Category Archives: Eastern Vets
It was the final race of the Eastern Vets Winter Teams Series and Team Adriatic gun rider James Steward wasn’t available. After a couple of confidence building races in B Grade, I thought it was an opportune time to put up my hand to help out the team and have another crack at racing with the big boys.
At the last teams race I contested, I was totally out of my depth and I thought Casey Fields would be the ideal setting to seek some form of redemption. How wrong was I.
A strong Croydon CycleWorks/ Pick-a-Part team was on the line looking to take out the series. Their game plan became obvious early with Dave de Pedro and Tom Leaper attacking the bunch while they protected Haydn Bradbury, the series leader & Andrew Mapstone for the bunch sprint.
Phil Smith (Adriatic) and Frank Nyhuis (Škoda) were also pretty busy early while I was doing my best to hide behind Andrew Mapstone (Croydon). Sitting near the tail of the bunch has it’s perils and I looked to move up a few spots & within a couple of laps I found myself sitting on Tom Leaper’s (Croydon) wheel just as he lifted the tempo on one of his softening up the bunch moves.
With Phil taking a breather, I had to go with Tom and not long after that he flicked the elbow and had me on the front. This was definitely not in the plan and thankfully it wasn’t for too long. Soon after, I resumed my position near the rear of the bunch.
The pace was solid and when you add in a sequence of surge & recovery sets, it was to not a great surprise that I only lasted 30 minutes. The winning break of Frank Nhyuis, Roy Clark (Bikeforce) and Haydn was established, which I assume was a counter attack on a Phil Smith and Dave de Pedro effort, as they were now dangling off the main bunch loosing ground quickly.
By this stage I was rolling around with Laurence Lee (BikeGearNow) with Phil & Dave not that far ahead. We upped our pace a bit and after around 3 laps it looked like we were going to catch them. However Phil sensed the main bunch had slowed, which triggered him into action and the gap which took us three laps to claw back was ripped away from us in one.
While it was another humbling DNF for me, I am still happy that my fitness is on the improve and heading in the right direction. Hopefully the Adriatic boys are willing to take another chance on me.
Big thanks to Nigel Kimber for running the team race series & for EVCC for supporting the concept.
It was time to get back on the road bike and head out for a race. With my Sunday being blocked out because it is my turn to do duty with Northern Cycling, I decided to head out to Gruyere & race with my friends at EVCC. I raced Gruyere a couple of months ago & it was far from pretty. In that race, I managed to hang in with the main bunch for only 2 of the 12 laps & therefore I was diving deep into the excuse bucket to plead my case with the handicapper to put my name down on the B grade start list.
To my delight, the handicapper conceded, however he made it clear that I would be back to A Grade if I happened to place at all.
Blue skies, lush green pastures and a wind coming from the North gave us an ideal setting for our race. B Grade had around a dozen starters, including Anthony “Gooch” Gullace, Chris Ellenby, Thorkild Muurholm, Ian Smith, Tim Crow, Bruce Will, Doug Reynolds along with a couple of other guys I do not know. All these blokes are going well and 12 laps of the bumpy 5km course was going to make it a pretty tough day.
The first lap was under control however this did not stop Ian Smith, Gooch & another guy to spend some time dangling off the front. There was no real venom in this move and it looked like it was more about positioning as we headed to the 1st of 12 times up the Killara Rd climb. As we reeled them in, I put in a bit of an effort to see if I had brought my climbing legs. I felt OK & crested the top of the climb with a handy little break.
It was a similar story the 2nd time over the Killara Rd climb, however this time Ian, Gooch, Doug and I managed to get away and essentially stay away. I think we all thought it was a tad early for the break to go the distance & surely the combined horse power in the bunch would be more than capable of pulling us back.
We lost Ian around the 4th lap, but he managed to scramble back on half a lap later, however he must have gone deep as he could not really contribute to the pace setting from there on. Gooch too was feeling the pinch and was letting Doug & I do most of the work. On the 5th time over the Killara Rd climb, we lost Gooch & Ian.
I have raced with Doug many times over the years, but I do not think I have ever been in a break with him. I know he climbs well & he has a pretty good kick in a sprint. As we headed into lap 9, I was starting to fatigue. Doug sensed this and upped the tempo on each of the climbs which had me on the back foot. I managed to stick with Doug over the climb, however I could feel the tank getting close to empty.
We were still swapping off turns to the very end of the 12th lap. The run to the finish line is reasonably flat but it was into a head wind. I was on the front waiting for Doug to jump. I heard Doug click thru the gears & anticipated him making his move. I thought I had it covered, however Doug managed to get bike length on me and I wasn’t able to jump on. Doug took the win easily and I rolled thru for 2nd. Minutes later, Gooch rolled thru solo for 3rd. He too managed to stay away from the bunch for the duration of the race.
It was a good day for the BikeGearNow crew with Stef Kirsch also getting the win in the A Grade race from Dave De Pedro & Frank Nyhuis.
Thanks to EVCC and all the volunteers for putting on a great day of racing.
For the last 12 months I have been helping out Team Adriatic with a blog, twitter, take a few pics and load them up to their Facebook page. It is a labour of love, but richly rewarded by getting a free cycling kit and being part of the team. My performance to date has been measured by the number of posts, the number of likes, the number of views. My riding ability has never been questioned or put to the test.
With Tony Chandler still on the road to recovery after his fall at Baw Baw, Phil Smith breaking his leg recently while doing home renovations, Carl & Andy not available, Captain Cav sent out the dreaded text to see if I could help make up the numbers for this weeks teams race at Gruyere.
It has been almost been 2 years since I have raced in the teams series and to say I was a little anxious in making my debut with Team Adriatic to help out James Steward, Phil Cavalleri and David Holt, would be an understatement.
