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June 30, 2019 – Charlie Braszell Hcp – Mt Misery with Hill Top, 49 Km

June 30, 2019 – Charlie Braszell Hcp – Mt Misery with Hill Top, 49 Km

Charlie’s race – 30th June 2019

Charlie Braszell Hcp

Mt Misery with Hill Top finish – 48.5 Km

EVCC 2019 Charlie Braszell - poster



Twenty two riders signed on for the original Eureka classic race, the Charlie Braszell Handicap.  2019 was the second year that Charlie’s race was contested on the Mount Misery circuit, with the finish atop the Harrison’s Road climb.
It was cold and windy, yet the blue skies and sunshine made it seem warmer that it actually was.

Jakkii Dawson headed off alone as the sole Limit rider. 25 minutes didn’t seem enough time for Jak to be able to stay clear of the pack…however on this day her legend grew!

Second Limit rode off a mere 15 minutes.  Newly installed Veteran Cycling Victoria handicapper – Peter Livitsanis – did not take his place in the field and so just four riders set off in pursuit of Jakkii.  Roger McMillan, Darryl Brown, Bob Morley and reigning champion Danny Whelan rode off as one.  They soon struck trouble with the incessant headwind in the first five kilometres.  The split was unavoidable – the consequences dire for their chances…


Just two riders set off at 12 minutes.  Steve Linane does not avoid the watchful eye of the State Handicapper anymore.  New member Andrew Wilson was probably wondering why he drew the short straw.  It would be a tough task chasing the bunch ahead and a game of patience if they intended to wait for the group behind.  Ultimately the wind had its say – the pair left to lament what could have been if they had more numbers.

The back of the field was stacked with talent, youngsters and much brawn.  The six minute group gave themselves a big chance in staying clear of the chasers.  Jim Crumpler, Scott Keating and Ash Burke provided the muscle, whilst Bob Braszell and Peter Kiel were the climbers.  Could Crumpler contain his excitement on the long downhill section and not blow the bunch apart?  Only time would tell…

Second Scratch rode off 3 minutes and fielded two former Club Champions – Tony Mirabella and Greg Ley.  Along for the ride was Stu Brien, Rick Calvert and Dean Wells.  The fact these guys were all riding off 3 minutes gives some inkling to the calibre of the Scratch group on this day.  Track turns was the order of the day, but keep a bit in reserve for when Scratch catch us…

Club Champion Craig Lee led out a most formidable Scratch group which included the likes of Tim Canny, Rob Ellis, Jason Hendry and new member Dayne Pearce.  Pearce was lucky to qualify for this event – or unlucky depending on when you asked him – riding just his third event with Eureka, he was keen to make an impact.  That opportunity came quicker than he had hoped for, when Ellis was out the back early…

It was like Team Time Trial day for most bunches on this day.
Jakkii was way out front doing a solo effort.  So far out in front that nobody saw her until the 45 kilometre mark!
Morley and Whelan were smashing through the turns.  They had lost Brown in the first few kilometres, then McMillan afterwards.  The pair weren’t making any inroads on Jakkii, infact, she was pulling away from them!


Linane and Wilson had been swallowed up by the Crumpler group.  Seven riders made for a good sized bunch, however some were only barely hanging on.  The gap to the chasers was dropping with each pedal stroke…


Second Scratch were on a flyer.  Mirabella was powering through each time.  Brien was fluid and strong.  Ley, Calvert and Wells were helping out where possible.  Thus far no one had missed a turn.  The groups ahead were growing larger.  Look over the shoulder and there was no sight of Scratch!


