Category Archives: Northern Cycling
ANZAC day 1979, the Northern Vets Cycling Club conducted the inaugural handicap race in honour of the soldiers who went to fight overseas and made the ultimate sacrifice. The race was christened by Harry Sutherland, a World War II veteran, as the Benghazi Handicap to commemorate the 1941 withdrawal of Australian and British troops in Northern Africa from the pursuing German African Corps.
Lancefield, once gain, provided the picturesque backdrop for the race which was to be contested by more than 120 riders from all points of Victoria, split into 13 groups.
The 77km race was made up of a lap out to Newham followed by a larger loop around Carlsruhe. A pretty stiff breeze was coming in from the NorthWest which was going to increase the degree of difficulty on the outward leg along Three Chain Road, however could provide some assistance on the ride back thru the Newham-Rochford rollers to Lancefield.
The first bunch to head off, included Vince Sinni, the newly crowned president of Northern Cycling with a mark of 44 minutes. They were to be pursued by the 2nd limit off 35 minutes which included Eastern rider JC Williams who has been going very well of late.
The 24 minute bunch had a good mix of talent which included Dan Ives who was looking to back up after winning the Cec Crips handicap up at Maryborough over Easter.
Rob Amos wearing the lucky 13 was in the chopping block group which had a 3 minute head start on a very strong scratch group which included Guy Green and Roy Clark.
Peter Cooper’s 5:30 bunch also looked good on paper with many of his group in the top 10 of the Bradley Memorial Handicap from a couple of weeks ago.
Our 11 minute bunch got off to a good start, however we were a couple of guys down with Darryl O’Keefe missing the call up and a couple of no shows. It was up to Nick Oakley, Ash Yelland, John Clarkson, Bruce Will, Tony Michel and Michael Hartman to see if we could pull back 2:30 to catch the next group while trying to preserve a 3 minute buffer on our pursuers.
Ash was riding strongly and set a good tempo up the Dons Road drag on our way to Newham. However the tempo was not good for the group. Tony and I managed to stick with Ash and once over the top of the deceptive bump we had opened up a 100M gap. Do we sit up and wait? Do we carry on?
We decided to keep going. Whether it was an act of bravery or treachery would be determined based on whether we make the catch rather than being caught. We did pick up a few riders along the way, however, in the end we were no contest to the combined 5:30 and 8:00 bunch who reeled us in at around the 40km mark.
Geoff Marley from Hume Vets came storming thru, big smile on his face, showing that he still had plenty in the tank. He was soon followed by a steam train of what appeared to be a full contingent of the 5:30 and 8 minute groups who were motoring. It was also good to see Bruce Will was able to hook on the back and rejoin the battle.
I was looking for some recovery time after our little failed adventure, however riding in the gutter as we headed out to Carlsruhe was not much fun and therefore it was much wiser & safer to get back into rotation. The entire bunch work incredibly and by the 60km mark (I think it was) we managed to pull in another largish group and caught site of the lead car.
I was feeling ok, however I was still very conscious of getting up & over the Rochford hill. As we headed through the Newham rollers, I tried to keep near the front to make sure I didn’t get left behind. Fraser Short and the pocket rocket Matthew Grealy were riding the hills well and Paul Ranson and Mark O’Meara looked very comfortable and ready to pounce at any time.
Almost every race I have done on the Lancefield circuit, the winning move is on the Rochford Hill. I snuck in behind strongman Phil Bramich and was happy to sit 2nd wheel. However Fraser was keen to keep the pace up to see if we could spread the bunch out a bit. David Phillips also responded and while it was not a race winning move, I was very happy to be at the pointy end.
Phil and David flew down the back of the Rochford Hill & I was happily ensconced third wheel pretty much riding on the white line. The follow car was on the blower warning of DQs for who dared to cross the white line. This however didn’t stop a couple of lads performing a death-defying overtaking move down the right side of the road and quickly opening up a gap.
