Category Archives: Eastern Vets
60k handicap with limit off 29 minutes over a pretty flat track with only a slight breeze blowing was going to make todays race a pretty tough assignment for the scratch markers to get up. I was in the 5 minute chopping block group along with Steve Ross, Rob Amos, Jean-Philippe Leclercq, Ray Russo, Simon Bone, Dayle Goodall along with Duncan & Shane.
We had a 5 minute head start on the scratch group which included Mick Hay, Matt Davis, Guy Green, Roy Clark, Geordie Probert and Frank Nyhuis. For our group to be of any chance, we need to get out hard and pull back 4-5 minutes on the group ahead which included strong riders Wes Hurrey, Anthony Gulace, Trev Perry, Collin Morris, Callum Gough & Darren Woodhouse.
Steve, Rob and Duncan got to work straight away and everyone was contributing to good solid rolling turns with the pace sitting in the mid 40s. We kept it together pretty well, however J-P was like a dog on a leash and didn’t hold back on the small incline and soon opened up a gap.
We got it back together and as we made out way to the first turn around point we spotted our prey and it did not appear that we made any in roads on them at all. However the telling moment was around the 50 minutes into the race when a huge group of riders were already well into the 2nd and final lap.
We completed the first lap and we were told the lead group was 14 minutes up the road which meant we had pulled back 10 minutes. We had lost Shane and I was finding it pretty tough. Duncan did a monster turn on the start of the 2nd lap, however this effort must have paid a price as he soon too dropped out of the rotation.
Steve, Rob, J-P and Simon were doing an incredible job and didn’t miss a turn. Dayle & Ray too were working their guts out, while I was hanging on by the skin of my teeth and was lucky to still be there at the final turn around.
I dropped it back a gear, caught my breath, had a drink and waited for the scratch train to come thru. Like waiting for any train, time stood still. But when the Mick Hay led scratch train came thru, I quickly found out that they were not taking passengers.
Mick Hay provides the following report from the scratch group:
As I registered and checked the marks, I realised pretty quickly that the scratch group had been set an impossible task. Six of us were giving 5 minutes to the 9 rider strong second scratch group, with the other 73 riders spread out up to 29 minutes in front.
A highlight of the day for me was chatting to Lance Wearne about his Warrnambool win in 1966, first (and fastest time) from 2nd scratch. What a privilege for “youngsters” like me to be able to listen 1st hand to such stories!
That’s about where the highlights ended though. If we were going to have any impact we had to chase down 2nd scratch as fast as we could, so we started hard with the slight wind at our back. Too hard for Frank Nyhuis, who despite looking in great shape (and obviously riding OK given his recent Baw Baw win) couldn’t get the body working quickly enough and dropped off after half a lap.
Then Geordie Probert started struggling, and he was gone too by the top of the hill the 1st time out. Matt Davis was a bit under done so had to sit out the rotations. That left just Guy Green, Roy Clark and I to take track turns. Again I think it’s a privilege to be able to ride with these two guys, two of the best riders of their age anywhere, they’ve won countless races and titles and the club is lucky to be able to count them as long-standing members.
They drove hard, Guy in particular was looking super strong. Guy also managed to coerce Matt to dig deep and he came back into the rotation for the finishing stages, but we still couldn’t even see the race ahead, so it was just a matter of whether we could get fastest time. With the help of one last big turn for the final kilometre from Guy, we managed to get there, Roy finishing fastest in front of Matt.
I rolled back into to town to find out that Scratch didn’t catch chopping block who didn’t catch the 3rd scratch group.
John Thomas managed to surprise the bunch with a late solo break for the line. His bravado paid off handsomely as he timed his run well and secured victory ahead of Dean Niclasen and Martin Peeters.
The original plan was not to race this weekend. I had thought I may have needed more than a week to get over last weeks Wombat 100 race and I was keen to go into next weeks Benghazi Handicap feeling fresh. However the lure of racing Dunlop Rd with EVCC in near perfect Autumn conditions was just too strong. The added bonus was catching the final race of the A Grade teams series, where my Adriatic team mates were racing.
Race Referee for this week was Richard Dobson. Richard is one of the band of contributors at the EVCC club who work tirelessly to make sure we all enjoy good, safe & competitive racing all year round. Richard, under the watchful eye of Ronnie, delivered the race briefing and set a full B Grade contingent of 25 off for an hour of racing.
After the completion of the slowest controlled lap in the history of cycling, the attacks began. There were plenty of action but with no reward. I did have a little go off the front too and joined forces with a very keen Darren Woodhouse for a lap or two, but really this was more about seeing who was who in the bunch.
