Steven Shirley was second overall and first in the PE Masters & Ladies Club event.
Barrow, a former SA U23 road champion, said he had not set himself any specific goals before the 90km race.
“I just wanted to start racing again and try my best,” said Barrow, who began training again only six months ago.
“I want to get my fitness up again, and I surprised myself by winning. I missed the sport and it was great racking up this win.”
He had been unsure of his fitness before the race, he said.
“I was a little nervous. I saw the likes of Marco Joubert, Steven Shirley and a few riders from Cape Town taking part, so I didn’t have high expectations.
“But as the race went on, I felt fairly good. I tested the guys on the climbs and my legs felt pretty strong.”
Barrow, 27, said he had planned to preserve energy in the first half of the race.
“I was well positioned in terms of time and coming out of Van Stadens I could see the other guys were hurting. Then I just applied pressure the whole way back.
“That panned out in my favour but it was a tough route. It’s not called PE’s toughest cycling race for nothing. After the race I definitely felt it,” he added.
Barrow, who lives in Port Elizabeth, said the strong wind had been a big challenge, too. “It destroyed the field out there and it was a huge factor in the race.
“I am fairly light and the wind threw me around on the flat sections and downhills. It was difficult keeping up.”
Some sections were rather dangerous, he added, and some uphill stretches offered challenges.
“I went a little too hard on one climb and I felt afterwards I had gone a bit too deep.
“I struggled to get my rhythm going and took a slight dip. I had to refuel and I’m glad I came right.”
Although happy with the result, Barrow said he still had some work to do. “I want to get stronger, especially ahead of the Herald Cycle Tour in February.
“This was a great way to end the year. Heading into the new year, I would like to focus on base mileage training,” the 2014 Daily Despatch SPAR Cycle Tour champ added.