Former World and Olympic mountain biking champion Bart Brentjens will return to Australia’s far north in 2009 to contest one of the discipline’s most grueling stage races – the Crocodile Trophy. The October event will start in Cairns, where Brentjens first broke through for a World Cup Series victory in 1994.
“In the sport of mountain biking, I can think of no greater ambassador and we will be truly honoured to welcome Bart Brentjens to the Crocodile Trophy,” said race director Gerhard Schoenbacher. “Having watched Bart race recently, I expect he will be among the leading contenders for the general classification.
“He continues to be a dominant force at Marathon World Cup level and, based upon our discussions, he is taking the Crocodile Trophy very seriously,” added Schoenbacher.
Brentjens went on to win the World Cup series in 1994, adding a World Championship in 1995 and a Olympic Games gold medal in Atlanta the following year.
The opening stage from Cairns to Lake Tinaroo will feature more than 2000 metres of climbing and the super-steep rainforest trails are sure to bring back memories of Cairns infamous ‘Red Ringer’, where Brentjens and then Australian teenager Cadel Evans both shot to fame in 1994.
“To host a mountain biker of Bart Brentjens’ stature is a significant boost for the event,” said race media manager John Flynn. “We’re talking about a guy who learned his trade racing against the greats ... Thomas, Tomac, Tinker and Ned.”
The 2009 Crocodile Trophy will commence in Cairns on October 20 and run through to its traditional finish destination at Cape Tribulation on October 29.