for everyone trying to hang on as the pace continues to ramp up.
Clarke is voyeuristic as he presses harder and harder.  He checks over his shoulder again and again, he can see Hendry on his wheel, yet he can’t see much further back… so he pushes harder again…

The pace and crosswind is starting to open small gaps as the seven race towards the last rise.  Gap…close…hurt!

Over the crest and Clarke is still pushing really hard.  Hendry is holding on.  Everyone is gasping.

The gaps open quickly as the race moves inside the final 500 metres.  Clarke and Hendry are clear.
The line is coming up fast and the Sprint Monster accelerates past Clarke – who can’t respond after leading out – for the win.

The remnants of the bunch close to the line and Shipcott has enough in the tank to claim the single point.
Hendry takes the overall victory, from new member Shipcott and Clarke gets third on countback (placed in the final sprint).

The final analysis revealed that the Sprint Monster is just that. A monster of the worst type…
He’s big.
He’s fast.
He’s nice.
It’s really annoying!

Division 1: 
1st – Jason Hendry, 7 pts
2nd – Jason Shipcott, 4 pts 
3rd – Shane Clarke, 2 pts

2019 WARS version 2 poster

Hopscotch logo


July 14, 2019 – W.A.R.S. 4 – Waubra handicap, 42 Km

July 14, 2019 – W.A.R.S. 4 – Waubra handicap, 42 Km

EUROPA cafe and HOPSCOTCH cafe
Winter Aggregate Race Series

Race 4

14th July 2019

Waubra – 42 Km handicap

2019 W.A.R.S. Waubra hcp


Strong winds almost thwarted the launch of race 4 in the 2019 Europa Cafe / Hopscotch Cafe Winter Aggregate Race Series.
Severe weather warnings had caused other clubs to abandon racing on this day, yet Eureka were free to fly after receiving race day approval from the local Highway Patrol.

T minus ten seconds, we are go for launch.
Six, five, ignition complete.
Three, two, one.
We have lift off!

Ground Control – Bill Goldfinch – set the Limit riders off at 9:30 AM.  Kevin Lee was back for his first race in 2019, alongside Darryl Brown.
The slight downhill start helped the pair as they headed off into the strong cross headwind.  At 22 minutes, they had a small advantage over the four man 17 minute group.

Peter Livitsanis, Dan Whelan, Brian Lee and Roger McMillan rolled up to the launch area.  Fast decisions were made about how many layers should be stripped off before the race…not many clothes were discarded though.  The temperature may have been 6.5 degrees, however the “feels like” temp was minus zero point six.

Countdown commencing.
Fire one.
We have launch.

A long, long, ten minute wait until the largest group of the day was set off.  The 7 minute group consisted of Bob Braszell, Jim Crumpler, Scott Keating, Wayne Klauss and Darryn Reed.
This looked a strong bunch on paper, with much firepower to spare!  They also had a handy five minute to spare over the chopping block…

Recent good results by Second Scratch saw the handicapper take some of their advantage away – just a two minute buffer was enjoyed.  The addition of Jason Hendry to the ranks was warmly received.  Tony Mirabella, Greg Ley and Dean Wells made up the numbers.

The formidable Scratch group saw Craig Lee, Tim Canny and Shane Clarke.

Flight controller, we are all systems go!

Out on course, the Limit pair were battling away into the ever increasing wind.  Kevin Lee was wondering why he had chosen today to make his return, whilst Brown was wondering “What fresh hell is this?”
The Whelan group (17 min) were making great time and closing fast.  They had made little time on the leaders as they headed towards Addington, yet once the turn into the wind was made, they quickly stripped the gap away.
The Crumpler group (7 min) had opened a massive gap on Second Scratch as they rocketed down Edmonston Road.  Upon turning into the jaws of the wind, they lost that advantage almost immediately.
For their part, Second Scratch had been struggling to find rhythm.  Mirabella was out of sorts and the other three paddled until Hendry took the lead towards Addington.  Scratch were bearing down quickly on them.  They could almost reach out and tag Second Scratch as they climbed out of Addington.  Over the crest and they soon had their prey…in just 9 kilometres!