David Phillips did a mighty job to reduce the advantage and we turned in the McMasters Lane finish straight 5th and 6th wheel respectively. The run for the line was a little hectic with David cramping up and almost grinding to a halt. I managed to get around him but didn’t have the legs to get near Paul Ranson who got the close win from Tony Michel and David Mann.
Normally you would pencil Leigh Egan’s name down for the winning the fastest time, however his run was broken through a puncture which left it to Darren Roberts to take the closely contested sprint for the line from Andrew Pascoe and Neville Laffy.
Of the 9 women racing, Leigh-Anne Dynon off 16 minutes won the 1st un-place female prize.
The Northern Cycling team put on an impressive post race feast where a minute’s silence was recognised in honour of the ANZACs along with some of our members who have recently passed away. It was also quite moving to be told that Harry Sutherland, the man responsible for giving this race a name, passed way 5 days earlier.
Check out Harry on the following SBS article on the Rats of Tobruk.
SUTHERLAND. – Harry Ross. 25.12.1919 – 21.4.2013 Your nickname was “The Bear” but you were always Dad to me. Miss and love you forever – The Young Bloke.
|1st||Paul Ranson||Goulburn Valley||5:30 minutes|
|2nd||Anthony Michel||Goulburn Valley||11:00 minutes|
|3rd||David Mann||Hume||5:30 minutes|
|4th||David Anderson||Northern||11:00 minutes|
|5th||David Phillips||Eastern||5:30 minutes|
|6th||Mark O’Meara||Goulburn Valley||5:30 minutes|
|7th||Mathew Grealy||Central Victorian||5:30 minutes|
|8th||Jason Sherlock||Goulburn Valley||8:00 minutes|
|9th||Peter Cooper||Northern||5:30 minutes|
|10th||Bruce Will||Eastern||11:00 minutes|
Winners Time 1:54:30 – an average speed 39.82 kph
Fastest Time 1:50:01 – an average speed 41.34 kph
Congratulations to Andrew Goodwin from Geelong who won the Northern Cycling’s Bradley Family Memorial Handicap. Andrew was part of the very strong 10 man 3rd scratch group which handled the wind and hills over 2 laps of the Lancefield-Cobaw-Newham-Rochford-Lancefield with aplomb to deservedly take out the majority of the prizes on offer for the day.
After a good warm up with Trev Coulter, I was feeling good and pretty confident. I have done well on this course and I was channelling every positive thought I could muster. Trev on the other hand was complaining about lack of sleep, too much red wine last night, under trained and over weight.
I was part of the 9 minute bunch which was made up of Daryl Beovich, Pat Coe, Richard Taube, the big colourful Darryl O’Keefe, Callum Gough my break away companion from Dunlop Rd a couple of weeks ago and the Italian stallions Marco Bramucci, Maurice Rizzo and Emilio Romano. On paper we looked like we had a good chance of getting up.
There was a pretty stiff north westerly breeze coming in which meant the leg out to Cobaw along 3 Chains Rd was into a head wind. So while the limit riders of Charmion Phillips and Coral Pollard may have had a 48minute head start, they were going to have to work very hard to be able to stay away from the chasing packs.
Our 9 minute group got away and it took us a bit of time before we mastered rolling turns up the road so that we swapped off into the wind. There were gaps everywhere, people were surging, missing turns and unfortunately we lost Daryl Beovich within the first 5 minutes.
At around the 15 minute mark, the 2nd scratch group made up of Trev Coulter, Chris “Nugget” Halley, Fraser Short, Tom McDonough, Dean Stewart, Andrew Goodwin, Phil Braemich & Michael Borowski had already caught us. The 3 minute gap had been reduced to 1 minute due to a typo on the start sheet. As mentioned above these lads were moving along pretty well and this put our little group under a bit of pressure.
The Dons Rd leg is always a good test and I managed to just hold as we crested the high point and needed to suck in some big ones as we headed down towards Newham. The rollers out from Newham was the next test and once again I just made it over by the skin of my teeth. I was about a bike length off the back and needed to close it down rather urgently otherwise the small gap was going to became a big one fast.
