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

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Winter Aggregate Race Series

Race 3

7th July 2019

Mount Beckworth (short) – 37 Km graded divisions

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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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