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October 19, 2014 – Graded Criterium, Production Drive, Alfredton

October 19, 2014 – Graded Criterium, Production Drive, Alfredton

Production Drive, Graded Criterium

The Open season for riders is finally over and club racing returned to Ballarat, a small field and only   2½ races contested.

A Grade

Only two riders, Tony and Dean, so they sat on the back of B Grade in a ‘coaching’ role before a one lap sprint for the win. No question about the winner, Tony out-gunning a competitive Dean.

Results

1st           Tony Mirabella

2nd          Dean Wells

B Grade

Bob Morley bought his neighbour, Brendan Schiemer, along for a try-out with Eureka Vets. He was welcomed into B Grade to see how he’d go. “Good bloke”, remarks Bob. “Can go a bit”, said Bob. Well, he went very well indeed, easily accounting for the field in a devastating prolonged break with Rob Phillips. Nine riders started, plus the two A Grade ‘coaches’, who controlled the tempo for the first few laps from the front. Peter ‘Fifi’ Livitsanis and Rob Phillips were not impressed and started to break the tempo up with some sharpish turns out front. It’s when he’s out front, that you realise Rob has a drinking problem, not much of it actually gets in his mouth, most of it ends up showered over the bunch behind. About 15mins in, and Scott ‘Reduction Man’ Denno rails the corner into the back straight and puts the race in the gutter, he’s opened up about 15m on the field who are now scrambling for wheels. He’s shut down by the top of the straight but the attack has gapped Albie ‘Honolulu’ Govan and Matt Ritchie who had been yo-yoing off the back from the gun. With everyone gasping for air, Brendan counter-attacked. Only Rob Phillips saw it coming and jumped across to his back wheel. Now with the two strongest riders off the front and two others off the back, the five left had work to do. Dave ‘Pixie’ Peters, Richard ‘Robocop’ Taylor and Fifi set about working turns under the expert coaching of Tony Mirabella. This is not always easy for the tempestuous Pixie, who is inclined to take off whenever he feels like it. Robocop seemed to be cruising, having the time and breath to send cheerios to his small adoring fans. The increased workload put Reduction Man and the neighbourly Bob Morley in the hurt locker and they retired to the sidelines, but not before lapping Albie and Matt. The chasing trio had given away the intermediate sprint to the two caning it up the road, hoping that once contested they would sit up a bit. Rob was hoping this would be the case too, his eyes bulging and his mouth full of handlebar. But this was not apparently Brendan’s plan, he smashed the sprint, easily taking the win. Contesting the sprint also increases the gap to the chasers and, with the hammer staying down, the gap is extended. Into the final lap, Brendan still has gas left and attacks into the wind leaving the suffering Rob Phillips in his wake and cruises home ¾ of a lap in front of the chasers. Rob was well clear for second and Pixie triumphed over Fifi in the dash for third cash. Welcome to A Grade Mr Schiemer.

 Results

1st           Brendan Schiemer

2nd          Rob Phillips

3rd           Dave Peters

Int Sprint: Brendan Schiemer

C Grade

A field of 6 lined up, consisting of Graeme Parker, Mal Rock (fresh from 104 kms on Saturday), Greg Curnow (fresh from whatever shift he is on this week), Tony Herbert, Terry Collie (fresh from four Opens in five weeks) and Barry Robinson (lightly raced and just fresh).

After a lap to allow Graeme to warm up, the group settled into a reasonably solid pace in the windy conditions. Tony Herbert must have just taken delivery of a new small chainring and was giving it a real workout trying to bed it in with some serious spinning. The windy conditions kept things in reasonable check until the bell for the first sprint when Greg gave himself a flick with the whip and dashed clear putting plan A into action – go for the first sprint then just stay off the front for the remainder of the race. Nothing complicated and, for a considerable period, effective. Of course you can imagine the conversation in the bunch – ‘leave him out there’ – which was easier said than done as Greg was keeping up a steady tempo.

 

Eventually however the lack of any break in the effort took its toll and he was welcomed back into the fold. At about this point Tony Herbert had spun his legs out and departed company after a really solid workout and a great effort on the day.

Fifty-five minutes dragged on to an hour and a half and still no sign of the bell. Terry’s legs were asking him ‘it must be this lap, surely?’ He responded with a ‘shut up legs’, with apologies to Jens. When the bell mercifully was rung there was one last effort from Terry and then he swung off turning into the back straight. Graeme, Mal and Barry were not keen to take the wind too hard so Terry was able to hang on the back all the time expecting the typical Greg flourish up the back straight but it never came. Mal led into the short straight and into the last corner, and with 104 in the legs and having ridden out the residual stiffness from Saturday, hung on for a good win from Graeme and Barry. Everyone satisfied with a solid workout.