The rolling hills towards Rochford are generally to my liking. They are relatively short climbs and you get a pretty good run at them and before you know it they are behind you. It was here that we managed to catch the 11 minute bunch and Collin Morris & George Goodrope were able to jump on as the steam roller continued along.
The hill after Rochford is a different story. You can’t get a run at it and it just goes a bit too long. I tried to start near the front, spin an easier gear and roll back thru the bunch, however the pace was just a bit too much for me and I was soon out the back and the gap slowly but surely opened up.
I continued on to complete the first lap and briefly considered dropping out and just take a few pics. Still no sight of the chopping block or the scratch guys, so I kept it going. I managed to pick up one or two riders. I gave Dave McCormack a bit of a tow and then managed to pickup George Goodrope.
George is 64 years old and is a very good hill climber and can ride guys half his age off his wheel. I gave George a bit of a tow and he must have got his second wind because we started to pull turns. We made it Newham and we could see chopping block group less than a km behind. We decided to put in a effort to get over the first roller and see if we can hitch a ride as Paul Logan, Tony Zanella, Bill Gordin, Peter Cooper, David Phillips and Matthew McDonough came thru.
I hung in for the ride and did a token turn or two and got offloaded again on the Rochford Hill. George managed to stick in and it was with a little bit of sorrow that I said good bye to them.
A minute or two later David Tozer came storming through with Glenn O’Rourke glued to his wheel. They had managed to open up a 10 second gap to Kos Samraus and the surviving scratch riders. David went on to win fastest time with Glenn only a handful of seconds behind.
Up at the front of the race, as mentioned Andrew Goodwin went on to snare his first ever road race win, followed by Dean Stewart and Fraser Short. Callum Gough, not a noted sprinter hung in for 4th, Michael Boorowski 5th and Phil Braemich 6th. Tom McDonough beat Trev Coulter by a nose and Pat Coe came in 9th. There was a bit of a wait for 10th place as Tony Gherxi from the 36 minute group crossed the line almost 2 minutes later.
Amanda Hoskins (21 minutes) and Brian Long (36 minutes) made it a good day for the Geelong riders as they picked up first female and over 65 respectively.
A another top day of racing made possible by the Harry, Mary, Bruce, Paul, Ian and all the corner marshalls. Russell Bradley’s contribution to the prize pool is also very much appreciated as this race gets bigger and bigger each year.
I was in 2 minds about racing today. With the temperatures once again expected to get over 30° and with me battling a man cold my motivation was low. However, it only took a couple of emails from Trev the night before for me to snap out of it and agree to meet him at first light to ride out to Campbellfield and enjoy some of the best criterium racing going around with the Northern Cycling Club.
Trev’s form has been pretty solid however he has not been in the results for a while and therefore when given the opportunity to race with me in B Grade, he jumped at the chance. We were welcomed to the line with some very likely lads including recent A Grader Mark Micallef, strong man Phil Bramich, Emilio Romano, Trev Perry, Collin Morris and Dean Stewart who have all been in the results lately. Add to this list Phil Teahan returning from injury and on orders to take it easy.. right.. And then the Team Belle Lap riders of Jason Murphy & Richard Pigford were also keen to make a mark on the race.
First couple of laps were done at a solid pace set by Ash Yelland in Coburg colours. He looked pretty comfortable on the front and there were not many offers to give him a hand. The gloves were soon thrown off as ones and two tried valiantly to get off the front, however big Jason, Ash and a couple of others were keen to keep it all together.
I had a flirtatious crack off the front around 10 mins in and was soon joined by Trev who was keen to go on with it, however it was way too early and not the recommended treatment for the dreaded man cold. Sanity prevailed, although I sense some disappointment from Trev, and we waited to be reunited with the marauding bunch.
Phil Bramich had a good go at the 30 minute mark and the bunch let him dangle out there for a couple of laps. I decided to jump across & help him out with the hope to ride out the second half of the race as a duo. I got across nicely and we did roll turns and looked like the plan was falling into place. Emilio joined us a couple of laps later, but I assume he used up a lot of energy to bridge as he was not able to help out with the rotation.