It was a very pleasant day to race with little wind. The course it self is a lumpy 5km circuit which we loop around for 12 laps. Most of the big hitters were present with Guy Green and Roy Clark looking to defend the Bike Force’s narrow points advantage on the Teams table.
While Tom Leaper & Mick Hay were not present for Croydon-Pick-A-Part , they were suitably represented by Dave de Pedro and Haydn Bradbury. Add Stef Kirsch, Peter Howard, Frank Nyhuis and Stuart Cameron to the list of people who can dish out the pain, staying with the main bunch and not recording a DNF were my main priorities.
Jamie’s advice on the 1km climb out the back of the circuit was to start near the front and to slowly work my way to the back, find some cover and recover down the otherside. I survived the first couple of laps but the warning bells were already ringing for me and the pace was still on the relatively gentle side.
As was the case at Arthurs Creek a fortnight ago, Stu Cameron was keen to make his mark. Haydn & James were keeping close eye on proceedings. Reacting to the surges and hitting the base of the hill on the 3rd lap not so close to the front meant that my “work my way back to the back” strategy had a little less room for error. Add a clash of handle bars, overlapping wheels and subsequent moments in gravel, I was off completely out the back & getting left behind.
Darren Darling (Škoda) was just ahead, however he too was in survival mode and was chasing frantically to regain contact to the main bunch. He did make contact, I didn’t. My first goal of staying with the main bunch was no longer a possibility, I now needed to focus on riding out the remaining 9 laps to make sure I recorded a finish.
I spotted Darren on the next lap on the side of the road at the base of the climb with a dropped chain. I was half expecting him to soon roll up next to me and we would ride out the remainder of the race together, however instead of Darren coming thru, it was big Chris Vennix (Croydon). And not long after that we were joined by James Almyer (Croydon) and Peter Bolton (Bike Force) to make it a laughing group of 4.
We worked well for the remainder of the race although big Chris seemed to enjoy surging in the big ring up the dreaded climb and putting us in to a bit of pain. The laps ticked down quick enough and as we were approaching our bell lap, we were lapped by James, Stu, Hayden and Guy.
We had the best seat in the house to watch the 4 up sprint as they foxed waiting for the first to break. Stu was the first to jump and it looked like Haydn and James read it well, however Stuart was too strong and held the sprint to the line for the win. James, as per his Adriatic race report, was unable to slip it into the 11 and just couldn’t get around Haydn and had to settle for 3rd.
Guy gets 4th with David Holt winning the bunch kick to take out 5th.
A rather inglorious day for me, however I was pretty happy to have gone the distance and that the other Adriatic boys had a good day.
Race 2 Results
|2nd||Haydn Bradbury||Croydon Pick-A-Part|
|4th||Guy Green||Bike Force|
|6th||Roy Clark||Bike Force|
|7th||Chris Halley||Bike Force|
|8th||David de Pedro||Croydon Pick-A-Part|
Teams Standings After Race 2
Individual Rankings After Race 2
|1||Guy Green||Bike Force||23|
|3||Roy Clark||Bike Force||15|
|5||Haydn Bradbury||Croydon Pick-A-Part||12|
|Tom Leaper||Croydon Pick-A-Part||6|
It has been a while since I raced at Arthurs Creek. My log says it was 2009 & I have vague recollections that it was pretty lumpy. After a couple of solid training rides in the hills last weekend, I thought it was time to venture out and reacquaint myself to the region known as Cadel Country.
My hopes to race B Grade were dashed by the big nasty EVCC handicapper who congratulated me on being promoted to A Grade. It is certainly an honour to ride at the top level of the club and it is definitely one of my ambitions to return to A Grade, however mentally I wasn’t really ready for it.
There were 12 starters in A which included Adriatic team mates Phil Cavaleri and David Holt. Trev Coulter was also a starter and he was under orders to look after me or he wasn’t getting a lift home.
EVCC regulars in Nigel Kimber, Rob Amos, Lawrence Lee, Dave de Predo, along with Bikeforce duo Roy Clark and Guy Green were all on the start line.
We were also graced with the presence of Tom McDonough, a three time Northern Cycling Club Champion, Tour of Bright King of the Mountain (1995 & 2005), completed 21 Melbourne to Warrnambool Classics and is in red hot form after winning stage 4 at the Northern Combine 3 Day Tour last week.
A very fit looking Stuart Cameron in the Charter Mason colours was the 12th rider and he made his intentions early by attacking the bunch and looking to establish the early break. The most significant being a solo attack on the return leg of the first lap which he held for about a lap.
With Stuart back in the bunch, I was expecting a counter attack, however it never came. All the action seemed to be left for the 3rd lap where Guy and Roy took turns in attacking and counter attacking the bunch. Dave de Predo shouldered a lot of the work setting a good tempo up the climbs and ably supported by Rob Amos who likes going down hills fast.
My race ended on the hills towards the end of the third lap where I was unable to respond to one of Guy’s attacks. As it turned out it was an attack from Roy which decided the race where he got away and was soon joined by Stuart. Roy rounded the final bend on the front which set up Stuart up for well timed and very powerful sprint to record the win.
A late attack on the final set of climbs allowed Guy to get away to secure 3rd place.
Another 20 seconds later, Dave Holt wins the bunch sprint for 4th place
In the other races, Ray Cardosi demonstrated his sprint pedigree to win a tight B Grade finish.
A very fluro coordinated Rob Giles was top dog in a very big and strong C Grade race.
David Watts was best of the yellow caps.
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 needed to get out hard and pull back 4-5 minutes on the group ahead which included strong riders Wes Hurrey, Anthony Gulace, Trev Perry, Colin 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 our 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 we crossed paths with a huge group of riders who 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, encouraged on by some locals, 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.