22nd March 2015
VLCC, Founders Day Graded Scratch Race
Simon Wong and Steve Hampton (pilot)
The 54km Founders Day Graded Scratch race involved nine laps of the Mersey Road circuit at Outer Harbour. This race marked the second appearance of stoker Simon Wong and his pilot Steve Hampton lining up against a field of able bodied cyclists in B Grade, a promotion from C grade in which they raced last time.
It was a field of 16 competitors on a fine day; Simon/Steve were the only tandem team in the race. Simon Cooper initiated an attack right from the starting line. There were ongoing attacks and counter attacks so there were frequent fast surges throughout the race. At about the mid-point of the race, Simon/Steve and Russell Hodson made an attempt at breaking away but only lasted a few km before being shut down. With about 3 laps to go, Simon Cooper and Paul Heaft had a 100m break on the main group when James Bodroghy powered across. Simon/Steve made a couple of serious attempts to leave the peloton to catch the leaders but were unable to make any significant gains. Turning into the head wind at the start of the last lap, Steve saw the gap had narrowed a little between the main bunch and the leaders, and made a desperate effort to leave the main bunch and catch the leaders. According to Simon’s Runkeeper app data, they did a km at 45.7kph then followed by another km at 49.2kph to bridge the gap. Simon/Steve then worked with the leading bunch to try and keep their distance from the pursuing group. With less than a km before the finishing line, Simon was itching to launch into a sprint but Steve kept saying “back off a little”. With about 400m to go, Simon Cooper launched into his final attack and everyone went with him. Simon/Steve gave it everything they had and chased him down getting to the front with about 200m to go. They managed to hang on to win by 3/10th of a second from James Bodroghy.
5th April 2015
SDVLCC KOM Series Race One
The first race of the KOM Southern Vets Series saw an early KOM up Wickam’s Hill. Having two Veitches in the same grade means there is a race within the race. Simon Veitch has picked his form back up to the point where he has been re-promoted to Victoria’s grade – never any threat of team collusion when these two race! Rumour has it that Victoria has been generally insufferable in a year-long dominant streak over her poor husband. They know each other’s weaknesses. Simon is slower to warm up, while Victoria has been decidedly off key for a few weeks, seemingly at the mercy of a low grade virus – the perfect recipe for a Veitch blood bath.
The Veitches both featured at the front of the climb – Simon launching repeated attacks – Victoria nailing him, then setting a strong tempo. The ruffled feathers had somewhat settled by the end of the climb, much to the relief of the rest of the field. The pace of the race remained high across the top of the Range, and then disaster struck. A plastic chain guard had peeled off Simon’s bike and started to run through the chain – he had to stop to pull it out or risk an unsafe situation. The group was called to slow as it was expected that the situation would be a quick fix, however, one rider not having realised the situation and seeing two riders off the back then launched an attack. Victoria was genuinely torn as to what to do – wait for the husband and have both Euride riders out of the race, or follow the departing peloton and reassess from there. Victoria launched after the bunch and sat at the back, not contributing to the pace and keeping an eye out for pursuit.
Simon had a major advantage in that Mike Elleway was with him, so they had a fighting chance of crossing the gap, but the bunch were working hard to nullify the pursuit. Within a few minutes Victoria could see Simon and Mike slowly pulling the gap back. The virus must have melted Victoria’s brain – instead of digging in the knife and spurring the group into renewed action to drop the two riders, Victoria drifted off the back a full 100 metres, waited for Simon and Mike to catch up, and completed the final turn to bring the trio across the final gap to the group.
The rest of the race was relatively unremarkable. Simon launching his usual silly attacks prior to the print point, inevitably exhausting his ability to factor in the finish, while his enormously better looking, smarter and wilier other half sat in and prepared. Victoria maintained contact with the sprinters to finish within the bunch – ensuring a happy Veitch household with the husband safely installed off the back of the bunch. Happy days!
The squad spent 12 very focused weeks preparing for the Nationals and our preparations were not without their ups and downs. We were privileged to have the support of so many fabulous pilots who were pitching in to make sure our vision impaired (VI) riders were on the road between three and four times per week. Our pilot support base is the most significant key to our success, and we are extremely grateful to have them helping us.
We also had our most significant training accident since the beginning of the program. One of our VI athletes fractured a cheek bone and eye socket and underwent two reconstructive surgeries following a training crash. Unfortunately the accident brought an end to his Nationals campaign.
We couldn’t have hoped for better results at the Nationals. The team looked truly amazing. Our kit in high numbers made a significant impact, with some people amazed to see our squad having expanded from the previous year. We continue to be the only para team run as a private enterprise.
The girls led the way, with Elizabeth D’sylva Clark and pilot Victoria Veitch taking out the bronze medal in the Time Trial. They backed up on the second day to take the silver medal in the 85km road race. It was a lesson in fortitude for Elizabeth, who was vomiting during the second of four laps. She held herself together and kept focusing on her technique as the two girls kept the pace on to hold off the bronze medallists.
