Warragul Cycling Club hosted the start of the 9th Annual Baw Baw Cycle Classic on Saturday 18th April. This year Nissan Warragul was the naming rights sponsor and a record of 220 entries were received this for the event. Of these, 18 were DNS and another 28 were recorded as DNF, victims of mechanicals or as one competitor described it, the brutal final climb on which riders are reported to have struggled to keep speeds above 12 km/h.
A grade: A group of 4 riders, including the eventual winner Nathan Earle, broke away on the run up to Neerim Junction and at the half way point were one minute ahead of the main mass of A graders. They rode through Noojee at 11:30 followed by the remainder of the field at 11:33. The four managed (including Warragul CC’s Kane Walker) managed to stay away until 5km from the finish when the climbers were at an advantage.
Crossing the line first was 2007 2nd place finisher, Nathan Earle (MEN23/Hobart wheelers CC) in 3.24.56 followed by Eric Sheppard (MEN19/CCCC – 3.27.56) and Patrick Lane (MEN19/CCCC – 3.28.10).
B grade: B grade held together well and at the half way mark contained the women and all but 5 of the field turning onto the Mt. Baw Baw Tourist road at Noojee at 11:48. Three riders came through at 11:50 and the remaining two riders at 11:53.
Crossing the line first was Peter Dennis (MEN/Hawthorn Citizens Youth Club) in 3.33.25 followed by James Rendall (MEN23/Albury-Woodonga CC – 3.35.26) and Matthew Clark (MEN19/Wangaratta CC – 3.38.12).
C Grade: C grade held together well and at the half way mark at Noojee contained the women and all but 7 of the field. The main bunch turned onto the Mt. Baw Baw Tourist Road at 12:07 followed by four at 12:09. one rider at 12:09 and two riders at 12:11.
Crossing the line first was Jason Laird (MEN/Coburg CC) in 3.52.34 followed by Ross Hamilton (MEN23/Blackburn CC – 3.55.21) and Tim Calkins (MEN/CCCC – 3.56.25).
Women: The women began the race with C grade and at the halfway mark at Noojee remained with the main mass of C graders.
Crossing the line first was Ruth Dorset (WOMEN/Townsville CC) in 3.56.23 (beating 3rd place in C grade) followed by Stephanie McGrath (WOMEN/St.Kilda CC – 3.27.53) and Fiona Spargo (WOMEN/Blackburn CC – 4.01.51).
Masters 1-3: At the half way point at Noojee, two riders had a three minute lead heading onto the Mt. Baw Baw Tourist Road at 11:56. A group of four riders (including Warragul’s Shane Stiles) rode through at 11:59 followed by the main chase group at 12:00. An additional two riders rode through at 12:01, seven at 12:03, two at 12:06 and one at 12:07.
Crossing the line first was Michael Gallagher (MMAS1/CCCC) in 3.33.57 followed by Ciaran Jones (MMAS3/CCCC – 3.40.03) and Stefan Kirsch (MMAS2/Blackburn CC – 3.50.33).
Master 4-7: A single racer passed through the T intersection at Noojee at 12:12. He was closely followed by another three riders with two more hot on their tails. The main bunch (including Warragul’s Thommo) rode through at 12:16. Having a strong group of fellow club members helped the Blackburn Cycling Club take out 1st, 2nd and 3rd.
Crossing the line first was Anthony Chandler from (MMAS4/Blackburn CC) in 3.51.22 followed by Aaron Field (MMAS4/Blackburn CC – 3.52.21) and Guy Green (MMAS4/Blackburn CC – 3.53.53).
A big thank you goes out to all sponsors and volunteers. The 10th running of the race promises to be bigger and better.
Photos by Carl Brewer.
Photos by Charmion Phillips.