March 5, 2017 – Windmill / Mt Beckworth, 55 km Handicap

Hear Them Roar – 5 March 2017

Club Handicap

Windmill / Mt. Beckworth circuit – 55 km

the-lion-king-image

A tale of two lions – Tim and Tone Turn It On

On the start line the Scratch pairing of Tim Canny and Tony Mirabella weren’t given much of a chance in their chase, however the dynamic duo stepped up with a powerful display to capture the front of the race within the last km and sprint for victory.  Tim took out the sprint with his eyes closed and had to ask where he had finished.

The end result was a feather in the handicapper’s hat; 24 starters dispersed between six groups, with riders from Scratch, Limit, Second Scratch, and middle marks in the final five.  Mind you the “middle marker” was the handicapper.

First away was Graeme Parker (28 min) closely followed by Rob Young (27 min).  They quickly combined and with a tail wind on the uphill sections and some good solid riding, they preserved their lead almost to the line.  The headwind home and a storming ride from Scratch snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

Eureka welcomed Garry Armstrong back to Vets racing and along with the Viking Princess Jude Jonasson they left the start line with 20 min in the pocket.  The pair parted ways just after mid race as Jude looked to push a bit harder to stay clear of a large pack of chasing riders looming behind.  While Jude didn’t quite catch limit she stayed clear until the final 3 km and worked home finishing in the top ten.

The 11 minute bunch was a unique collection, welcome back to Louis Nuspan and James Burzacott, and great to see James “Mac” Knipe back – broken back and all.  They joined the current VVCC aggregate leader Roger McMillan – as well as Brian Lee and Danny “Fidel” Whelan – to make a bunch of strong riders…but were they a strong bunch?
They rode well, even Fidel keeping his enthusiasms in check (well at least until they were caught), and kept their 2 minute advantage over the next bunch for a lap and a half.  Caught on Cricks Hill they all stayed in touch with the combined bunch until the climb up to the turn around.

Bob “Muncher” Morley thought 9 minutes was about right for his bunch of magnificent 7.
This bunch also welcomed a new rider to Eureka, Paul Crack, yet another tall rider for Peter “Fifi” Livitsanis to hide behind.  In fact with Duncan “Psycho” Bates, Mark O’Callaghan, Stephen Biram, and James Gretton, Fifi was in the land of giants and had to be careful not to get stepped on.
Morley’s marauders thought they had the race pretty much stitched up when they rounded the final corner into Donovan’s road, however their rear vision was myopic…Scratch plus Dean Wells hit them on the small rise and sent riders skittering in all directions.  Morley bellowed “Go” but most of the bunch didn’t have much “Go” left in them.
Muncher got a back wheel, Fidel and Fifi also just made it but couldn’t hang on when the next attack came.  Steve fought on picking up the dropped Fifi and Jude to roll home 9th.

The plight of Second Scratch was a Greek tragedy.  Five evenly matched riders – on paper and when race fit…set off with a 2 minute advantage over the scratch pair.  Their hopes increasing with every kilometre they rode without being caught.  If only they could make the turnaround their numbers would count into the wind on the run home.
Dean Wells reluctantly took the push out to Second Scratch with a grin.  Eureka welcomed Stuart Brien with a hard race, and Richard Robocop Taylor was rumoured to be racing A Grade crits in town.  Grant “Smokey” Dawson and Rob Phillips are tough as they come but perhaps a little more match fitness required.
Grant popped early reducing second scratch’s numerical advantage by one, with Rob Phillips starting to struggle a bit – which in all honesty is still enough to blow most people away!  Then the “Tim and Tone” show blew into town just after the church (about 30 kilometres into the race).

Tim – expressionless, majestic.  Tony – not so, and looking for some relief he was showing the signs of a guy who’d had a hard race the day before.  The combined group worked well on the run towards Mt. Beckworth.  At the base of the hill Rob was dropped…then Richard…then Stu, all abandoned to ride solo to the end, into a head wind – oh the joy of bike racing!
Dean turned himself inside out not to get dropped as Scratch pursued the front of the race.  But Dean wasn’t the only one suffering – groans and sighs were heard emanating from Tony, must have been the vindaloo.
As they caught the middle markers they could see the red jerseys of Graeme and Rob way up ahead…along way ahead.  The pace increased, the Morley bunch was caught and shelled (well, everyone but Bob).  They caught Graeme and Rob over the crest.  1000 metres left to race.

Tim, oblivious to the fact they had the lead, or perhaps very confident in his sprint, takes the lead.  Tony and Bob are too smart to get on the front!  Dean goes to the back and winds it up and lets fly with a Hail Mary play way out from the line.  Tim is easily onto Dean’s wheel…counted to three then whoosh…he is away, race over – first and fastest to the Dandelion.  Tony flies past to easily claim second.  Bob also surges past the failing wheels of Wells for a brilliant third.

Race Results:
1st – Tim Canny (Scratch)
2nd – Tony Mirabella (Scratch)
3rd – Bob Morley (9 min)
4th – Dean Wells (2 min)
5th – Rob Young (27 min)

Fastest Time – Tim Canny in 1h 22m 20s, ave. 40.2 kph

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