The back markers were not making an impression on the “chopping block”.  The convoy of cars hid the bunches ahead from view, yet it seemed the cars were driving away from them.  Surely they would see riders soon…maybe not…


Jakkii maintained a large lead as she swung back east onto Ercildoune Road.  The tail wind was now a cross wind and the 19 kilometre climb to the finish line had begun…
Morley and Whelan still held a handy break on the rest of the field as they too swung east.  Maybe this could be their day…

Second Scratch are bearing down on the Crumpler/Linane group (McMillan is also in the bunch!).  The last two kilometres of Black Bottom Road are fast.  Brien is driving the pace at every opportunity.
Onto Ercildoune Road and Wells and Calvert are almost dropped.  They fight back on as the Crumpler group is caught.
Two kilometre long narrow road!  Strong cross wind from the left!  Thirteen riders!  Just seven make it through to the far side.
Kiel and Keating have latched onto Second Scratch.
Morley and Whelan are the next targets…

Scratch have also turned east.  They soon come across dropped riders. T hings are looking up, the field appears to have imploded.  Maybe, maybe not…

Jakkii has almost reached the turn onto the Weatherboard climb when Second Scratch catch Morley and Whelan.
Scratch finally catch a glimpse of Second Scratch.  It’s fleeting, yet it gives hope.

Second Scratch are on the Weatherboard climb.  Somewhere ahead is the race leader.  Ley, then Brien do the pace making duties up the climb.
A fast acceleration near the top doesn’t catch anyone out.

Scratch are flying up Weatherboard.  Hendry loses contact.  Just three remain.  The odds are against them, yet you never know…

Into the headwind on Edmonston Road and Second Scratch finally catch the gallant Jakkii.  Soon after, Brien takes the lead and stays there for the final kilometre to the base of Harrison’s Road.
Onto the climb and the pack quickly splits with Mirabella, Ley, Kiel and Calvert getting a small gap on the rest.

There are four steps on the mile long Harrison’s Road climb.  There are four talented climbers making the ascent together…
Calvert has won on this hill twice before.
Mirabella has won on every circuit Eureka races on.
Ley has proven strong on this hill at Championship level.
Kiel is as light a climber as they come.

Scratch have turned onto Harrison’s Road.  They see the leaders stretched out ahead.  There is a some hope of reeling them in.
Canny takes off in pursuit.  Lee and Pearce can’t hold the wheel.  Hendry is on the climb as well.

At the head of the race it seems that two riders have it between themselves – each step sees Mirabella and Ley open a few metres on Calvert and Kiel.
Wells appears to be clear in fifth place.  Keating and Brien just behind.  Canny is closing fast.

The final step looms.  Mirabella has one last card to play.
He attacks from behind and quickly opens a gap on Ley.
Kiel has a break on Calvert.  Canny has picked riders off one by one.  He is gaining on Kiel and Calvert.
Mirabella races away to a twenty metre win.  Ley is second.  Kiel hangs on for third ahead of Calvert.  Canny almost catching them at the death and taking another Fastest Time.



At the post race presentation both Geoff and Neil Braszell were on hand to present the prizes for Charlie’s race.
The first prize awarded was the Most Aggressive Rider, which went to Jakkii Dawson for her outstanding effort in staying away – solo – for forty five kilometres.

Eureka Cycling thank the Braszell family for their ongoing support of the club, in particular, presenting this race for us each year.


Race Results:
1st – Tony Mirabella (3 mins)
2nd – Greg Ley (3 mins)
3rd – Peter Kiel (6 mins)
4th – Rick Calvert (3 mins)
5th – Tim Canny (Scratch)
6th – Dean Wells (3 mins)
7th – Stu Brien (3 mins)
8th – Craig Lee (Scratch)
9th – Scott Keating (6 mins)
10th – Dayne Pearce (Scratch)
Others: Jason Hendry, Dan Whelan, Jakkii Dawson, Bob Morley, Bob Braszell, Jim Crumpler, Ash Burke, Andrew Wilson, Steve Linane, Roger McMillan, Darryl Brown, Rob Ellis
Fastest Time – Tim Canny (Scratch) in 1h 16m 45s, ave. 37.1 Kph
Most Aggressive Rider – Jakkii Dawson (Limit)


