Mt. Baw Baw Alpine Resort Classic Women’s Preview

One hundred and seventy two riders including over 30 women will line up on Sunday to complete the 19th Mt Baw Baw Alpine Resort Classic.

One rider who knows all about testing herself against the wonderful beast that is Mount Baw Baw, is Melbourne’s Justine Barrow.

Barrow has completed the Mt Baw Baw Alpine Resort Classic five times, winning it twice in 2015 and ‘16 and finishing in second place at the last two editions.

“My first introduction to the Baw Baw Classic, where I raced C Grade, was in 2014. I finished 22 minutes down on the winner. I had just taken up cycling, I believe it was my second ever road race and while I already knew that I loved climbing, I had no idea how to “hold a wheel”.  Consequently I was dropped quite early in the race by the C grade men (who we set off with) and did  a lot of the race solo.  It did mean that I got to enjoy the beautiful roads on the way to Baw Baw between Icy Creek and Tanjil Bren like I never have  since,” explained Barrow.

“By 2015 I had a lot more experience in racing, but was still quite surprised to come away with the A grace win.  This was followed up with a win the next year and cemented the race as one of my favourites on the calendar. Last year I delayed my flight to the US to make sure that I got to race the Baw Baw Classic – departing the next morning.”

This year, Barrow will race alongside her younger Roxsolt teammates in the Baw Baw Shire Women’s A Grade.

Elite national women’s road race champion Sarah Gigante will tackle the climb for the third time, while u19 junior Neve Bradbury will also give it a shot.

“Prior to riding Baw Baw the first time I had heard about its legendary status of one of the hardest climbs. I was quite dismissive of these stories because, as I mentioned, I love climbing, so how hard could a 6 km hill be? However, I found that the talk is true, Baw Baw is certainly one of the most challenging mountains to race.  Particularly after you have already raced close to 100 km and completed a decent amount of climbing. But what true cyclist doesn’t like a challenge!”

And what does Justine predict will happen in 2019’s edition of the race?

“Predictions for this year – everyone’s legs will scream on the final ascent of Baw Baw and that I will consume a large amount of chocolate post-race.”

The Mt Baw Baw Alpine Resort Classic is the third event in the 2019 Towards Zero Victorian Road Series.

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