It was a big weekend of bike racing. The winners from Saturday’s Christmas Handicap at Casey Fields were E-grade rider John Marx, who held off a storming field to win; Jean-Philippe Leclercq, who just failed to catch John but took out fastest time – and handicapper Peter Mackie. With five grades represented in the top 10, and the first eight place-getters within 50 metres at the finish, it could hardly have worked out better from the handicapper’s point of view. Nice one, Pete! Peter Gray’s selection for ‘Ride of the Day’ went to Steve Short for his gutsy solo attempt to catch the eventual winner.
Several club members were off in Victoria’s north-east last weekend, competing in the Tour of Bright. And on Sunday a gallant few took on Northern Cycling in the Dave Ryan Memorial criterium at Northern Boulevard. Reports, including Peter Gray’s pictorial report on the Christmas Handicap, are within.
Another big turnout to what must be our favourite circuit and some solid racing, Gerard Donnelly and his mates showing a-grade how it’s done, another very strong performance by the Celtic trio, Jean-Philippe showing the tenacity he is becoming known for by sticking with them and the few others who had the insight to go early. The flat circuit and near ideal conditions made for tough and close racing, you can read the story of how some of the grades faired in this week’s newsletter.
The testing course between Arthurs Creek and Strathewen was the setting for our weekly travails on Saturday. That last hill usually produces a result – but first you have to get there. Some got there; some didn’t. Read on to find out more.
It must be summer! The cycling action is building on road and track. Among other news this week – in case you missed it – Tour de France champion Chris Froome announced he would contest the 2016 Jayco Herald Sun Tour. Plans are again afoot for an Eastern Vets presence on Mt Buninyong in January for the Road National Championships, and Dunlop Road is back at the top of our program. To go by this week’s race reports, sprinters and breakaways ruled the roost on Saturday. Read on to find out more.
It was back to Casey Fields on Saturday for a typically windy afternoon’s racing. Unfortunately, the A grade race (and, less directly, all other grades) was affected by a crash, which resulted in injuries to several riders and damage to bikes.
The much anticipated Eastern Veterans/Pinnacle Cycles Team Time Trial took place last Saturday at Avenel, near Seymour. Melbourne’s rain skies gave way to sunshine and patchy cloud north of the Divide, and the event proceeded on dry roads and without a drop of rain. Someone must like us! To judge by all reports, riders universally appreciated all the work that went into staging the event, and most, if not all, would come back for another crack next year. Congratulations and thanks to all those who contributed on the day and in the lead-up, including Pinnacle Cycles and the other organisations and individuals who put up prizes. Read on for results, reports and photos.
There’s just one race report this week from Yarra Glen but it was a full afternoon of racing. Peter Gray also reports from Northern Cycling’s Jim Pritchard Memorial Handicap.
Meanwhile, last weekend in Adelaide, four Eastern members – Roy Clark, Anna Davis, Chris Ellenby and Ron Stranks – were collecting an impressive haul of medals at the Australian Veterans Championships. Ron and Anna made the podium in all three disciplines in their age group – time trial, road race and criterium – and Anna finished 1st in all three. Congratulations to all four riders!
Racing returned to Arthurs Creek last Saturday for the first time in quite a while. Arthurs Creek is an old favourite among the club’s road circuits that has suffered serious wear and tear to the road surface. A number of this week’s reports make appreciative mention of Nigel Kimber’s efforts to clearly mark damaged sections.
Elsewhere in the state, Eastern members were putting in some big efforts during the 100th Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic and the Bill Long Camperdown to Warrnambool Open Handicap (read the newsletter for images and reports).
Saturday afternoon at Yarra Glen was sunny and warm for the last in the winter series of A-grade teams races. Croydon Cycleworks riders took an emphatic clean sweep of the first five places and secured both the team and individual series trophies. In the other grades, the rigours of the course and the unaccustomed mugginess made for a race of attrition. Who would stay fresh the longest and prevail in the final push to the line? Read on to find out.