4.3 April 15 Bleat

Post date: Apr 16, 2013 8:39:48 AM

Hello Vets,

In this issue of The Bleat;

· Stromlo Forest Park – Focus Group

· Cycling trip to Pyrenees

· Racing this Week

· Race Reports

· Gunning 2 Day feedback

Please send me your contributions at: TheBleat@actvets.cc

Ian Morton.

Stromlo Forest Park – Focus Group

I will be participating in the Stromlo Forest Park Focus Group on Thursday 18th.

The following topics will be discussed;

The park's facilities

How people use the park

What is good about the park or not so good

Things that would make using the park even better

If you have any suggestions or feedback that you want to add into the discussion, please send me your suggestions before Thursday (mortoni@optusnet.com.au) .

Cycling trip to Pyrenees

You may have heard that so far about five ACT Vets members are heading to the Pyrenees in SW France this September and are looking for a few more to join and to share costs on a fully supported set of rides based out of a beautiful cycling lodge in the Ariege region, right in the heart of the Pyrenees, for 11 days then a 3 day mini-tour that includes the iconic passes and cols of the region.

Cost ~ $2,300, (land content) includes all accommodation, breakfasts, dinners with wine, road support, pick up and drop off in Toulouse. Road bikes can be hired from the lodge for 15 Euros/day or bring your own. What could be easier, what could be better value, could there be a better cycling holiday than this?

Peter Southgate peter.southgate@hotmail.com and Alex O'Shea alexoshea@hotmail.com will be holding an information drink and nibbles session on the trip Tuesday after work 6.00 pm April 30 at Peter's place at North Lyneham. If you would like to drop by, please send Peter or Alex a note and mark it in your diary - we would love to give you the details and to see you there.


Saturday, 20th April – Old Federal Highway Graded Scratch

Where: Old Federal Highway, Shingle Hill Way

When: Starting 1:30 pm

Sign on: 15 mins before scheduled start time wearing your registered number.

Race Description: Start - Shingle Hill Way – Lake George x 2 - Finish

Race Director: Graham Hendrie

Contact: Email hendrie@netspeed.com.au Ph 6288 1544

Help Needed on Sunday: Graham will need 3 turn marshals, Lead and Trail cars and finish line helpers. Anyone who is prepared to assist, please contact him before the weekend.


Old Federal Highway Handicap – 10th March

This was the inaugural year to conduct age-based criterium championships. The timing of the event wasn't ideal given that the road season has commenced but conditions on the day were great. Competing for a title against different rivals produced some interesting racing. The Race Committee welcomes feedback on Sunday's event.

First to set off were the 35-39 age group. This age group is a mixture of riders continuing their careers from their 20s and new comers to the sport. The result was a huge ability difference, and in this his case it was Scott Sparkman who pummelled his opposition for close to an hour. Wayne Pettett time trialed to second, while Ben Davis, after an early mechanical, ended up third.

The 60+ riders were in separate races but started together much to the surprise of the inattentive ones who never joined the bunch as Reinhard Mauch ground through the early laps. Within a two laps there were riders all over the course. Championship races are about racing, not a bunch ride with results, so it may have been a good lesson for some. In the elite bunch were Reinhard, President Diamond and Mark Taylor. The next group had Kev Hennesey, Gordon Mc Menemy, Richard Gorrell and Don DeSmet, who as leading the 65+ race by clinging to the young wippersnappers. The next group was Phil Anderson, Bobby Kent and Des Brown. After them were Rad Leovic in the M9 category and others. The positions stayed much the same into the last lap, and despite Reinhard leading the President and Mark into the straight, he was able to hold the President off with a powerhouse surge to the line, with Mark in third. Don by sticking with the second group claimed victory in the 65+ group while Des claimed the silver by following Bobby and Phil. Graham Hendrie got the bronze despite being in no man's land for the entire race.

The woman's race was a gold medal affair for all five starters. They politely swapped turns during the race and allowed Lee Sheather into the race as a non-competing guest. Young Belinda Chamberlain did most of the work in the latter stages--maybe this was a seniority thing? She also had the best fan club. Belinda's pace over the last lap was enough to break Rosemary Robinson but Ally Roche, Linda Stals and Barb Bayliss stuck to Belinda like glue. In the home straight Ally did a repeat of her early season victory and came tearing up the hill to gap the bunch and win. Linda then followed with Belinda and Barb. The difference in ages resulted in each finisher getting a gold medal.

