March 19, 2017 – Coghills Creek, 59 km Graded Scratch racing

Friendly faces everywhere – 19 March 2017

Graded Scratch

Coghills Creek circuit – 59 km

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Give a man a fish and feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime.

Teach a man to cycle and he will realise fishing is stupid and boring.
– Desmond Tutu

A Grade

Tony Mirabella sprinted clear to win what was literally a recovery ride for this legend of Eureka.  Having raced the Collier, and placing in the top 10 the day before, Tony was content to sit in for the first two laps before dropping the hammer, on a make-shift A grade field.

A Grade? – Well, not really.  A couple of B Graders stepped up to pad out the field a bit and ensure that whoever took third place would get some cash.
Tony Mirabella was the only legitimate A Grader, or was he?  Richard Robocop Taylor proved yet again the dark horse of the field, the only other rider to test Tony in the finale, even had a crack at him late in Donovan’s Rd.  Obviously riding well at the moment he deserved his second place.
Rob “Big Mig” Phillips, Bob “Muncher” Morley and Peter “Fifi” Livitsanis rode along, the Big Mig to ensure a solid tempo, Muncher to close down Robocop and Fifi to make up the numbers.

B Grade probably went quicker for the first lap, everyone playing “nice” while Tony warmed up and so Fifi could feel like he was part of the race for a while.
Into the second lap, riding past the church, Fifi is panting when Bob nonchalantly asks “when is the this race going to start?” – Muncher is in sparkling form at the moment, Fifi as relevant in this race as a cat flap in an elephant house.  Tony must have heard this chit chat, coming out of the sharp left hand corner he attacks, Fifi missed that one and just as Big Mig’s tail light went out, so too did Fifi’s lights – all of them.

Muncher, Big Mig and Robocop go clear with Tony.  They settle and consolidate before Tony and Robocop go again, this time shelling Muncher, then Big Mig.
With Tony and Robocop going clear passed the quarry on the last lap, Muncher whistles Big Mig back, rather than chase as individuals.  Together they share the futile chase, and to duke it out for third.

Into Donovans and, undaunted by the fearsome reputation of his opponent, Robocop digs the spurs in and surprises Tony with his aggression.  Suddenly Tony realises he’ll have to race for the win today and engages top gear.  The pair are only separated by Tony’s kick for the line.Results:

1st – Tony Mirabella
2nd – Richard Taylor
3rd – Rob Phillips

B Grade

A grade might have slept in, or had a better offer, but B Grade were amassed in big numbers.  Nine riders on the whiteboard, including a newish rider Jeremy Humber – welcome Jeremy (p.s. not a bad start to your racing year at Eureka!).
Another race decided in the last 5 kms today.
The tip of a whip travels faster than the speed of sound, as does the fast finishing Paul Crack, with a sprint tuned-up at mid week crits, the sonic boom of his victorious sprint frightened dogs in Wendouree.  Easily eclipsing his remaining rivals for his maiden win at Eureka and write his name into the book of honour.
The newly retired, Craig Lightfoot has time on his hands to train and travel (more of the later recently and less of the other), however today this grey nomad went walkabout late in the race to seek enlightenment at a nearby ashram.
Mark “Mocha” O’Callaghan still displays the residual benefits of a summer triathlon campaign and his overly active adrenal gland ensures an animated race. Just when you think you’ve got him in the hurt locker, he’ll look up, smile and give you a cheer.
The McMillan clan coat of arms features a rampant black lion, brave and ferocious, the clan crest brandishes a two handed sword and a motto Miseris Succurrere Disco which translates to “I endeavour to care for the distressed” obviously “care” and “slaughter” meant the same thing in the 10th century. Roger “the Rampant” McMillan is no stranger to “distressing” other riders and then taking good “care” of them.
James “Mac” Knipe used Saturday’s Collier as a warm up for a big enough weekend of punishment, his old broken bones holding up to this very special fitness test.
James Gretton was looking pretty drawn after the race, partly due to the trials of racing a higher grade and partly due to his recent “slimming”.  James has stepped up in class this season, was only shelled late along with Mac and Lightie.
Jeremy Humber sampled Eureka racing last season, but just realised he’s a vet now and doesn’t have to race with mad teenagers anymore.  With a good result today we hope to see more of him.
The tireless Brian Lee – guaranteed to have a go from a long way out – especially with a field laced with such prodigious sprinting talents, the rest of the bunch needed to stay calm and absorb the inevitable but gradual acceleration.  A pleasing day out for Brian, finishing in the top 5.
The irrepressible Danny Fidel Whelan rounded out the field.  Fidel can only count to two, as that’s how many gears he uses in a race, and they are both huge, he forgot what the small ring is for years ago.  His tenacious racing spirit puts him at the front of the field when no one else would dare.

The pinch point in the race came on the rise in Donovans Rd with Mocha dialling up the pain, Paul, Jeremy, Brian and Roger responded, the rest were gapped.
The remaining five settled for a sprint, what did they have left?  The pace increased to flat out sprint, then Paul found the hyperspace button and in two pedal strokes disappeared into tomorrow.  With eyes popping out of his head, Jeremy held off Mocha.

Results:
1st – Paul Crack
2nd – Jeremy Humber
3rd – Mark O’Callaghan

C Grade

With a bus load of extended family members cheering from the side of the road, Jude Jonasson waited for the last rise up Donovan’s Road to pull out the broad sword and leave devastation in her wake.  The other two combatants Rob Young and Garry “Lance” Armstrong watched as Jude simply rode them out of her wheel and sail to a solid win.

60 km is a long race when there’s just three in the field, and small numbers usually mean that the winning break is late, if not a sprint finish.
Such it was today, the trio exchanging smiles and pleasantries on the start line but simmering just below the surface was the steely conviction of Spartans.  The first two laps were completed as a dress rehearsal for the main event, then it came time to win a bike race.
Faces turned grim, bigger gears were selected and plans were made…

Into Donovan’s Road for the last time and Jude sprung her cunning plan, launching on the rise and turning herself inside out to hold for the three kilometres to the line.  Garry, a seasoned campaigner was re-acquainted with his old friend “suffering” as he tried in vain to hold Jude’s wheel.  Rob was popped on the hill and try as he might the gap was a bridge too far.
Jude sailing into harbour clear for an impressive win, Garry then Rob rounding out the placings

Results:
1st – Jude Jobnasson
2nd – Garry Armstrong
3rd – Robert Young

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