Further up the road, Group Whelan took the race lead as they crossed the highpoint of the circuit (for the first time).  The long downhill section beckoned, yet the wind made it a lot harder than normal.
Minutes later, Group Crumpler crossed the highpoint.  The downhill section presented a great opportunity for the booster rockets to get flicked on…yet in the distance a new threat emerged.  Scratch was over the steps near Waubra.

Canny, Clarke and Lee all swapping turns, with Wells, Hendry and Ley all hanging on for a free ride…

Whelan had control of his group.  They had reached the turnaround at the Black Bottom Road intersection with a healthy margin over the chasers and were climbing before they saw anyone.
There goes a bunch…it isn’t Scratch.
Here comes another bunch…that is Scratch!
Quick calculation… we have four kilometres on them!
Let’s go.
Rocket, yeah!

Crumpler’s 7 minute group are through the turnaround.  They can see Scratch coming over the hill ahead.  Looks like a big bunch!

Scratch pass through the turnaround with the passengers still onboard.  Clarke and Canny pace themselves up the first part of the climb.  The strong tail wind is literally throwing them uphill and making it too easy for everyone to hang on.
Into the treed section Canny flicks the boosters on.  The speed is soon pushing 45 Kph… uphill!  He has one aim – drop Hendry.  The big fella represents too much of a threat!  Hendry holds strong.  Others can’t…
Wells is off the back, but he is in good company with a pair of Club Champions (Lee and Ley).  The three quickly unite and start swapping turns.
Canny, Clarke and Hendry keep pulling away…

The three leaders aren’t losing any ground to the Crumpler group.  In fact, as the road continues up, the three slight men are pulling further ahead.
They crest the highpoint still well ahead, however such is the ferocity of Canny & Co. the advantage has been halved to just 2 kilometres.
Once over the crest the tail wind is huge!
There will be some serious attempts at Strava KOMs on this day!

The Crumpler group is caught by the rampaging Scratchies on the climb.  Reed and Keating hang on.  The others can’t and Hendry is finally dropped.
A few hundred metres behind, Club Champion Lee has his men working well.  They fly up the hill closing on the riders that Canny & Co. have left in their wake.

Canny and Clarke are over the highpoint.  They can’t see anyone ahead.  Group Whelan is already down the dip past Waubra.  They are hidden from view!  Heads down, they find another gear!  Down the dip and there in the distance they finally see riders.

Group Whelan is through the sharp right hander at Addington.  One minute later Canny & Co. take the same turn.  The gap is just over one kilometre.

The three leaders are at the steep section, passing Harrison’s Road.  Their lead is being whittled away with each pedal stroke.

Reed finally loses contact with Canny and Clarke.  The pair of Scratch riders are free of all burden, yet the gap to the leaders has stopped closing… at about 250 metres.

Whelan, Livitsanis and Brian Lee crest the last rise on Edmonston Road.  The road is smoother here and their speed increases yet again.  Final turn.

The leaders are on the home straight!  The tail wind is still huge.  Their pace is above 50 Kph.  Their lead is less than 200 metres.

Past the Avenue and down the dip.  Up the other side.  The three are eyeing each other off.
Whelan takes a quick look back.  The chasers are almost upon them.  “Here they come. We have to go now!”
Livitsanis senses trickery from the older rider, yet Whelan has exploded away for the line.  It’s too early.

Livitsanis knows this race finish to the centimetre, yet his hand has been forced.  He chases Whelan…

Canny and Clarke are pushing well over 60 Kph.  They are closing fast.  The line is coming up quick.  They pass Brian Lee.

Whelan and Livitsanis are just ahead.  Livitsanis now has the lead.  The tree is very near…

Clarke has an extra surge.  He misses.  Livi WINS!
Just a bike length in it, from Whelan who is a wheel ahead of Clarke.
Canny next, then Lee.  A short gap to Reed.  Then a bunch as Hendry and Keating just hold off the fast finishing Lee, Ley and Wells.

