The Slovenians experienced a rough start to the 10-day Crocodile Trophy mountain bike stage race in Australia. Slovenian Matej Mugerli made an unplanned, early exit from the race during the opening stage one on Tuesday following a crash.
The former ProTour stage winner crashed heavily while racing at the front of the lead group on the first major descent of the day.
He was transported to hospital after sustaining a potentially serious concussion, a move that marked the end of his first Crocodile Trophy campaign after barely one hour on the trail.
Organizers reported that Mugerli suffered a massive hematoma on his head, but is alright now.
It was a nightmare day for the Slovenians. In the same opening stage, Mugerli's teammate Jure Robic (Matej & Jure), a four-time winner of the Race Across America and previous Crocodile Trophy participant, lost valuable minutes after taking a wrong turn at a well-signposted intersection.
Fortunately, Robic seemed to have a much better stage two. He made the lead group with stage two winner Bart Brentjens (Trek-Brentjens MTB Racing Team) and stage one winner Urs Huber (Team Stöckli-Craft). Robic finished with them, in third place and sits fifth overall going into stage three. Before the race, he had said he would work for teammate Mugerli.
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