With our little break imploding, the bunch soon had us back in the fold and it pretty much stayed that way up until 10 minutes to go when Dean Stewart & Phil Bramich (again..) made the Jayco winning move. The boys managed to hold a a 10-15 second gap which was not closing as the laps ticked down. I made a do or die move to bridge & sat in no mans land for 2 laps before hoisting the white flag.
Phil & Dean managed to stay away, with Phil getting the well deserved win. Very strong rider in deed.
38 riders fronted up to Campbellfield on a hot and windy morning to race 30 laps to decide the VVCC Criterium Champion for 2013. With the temperature expecting to hit the mid 30s and a strong northerly blowing down the (now) front straight it was sure to be a hot, fast and heart pumping racing.
Last years champion, Carey Hall was on the line looking to defend his title and hoping that it would once again come down to a bunch sprint. A sprint finish would also suit the likes of Graham Carlson, Mark Kinzett, big Steve Ross and the Phil “Cav” Cavaleri. However David Tozer, Kos Samarus, Glenn O’Rourke, Geordie Probert and an army of Bikeforce riders would be looking to bust it up a bit and take the spring out of the legs of the fast men.
The Bikeforce crew looked formidable with the Guy Green, Roy Clark, Bill Gordon, Heath Jackson, Chris “Nugget” Halley, Graham Carlson, Peter Bolton, Les Kennett all looking to control the race, by making sure they were represented in all the breaks, chased down any threats and set the tempo for the day.
After lap 2, David Tozer, Kos Samarus, Russell O’Toole and Guy Green got away and quickly built up a 60 second advantage which they managed to hold for the next 10 laps. With half a lap advantage & out of site of the chasing bunch there were thoughts from the side lines that it was all over.
The break continued to work, however it was getting tough going and the lead was getting wound back every lap with some big work from Michael Saunders, Mark Micallef and Emilio Romano to name a few.
After 18 laps, the boys appear to have hoisted the white flag. 15+ laps off the front in those hot and blustery conditions was a herculean effort and it was about to come to an end.
With the break almost brought back into the fold, Graham Carlson launched a counter attack with so much power it sounded like he was going to rip the bottom bracket from his bike. This did split the bunch again and Kos and Tozer managed to go with it and unbelievably Kos, not a known sprinter, had a red hot go at the 4th sprint & only narrowly fell short to Glen O’Rourke.
Guy Green took the final sprint form Steve Ross and Shane Kirby, however it was Dave Tozer who had enough points in the bank to claim the Sprint King prize.
A small group of 8 riders took the bell holding a slender lead from Tony Zanella and ferocious chasing bunch. The front group included bikeforce duo Roy Clark and Heath Jackson, with Heath looking to protect Roy on the final lap and deliver him to the line. Roy finished off well and won the close fought sprint from David Tozer and Heath holding on for 3rd. Glenn O’Rourke 4th, Geordie Probert 5th and Kos getting a well earned 6th place. Mark Micallef was out of the money, however he was pretty chuffed to be at the pointy end of the race and roll over in 7th.
Great effort by all riders in tough conditions. Racing for over 75mins and averaging 41.8km is an incredible effort.
See NC site for the full results
Other highlights from the days racing included.
Ian Buckingham solo victory in E Grade.
Some mighty work by Rob Devolle in D Grade which went un rewarded with Jeff Romans getting the win from big sprinter Brian Dew in 2nd.
George Goodrope coming 2nd in C Grade wearing a pair of runners behind Wayne Reid. George also raced the EVCC Omara 100 the day before and was the run away winner in C Grade. I assume he had his cycling shoes for those hills.
Dean Stewart is enjoying his cycling at the moment and came away with a classy win in B Grade. Break away companions Malcolm Wells 2nd, Colin held on for 3rd with Phil Bramich in 4th.
Good to see Damian Burke back racing after a bit of a spell. The fast twitch muscles went into overdrive as he held off the fast finishing Trev Perry for the 5th spot..