Race results:
1st – Peter Livitsanis (17 min)
2nd – Dan Whelan (17 min)
3rd – Shane Clarke (Scratch)
4th – Tim Canny (Scratch)
5th – Brian Lee (17 min)
Fastest Time – Shane Clarke (Scratch) in 1h 4m 30s, ave. 38.9 Kph

2019 WARS version 2 poster

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July 7, 2019 – W.A.R.S. 3 – Mt Beckworth (short) graded divisions, 37 Km

July 7, 2019 – W.A.R.S. 3 – Mt Beckworth (short) graded divisions, 37 Km

EUROPA cafe and HOPSCOTCH cafe
Winter Aggregate Race Series

Race 3

7th July 2019

Mount Beckworth (short) – 37 Km graded divisions

 2019 WARS Mt Beckworth short - Made with PosterMyWall (1)


Division 4
 – as reported by Brian Lee

Seven riders set off into a stiff cross and head wind for the short 37 kilometre race.
Jakkii Dawson, Laura White and Linnea Bjornsson spent most of the time on the front of the group, with Darryl Brown and Brian Lee also doing some of the pace making.
Rob Kinna was more than happy to let the others argue about riding into the head wind. (Graeme Parker and Rob Young were also both out for a training ride as they make their comebacks)

The group pretty much stayed together until the climb up Mt Beckworth.
Lee put in an attack on the hill – McLennan held the wheel.  Gaps opened up.
Brown followed the duo and Jakkii was also on her own.  The others banding together for the fast ride back down the hill, with the wind at their backs.

The leaders swapped turns on the front – determined not to let anyone ruin their party.
They made it all the way back to the finish line and a short sprint saw Lee edging over the line ahead of McLennan.

Action aplenty in the race for third, with Jakkii quickly closing the gap to Brown as they tore down the home straight.  Brown held out the fast finishing Jakkii by just a wheel.

1st – Brian Lee
2nd – Phil McLennan
3rd – Darryl Brown

Division 3 – through the eyes of Steve Biram

The smallest field of the day was the hardest to pick.  Race smarts in Peter Livitsanis, Bob Morley and Roger McMillan, versus the unknown in new riders Wayne Klauss and Andrew Wilson, versus the enigma that is Steve Biram (literally no-one knows what he is capable of – including himself).

With only six in the bunch it never was going to be too easy to hide at the back – but the games were on with some rolling softly through and some putting pressure on the first climbs.
McMillan is lost early.  Nobody was putting the pressure on when the field turned onto the next long straight and some were even slowing down when they hit the front.. but then this is a scratch race and there is a hill with a head wind out there.
Klauss decides to have a crack at breaking away… “leave him out there” was the call…however his 100 metre advantage soon became 300 metres.  The bunch lifted the tempo, forcing some turns and even riding a little dirt here and there (blasted wind!).  The gap was soon back to one hundred metres and closing.

A few dips and false flats later and Klauss is back in the fold, not long before the main climb.  Again nobody was willing to wreck themselves on the climb, the head wind was enough to sap anybody wanting to push the tempo up.
Biram made a little surge which was quickly covered, as were any other efforts on the climb.

This U-turn promises to be the breaking point… turn and immediately have a tail wind and a fast down hill… no-one wants to be caught out here!

Biram is the first rider around the cone… stepping on the pedals to get a gap while the others are still turning… he opens a small gap, yet measures his effort.
Klauss has matched Biram and yells “Get going now! We have a gap!”

The two unite in their efforts, but wait, there is another!  Wilson has also latched on.
The odds are better with three riders in the lead!
Pushing it hard down the hill they soon broke the rubber band to the chasers.  Rolling turns, all doing what they could without cooking themselves, yet still keeping the tempo moving…

Back to Donovan’s Road and the games have started.  The race is their’s, yet only one will win.

Biram keeps the speed high enough to discourage any attack as they hit the short rise.
No attacks – everyone is hurting!  Everyone is cagey!