After Darren & I were brought back into the fold, Glen Newnham counter attacked and was soon joined by Wes Hurrey. This was a brilliant move and they quickly opened up a good gap on the main bunch. We all looked at one another to see who was going to start the chase, however no one did.
The pattern from here on was one or two would attempt to bridge across to the two away, the bunch would then chase the bridgers and once they were caught, the bunch would sit up. There was no urgency to shut the break down and the gamble seemed to be on the break blowing up. With Wes’s break away partner dropping off and returning back to the bunch and with still plenty of time on the clock, that gamble seemed to be the likely outcome.
However Wes, who runs a the SoulRider Spin Studio, obviously knows a thing or two about pacing himself and kept the pressure on and preserved his gap right to the end to score a sensational win. For the rest of us it was gong to come down to a bunch sprint. The last lap was probably one of the quickest with everyone jockeying for position. Leading into the final corner Darren Woolhouse was the first to open things up and kept it tight on the left hand side. I was out wide sitting 4 or 5 wheels back and jumped with about 300m still to go. I got a good run, however not good enough to get over Darren who was able to hang on for 2nd.
Behind me I could hear Martin Peeters and Dave Hyde closing quickly. Martin was right on my tail and pulled out a little too late and was not able to get over me before the finish line with Dave Hyde right on his heels to finish up 5th.
I caught up with Wes & he provided the following update:
I really didn’t expect that effort when I went across to rider 150, Glen Newnham to stick. In fact I thought there were a few riders on my wheel. When I got to Glen I looked back and we had a 100m on the bunch. Glen and I put in a couple of big laps. He worked into the wind on Dunlop Road and I wound it up around the remainder. Unfortunately he dropped off. I don’t think I would have grown the gap to what it was if I hadn’t had Glen for those 2 or 3 laps.
From then on it was a case of, well I’m out here, let’s see how long it lasts. I expected the bunch to come back. Every time I got to the end of a long straight I would look back, ‘nope, not there, guess I better keep going’ 10 minutes , 15 minutes went past. It wasn’t until I got to about 50 minutes that thought I might make it. But even then I knew a few hard laps from the bunch, if they worked together?, would bring me back.
It was good to be able to focus 100% on riding efficiently and as fast as I possibly could at all points on the track while keeping the intensity right on my threshold. Every corner I was able to take the fastest line. Used the wind where possible, tried not to use too much energy into the wind.
While I had a good ride I also just got lucky that the bunch didn’t really appear to work together.
Thanks Wes!! Great ride and a well deserved win. Also a big thanks to the EVCC crew for another top day of racing.
Back to Dunlop Road for the penultimate race of the Eastern Vets Team series. Giant-Celtic appear to have an unasailing lead in the teams category while Celtic fill-in rider Ciaran Jones looks to have the best individual title well within his grasp.
After the neutral lap, the attacks were launched. The first being Frank Nyhuis (Skoda), Sean Wilkinson (Giant-Celtic), Brett Hickford (Bikeforce) and Team Adriatic duo of Phil Cavaleri and James Steward.
Frank was busy and got himself in the next break this time with Chris Halley (Bikefore), Tony Chandler (Adriatic) and Frank Donnelly (Giant-Cletic)
Sean Wilkinson (Giant-Celtic) countered attacked and spent a lap or two which laid the foundation for the final break which was to decide the race.
Once Sean was pulled back into the fold, Ciaran Jones (Giant-Celtic) and Guy Green (Bikeforce) jumped off the front around the 40 minute mark and the unorganised bunch seemed content to let them stay out there.
A couple of laps on the front by Tony Chandler (Adriatic) was not enough to pull back the escapees with the bunch now resigned to the fact they were racing for 3rd.
Ciaran ended up with a fine win and maintains a strangle hold on the title for best rider in the series with Guy looking rather relieved as he rolled thru for 2nd.
A down sized Laurie Gates showed the B Grade field a clean set of heals as he put on a sprinting demonstration to get a good win.
You can check out more of my pics from all the grades.
With the Great Vic Swim series all wrapped up, it is now time to start shifting focus back to the bike. It has been a more than 18 months since I raced with EVCC and with this weeks venue being Dunlop Road, practically on my door step, it was a pretty easy decision to dust the cob webs off the race bike, pump up the tyres and roll out for a good ol’ reality check on the state of my legs and lungs.
I did race a couple of times at the end of last year with Northern Cycling which provided a glimmer of hope that my road racing ambitions have not been entirely extinguished. However a few DNFs and getting dropped from your group in a couple of handicaps does highlight improvement is required to be remotely competitive.