The men's 45-49 race featured A grade breakaway specialist Paul Angelatos, a few of his A grade colleagues, Steven Dean and new member Simeon Gilding. At 8 minutes into the race Paul did the inevitable and gapped the rest with a charge up the home straight. Al Bontjer, Tom Hartley and Roger Northcote then had to decide how to split two medals between three as Steve and Simeon were well off the back by this stage. Soon after, Al thought he'd ride across, got half way then thought better of it and returned to Roger and Tom. Paul was on the verge of lapping the chasers when the bell rang and powered on to an unchallenged victory. Roger went early in the back straight taking the pressure off Tom who'd been on the front for ages. Al was the first to attack in the home straight and held off a fast finishing Tom. Roger came away with fourth.

The men's 55-59 race was A grader Mark Gillett's to lose. An attack after nine minutes by Mark whittled the field down to the three medalists as Michael Reppion and Dale Kleeman, both fresh off good Gunning form, hung on grimly. Fast forward to the last lap and in the home stretch Dale wound up his steel Olmo to take the lead while his family on the finish line cheered on. Unfortunately, Mark and Michael had his measure, mowing him down before the line to take first and second, respectively.

The men's 40-44 featured a range of riders but a Paul was going to be the likely victor. A number of attacks by Paul Conner and Rohan Verco at the 12 minute mark split the field into two groups of three and then the rest. Up front were Paul, Rohan and Paul Scherl, while Jason Parkes, Mark back-from- an-overseas posting Vroomans and Jim Davey were in the chasing group. The horsepower difference between the two groups was stark but with such a long way to go there was potential for the order to change. With 15 minutes remaining suddenly Rohan had left the fold, leaving the two Pauls to battle it out. I went for a warm up so can only assume that Paul Conner won, with Rohan hanging on for third, and according to the results that's how it ended up. Jim Davey won the bunch sprint of the second group.

The men's 50-54 field faced windless conditions and was a close contest among A, B and C graders not willing to put it on line until the very end. Special mention goes to Ian Morton from F grade who hung on for 21 minutes against his higher graded rivals. Most breaks were pounced on in the first few metres so it can't have been much of a spectacle. Rob Bleeker minus a tandem had a few probing surges, as did new A grader Dave McCook. Robert Langridge got away for over half lap but abandoned the idea when it was obvious no one was going to try and bridge the gap. Towards the end Michael McGurgan kept churning out the laps on the front. As the bell sounded, Dave made a charge but was immediately nabbed by the bunch. Half was down the back straight Chris Nolan pushed the pace up to 56km/h but by Collarbone Conner was losing momentum. This provided the opportunity for Robert to lead the bunch into the final straight but he was no match for a fast finishing Rob Bleeker who held off Bryan Holloway.

Thanks to James Jordan for refereeing with help from Henry Beaverstock and Robert Langridge.

Gunning 2 Day – a view from G Grade

Have been a member of the ACT Vets for about 18 months and have enjoyed the few races I have had with you. Gunning 2-day topped it off. Great racing, great weather and very good organization. I was very happy with my result up against 4 blokes. (where are the women?)

I am also a member of the Illawarra club that were competing in the Southern District Club Championships (the mob going the other way) and it was nice of them to yell “come on Lynne”as it was a bit tough in the wind coming back. I would have had to ride B grade in that race as there are not a lot of women competing. I did it last year, but in future I would prefer the Gunning 2-day even though I was completely “knackered” when I finished on Sunday, but so pleased that I did finish.

Thought that I would also tell you that I helped fly the flag for ACT Vets along with 2 male riders at the recent South Pacific Vets Championships in Maryborough at Easter. Came away with 3 firsts and a second from 4 events. Hopefully I will get to Canberra a few times this season as the racing is a lot stronger than here.

I also like reading your in depth reports. Hope to see you soon,

Lynne McGregor.

Gunning 2 Day – a view from C Grade

Before: nervous, hopeful, optimistic. I hadn't ridden with these guys before, nor ever seen the course. Thinking through tactics and outcomes.

The players: 14 in all. Includes my brother in law TB, who warned me about a few, including king sprinter AB, clever rider Double A, TT specialist OT, dark horse DK, and the country hard man Rob.

Saturday: Prologue - 4k ITT

Jumped out of the blocks into the downhill. Big gear, working the bike. Looking down, I saw 54kmh. OK. Around the bend and the wind hit. Feeling the effort, and needing a target, I focused on the previous starter AB, a few hundred metres ahead. Onto the flats and starting to flag, then into the "hill". Now I had to pay for what I realised had been over-exuberance. Forcing myself to chase, but losing that battle, I limped to the line. "Only 4k" - hah! Next time, next time....26 seconds down and in 11th place. OT in the lead and 5 riders within 7 seconds, including Rob, AB, Double A, DK. Brother in law TB a few seconds back in 7th.