Rolling turns as they close to the last kilometre…
Wilson isn’t waiting for anyone.  He launches his sprint with 400 metres to go.  Klauss is glued to his wheel.  Biram is just hanging on.

Wilson starts to fade and that is enough for Klauss who explodes off his wheel.  Biram is in pursuit.  The gap doesn’t close and Klauss takes the victory.

1st – Wayne Klauss
2nd – Steve Biram
3rd – Andrew Wilson

Division 2 – as witnessed by our man on the spot

Tough decisions had to be made by the Handicapper whilst framing up the fields for the graded division races.  With just five riders on the board for Division 2, yet eleven listed for Division 1, he was forced to relegate the three “lowest rated riders” – Lindsay Burgoyne, Greg Ley and Dean Wells – c’est la vie.

With the field set and sunshine on their backs, the race commenced.  A tight fit through the first turn saw Geoff Martin squeezed out the back.  He soon latched back on as the rider rotations started.
Ash Burke and Jim Crumpler joining in with Burgoyne, Ley and Wells.  Darryn Reed and Bob Braszell playing cool heads and staying close yet not on the front.

A stiff cross breeze from the north making the early kilometres harder than they needed to be.  They were still together up the hill past the quarry, then the turn onto Coghill’s Creek Road brought them into the teeth of the head wind.
Passing through Blowhard, Wells ramped the pace up whilst protected from the wind by the high trees.  This set up Reed to take a bit of a flyer off the front.
The field came back together and Burgoyne took off.  The field came back together again, yet everyone was wary now.  Many ensuring they were not on the front for too long.

Ley provided the next attack as the lower slopes of Mount Beckworth were encountered.  This too was brought back.

Burke went off the front on the approach to the Glendaruel CFA shed.  The field caught up and he was left to bake before Burgoyne made an aggressive attack.  Out of the saddle, straight into the gutter.  Ley had his wheel, followed by Burke, Wells, Reed…after that it was hard to find any sort of sit…

Burgoyne’s effort was shredding riders out the back.  Burke sensed mechanical issues nearing the crest.  He moved out of line and Wells launched.  Ley quickly found the wheel.  A small gap to Reed and Burgoyne, the rest were gapped.

Onto the flat and Wells pressed the pace.  Burgoyne almost latched back on, but at the turnaround he had to go wide on an excursion in the dirt to avoid Ley’s wheel.  Reed swooped past and turned himself inside out to catch Ley and Wells who were already heading downhill.

The script had been written.  Burgoyne chased hard.  He got within thirty metres, however the three leaders had quickly united and held him at bay.
The gap opened.

The leaders headed back through Coghill’s Creek and onto the Windmill circuit.  Turning onto Donovan’s Road the unspoken word was that all truces were off.

Ley hit out over the short rise.  The other two fought back onto his wheel.  The pace barely eased, yet Ley worked his way to the back of the trio so that he could plot his next attack.

Ley hit them hard again, two kilometres from the finish.  Wells limited the lost ground and held the gap.  Reed rolled through and took up the chase.  He brought the race back together just 500 metres from the line.

The pace was hard.  The breathing was harder.  Three riders in what amounted to a heavyweight bout.  From here the strongest would win.

Reed was on the front, Wells on his wheel, Ley barely in touch.  Wells launched at 100 metres to go.  Ley followed.  Reed responded.
Reed holds them out!

1st – Darryn Reed
2nd – Greg Ley
3rd – Dean Wells


Division 1 – courtesy of Craig Lee

Fair conditions greeted the Div. 1 brigade today out at Beckworth.
A light northerly breeze would make racing interesting when the road becomes a little narrower and heads upwards.  Many of the mere mortals in the group were salivating the fact that Eureka’s number 1 rider (and veterans poster boy) Tim Canny had assigned himself to marshalling duties.
The question on spectators minds was “If Canny isn’t here to attack everybody and everything, who would take his position as Master and Destroyer?”