The major excitement was the prestigious men’s 105km road race. The defending champions had not been beaten on home soil for five years, and have world cup titles and world records to their credit. But the Euride Mercedes-Benz Adelaide team have changed the landscape of tandem racing. The pairings of Kieran Modra/David Parsons and Damien Williams/Mike Hoile were able to control the race. An extraordinary lead out by Damien and Mike was finished off in a sprint to the line by Kieran and David who took gold over their rivals by half a bike length. Damien and Mike finished strong to claim bronze. Congratulations also go to our other participants Neil Massey with Mat Miller, Beau Wotton with Paul Murray, Keiran Murphy with Tristan Ferguson and Simon Wong with Simon Veitch.
World Para Cycling Track Championships 2014
Kieran Modra and his track pilot Jason Niblett travelled to Mexico for the World Para Cycling Track Championships. Kieran has again done his county proud by winning two silver medals – in the 1km Time Trial and the Sprint. Sounds like that sprint came in handy for the National road race!
By Simon Veitch
The Southern Vets host this 5 race series each year and it is named in honor of club member the late Ron Williams. Each race contains a King of the Mountain point and points are accumulated over the series to give an overall King of the Mountain in each grade.
I started the race a bit nervous about my form as my last two races have been very ordinary but with the feeling I was coming good. The race started in McLaren Flat and headed towards Kangarilla for a few k’s before turning right onto Wickhams Hills and our KOM point. The climb is 3.1 km long with an average 7 % gradient so it is a good test. I was feeling pretty good at the start so I decided to go with my usual subtle tactical approach to a climb, smack it right from the bottom and hope I don’t burn out before the top. Wickham’s starts with its steepest section at the bottom so I rode a fast tempo, out of the saddle for the first 400m, dropping about half the field. Dave Anderson then took over pacing duties and I sat in until the first hairpin. Here the gradient eases a bit and I put it in the big ring and attacked again for about 300m. When I looked around a gap had been opened and it was time to see if I could hold to the top. I was maintaining a good tempo at around 19km/hr and the gap held to the top.
I recovered a bit at the top and waited to see who would join me. Aaron Drogemuller was with me pretty soon and we started working together to stay away from the rest. We maintained a good tempo across The Range and up the Meadows road. We missed the turnoff unfortunately and had to turn around, losing about 30 seconds but we still couldn’t see any pursuers so seemed to be going well. We went across Peters Creek Rd and onto the road back to McLaren Vale. At this turn we could see about 6 chasing us and had a quick chat about whether to sit up or keep going. We decided to keep going, but not full beans, and see what happened. The group caught us as we went through town, comprising team mate Greg Chivers, Dave Cox, Richard Mc Kenzie, Paz Russo, Dave Anderson and Stan Bastiras, so we were 8. We turned onto the climb up Chapman’s Rd at a good pace. I sat in the wheel until about 2/3 way up and the pace started to drop so I accelerated to try to thin the group out. Got a bit of a gap but the others were all together so I waited.
We turned onto Mc Murties Road and I am sure it is the only time I have raced down this road and it not be a strong headwind. There was a series of attacks, first Aaron, then Greg, then Stan, all chased down particularly by Dave who was working hard as usual. As we got to the 750m mark to go we were all back together, the pace slowed and I was in third wheel. The attacks and chases had taken a lot of energy from the group and everyone seemed happy to get some recovery so I figured this was my time and I launched an attack with about 600m to go. Looked around and I had a good gap, really hadn’t expected that so it was head down and try to hang on. Turned onto Hunt Rd and about 300m to go and the gap was holding. I crossed the line about 100m in the lead, pretty pleased with my mornings work. Aaron came in second, well deserved after all his work in the breakaway and The Chiv in third, proving non sprinters can sprint!
The weather gods decided to give us a break for the final race with a warm night to race and a bit of breeze to make it interesting.The thought was that the Corsa team (leading team and yellow jersey) would be happy to cover any moves from BE’s Davies to protect the jersey and well that sure did not happen.
Right from the gun they were on the attack with Nashie going first stirring things up and then McLoughlin got into the action. Each time we had a rider with them so the boys were playing their part and it was not long before 6 riders went clear before the first preme with Dave Cullen being in this group.Dave scored a 2nd in both premes to help his overall position in the sprint points and with Davies back in the peleton scoring no points, Dave may have even taken the jersey by one point! Will be interesting to see when the points are updated!
Anyway the 6 riders in the break did a great job to work well together and hold off the peleton as the BE boys tryed way too late to pull them back in. Dave did a great job to place 3rd at the finish to cap off a great season for him and if he was not enjoying himself over xmas on the Yorke Peninsula with his family living the life, who knows what he could have done!
Dave Millward, Kym Clark and BB did a good job back in the bunch riding strong and made sure they were there at the finish.The team will finished 3rd for the season and Dave Cullen took out the sprint Jersey, great effort from a man who claims not to know how to sprint ! A great result for a season that was a bit disjointed at times.
