I've done the Ride from Noojee to Baw Baw Return a few times now, it is certainly the harder part of Yarra Junction to Baw Baw Return, on the return once you get over the hill about 15km from Noojee its pretty easy rolling. I was up on the Crucifix yesterday and a Double Donna this morning, legs are feeling good but I need to get a couple of longer rides in soon, Maybe a Demons next week, I dont think its surprising that your time is slower on Donna, after completing Demons at that point your legs had just pumped out 160km compared to 102 on Donna, 51 which was down hill, Either that or some people just prefer steep climbs over undulating roads, I know there is a difference between my friend and myself in this regard. As silly as it sounds its not the climbs on 3peaks that worry me, its all the in between, Mt Donna today reminded me that I can climb and I that I need to work my weakness more, undulating peaks and troughs.
Good news for me is I finally paid my 3 peaks last Friday in a mad panic thinking it would be booked out, that would have destroyed me more than repeats on Baw Baw. Now...more training...lots and lots