Rybarik the strongest in Smithfield on Croc Trophy stage 1

Major leads women's race

For the first time in Crocodile Trophy history, a circuit race kicked off the nine-day stage race. More than 130 riders were at the start in Cairns, which included local Australian mountain bikers who competed with the stage racers in a public classification.

Elite men

All eyes had been on the 2008 overall race winner Ondrej Fojtik, but it was his Czech Republic compatriot Ivan Rybarik who quickly took the lead after the race start and kept it over five laps, crossing the finish line in 1:31:21. Rybarik had won two stages in the 2008 edition of the Crocodile Trophy and showed a strong performance today, adding a third Boomerang to his collection at the multi-lap race in Smithfield, contested on the 6km course previously used in the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships.

Belgian rider Mike Mulkens came in second, 1:48 back. Australian 24-hour Solo World Champion Jason English finished third at 2:09 and will be racing in the Australian leader's jersey for stage 2.

"I knew I had to attack early and I kept pushing hard and attacking as soon as I felt them coming closer," said Rybarik.

The Czech rider praised the Cairns course and said he had fun and enjoyed the technical sections, however he was very guarded in regards to his hopes for a possible overall win this year. "It's only day one and I am happy about my win, but I want to stay grounded. There are another eight long days to go. This was just the warm-up stage and we'll have to wait and see what tomorrow brings."

Rybarik teamed up with fellow Czech racer and import business partner Ondrej Slezak, who is based in Sydney, to prepare for the event. The team manager of Rubena Rocky Trail Racing, who finished in fifth place today, was content with his team's performance. "I raced the Crocodile Trophy last year and loved the challenge! So this year we have eight riders racing here, including a team of two in the new adventure category, which they are leading after today's stage. I'm very proud of the boys, they did well – not only do we have a stage win in our pocket, we had another two second podium getters in M1 and M2. Now the main thing is to recover well for tomorrow's race."

Last year's overall fourth place finisher, Mike Mulkens, was in close pursuit of Rybarik throughout the entire race and ultimately conceded 1:48 to the Czech rider. "The pace right from the start was like fireworks, full-gas for every rider," said Mulkens. "I was pushing and smashing it hard to be first in the field, because you needed at least a top-ten position in the start sprint for a victory today. I was happy when I heard that I was in second place after Ivan Rybarik. He was too strong for me, especially on that kind of track, which isn't my favourite."

Third place went to the fastest Australian racer of the day English, who clocked in 1:33:30 for five laps, 2:09 down on Rybarik. "I felt good today and kept riding, trying to stay in the front and to keep up with the number one [Fojtik] and two [Krenn] racers. I didn't get any lap split times so was very surprised when they told me I got third when I finished."

Top favourites Wolfgang Krenn finished fourth while Ondrej Fojtik placed sixth.

Elite women

The Australian triathlete and IronMan finisher Kate Major managed the most incredible pursuit of the day. Major accidentally rode the wrong direction – South – out of Cairns in the morning to warm up, and when she realized her error she was 40km away from the race venue. "When I realised I had ended up in the wrong direction, I knew all I could do was put the thumb out and hope that someone would pick me and my bike up," said Major. "I thought 'the Aussie spirit is to help each other out' and I had hitchhiked a lot when I was a teenager to get around. I had a nice lady stop for me who offered to drop me off in Smithfield – wherever you are, thank you so much! I don't know what I would have done without her!"

In the end, Major started three minutes late and showing great determination she caught up to the field and started to overtake the other five female racers one by one. Major ultimately won the five-lap women's race by the narrowest of margins, beating runner-up Alice Pirard by two seconds. Third place went to Jade Forsyth, 14:11 off the winning time.

Stage 2

Stage 2 will start from the Cairns Lagoon as the field will contest a 92km marathon stage featuring 2,500m of climbing across the Atherton Tablelands to Lake Tinaroo.

Two videos are below.  One is an interview with several top finishers and another is race footage from during the stage.

Use this on all articles. The player is narrow enough to fit next to the article gallery images box on the right.