 EVCC 2019 Charlie Braszell - slide

June 23, 2019 – Race for Ray – Windmill handicap, 52.5 Km

June 23, 2019 – Race for Ray – Windmill handicap, 52.5 Km

Remembering a mate – 23rd June 2019

Race for Ray

Windmill circuit – 52.5 Km handicap

 2019 Rescheduled Race for Ray - slide





The best way to describe the 2019 Race For Ray, would be “bracing”…for both the racing and the weather.  Brace for the onslaught of the back markers – bracing for the hard men and women who found an extra pint of courage, to brave the near freezing and pea soup conditions.
Two weeks earlier the race was cancelled due to severe wind warnings, on this day the lightest of breezes would gradually increase throughout the race and it would finally blow the fog away on the last of three laps.  The chill remained throughout the race.  The feels like temperature hovering below two degrees for the entire race…

The rescheduled event was not an entirely Eureka affair.  Diane Jane, Gavin Gamble and Adrian McMillan had all travelled to compete…as had Eureka’s own Don Steward.  Twenty seven riders signed on for the Race For Ray.
All entry money would be pooled with the post race raffle money for donation to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute.  Ray had fought and defeated cancer TWICE!  Ray found cycling late in his life and quickly dedicated himself to discovering every new gadget and piece of bling for his bike.  Decades of working in the fashion industry (selling hats and mens clothing) saw Ray have a keen eye for matching kit… lots of it.

The riders were racing for Ray and the wonderful trophies which had been kindly donated by race sponsor Krehalon Australia.

Limit rode off with just 22 minutes in hand.  Terry Collie, Jakkii Dawson, Laura White and Diane Jane (Central Victorian VCC) stuck together, worked well and were hidden from view for the first two laps…
The largest group on the day was Second Limit. Danny Whelan, Bob Morley, Roger McMillan, Don Steward, Andrew Wilson and Adrian McMillan, their 14 minute handicap looked generous with the talent on offer, yet the cold can do funny things to the human body and psyche.
The 11 minute group saw Peter Livitsanis, Shaun Martin, Wayne Klauss and Gavin Gamble (Geelong Surf Coast CC) head out into the fog…it was the last time the four riders would be seen together…
At eight minutes a trio of engines took off – Rob Phillips, Grant Dawson and Bob Braszell.  It’s fair to say that none of these men would shirk their turn on the front!
Second Scratch had five riders with a handy three minute buffer over Scratch.  Old Uni mates (and powerhouses to boot) Greg Ley and Jim Crumpler, joined up with Matt Bowman (apparently he does still ride road bikes), Dennis Neal and Rick Calvert.  With so much firepower on offer, the question was could they harness it?
For Scratch, well the thought of chasing three minutes to Second Scratch had the five scratch riders brimming with confidence at the start line.  Jason Hendry and Tony Mirabella were fresh off their stellar performance the previous week taking 1 and 2 and Stu Brien was keen to atone for failing to finish due to a mechanical.  Add power house Dane Pearce and new comer Shane Clark to the group and you have a pretty formidable bunch.
Clark hails from the land of Ararat but is known as a quality, strong rider who can mix it with the A Graders at our sister club Ballarat Sebastopol.

The cold, damp and foggy conditions made finding the group in front difficult and demoralising for all the groups – except Limit who were flying along as comfortably as could be expected.  They were one of the few groups not to suffer early losses.
The 14 minute group had already lost Don Steward on the first lap.
The 11 minute group lost Livitsanis in the first few kilometres as he fell off the pace on the quarry hill climb.  Klauss dropped back to wait for him, Gamble and Martin pushed on with the intention of closing the distance on Limit and Second Limit – but the fog was playing tricks.

Scratch were out of the blocks – the pace was controlled and methodical.  No explosive first turns, just a gradual ramp up to speed that meant everyone was able to build to threshold in a controlled manner.  All except Mirabella that was – who suffered cramping in both legs in the first few kilometres.  He decided that today was not his day and he put the cue in the rack before the quarry the first time around.  This dampened the enthusiasm of the bunch a little, as it would require a big effort by all remaining Scratch men to round up the field before the finish line.
The cold conditions and the poor visibility made for a very lonely first lap, but the tempo was strong and consistent with all parties swapping track turns.  When the call came at the end of lap 1 that Scratch had made up a minute on the bunch in front, the spirits lifted along with the tempo.