Dunlop Rd is a very popular circuit for Eastern and it is not uncommon for the grades to fill up early. Pete Mackie, the EVCC handicapper, was reticent at first to let me ride B Grade, however conceded with the orders of ”Do not embarrass yourself..”, which really meant do not embarrass him.
20 plus riders lined up for the B Grade race. A very fit looking Gary Wishart signalled his intentions with some very aggressive riding after the completion of the control lap. An attentive bunch with fresh legs meant Gary was never given much latitude and was soon back in the fold saving himself for another crack.
Big Ian Milner was the next to venture off the front. It was still pretty early on in the race however he was joined by Roman Suran and Nigel Frayne and they looked like they were going well. I was happy enough to sit in the bunch behind John Pritchard and see who was doing what.
With a couple of laps down, the Ian Milner break was still holding. I decided it was time to test the legs and bridge across. I made it across solo and enjoyed a couple of laps at the front of the race. We were working well and I thought we were building a lead, however some big hitters in the bunch up-ed the pace and had us soon pulled back.
Just before halfway mark of the race, Quentin Frayne issued the warning that things were going to heat up. I wasn’t sure what he meant and who to watch. It soon because obvious it was Quentin who was going to do the lighting up as he surged thru the cross wind section along Dunlop Rd. I waited to see who would go, but there was no reaction from any of the others, so again I jumped across to Quentin’s wheel. Callum Gough also made it across which made it 3 and we built up a 20 seconds lead on the field.
We were all committed to the break and time checks from Tim Crowe and Rob Feigan from the sidelines indicated we were holding the 20 second gap, however there was plenty of surging going on & dropping of wheels. Both Quentin and Callum are not big guys & I was not getting much shelter.
With around 5 minutes to go, out of nowhere we were joined by Anthony “Gooch” Gullace, Darren Woolhouse and Chris Ellenby. It was good to finally get some shelter and share the load 6 ways. However a guaranteed podium position now became a 50-50 proposition.
Just inside the 60 minute mark we get the bell and still no sign of the main bunch. Around the last corner Chris and Darren went wide while Quentin stuck to the left and opened up the sprint early. Quentin looked like he was going to hold it to the line, however Gooch came home like a freight train to snatch the win by half a bike length to Quentin. I was very happy to not embarrass my self and finish off in 3rd.
Big thanks to Trev for taking the pics…
All race entry fees, prize money and raffle money was donated to ”My Room” charity, a charity that strives to make the lives of children with cancer as normal as possible. Well done Eastern.
The 2012 edition of EVCC‘s race, in memory Royce Bennett, returned to being a handicap and moved location to Avenal Road circuit in Seymour. Rob Devolle was the best of 5 remaining limit riders to win the 60km race in a close sprint from Ronnie Stranks. Brian Farrell was 3rd over the line followed by Juanita Cadd and Kayley Wood.
Mick Jamison was the best of the scratch group to win fastest time and provides the following race report:
Giving 31min start in a 60km race is a tall order, but on paper we looked to have it covered. The course is fast and flat, and with the ten riders on our start list we had plenty of power. Too bad on the start line we were missing Andrew Mapstone and Peter Barnett, leaving us with eight.
The pace was brutal from the gun with Tom Leaper and Stefan Kirsch providing almost too much grunt. The first 15km were covered in 19min 20 sec but at the cost of losing Simon Bone and David De Pedro. Next to drop out was Stef with a puncture leaving us with a big task ahead.
But we had a beautiful Team time trial formation going now with Roy Clark, myself, Tony Chandler, Neville Laffy (northern) pulling through well and the unstoppable Tom Leaper doing extra long turns. Our second time out to the turn was equally fast as our first split. On the final leg we were all feeling the strain but we pulled in the 6 min bunch, got organised again and kept pushing although an outright win looked unlikely as we were only picking up a few individual riders.
As the bridge came into sight signalling the finish I had a quick rest then attacked with 800m to go catching the boys by surprise. I was able to hold a 30-metre gap till the finish for fastest time, my first one in about 20 years I’d say!
good hard honest race, we all put in but missed out on the outright. Still we averaged almost 45kmh, which is not too shabby for a vet race!
Back at the pub for the presentation it was good to hear stories about Royce Bennett from people that knew him.
|1st UP Female||Dale Maizels|
Check out the EVCC Behind Bars newlestter for reports from:
- Tony Chandler (Scratch)
- Nick Tapp & Rob Amos (25min)
- Rob Suter & Nigel Frayne (20min)
- Andrew Buchanan (13min)
- Neil Cartledge (9min)
- Rob Devolle & Brian Farrell (limit)
Well done to Rob and all the place getters. Thanks Mick for the report and Cav for the photo.