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Mary Tams Memorial Handicap Results

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A big thank you to Eureka C.C for supporting our Mary Tams Memorial Handicap and well done to everyone who braved the cold windy conditions on a tough course at East Trentham.
Also big shout out to Eureka V.P Dean Wells as per usual did a great summary of the race.
Also a black BBB jacket was left in Bruce Logan boot today after racing, owner of the jacket can pick it up off Bruce at National Blvd next Sunday.
Eureka Cycling members travelled to East Trentham to contest the Mary Tams Memorial Handicap on Sunday 15th May. Host club – Northern Cycling – provided 24* of the day’s competitors, with a dozen Eureka riders rounding out the thirty six starters.
(*it’s difficult to tell which riders come from which clubs under the AusCycling system).
Conditions were overcast at the start of the 55 kilometre race, with the wind gradually increasing throughout the event and becoming quite gusty – perfect for the Eureka contingent, who race around the Waubra wind farm every other week.
The parcours for the East Trentham circuit is unique in that riders are either climbing or, descending for almost the entire 11 kilometres. The wind direction would assist the athletes on the longest and steepest climb of the day, which enabled better hill climbers to ascend even faster…
The limit group consisted of Northern riders, with Vince Sinni, Robert Castellani, Lindsay Smyrk and Geoff Forbes setting off at 10.00am and with a 25 minute gap on the Scratch group.
Setting off at 19 minutes was another quartet – Mick Skerritt, Elizabeth Lacey, Roger McMillan (Eureka), as well as Amy Benham who is a member at both Northern and Eureka… and probably a few other clubs, because that’s how Amy rolls!
The largest group of the day consisted of eight riders setting off at 12 minutes. Northern riders Dale Clune, George Goodrope, Richard McCorkell, Steven Toogood and Noel Said were joined by Eureka’s Peter Lamb, Danny Whelan and Steve Linane.
The 10 minute group had seven riders, with Andrew Wilson flying the flag for Eureka. The Northern contingent included Ross Clark, Shane Grigg, Michael Hartman, Nick Nomikos, John Short and Tom McDonough.
Five riders set off at 7 minutes 30 seconds with Northern riders Shaun Francis and Mark Edele joined by Eureka’s Rick Calvert, Tony Mirabella and Dean Wells.
Second Scratch saw Northern’s Trevor Coulter, Wayne Hildred and John Mogavero welcome Jason Hendry and Greg Ley into the fold as they rode off at 4 minutes 30 seconds.
Limit was on the Pearsons Road climb (home straight) for the first of five ascents before the Starter sent Scratch on their way. Scratch was seven men strong with Nick Locandro and Shane Clarke representing Eureka and the “home team” represented by Alan Crawford, Shayne Kirby, David Owen, Emilio Romano and Darren Roberts.
The strong and gusty wind played havoc with each group from the very start. This is a fast circuit and the first few kilometres are downhill, with many riders exceeding 60 kilometres on some sections. Such a start does not lend itself to bunches finding their rhythm quickly. The crosswinds and undulating parcours soon saw riders being ejected out of each group and had many a rider wondering how they would complete five laps – such is bicycle racing.
The middle of the field was where all the action was happening, with the 7m30s group passing dropped riders and hauling in the 10 minute group before halfway in the race. Riders from each bunch would hang on for a short while before the next rise or crosswind section blew them away. At this stage it was just the three Eureka riders powering along – Calvert, Mirabella and Wells – with a cameo by former Northern Club Champion Tom McDonough providing some welcome relief.
Second Scratch were bearing down on the 7m30s group until a red flag stopped them in their tracks and provided a few hundred metres breathing space for Mirabella and Co.
By the end of lap three, less than 4 kilometres separated the race leaders from the rampaging Scratch bunch.
Lap number four and the field continues to compress. With 16 kilometres remaining, the 12 minute group is right on the heels of the race leaders as they turn onto Kyneton-Trentham Road. Mirabella and Co. (including McDonough) is closing fast and soon link up – forming a ten rider strong peloton.
Just a few hundred metres behind, Scratch catch the remnants of Second Scratch. Clarke launches off the front and opens a gap. Locandro takes off in pursuit and bridges the gap in mere moments.
The ensuing chase takes it’s toll, casting riders astern. Hendry, Ley, Coulter and two of the Northern Scratch riders try to limit their losses…
The remaining Limit riders have been caught by the peloton as they turn onto Pearsons Road for the second last ascent. Calvert and Wells weave their way to the front of the pack, pause momentarily for Mirabella to join them, then turn the screws and leave the field in their wake.
Over the top, Wells and Mirabella keep driving. A Northern rider hangs on, but they’ve lost Calvert. The Northern rider confirms they have the race lead. Heads down, no time to rest!
Clarke and Locandro pass by rider after rider as they chase down Mirabella and Co. The gap slowly closes and with 6 kilometres remaining they assume the race lead.
Wells hangs on the longest, before being left in no-man’s land as Locandro and Clarke power away.
Hendry and Co. (including Mirabella) catch and pass Wells before the second last corner where yet another red flag is being shown to the riders. Some confusion sees the two Scratch riders in this group continue through the intersection, whilst the other riders all come to a complete stop. Finally the green is given and the chase resumes – alas Clarke and Locandro are out of sight.
The race leaders are Eureka riders Shane Clarke and Nick Locandro. Both have been in scintillating form and it’s carried through to today. They swing onto the home straight and make the final climb, matching each other on the ascent, they crest together and charge toward the finish line…
Coulter leads Hendry, Ley, Wells and Mirabella onto the climb. Wells uses the momentum to sweep to the front and try to stretch them out. Coulter holds the wheel with Mirabella and Hendry waiting in the wings. Over the top and Wells keeps driving the pace. Third place on the pdoium awaits one of them…
*the other two Scratch riders (behind Clarke and Locandro) are destined to be disqualified for riding through the red flag.
Clarke and Locandro have 200 metres to go. The pace is high and Clarke hits out first, with Locandro waiting, then launching in the last fifty metres and taking the victory.
Further back down the road the pace is high with Coulter hitting out first, Mirabella responds and quickly surges ahead. Hendry winds up and his chain slips at the crucial time.
Mirabella a clear third, ahead of Coulter, then Wells, Hendry and Ley…
Many thanks to the race officials and volunteers for standing out in the cold and windy conditions to allow us to ride bicycles, also to Northern Cycling for inviting us to take part in this special race in honour of Mary.
Mary Tams Memorial Handicap (55 km) results:
1st – Nick Locandro (Scratch), Eureka
2nd – Shane Clarke (Scratch), Eureka
3rd – Tony Mirabella (7m 30s), Eureka
4th – Trevor Coulter (4m 30s), Northern
5th – Dean Wells (7m 30s), Eureka
6th – Jason Hendry (4m 30s), Eureka
7th – Greg Ley (4m 30s), Eureka
Fastest Time – Nick Locandro (Scratch), Eureka, in 1h 23m, ave. 39.5 Kph