The conditions were still having an effect on some groups during lap 2.  The 14 minute group lost Roger McMillan.  He got back on, then was lost again in the fog.  Whelan reacquainted himself with his breakfast and was off the back as well.
The 11 minute riders – Gamble and Martin rode well, swapping turns.  They started passing riders.  Maybe they were racers, maybe they were coffee riders.  Who could really tell in these conditions?

For Scratch, the second lap was a carbon copy of the first – keeping the pace consistent and solid, whilst the fog shrouded the front groups.  The back half of the course proved much more challenging than the front half with the south westerly coming into play.
Riders started to appear out of the mist as the front of the race started to fall apart and rounding the finish line for the second last time, the gap to Second Scratch had dropped to less than a minute.  No sight of them, but the knowledge gave the back markers hope and wings!

Second Scratch was riding very well – all still present and accounted for!
No one really knows where the 8 minute group was at this stage.  That fog was playing havoc with everything, including reality!

On the final lap the fog finally started to lift.  Limit still had the race lead as they climbed quarry hill for the final time.  Wilson, Morley and Adrian McMillan powered past and Limit blew apart.  Jakkii Dawson and Collie found the slipstream, yet White and Jane were out the back.
Soon after, Collie also dropped away as he watched Wilson on the front seemingly at ease as he led the bunch away.  “Maybe there is something in being in your thirties…” Collie mused to himself.

Scratch were pushing up toward the quarry for the last time, the 3 minute bunch appeared out of the fog and Clark seemed to find another gear at the climb before the turn onto Coghill’s Creek Road – leaving Brien and Pearce gasping for air and scrambling for a wheel.  The corner marshal yells there is 3 minutes to the front of the race.  It’s an ominous sign with 3/4 of a lap to go and Pearce says in a cheerful voice “3 minutes, that’s doable”.  Whooshka!

That race lead was Wilson with Morley and Adrian McMillan in tow.  McMillan spotted a bunch behind… which just happened to be Gamble and Martin who had passed yet more riders and now bore down on the three leaders ahead.  Wilson wasn’t waiting and he took off up the Crick’s Hill rise.  The mature Morley and McMillan wisely waited for Gamble and Martin to catch them.  Wilson was brought back soon after.

Scratch were still closing on the smooth rolling 3 minute group.  It would take until the crest of the hill to effect the catch.  The bunch had quickly doubled in size and Ley immediately turned himself inside out to rip out a turn.
Turning left onto the Addington-Creswick Road for the last time, the sting came out of the pace as the front markers came into view and it became clear that it was going to be a Scratch kind of day.
The Donovans Road left hander had been a tricky one to negotiate with conditions a little sketchy, this time was no different except there were quite a few more riders.  Over the rise and the remnants of the front of the race were swept up after the road flattened off with under three kilometres remaining.

The race was together for a bunch sprint – fifteen riders and four different bunches represented.  Calvert launched a brave (yet futile) attack about one kilometre from the crest of the final rise – which was quickly covered.
With the race together, none of the Scratch riders were keen to put their noses into the wind at this point, so the cats played with the mice.  Some attacks came from a few brave souls hoping to break the will of the group – but nothing stuck or rattled the cage enough to change the script.
This would be a Scratch Trifecta.
Heart rates dropped, anticipation grew.

The bunch widened as riders held back their sprint as the finish line approached.  800, 500, 300 to go, then “BANG”, it was on like Donkey Kong!

Clark launched with Pearce locked on like a guided missile.
Clark gets an early break, but out wide Hendry was winding up.  He had been calm and well placed for the sprint.  His judgment was spot on – no one was able to grab his wheel as he took off and held a handy margin to the line for First and Fastest.  Brien peeled off the Pearce ”lead out” to challenge late, yet Clark held out for second.  Brien third, Ley fourth and the brilliant Martin in fifth.

