The Crocodile Trophy mountain bike stage race will be held for the 17th time on October 18-27, 2011. Organizers presented this year's edition of the race, including its motto "Back to the roots ... and aiming high".
The 2011 race will go further into the Australian outback than usual, so racers can expect more nature and less civilization.
Starting at the infamous "Lagoon" in Cairns, the race will head towards the "Grassy Hill" in Cooktown. The historic township in Far North Queensland has already hosted 13 stages for the Crocodile Trophy in recent years; however, it will be the first time as the race's final destination.
Between the tropical, holiday resort and the picturesque finish line at the foot of a lighthouse are 10 stages and 1,200 kilometres of heat, sand and physical exertion. The deliberate move away from civilization will test racers' endurance.
"We will stay overnight in little villages only twice, for all other stages we will set up camp in the bush, rainforest, on rivers or lakes," said race organiser Gerhard Schoenbacher.
It is expected that the top three finishers in the 2010 edition of the race will be back to battle again.
Belgian Mike Mulkes, who finished third the past two years, has already confirmed his participation. Two-time runner-up and Olympic Champion Bart Brentjens of the Netherlands is bringing along reinforcements with his Milka Trek teammate Jeroen Boelen and said, "Slowly but surely, it's time for a new Croc champion."
Two-time winner Urs Huber was probably thinking otherwise when he registered last week. The Swiss rider will be aiming for his third overall win.
A larger than ever international field is expected with riders from Europe, Australia, South Korea, Mexico, the US and South Africa.
2011 Crocodile Trophy
Stage 1: Cairns - Lake Tinaroo, 98km
Stage 2: Lake Tinaroo - Koombooloomba, 127km
Stage 3: Koombooloomba - Gunnawarra, 122km
Stage 4: Gunnawarra - Irvinebank, 85km
Stage 5: Irvinebank - Mt. Mulligan, 121km
Stage 6: Mt. Mulligan - Mt. Mulugrave, 162km
Stage 7: Mt. Mulgrave - Laura, 151km
Stage 8: Laura - Kalpowar, 128km
Stage 9: Kalpowar - Munburra, 130km
Stage 10: Munburra - Cooktown, 99km
For more information on the Crocodile Trophy, visit www.crocodile-trophy.com.