Results

1st           Mal Rock

2nd          Graeme Parker

3rd           Barry Robinson

 

Int sprint:   Greg Curnow

Pete, Scott and Brad in the money at the 2014 Geelong Open

Pete, Scott and Brad in the money at the 2014 Geelong Open

Congratulations to Pete Livitsanis on 3rd place in the 2014 Geelong Open (October 5). Scott Denno finished close behind in 4th and Brad Eppingstall finished 7th. Thanks to the Geelong Veterans Cycling Club for hosting a great event. Geelong Open placegetters

September 28, 2014 – Windmill circuit, 52km Hcp

September 28, 2014 – Windmill circuit, 52km Hcp

The Doc gets Cranky –

Michael Veal proved that it really is the size of the “big dog” in the fight that matters. With a howling tailwind he managed to get on top of a 55 tooth chain-ring in the final sprint to out gun the rest of the 8 minute bunch.

A northerly wind strong enough to blow the spots of a Dalmatian ripped across the course and probably discouraged many riders from getting out of bed, but really if you don’t barrack for Hawthorn what are you still doing in bed?  Today was a day for keeping the bunch together for as long as possible, individual heroics would be severely punished, but that didn’t stop some of the usual unconventional suspects putting in extraordinary surges and attacks.

The 8min guys were the steamroller today, crushing everything. Michael “the Doc” Veal had been moved out 5min after a mediocre performance the week before and joined in-form powerhouse riders Scott Denno and Kevin Lee, new rider Matt Turner and the mercurial Bob Morley. With plenty of horsepower on board and working really well together they were always going to be in the final analysis. The new boy, Matt Turner was an asset, only missing a couple of turns but kept himself tight in the bunch. Popeye Lee is a monster, how a guy who never really gets in the sit never seems to be in trouble is a mystery. Bob’s training has stepped up in the last week and today he didn’t miss a turn, and finished off the race well.

They rode down the 14min bunch of Greg Curnow, last week’s winner and scourge of Eastern Vets Mal Rock, Graeme Parker, Jude Jonasson, and Tidy Teeth Terry Collie in Donovan’s road at the end of lap 2. But the wind was a critical race factor today and the 8min monsters found it impossible to drop the 14 min limpets on the downwind stretch and impossible to drop them on in the northerly cross wind on Quarry hill road as there was plenty of road for a sit.

Bob was keen to shed the sit-on sprinters from the 14 min group so he attacked half way up quarry hill opening a gap. Reduction man Denno then jumped and dragged the rest of the 8 min group back up to Bob and once they got around the corner the wind did the rest. But Tidy teeth Terry had somehow survived, he was tolerated in the group as he worked hard to sustain the group’s advantage and didn’t miss a turn in the run home. He also led most of the way up Donavan’s on the home stretch as well, recent Opens have definitely contributed to Terry’s form lift.

Now with the race in their hands, 6 riders, 5 places in the money, it was just a matter of sorting out the order. With no sight of anything threatening from behind, the pace lifted anyway stringing them out in a line with Bob on the Doc’s wheel at the back waiting to pounce. The Doc backed it off and then unleashed the beast, he hit Reduction Man and the others at speed a long way out and held it easily to the line. Bob was hoping to hang onto second but Denno and new boy Matt got him about 50m out.

Chasing this juggernaut was the 3min chopping block quartet. Dean Wells was in scintillating form and a minute or a couple of more in form riders would have had him on the podium today. As it was, he not only put in the most work, he was also the only one to hang onto Scratch as they came through at the race mid-point. He even led the Scratch bunch home – for such a great ride he was duly recognised as ROD.

Scratch pairing of Tony Mirabella and Phil Cartledge had a late surprise with the arrival of Andrew “Sparky” Rushton. As a pair they had little hope of catching the race today but as a trio it was game on. All three rode well, sharing the work around and only Tony’s late antics disturbed the discipline. In the end there was only 1.5min in it but the trio had settled for a sprint for fastest. With Dean taking Phil’s usual position leading out the final sprint, today could have been interesting, but Tony again proved he’s the fastest cat in the kindle, sprinting clear of the other two.

 Results

1st        Michael Veal (8 min)

2nd        Matt Turner (8 min)

3rd        Scott Denno (8 min)

4th        Bob Morley (8 min)

5th        Kevin Lee (8 min)

ROD     Dean Wells (3 min)

FT        Tony Mirabella (Scratch)

September 21, 2014 – Weatherboard circuit, 50km Hcp

September 21, 2014 – Weatherboard circuit, 50km Hcp

Mal Rocks

Mal “Balboa” Rock went the full twelve rounds with a small but talented field and then knocked ‘em into tomorrow with a hellish final burst, clipping a fast finishing Kevin Lee’s ticket by a bike length on the line.