Saturday: Stage 1 - 48k graded scratch, out and back

This was more my style. I feel better when I’ve got my competitors close by. Hitting the range after about 6k, we started to work. Watching, marking, careful. Getting a handle on who was strongest. Rob, probably. Still together, waiting for the interim sprint. There it is - top of this little climb. I'm in second wheel when two come around on the right. I go left and pass one or two, then decide I can't win, so ease off a little. 4th over the top; it's ok for a first effort.

Down the other side and out to the turn. Watching the side wind on the flat, but no-one really forcing the pace. Incipient cramping; trying to contain it. Then coming back to the sprint hill again, bang! It hit me hard. Had to ease off, while they rode on. Struggled to the top with a couple of hundred metres gap.

14k back now, mostly downhill with a tail wind. I decide to chase hard. Down low, my chin nearly on the speedo. Swooping around bends, the bunch in sight for k after k. Feeling good again, but not good enough, and slowly losing ground. The final climb pronounced judgement as my energy waned. One minute 42 down at the end; little chance of a podium now. In 11th place still. AB on top, TB up to 5th 12 seconds back. Rob and Double A in the top 5 with Axel.

Sunday: Stage 3 - 100k graded scratch (2 laps)

Now I feel more confident. I know the course, the riders. Goal is clear - stage win, and help TB where I can. My strategy - let the GC contenders do the work.

Out to the beginning of the range and Rob is trying it on. Every rise brings another assault. AB follows closely, protecting his first place, and I chew the stem to keep up. By the beginning of the real climbing, a few have dropped off. We crest together with another sprint at the top, and descend the other side with little drama except a short-lived attack by DK. Turning around, we feel a stronger wind than the previous day, and take it easy til we reach the hills. Back to the start again with the 14 whittled to 10, and swinging around the neutral turn, we take fresh bottles and enjoy the downhill while talking bull and eating.

This second time up the range it's not so active, with everyone seemingly cautious and waiting. Around 70k in and we approach the end turn for the last time, rounding once more into the headwind for the ride home. As we roll along the flat, the games start in earnest. It seems no-one wants to work, and we slow to bike path pace, with TB on the front unable to persuade an apparently unwilling Double A to do even a gentle turn into the wind.

Then Rob makes a move. Not dramatic, just gradually cruising away. What do the other GC contenders do? This is what they do - nothing, except watch. I say to Double A, "you'll never see him again", in an endeavour to get someone to chase. At that stage, it would have been easy. After a bit, DK sets off too, with a little more gusto. Now there are two GC candidates away, but very much in sight. Still the others watch and wait, ambling along.

As we reach the hills for the last time, the pace rises somewhat. Suddenly, Double A yells and swings off with severe cramp. He's gone. Perhaps that's why he wouldn't chase earlier. With another punctured along the way, the group is down to 6, with Rob and DK, separately, off the front. TB is with us and looking pretty good.

I go to the front up the hills to do my bit. I'm cramping now too, in the upper legs today. At least it's a change from yesterday when it was the calves. I decide the front is the best place to be when cramping. I can go fast enough that no-one comes around, but slow enough to give myself recovery time.

As we reach the crest, I decide something has to change. Rob and DK are well ahead now and out of sight around the bends. There's only 14k of mostly downhill left, although with a headwind. So I put the gas on, and we finally get going, taking turns and chasing. This is more like it. Somewhere along the way I realise that OT is no longer there, so we are a bunch of 5, of whom at least 3 must consider themselves GC candidates if we can catch the two breakaways.

Now the road is straighter we can see DK ahead, his broad back and strong legs committed to the task of slogging away towards the final climb. Slowly, slowly, we gain ground, and optimism rises. To his credit, he holds off to the final climb, only a couple of k from the finish.

Rob though is further ahead still. He has pulled a mighty solo effort for the large part of the 24k return leg. I am not sure I can even see him, or at least, distinguish him from some other grade riders out ahead. So we reach the final short climb and start up the hill. It's obvious that Rob has won and we have failed. The 5 of us finish close together to claim the 2nd to 6th places, with TB taking the uphill sprint for 2nd place, and valiant DK only just on our tails. There is a gap of a little over a minute from 1st to 7th, but then it spreads out, with 3 DNF. I am in 6th on the stage and 7th overall. TB claims 3rd, lifting him into 3rd overall, behind AB in 2nd and Rob a convincing winner.

Summary - a great two days racing and learning. Very well organised by the volunteers, with times posted within 20 minutes of the finish and clear marshalling and communication. Thank you to the crew and to all the riders who raced with me in C grade. Your friendly welcome and generous competitive spirit was much appreciated.

Report courtesy of Marcus Judge