Checklist: Clean bike. Compact cranks. Eight bidons, including flat coke. Jelly beans. Honey crackles. Chocolate muffins. I was prepared, but that doesn’t mean that you’re in for a good day at Baw Baw! I arrived early, which proved smart, as the start time for the small women’s field of 7 had been moved forward 25mins. I’ll cut the 4hour story short for you…I won the prime, suffered up Vesper’s, saw to it that I didn’t walk, and finished in third. Carlee Taylor (pictured), U23 Australian Road Champion, broke clear of the bunch 45kms into the race, I lost contact with Lisa Jacobs at 60kms, and from there we all rode solo to the finish. I broke 40minutes for the 6.2km Baw Baw climb, which was 5minutes quicker than when I won the race last year, and a hell of a lot faster than my walking days two years back! As you labour past the spectators, the walkers, and those that resort to resting roadside, you realise that repeat offenders of this race are simply here for the challenge =)
This year, there was no snow. As we descended the mountain however, there was smoke, evidence of the burning off that has been taking place in the local area of late. As Mum and I drove along, joined in company by my brother Matt, and his girlfriend Laura, we discussed the winners (those that finished), and the losers (those of which don't exist at this race). The back roads cut a half hour from our drive, so despite the car sickness that I could feel coming on, we turned to head for home. The smoke grew thicker, and it wasn’t long before small spot fires had us slightly concerned. As we veered right to round a corner, we were faced with a wall of thick smoke, flames engulfing the trunks of trees, and a small white car reversing into us. It wasn’t until we jumped from the car to assist in a u-turn on the narrow roads, that we heard the choppers in the sky, and the sound of fire engines in the distance. It was like suicide, for the second time in one day!
Results: Mount Baw Baw Classic, 97kms