Results: 1st – Jason Hendry (Scratch)
2nd – Shane Clarke (Scratch)
3rd – Stu Brien (Scratch)
4th – Greg Ley (3 min)
5th – Shaun Martin (11 min)
Fastest Time – Jason Hendry (Scratch) in 1h 20m, ave. 39.4 Kph

*Thank you to the many contributors who made this report possible.  Stu Brien provided the bulk of the report, with input from Terry Collie and short reports from Bob Morley and Shaun Martin.  It truly makes our job of weaving the story together easier, when most of the words are provided. 


June 16, 2019 – W.A.R.S. race 2 – Mt Ercildoune graded divisions, 45 Km

June 16, 2019 – W.A.R.S. race 2 – Mt Ercildoune graded divisions, 45 Km

EUROPA cafe and HOPSCOTCH cafe
Winter Aggregate Race Series

Race 2

16th June 2019

Mount Ercildoune – 45 Km graded divisions

 2019 WARS version 2 poster

“And some places you been before are so great that you don’t mind going back.
Some places you been before you don’t ever want to go back, like Montreal in the winter.”
- Morgan Freeman

This year, Europa is joined by sister cafe – Hopscotch – in presenting the Winter Aggregate Race Series

Eight (non-trophy) races during the winter months will decide the eventual aggregate podium.
Three handicap races, four graded division races and the famous Team Time Trial make up the 2019 series.

Division 4through the eyes of Terry Collie

Race report from the other end of the alphabet.
“5,4,3,2,1, go .. and it’s on push down with the right foot, then the left, then right, then left again and simply repeat the process thousands of times, simples Sergei”.
The only problem is the other riders are doing the same thing!

Darryl Brown, Laura White, Jakkii Dawson, Brian Lee and Terry Collie appeared to be fairly evenly matched and most of the race was spent swapping turns.
Drama mid race, when Brown, all of a sudden wasn’t there!  He’d forgotten the last minute visit and had to stop for a nature break – behind a suitable bush we hope…

Into the climbing part of the race and Lee is looking ominous just pedalling away on a lower gear than everybody else (note: check Brian’s bike next time – suspect he has a 40 tooth BIG chainwheel).
Then… what the?!  Brown is back and off the front and we can’t catch him.  He is away and gone.
The others are racing for second.

Into Edmonston Road and Brown is still up front, as the rest work up the hill half expecting an attack from Lee – which does not eventuate – he must be as tired as we are.

Brown had crossed the line and awaits the place getters.
The four line up for a sprint, with no-one keen to hit the front.  Collie, ever the gentleman says “I’ll lead you out” and ups the tempo.
The others won’t come past, the line is drawing closer.  Dawson can be heard as she makes every effort to get to the front – maybe they couldn’t come past?

Post race, it transpires that Brown had caught the referee’s eye at the wrong time and had been relegated – so everyone moves up a spot.
A good solid ride from everybody.

Race results:
1st – Terry Collie
2nd – Jakkii Dawson
3rd – Laura White

Division 33as summarised by Peter “Fifi” Livitsanis

33 years between oldest and youngest, 33 cm between tallest and shortest and 33 Kph average speed.

Two new riders – Tim Sinclair (couldn’t wipe the grin off his face all race), and Andrew Wilson (very tall, very strong, very green).

Peter “Fifi” Livitsanis took off from the gun and had them strung out around the right hander into Ercildoune Road, Brian Ure quickly alongside and the pair got a small gap. Bob Morley and Danny Whelan dutifully bridged to the leaders, with race favourite Steve Linane and Sinclair sitting in – because one of them knew what he was doing and the other was enjoying the scenery.

The pattern repeated a few times along Ercildoune Road with either Wilson or Ure animating the race and one of the old guys bringing it back together.
With Mount Misery looming, the attacks halted while the riders took a breath and regrouped.  Just before the hill Linane punctured and waved goodbye.

