Mt Baw Baw Classic

One of the toughest races in Australia, the Mt Baw Baw Classic starts in Warragul and heads for the summit of Mt Baw Baw to complete the 103km journey. Despite the very difficult hill top finish (one of the steepest climbs in the southern hemisphere) the course is also accompanied by a range of rolling hills and tricky descents to punish riders before you even start the final accent to the summit.

We were greeted with a beautiful day which lifted the spirits of many riders (including myself) whom were about to tackle this gruelling race. On the start line, I was positioned next to my teammates Robbie Hucker, Jack Haig and Jarryd Jones. We all set off and were ‘under control’ for the first 3km’s before the red flag in the lead car was brought in which signalled that start of the race. The field was much stronger and larger than last year and it definitely changed the way the race panned out in comparison to last year. The first 30km’s was faster with more attacks and not many established breakaway’s being able to stay away from the bunch.
I found myself off the front of the bunch solo, trying to start an early break. This caused numerous riders to bridge the gap and a small group of 7-8 riders was formed. It included some strong riders and also my teammate Robbie Hucker.

We raced through the feed zone and took on some fresh bottles and food before a very steep descent into Noojee. This was followed by the first major climb of the day, ‘Vespers’ which is a 10-15 minute climb consisting of very steep gradients in some sections. Our breakaway had roughly 1-2 minutes lead on the main bunch but it was reduced to a minute by the summit of the climb. I re-joined what was left of the main bunch at the top of Vespers after an attack in the breakaway group halfway up the climb left me off the back maintaining my own tempo.

With 30km’s left to race, the hard parts were yet to come. The final 6km’s are the most brutal with some sections of the climb reaching 23% gradient. It’s a very hard finish especially when you have already raced a challenging 90km’s from Warragul. Although I’m not built to climb a mountain, taking part in such races can only improve my climbing and assist with preparations for my next upcoming races which also feature climbing stages. Each pedal stroke was another few metres closer to the top and that’s all I was concentrating on for the last few kilometres.

My teammate Robbie Hucker road superbly to stay in contention up the front and take 4th place in a time of 3hrs 23minutes, only 3 minutes off the winner’s time. My other teammate Jack Haig was also riding strongly in the main bunch the whole race and finished in 17th place in a time of 3hrs 29minutes. I finished in 25th spot in a time of 3hrs 34minutes and was pleased with my performance in what was a challenging hill climb race. My brother Jarryd Jones also did well to finish the race in his first year.

Thanks to my mum for organising the event, my dad for helping out on the spares motorbike and to my sponsors Torq Nutrition, Bicycle Superstore, SRAM and Monza Imports for their ongoing support.

Off to Tasmania this week to take part in the first National Road Series Event on the calendar. I’ll be travelling down to support my teammates for this one as it is a tough hill climbing tour which will be suited to them.

Keep posted for my next race report,

Cheers Brenton


Popular Posts