She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain – 5th May 2019
Mount Ercildoune – 45 km
sing it aii aii yippee yippee aye
She’ll be coming around the mountain when she comes,
She’ll be coming around the mountain when she comes,
She’ll be coming around the mountain,
coming around the mountain,
coming around the mountain when she comes.
Just a light south breeze to keep the air chilled for the Graded Division event around Mount Ercildoune.
DIVISION 1 – as reported by Stu Brien
With only 3 starters, the riders in Division 1 were a little apprehensive as to how things would play out. They even contemplated rolling themselves into Division 2 to make things a little more interesting. This didn’t prove necessary as Tony Mirabella, Jason Birch and Stu Brien rolled even track turns averaging over 40 Kph out through Ercildoune and up Black Bottom Road until the turn on to Mount Misery.
No attacking today, just even turns and plenty of cover for the other riders to catch their breath. It was like a handicap, but with out the bunch to chase or hold off.
As they crested Mt Misery, Birch sensed Mirabella was blowing a little hard as he came off a turn. Birch hit the gas for about 250 metres, which was enough to dislodge Mirabella and the cross wind did the rest.
Brien (sitting on Birch’s wheel) saw the move and was able to come across and started swapping turns after the crest.
The pair worked together to put Mirabella out of contention for the finish.
Turning into the Edmonston Rd, the pair were delayed by a slow moving tractor taking up the whole road. For a brief moment there were some concerns that Mirabella might be able to return, however before too long, the tractor yielded and the race continued.
Pushing up past Harrisons Rd, Birch hit the go button again and Brien was pushed well into the red but managed to stay lodged onto the wheel.
Over the last climb and Brien tried an unsuccessful attack. Birch returned the favour after the left hander on to Weatherboard Rd. This put him on the front in the decisive final kilometres and Brien wasn’t going to have a bar of going to the front or letting him get away.
Sitting first wheel Birch was as nervous as a sheep at a NZ field day – constantly looking over his shoulder, trying to keep Brien from getting the jump on him.
Birch left just enough room on the inside to give Brien the impression the door would open.
Brien fell for the oldest trick in the books – he edged towards the inside gap, intent to steal the chocolates.
Birch slammed the gate shut with 100 metres to go, leaving Brien little time to pull around to the windy side.
It was all too late as Birch steam rolled him to win by half a length in a strong and smart performance.
Mirabella rolled in a few minutes later, lamenting his lack of fitness and sounding the warning bells with his vow to make amends when his form returns.
We have no doubt he will make good on his promise!
1st – Jason Birch
2nd – Stu Brien
3rd – Tony Mirabella
DIVISION 2 – On the spot from Ash Burke
From the outset, Division 2 set a cracking pace. Dennis Neale, Ash Burke, Darryn Reed, Rob Phillips and new member Scott Keating all worked well and shared the load. Well maybe some shared more than others, however by Addington they were all still together.
Burke took a flyer on the climb out of Addington. He did enough to put everyone in a spot of bother. Keating waved goodbye as Neale, Reed and Phillips joined forces to hunt down Burke.
They succeeded in bringing Burke back, then they prepared for the inevitable sprint finish. Phillips having just enough extra to take the win over Burke, Reed and Neale.
1st – Rob Phillips
2nd – Ash Burke
3rd – Darryn Reed
DIVISION 3 – courtesy Pete Livitsanis
Rob Kinna received a promotion to Division 3 in recognition of his recent form. The handicapper had big hopes for a good showing, yet they were thrown out the window inside the first few kilometres.
Mark O’Callaghan assumed the school yard bully role and launched a viscious attack on the first short climb up to the Avenue of Honour. It had everyone scrambling wheels. When the music stopped, Kinna had missed out on a chair. Just four remained in the game.
With that initial craziness out of the system, a polite yet steady pace was set until the race reached the slopes of Mount Misery. Jim Burzacott rolled through to the front and set a tempo for the entire climb. O’Callaghan, Pete Livitsanis and Bob Morley all wondering why he was crucifying himself.
Over the top and Livitsanis launched a downhill attack to test Burzacott. Eventually Livitsanis realised Burzacott had responded swiftly and was holding his wheel. Livitsanis could barely utter an apology for his craftiness, when Burzacott launched his attack.
The bunch regroups and all is steady until O’Callaghan hits out from fourth wheel. He gets a 20 metre gap on Morley, who in turn has a 30 metre gap on Livitsanis. Burzacott is blown out the backdoor.
Through the fast Addington turn onto Edmonston Rd and Livitsanis and Morley team up to chase O’Callaghan who holds his 20 metre lead. The chasing pair turn themselves inside out up the long rise.
Over the crest and they still give chase, ever slowly bringing the lanky leader back.
At Weatherboard corner, O’Callaghan still holds a slender lead. He takes the turn with caution, Morley and Livitsanis barrel through with their rear wheels almost in front of their front wheels. They look up and see O’Callaghan pounding a huge gear.
The gap is opening and the triathlete is not coming back. Livitsanis assesses Morley is tired. He starts plotting for second place.
Ahead and O’Callaghan takes the chequered flag uncontested as Livitsanis launches his sprint, leaving the suffering Morley in his small wake. A small consolation for the whipping he just received!
Somewhere, back down the road, Burzacott rolls towards the line. He dodges tumbleweeds and off in the distance a dog is heard to howl at the rising moon…a disappointing result for such a hard fought race.
Kinna? He accepted his fate with good grace. His fast improvements may have been outsprinted by the promotion…this time…
1st – Mark O’Callaghan
2nd – Pete Livitsanis
3rd – Bob Morley
DIVISION 4 – cobbled together from rider comments
Emma Goodall returned to road racing for the first time in a while. The triathlete showed that her current “run fit” did not quite translate to “bike fit”, yet she held on for half the race.
The pace and climb up Mount Misery proved a bit too much for Robert Young who lost contact before the top. Graeme Parker was near the front, yet Darryl Brown and Jakkii Dawson were paying close attention as the race neared Addington.
Brown got a decent break on the Edmonston Rd climb. Dawson emerged as the only threat as she returned to some of the roads of her greatest triumph (2018 “The Goldfinch”). She settled into time trial mode and slowly yet surely started to close on Brown.
In the race lead, Brown was literally coasting as he turned onto the home straight in what ought have been a formality. And yet, the diminutive Dawson was still closing, closing, then passing, then taking the victory.
1st – Jakkii Dawson
2nd – Darryl Brown
3rd – Graeme Parker