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By John-Michael Flynn at Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas Australia At the end of thirteen soul...
By John-Michael Flynn at Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas Australia
At the end of thirteen soul destroying days, the Crocodile Trophy of 2005 finished as it began, on a palm fringed beach in a tropical paradise.
And while the final stage belonged to Italy's champion Mauro Bettin, it was Adam Hansen, the local hero, who raised the biggest cheers from the crowd on magnificent Four Mile Beach, as he claimed his second successive Crocodile Trophy Victory.
It was a tribute to the rediscovered mental toughness of the Australian that after a season of self-doubt on the lonely roads of Europe where he is yet to make a name for himself in road cycling, he could return home and beat the best in the world, in a race which he has made his own.
When the minutes were finally tallied for the general classification at the end of today's beach criterium, Hansen had maintained a fifteen minute margin over his nearest rival Bettin, bringing to an end a memorable contest.
The entire 2005 Crocodile Trophy mountain bike stage race reports, results and photos