Onto the hill and the old hands set a tempo to discourage attacks, this worked mostly with only Wilson keen to press every now and then.  The inevitable acceleration towards the top and the downhill drag race to the Addington corner with everyone (except Linane) still gruppo compacto.

Turn at Addington, downwind and uphill – just how Fifi likes it. He gradually winds up the pace until everyone is strung out.  Over the rise and downhill to Weatherboard Road, Fifi continues to increase the pace – everyone else content enough to sit in the wheels and wait for the final sprint.

Turn into Weatherboard Road and Wilson guns it again, opening up gaps and everyone is scrambling for wheels.
By the Avenue it’s all back together and now it’s time for lesson 1 in racing…
The grinning Sinclair hits out on the downhill and up over the rise, burning every match in his book.  The acceleration has raised the adrenalin levels as the finish comes into view.
Next to succumb is Wilson, who hits out before the Cemetery Rd intersection with a stinging attack, Fifi jumps on his wheel, Ure follows and Bob is next in line.  Wilson’s house of cards folds with 250 metres to go – leaving Ure on the front, who has no choice but to have a crack.

They reach the farm gate and Fifi launches over the top of Ure – who wishes him well as he explodes past.  Morley hesitates just a fraction, but soon has his big black steam engine winding up and bringing Fifi back.
Fifi sees Morley looming up on the right, grabs two more gears and gives it everything – just enough to hold to the line for the win.  Ure hanging on to finish third.

Race results:
1st – Peter Livitsanis
2nd – Bob Morley
3rd – Brian Ure

Division 2courtesy Jim Crumpler

A nice sized group of seven riders out for a Sunday cruise…they moseyed down to Black Bottom Road watching the sheep and cows, all taking turns along the way.

Rob Phillips was sporting his new “man of the country” look – all rugged and itchy.
Wayne Klaus was taking the new roads in his stride and Darryn Reed was thinking these Ballarat winters aren’t all that bad.


As the group hit the first hill back towards Mount Misery, the slight breeze from the north created an echelon up the road.  After waiting for the heart rates to go up, Ash Burke attacked from the back and flew past the group with no immediate chasers.
A slow (or deliberately reserved?) response by the group gradually reeled him in.
The cards had been shown!  No more wasting heart-beats rolling turns on the front, as survival on the hills was paramount.
Further towards the top, Burke attacked again, but this time he was a marked man and the gap didn’t open up.

The group rolled around the corner into Edmonston Road, looking up at the last hill and last chance to destroy the souls of the sprinters.  Burke was thinking about it, but Scott Keating blasted past and the pace was on for the whole climb.

Rounding into the final straight, the sprinters tightened their shoes and got into position ready for the upcoming battle.   Jeremy Humber – the crafty sprint strategist – made his bet and sat on the tail downwind of Jim Crumpler for the whole run.

The flag was in sight, an attack happened and it was on for the whole group.  Crumpler blasted out the front, then rolled towards the line hoping to avoid the pending asphyxiation…but Humber was furiously chasing and closing the gap – Crumpler had to stomp the pedals again.

Race results:
1st – Jim Crumpler
2nd – Jeremy Humber
3rd – Darryn Reed

Division 1from our inhaler man on the spot

Much mirth at the line with the bunch almost convincing Tony Mirabella that it was a handicap race.  He responded by flying out the blocks and causing the others to gasp.

The regroup saw the first action of the day with Rob Ellis rolling to the front and pressing the pace.
Things settled, then Stu Brien took a flyer out of the chicane.

Regroup and nerves aplenty as the next rise greeted.  No attacks this time, but over the hill Jason Hendry poured the pace on.  Rob Ellis obliged and gasping was had all round.
Rick Calvert went to the front to settle things, which set Brien up for his next effort.  Ellis obliged again, so did Hendry, then finally an easing.
Dean Wells, who had followed wheel after wheel, was now reaching for his Ventolin inhaler.