The natural choice was the reigning Club Champion – Craig Lee – however a whole bunch of talent was ready to make this a true test…

Sam Smith made a last minute decision to race – returning from hibernation.  This might seem odd given it is the middle of winter…
The decision was so last minute, that he forgot his entry fee.  He remembered 15 minutes into his ride out to the clubrooms and in a brief panic, he phoned his troops back home to deliver the much needed funds in order to enter the race.  We bet the interest attached to that $10 might take a while to pay back!

Dayne Pearce and Shane Clarke are new riders at the club and pose a real threat to the Canny domination that has been lingering for 3 years.
Tony Mirabella was back following his win last week.  There was some confidence starting to creep into his riding style again.  Smug grin, signing autographs and warming up as if his bike had no chain.  Could today be his chance to consolidate his form and really let his rivals know he was back?

Stu Brien managed to dislodge his bike from the trainer and remove himself from the comfort of a warm training environment.  His impressive numbers and questionable “power to weight” – on an extremely popular electronic training platform – would be required if he was to latch on to the puncheurs of the group heading towards Mt Beckworth.

Brien’s “warm up” looked very pro and was duly noted by… Jason Birch who had returned to the fold.  Birch was not impressed with a former Phoenix bearer and a certain TMB Vice Captain both convincing the handicapper of a demotion to Division 2.  Some would say Birch was on point with the commentary, particularly when both those riders were a part of the formidable ‘chopping block’ from the previous week…

The inform rider of the club – Jason Hendry – also lined up.  No one was letting last week’s hiccup fool them!  Hills don’t suit Hendry’s style, but when there is a sprint at the end you’d better hope he isn’t anywhere near the front.  Hendry’s plan was to surf wheels into the wind and conserve energy for the assault up Beckworth.  He was keen to hold his rivals when the roads pointed slightly upwards and if he was still there at the end of the race, he’d open a can of fury in the last 200 metres…well, that was the plan.  If it came to fruition he would be hard to dislodge from the top step of the podium.

The race began with Mirabella hitting the front and setting the pace.  Unfortunately it would be short lived, as he was left off the back and out of breath coming into Blowhard – he was certainly doing that!
The group sniffed blood – Brien and Lee drove the pace along Coghill’s Creek Rd to ensure it was the last the group saw of poor Mirabella.
Enter Clarke, heavily rumoured as the reason that some (who shall remain nameless, had demoted themselves back to the 2’s).  He attacked on a number of occasions and eventually managed to gap the field as they entered Coghill’s Creek.  Thankfully, he sat up and the group was able to find his wheel.

Little occurred leading up to the rise to Beckworth, most looking for a good sit and positioning themselves for the pending attacks.  At the base of the climb, Brien went to the front of the pack, hoping to set a controlled tempo, whilst riding at his own pace.
Clarke had other ideas and unleashed a strong effort on the climb.  This removed all out of contention except Lee, Hendry and Smith.  Unfortunately it was lights out for the rest of the field when Clarke delivered the fatal blow!

Lee led them into the hairpin turn and organised for the remaining four to “track turn” their way to the finish.  The pace remained high and there would be no letting up until Donovan’s Rd where victory would be guaranteed for one of the riders who had broken clear.

Four riders and four different finishing styles…
Hendry – the big strong sprinter
Clarke – a mid range track endurance type racer
Smith – the long range attacker
Lee – a vulture who circles for easy prey (during other’s moments of weakness)

Smith attacked at the top of Donovans Rd – long range as expected – he gapped the other three, but some handy work by Hendry bought him back to the fold.
Clarke went next – Bang!  Hendry covered the move again which had Smith and Lee snivelling at the back.

The pace eased – this would come down to a sprint!

At 200 metres to go, Clarke threw the first punch.  Hendry and Lee were quick to react.  Smith ducked when he should have weaved – it was down to three.

The pace was furious, but Hendry had another gear!  He ripped past a fading Clarke.  Both managed to easily hold off Lee.

Note 1: Hendry is fast proving he has become a very smart racer and coupled with his awesome power…(insert gush of adoration)
Note 2: All hail the new Eureka ‘Sprint King’.

1st – Jason Hendry
2nd – Shane Clarke
3rd – Craig Lee

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