“It ain’t how hard you hit, it’s how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. It’s how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done” – Mal “Balboa” Rock

Obviously the weather wasn’t bad enough for the really hard men of Eureka to even get out of bed, with only 16 riders donning numbers on a perfect spring morning. What was to be a series of scratch races was quickly converted into a handicap as really only B-grade had sufficient numbers for a race. Little wind and fine conditions made for very fast racing and the front of the race impossible to pull back.

The almost-limit bunch of Graeme Parker, Greg Curnow and today’s winner, the fighting Mal Rock had a slim 17 min advantage over the scratch pairing of Tony Mirabella and Shane Miller. They would have to work hard to preserve that gap, which is precisely what they did. Unseen until the last 5kms this dynamic trio uncharacteristically gelled well to average way above their mark. Greg doesn’t sleep anymore and it’s given him a grim edge and dulled his pain threshold, Graeme has turned back the clock and is riding like a man half his age (a man half his age would almost qualify for Vets – happy birthday Graeme!), however he paid a high price for such a powerful ride, aggravating his dodgy knee. But today was the day Mal finally got his mojo back, a solid contributor all race and a bold final dash for victory.

Chasing these three was John Creek, Brian and Kevin Lee and Brad Eppingstall off 12 min. Pretty lonely ride for these four – didn’t see a sole behind all race and took 2 ½ laps to catch sight of limit who were well up the road. John Creek is somewhere near his competitive best, watch out for him in the coming crits. Brian and Kevin Lee always race honestly and provided the engine for the quartet, Popeye always has something left at the death with a hard kick that surprises the more pure sprinters. Brad “Crit-monster” Eppingstall was “rewarded” for his recent good form with his first move back for the year, starting with the Lee Bros and Creekie is a decent step up for him, but to his credit he didn’t miss a turn until he was completely cooked into Weatherboard Road on the third lap – he dropped off, gasping for air and inhaled a fly, the extra protein didn’t agree with him, turning him greener than his bike.

Mal’s madmen were cooking, Creekie’s 12min bunch worked hard to claw them back but it still took until the final chicane on Burrumbeet Rd to catch them. They had burnt all their matches in the chase and with nothing in the mirror, and bugger all in the tank, they were keen to rest up and prepare for the sprint. This was fine by Mal and his crew who got a 2-3 km free ride home, Mal arrived at the top of the final hill the freshest of the lot, dropped a few gears and laid rubber to the line. Surprised by someone else using his move, Popeye found that last tin of spinach and set to the chase, but Mal wasn’t looking back, ears pinned back it was only the line that held his gaze.

Like one, that on a lonesome road Doth walk in fear and dread, And having once turned round walks on, And turns no more his head; Because he knows, a frightful fiend Doth close behind him tread.

John Creek was rewarded with third for his excellent ride, Greg thought it was all a dream and picked up fourth, while Brian ensured both Lee boys went home with money taking fifth.

With Creekie’s mob averaging over 34km/hr, the rest of the field were never in the hunt. The next bunch on the road, a long way back, was the 7 min mob of Bob Morley, Scott Denno and Albie “Honolulu” Govan. They weren’t making much headway on the leaders until the back of the race arrived, but that was like grabbing a tiger by the tail, the extra pace quickly destroyed the bunch as one by one they were shelled.

Today on the 3 min chopping block was a resurgent Grant “Smokey” Dawson, a recuperating Michael Veal, Dean “Centennial Man” Wells and Peter “Fifi” Livitsanis. With a very skinny 3 minutes on Shane Miller their race was pretty much over before it started and tactics had turned to how to make the final spot on the podium. “Don’t worry” said Tony Mirabella “we’ll work with you when we come through”. Well, Shane had other ideas, the catch came at the 20km mark followed quickly by the dispatch as Shane buried them in the Avenue. Only Smokey could go with scratch, hanging onto their jersey pockets for another lap before he too waved goodbye. Smokey’s ride was particularly impressive, not only hanging onto a rider of Shane Miller’s calibre but also riding through the rest of the race after he was dropped.

The scratch pair of Tony and Shane rode hard and almost caught the race, probably another rider or two would have made the difference, but today they had to settle for a two up sprint for fastest time. In a sprint it’s a bit of a coin toss between these two, in the final analysis Shane had enough to edge out Tony. A great ride by this pair.

Results

1st           Mal Rock (17 min)

2nd          Kevin Lee (12 min)

3rd           John Creek (12 min)

4th           Greg Curnow (17 min)

5th           Brian Lee (12 min)

FT           Shane Miller (Scratch)

ROD       Grant Dawson (3 min)

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