I would to thank Dave Cullen, Dave Millward, Shane Gill, Kym Clark and Greg Chivers for their efforts this season and their approach to the demands of team racing at this level.
Also thanks to our main sponsors Euride and Mercedes- Benz Adelaide plus Clipsal, Huon Salmon, Ozone Cleaning and Edwina Reid Neurophysiotherepy for their help.
Monday night saw the penultimate round for us old fellows and looking at the forecast for next Wednesday, will be the last.The evening brought a very hot starting temp around the 38-39 mark and everyone was looking weary even before the start. Our main goal was to be in any move but also be ready for a late attack as the field would be suffering towards the latter part due to the heat.
The first 10 minutes saw the usual strong men try their hand and every time Dave C, Dave M or BB were there covering the moves but all was together for the first preme.Dave C gained some more points with 4th and the bunch was strung out some going into the back straight so BB made a move up the right to test the waters and going into the finish straight realised that he was on his own.Its all or nothing when a gap opens up so quick and that is just what happened. The Corsa and BE boys were watching each other and BB was forging away thinking to himself…what the bloody hell am I doing?
For a number of laps the gap grew and Kym C was giving time gaps from the sidelines and then informed BB that 2 riders were coming across just before the 2nd preme. Ellerway and Bastiras, both from the second BE team made contact providing some relief for BB and this allowed the gap to widen further. For the 2nd preme BB rolled through in 1st and Dave C managed another 4th back in the bunch for some more points. It even looked like we would make contact with the bunch at one point but they managed to increase their pace to stay clear.Coming into the final 2 laps BB was keeping a close watch for a one-two from the team mates but Bastiras was happy to stay on the front leading into the finish straight and then it was a kick for the line with BB getting the jump on Ellerway and holding on for the win!
Dave C and Dave M finished in the bunch just outside the top 10.As said earlier this could be the last race for the series and if so will see the team finish in 3rd overall, BB move up to 4th in the individual and Dave C move to 3rd in the sprint premes.
Lets see what the weather gods bring!
Report by Simon Veitch
For today’s race the KOM point was the top of Wickhams Hill only about 6km into the race. The pace was sedate in the run to the turn onto the climb, which suited me fine as a chance to get into the ride as my warm up had felt a bit lethargic. In the run up to the climb I had considered my strategy and briefly thought about using a more conservative strategy for the climb but let’s face it subtlety is not my strong point so instead I attacked as soon as we turned onto Wickhams road and went as hard as I could for the whole climb. At the top I had a pretty good gap over two chasers with another guy just behind them, the other 3 in the field where not to be seen.
At the top I thought briefly about waiting for the chasers before putting my head down and making them chase me with the vain hope that they would not organise a chase and glory could be mine. Optimistic huh! Across the top of The Range and down Pottery Rd I could not see any pursuers and hope surged a bit. A couple of K’s along the road to Meadows I spotted a couple of guys chasing me and with a pretty stiff headwind I decided to back off and join them. Graeme King and Neil Thompson were the pursuers and we immediately got a good rhythm going with Neil hurting and skipping a few turns but doing what he could.
We stayed together across Peters Creek Rd and through McLaren Flat with Graeme showing real strength on the flat sections of the course. We turned up Chapmans Ave and I went as hard as I could to split the group up. Neil was dropped straight away but Graeme hung in until cracking about 50m from the top, not enough gap for me to go on with into the inevitable headwind along McMurtrie Rd to the finish. Graeme and I worked together to ensure Neil did not get back on and rolled turns until 200m from the finish where I started the sprint, hoping to catch Graeme napping. Not to be, he was on me and too quick for this skinny white man and I finished second.
This was a great race series and a fitting tribute to Ron Williams, a sorely missed member of the racing community. I won all 5 KOM points during the series and secured the valuable Gold medal. Of the races I got 4 seconds (Mat Miller, really need that sprint training buddy) and a third, all in sprint finishes.
The boys did a great job this round with Dave C riding strong at the right times claiming both preme sprints(who said this whippet could not sprint), well the first one was in a small break and the 2nd one saw Dave just ride off the front, as he does.
Kym C was having his first race this season and was doing well during the race following some moves and I hear did a big leadout on the last lap for the bunch sprint.
Shane and BB were always looking at the right move to be in and it happened after the 2nd preme when BB got in the winning move with Watters and Nashie. The 3 riders put the hammer down for a couple of laps and the gap grew to half a lap and then it was a game of saving enough for the finish. In the run for the line, BB let Watters lead into the straight thinking he could come around before the line but had to be happy with 2nd as Watters was too strong.
Meanwhile Shane was putting his sprint to the test coming home in 7th for some more good points for the team.
We are sitting in 3rd overall after 3 rounds and with a small break before the next race, will come out with guns a blazing on the 25th!
By Baden Brosnan