Overwhelmed with the romance of Australia's outback, Cairns cyclist Scott McLennan plans to sacrifice everything to ensure that his wife Abby reaches the podium of Australia's legendary Crocodile Trophy Mountainbike Race in 2009. Having joined the Crocodile Trophy alumni after surviving his first campaign in 2007, McLennan has selflessly agreed to work as a domestique for his partner, who has set herself the ambitious goal of being among the best of the visiting European and Australian women.
McLennan has also enlisted the support of workmate James Banner-Smith for the gruelling ten stage, 1300 kilometre adventure. The two will form the backbone of the "Rattle & Hum" team, acting as Abby McLennan's bodyguards in the magnificent, yet hostile world of the Outback.
"It's all about Abby, we're here to look after her," McLennan said. "To be honest it was her idea to begin with. After watching the duel last year between (Australia's) Jo Bennett and the Belgian woman (Karen Steurs), Abby was inspired and decided she had to have a go."
Abby McLennan has won back-to-back editions of Australia's one-day cross country epic, the Triple RRR Classic from Mount Molloy to Port Douglas. She also rode to victory in the open women's division at the previous two editions of Townsville's Paluma Push.
Fully committed to her Crocodile Trophy assault, Abby will step down from her job as a beauty therapist to train full-time for the race between now and October.
"From what Scott has told me, the Croc Trophy isn't like any other bike race," Abby said. "As well as incredible endurance, you need speed to stay with the faster packs."
The 2009 edition of the race will feature an opening stage from Cairns to Lake Tinaroo including the famed Copperlode Climb. Permit approvals are being sought for the route that will feature more than 2,000 metres of climbing through spectacular rainforest, linking the Great Barrier Reef port city of Cairns with the Tropical Tableland.
The Rattle & Hum team is one of two North Queensland based teams already signed up for the 2009 Crocodile Trophy, and an announcement is pending for a third local team to take on the Europeans.
The Crocodile Trophy draws racers from abroad including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands, which have already confirmed their participation for the race start in Cairns, Australia on October 20. The race will end in Cape Tribulation on October 29.