Brien went again as they approached the end of Ercildoune Road.  The word quickly spread “Let him hang”, and they did!

They regrouped halfway up Black Bottom Road and held a steady pace, everyone rotating through.


Turning towards the hills and everyone was watching everyone.  No attacks, however the ramping of pace did occur.
Ellis made a move and had riders scrambling.  Some further efforts led to Wells, then Brien surging as they crested the high point of the circuit – Mount Misery.
Mirabella and Calvert looked like being dropped, yet they both fought their way back on.

Closing towards Addington, Brien announced he was pulling out.  The clicking of his bike had gotten the better of him – post race inspection revealed a loose cassette.

With the race robbed of its main antagonist, the remaining five would have to ignite the race to salvage some W.A.R.S. stories.

Calvert led through the tight Addington turn and stretched the field out.  The bunch was closing fast on other divisions and had to gauge their efforts as they passed by.

Past Harrison’s Road and Ellis lit it up, quickly opening a small gap – which Hendry then closed with frightening ease.  Wells and Mirabella were scrabbling, Calvert was gone.
Mirabella crossed to the lead duo.
Ellis powered on over the final rise and soon had the pace up to 55 Kph, with Hendry glued to his rear wheel and Mirabella tacked on.  Wells made it back.

Final turn, the sharp left hander onto Weatherboard Road.  They are closing fast on Division 3 and it could get real messy, so Ellis eases a fraction.
Out of the dip and Ellis is still on the front – it has been a huge lead out!  Hendry, Mirabella and Wells are all being drawn along.
Mirabella turns to Wells and says “I’ll lead you out”.
So, Wells launches.
Hendry jumps to that wheel.
Mirabella launches.
Hendry jumps to that wheel.
Hendry launches.
Game over man. Game over.

Race results:
1st – Jason Hendry
2nd – Tony Mirabella
3rd – Dean Wells


 Hopscotch Cafe

June 2, 2019 – W.A.R.S. race 1 – Mt Beckworth handicap, 55 Km

June 2, 2019 – W.A.R.S. race 1 – Mt Beckworth handicap, 55 Km

EUROPA cafe and HOPSCOTCH cafe
Winter Aggregate Race Series

Race 1

2nd June 2019

Mount Beckworth – 55 Km handicap

 2019 WARS version 2 poster

“Winter is coming”
numerous characters – Game Of Thrones

This year, Europa is joined by sister cafe – Hopscotch – in presenting the Winter Aggregate Race Series

Eight (non-trophy) races during the winter months will decide the eventual aggregate podium.
Three handicap races, four graded division races and the famous Team Time Trial make up the 2019 series.

It promised to be action aplenty from the very first race…
There was plenty of low lying cloud around for race 1 of the 2019 W.A.R.S.  The day was very cool, yet barely a breeze was felt as the riders warmed up before the event – the 55 kilometre Mount Beckworth handicap.
A special prize was also being raced for on this day…at least by those who qualified.  One of Eureka’s members – James Gretton – is heading overseas on an adventure, which may last forever.  James particularly despised the hill climbing races, so with his blessing we introduced the Ralph Jones Award.
Ralph Jones was James’ cycling nickname, which came about by people getting his name wrong…a lot!

Back to the race…

The Limit riders headed off with a handy 22 minute start on the cobbled together Scratch bunch.  Jakkii Dawson, Laura White and Darryl Brown rode off into the mist, hoping they would be shielded from the chasers.

2019 wars 1 - Limit

The next group to head out was the second most winningest bunch over the past few years. *Tim Canny is the most winningest bunch…
Race Referee – Terry Collie – set the 14 minute group on their way and Bob “Muncher” Morley rode off the start line like he’d stolen something.  He was determined to set expectations early!
Peter “Fifi” Livitsanis groaned – he was hoping to warm up a bit slower before going into the red.  Roger McMillan was looking resplendent in his Giro synchronised pink jersey, Danny “Fidel” Whelan and a pair of youngsters completed the group.  Dan Crook was back…calves as big as footballs before the start, he had casually discussed race tactics with Brian Ure, both guys towering over the four more diminutive riders….
With nearly every club trophy to their name, these six guys have pretty much won it all and on this day, they planned to make a good start on their 2019 W.A.R.S. ambitions.

