Matej makes a difference

Former road pro helps out Croc Trophy backmarkers

A heart-warming story emerged from stage eight of the Crocodile Trophy in Australia on Tuesday thanks to an act of sportsmanship from Slovenia's Matej Mugerli during the Queen stage to Cooktown.

The former Liquigas cyclist, who exited the general classification following an ugly crash just one hour into stage one, has been continuing to ride with the Trophy bunches, but today made a point of joining the last group of cyclists, containing the two oldest riders in the race.

Mugerli acted as a domestique for the group, spending at least four more hours in the sun and baking heat than he really needed to, to ensure everyone made it to the finish.

"I'm going to ride with the real heroes of the Crocodile Trophy," Mugerli said at the start of today's stage. His act of kindness certainly touched the hearts of his riding companions.

Australia's Sharman Parr was choking back tears as she thanked Mugerli at the finish line atop Cooktown's Grassy Hill. "I've never had a pro rider as a domestique before," Parr said. "It was such a beautiful act of kindness."

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