Ballarat’s Rhys Gillett (Van D’am Racing) has added his name to the prestigious Mt Baw Baw Alpine Resort Classic honour roll, while Justine Barrow was able to successfully defend her title.
Gillett’s victory signals a return to form after being hit by a car 12 months ago, and adds to his recent Mount Bulla stage victory at the Victorian Road Series Mansfield Tour.
Gillett won the event in 03:20:56 ahead of Sam Crome (Avanti Isowhey) and 2.24 to Jason Lea (Physio Health).
Gillett was part of a six man breakaway that established within the first few kilometres of the 103km race and included Mark O’Brien, Crome, Lea, Jason Elliot and Nick Millar.
The group quickly got out to a four minute lead, and despite the best efforts of Pats Veg the peloton never made contact with the leaders again.
Bad luck struck Kenyan Downunder’s Elliot who suffered a mechanical while Millar was dropped out of the break.
With 6kms to go, Crome attacked Lea and O’Brien with Gillett the only one able to respond before powering away to victory.
“We came with a plan to come to the bottom of the climb as fresh as possible but that went out the window when I was in the break after five kilometres,” said Gillettt who now lives in Adelaide.
“I saw Mark O’Brien go and I thought ‘that is a break that will stay away all day’, so I jumped across with Sam Crome.
“with 6 kilometres to go, Cromey attacked just before we hit the steep part so I just had to do what I could to stay on top of the gear and that ended up with me dropping him.
“To get my name on the honour roll is pretty good, it’s just good to start work with the new coach and it’s good signs for the year ahead.”
In the Voyage Fitness elite women’s event, Coburg’s Justine Barrow held off Tessa Fabry (VIS) to take out the event for the second year in a row. Brodie Chapman (Uni Cycle) was third.
The trio broke away from the peloton within the first 40 kilometres of the race and rode together to the base of the Alpine Resort Road before Barrow attacked Fabry to ride a solo victory.
“I’m a bit emotional and I definintely want to come back next year to defend my titles,” said Barrow.
“It’s an amazing race, it’s brutal. Knowing the course really helps.
“I attacked at 40 kilometres and Tessa and Brodie came with me. We stayed together until Vespers until Tessa and I broke away. Tessa and I rolled turns until about 91 kilometres and then I went up by myself, but Tessa was on my tail the whole way so she made it really hard for me.”
Madison Pelzer (St Kilda) took out the Wakefield Vogrig and Boote women’s B grade in 04:52:13 ahead of Angela Macrae (Hawthorn). In the Blackwoods women’s C grade, Monika Sattler (Hawthorn) was victorious ahead of Ally Rose Ogden (Hawthorn) and Justine Curline (The Pirates Sporting).
In the Olivers Real Food men’s B Grade, Lionel Mawditt (Carnegie Caulfield) took the win over Matthew Robertson (St Kilda) and Alexander Evans (Bendigo & District).
In the Insulmet men’s C Grade, local Warragul rider Jayden Manintveld took out the race in 03:55:36, just 10 seconds over Mornington’s Samson Turner. Liam Edwards (Shepparton) was third.
Brett Kingston (Hampton Cycles) took out the BD Legal Masters A Grade race ahead of Andrew Stalder (MCL Fast) and Andrew GRAY (Kosdown Performance Cycling).
In the Frankies Café Masters B grade, Adrian McGregor (Melbourne University) was victorious over Julian Buckley (Hawthorn) and Matthew Irons (Melbourne University).
Sam Edwards (Melbourne Cycling League) took home the Gary Blackwood Masters C title over Alain Hosking (Coburg) and Blair Falahey (Alpine).
The race forms part of the Victorian Road Series and also doubled as the Victorian Hill Climb Championship of which Rhys Gillett was also champion.