2019 wars 1 - 14 min

The group at 7 minutes were keen on their chances considering the firepower they had on hand – Bob Braszell, Jeremy Humber, Scott Keating, Mark O’Callaghan and Darryn Reed.  Sure they had seven minutes to make up on the bunch ahead, however the group behind only consisted of three riders.  They planned to make the numerical advantage work for them.

2019 wars 1 - 7 min

Second Scratch rode off 4 minutes. Jim Crumpler, Rob Phillips and Peter Gunston created a formidable group, yet they severely lacked in numbers and planned to hitch a ride with Scratch at some stage.

2019 wars 1 - 4 min

Scratch was cobbled together with pretty much anyone who walked in and said they’d give it a go.  Jason Hendry, Tony Mirabella and Stu Brien were the true Scratchies, with Rick Calvert and Dean Wells both thrown in to make up numbers.  The group still exuded a lot of confidence on the line.  That confidence started to diminish when it took nearly half the race just to rope in Second Scratch…

2019 wars 1 - Scratch

Well up the road, the 14 minute group had been making great time on Limit.  Rolling turns, with Ure and Crook both providing solid efforts.  Whelan was racing more subdued – he didn’t feel obliged to sit on the front all the time…
Heading out through Coghill’s Creek, the bunch dropped McMillan off at the church.  Pink jersey or not, he wasn’t the protected rider on this day!
By this time, the limit bunch had come into view.  Ure and Livitsanis accelerated the bunch to ramming speed, “repel all boarders” was the order as they descended on Limit.  Jakkii and Laura were caught out, however Brown hooked onto the back, to suffer a bit more before being dispatched later.

The hill to the turn around was conquered at a gentlemanly pace, everyone knowing that keeping the bunch together was the only way to win the race.  However once around the traffic cone, the gentlemanly pace was disturbed by Morley as he hit out hard, to get the group back up to speed quickly.
They hurtled – gasping all the way – down the hill past the chasing groups.

Those chasing groups realise that this will not be their day.  The leaders have a massive advantage and with barely any wind about Mother Nature won’t have a say in the outcome.
The groups drop weaker riders, however Scratch catches the 7 minute group and a mega bunch (of sorts) forms.

The leaders hadn’t returned to the Windmill circuit before the games started.  A soft pedal here, a soft pedal there.  Some stern words explaining that they weren’t home yet, succeeded in shaming the soft pedallers back into action… if only until Donovan’s Road.

With no sight of the chasers, the rolling turns had ceased and the games had started in earnest with less than 3 kilometres remaining.  Ure and Crook were cooking something up and it wasn’t long before the rest found out what was on the menu!

Crook attacks at the top of the last rise and pulls out fifteen metres.  He is going away.  Livitsanis sets off but doesn’t have the power to close, he waves his elbow like a dying swan – Morley takes over and turns himself inside out to get across, dragging everyone else with him…including Ure who could hardly contain his glee.

Morley makes the bridge, things settle for 30 seconds, then Ure attacks.
Livitsanis likes chasing things and sets off again.
Morley has burned his matches.
Whelan starts his wind up…which takes for ever to work up to sprint speed.
Crook is just laughing as his training mate – Ure – is clear and crosses for the win.

Almost two minutes later the big bunch races to the finish line with the remaining Scratch riders sprinting for (hopefully) Fastest Time.  Hendry packs too many guns and holds Brien at bay.

Race results:
1st – Brian Ure (14 min)
2nd – Peter Livitsanis (14 min)
3rd – Bob Morley (14 min)
4th – Dan Whelan (14 min)
5th – Dan Crook (14 min)
Fastest Time – Jason Hendry (Scratch) 1h 24m 30s, ave. 39 Kph



 Hopscotch Cafe

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