And Chooka selling eggs from the back of his ute. Got to love the Vets..
With temperatures tipped to hit 39°, the final race in 2012 for Northern Cycling was sure to be a hot one. While still quite pleasant at 8:30am for the start of our B Grade race, the northerly blowing down the Promains straight was building in intensity and going to make it difficult for a break to succeed.
We had 20 starters and the moves off the front pretty much started as soon as Harry completed his race brief. Fabulous Phil Teahan was one of the 3 early leaders and was setting himself up for another one of his typical aggressive races. There were a few other likely riders including Mark Micallef who had a win yesterday with FFC, Trev Perry who placed at this course with Coburg last week, the powerhouse Jason Murphy, who rode so well at East Trentham the other week, Collin Morris, Kim Marshall, Grant Edmonds, and of course Tom McDonough, the human camel, who has clocked up over 100 races this year and is riding very strong at the moment.
Plan A was to sit in for a while and possibly get into a late break. However around the 10 minute mark, I was undone with a moment of madness and thought I would mix it up a bit and attacked on the top bend. Phil Bramich, riding in the green and gold, latched to my wheel and we managed to catch the bunch napping and opened up a nice little gap. I knew riding 40plus minutes was going to be a big ask, and I was starting to feel it after 10. It was a relief when Ben Creber and Emilio Romano joined us and helped share the load.
The boys worked really well, however the conditions were starting to take their toll on me and it was at the 30 minute mark I ended up saying good bye to them and wishing them well.
I was finally brought back into the fold and rolled around with the bunch for another lap or 2 before pulling up stumps and heading for an early shower. After getting a lecture from Tom about wasting my $10, he bravely set about catching the 3 riders up the road. It appeared to be mission impossible, however tenacious Tom got the job done with a 3 lap effort.
The 4 rode out the final laps with Ben too good in the sprint, followed by Emilio and Tom just getting over Phil for 3rd. Jason also put in a super solo effort to just fall short of catching the break to be 5th over the line.
It was poignant that Ben dedicated the win to Dave Ryan who recently lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. Nice one Ben.
There were 24 riders in the A-Grade race which started just after 9:30. Bikeforce team dominated the numbers and it looked like it could well have been a training ride. Phil “Beatle” Smith was making his A Grade return for Team Adriatic after being on the sidelines with a knee injury and had the company of Phil Cavilleri and an incognito Carl Cubitt. Kos Samaras and Peter Ferrie were representing the newly renamed Kosdown Performance Cycling. Paul Logan and Tony Zanella had the matching Perfect Pilates gear on.
Other riders to watch included Simon Bone, who won the coveted VVCC Camperdown to Warrnambool handicap a couple of months ago, Stef Kirsch, Shane Kirby who won took the Super Series honours, a very fit looking Steve Ross, the tenacious Rob Amos, Michael Saunders, who is in red hot form and the ever dangerous Georgie Probert.
Kos was the first to make a move however Newton’s law of motion appeared to be in force as all acts of aggression were met with equal and opposite reactions from the Bikeforce boys. It looked like a break was not going to succeed unless there was a black and fleuro yellow kit represented in the contest.
As is turned out, new NVCC member, Brett Hickford was given the unenviable task of marking the aggressive Stef Kirsch who after 9 minutes into the race made his move. Stef and Brett built and consolidated a huge lead and as expected the remaining Bikeforce riders could sit in with the responsibility of the chase being squarely placed on the shoulders of the other teams and riders.
The chase group did have a crack, many in fact, however they were not able to make in roads into Stef and Brett’s lead. Rather the chase group split and attrition took it’s toll.
Stef powered on to take the win in an uncontested sprint with Brett rolling thru in 2nd. Geordie looked liked he had 3rd place wrapped up, however Darren Roberts (Bikeforce) took the honors with a well time lunge on the line.
Once again fabulous friendly racing by Northern Cycling Club thanks to the loyal and tireless volunteers who make it happen. Thanks again and see you all in 2013.