Full results for stage 1 and general classification after stage 1

Elite Men
1 Ivan Rybarik (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE 1:31:21  
2 Mike Mulkens (Bel) 0:01:48  
3 Jason English (Aus) RUOK Rocky Tail Racing 0:02:09  
4 Wolfgang Krenn (Aut) 0:02:47  
5 Ondrej Slezak (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE 0:03:02  
6 Ondrej Fojtik (Cze) 0:03:22  
7 Cory Wallace (Can) 0:05:27  
8 Steven Rankine (Aus) Tenni's / SKM 0:06:35  
9 Matthew Page (GBr) 0:08:32  
10 Evan Corry (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 1 0:09:22  
11 Paul Mashford (Aus) Tenni's / SKM 0:10:14  
12 Mike Blewitt (Aus) Subaru/marathonMTB.com 0:10:16  
13 Ritchie Motke (Ned) 0:10:41  
14 Michiel Van Aelbroeck (Bel) O2 Bikers - WMTB.be - Schwalbe 0:12:04  
15 Dominick Hrinkow (Aut) 0:16:22  
16 Guillaume Bourgeois (Swi) 0:17:25  
17 Josef Benetseder (Aut) Team Eybl-Gastrogas.at 0:17:26  
18 Patrick Konrad (Aut) 0:17:34  
19 Tommy Arnoldy (Lux) CT Toproad Roeserbann 02 0:19:07  
20 Peter Fröhlich (Aut) Rams Cycling Black tusk 0:20:21  
21 Luke Haines (Aus) 0:22:44  
22 Francis Ransley (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 2 0:25:33  
23 Stefan Hackl (Aut) 0:30:15  
24 Den Hutmacher (Lux) CT Toproad Roeserbann 01 0:32:52  
25 Lukas Babor (Cze) 0:44:10  
26 Sebastian Einsle (Lux) CT Toproad Roeserbann 01 0:45:21  
DNF Justin Morris (Aus) Subaru/marathonMTB.com    
Elite Women
1 Kate Major (Aus) 1:58:50  
2 Alice Pirard (Bel) O2 Bikers - WMTB.be - Schwalbe 0:00:02  
3 Jade Forsyth (Aus) 0:14:11  
4 Kirsten De Keyser (Bel) 0:26:52  
5 Annie van der linde (Ned) 0:29:51  
6 Tinneke Van de Voorde (Bel) 0:39:38  
DNS Estie Du Plessis (RSA)    
1 Jeremy Ross (Aus) Crocodile Tears 1:35:56  
2 Michal Kafka (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE 0:01:27  
3 Jason Chalker (Aus) Crocodile Tears 0:02:08  
4 Werner van der Merwe (GBr) Subaru/marathonMTB.com 0:02:36  
5 Bjorn De Baets (Bel) WACKY 0:06:46  
6 Wesley Reibel (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 1 0:07:46  
7 Raf De Bakker (Bel) Belgian Connections MTB Team 0:08:10  
8 Ken De Trogh (Bel) Belgium F-16 Ridley Team 0:08:46  
9 Kris Hendrickx (Bel) Belgium F-16 Ridley Team 0:08:47  
10 Henri Delheye (Bel) WACKY 0:11:37  
11 David Carrillo (Spa) 0:13:06  
12 Peter Lister (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 2 0:13:29  
13 Davy Blancquaert (Bel) Belgium F-16 Ridley Team 0:13:55  
14 Ryan Corry (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 1 0:15:14  
15 Christophe Heinix (Bel) Team Lingier-Versluys-Beachbikers 0:16:16  
16 Wim Verheyen (Bel) 0:18:22  
17 Christof Marien (Bel) 0:18:33  
18 Barry Sey (Bel) Wacky Immobilia Team 0:20:56  
19 David Osmond (Aus) Crocodile Tears 0:22:37  
20 Martin Wisata (Aut) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master 0:22:51  
21 Lukas Mraz (Cze) 0:26:56  
22 Kris Van De Putte (Bel) 0:27:08  
23 Pieter van der Eijk (Ned) 0:28:27  
24 Ian Humble (GBr) 0:31:29  
25 Stephen Jackson (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 2 0:34:41  
26 Gunter Selleslagh (Bel) 0:49:45  
DNS Josef Ajram (Spa) Red Bull Espana    
DNS Vincent Vantorre (Bel) Wacky Immobilia Team    
DNS Oscar Polo (Ita)    
DNS Thomas Theuermann (Aut)    
1 Marc Baechli (Swi) 1:41:23  
2 Stephen Billington (Aus) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master 0:03:10  
3 Pieter van Rooyen (USA) 0:04:35  
4 Bart De Boeck (Bel) 0:04:40  
5 Johan Frooninckx (Bel) Belgian Connections MTB Team 0:05:53  
6 Alain De Munter (Bel) Fietsen Mertens 0:06:17  
7 Peter Roelands (Bel) 0:07:37  
8 Hans Planckaert (Bel) Smart Cycling Team 0:08:01  
9 Peter Urdl (Aut) 0:09:14  
10 Brendon Skerke (Aus) Tenni's / SKM 0:09:30  
11 James Heron (Aus) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master 0:10:23  
12 Bart Heirewegh (Bel) 0:11:39  
13 Alex Moonen (Bel) ATB kempen 0:12:12  
14 Rik Rohart (Bel) 0:14:39  
15 Peter Stubbe (Bel) Wacky Immobilia Team 0:16:25  
16 Guy Sorensen (Aus) Superior Screens 0:16:45  
17 Jakob Steen-Petersen (Den) HMTBK SRAM 0:17:12  
18 Jaroslav Hrdlicka (Cze) 0:21:29  
19 Nicholas Westwood (Aus) Koiled imports /cleanskin coffee racing 0:22:19  
20 Bohuslav Babor (Cze) 0:26:01  
21 Johny Thielemans (Bel) 0:26:14  
22 Stefan Plas (Bel) 0:30:40  
23 Allen Liversage (RSA) 0:31:12  
24 John Boswell (Aus) 0:32:11  
25 Camille Reding (Lux) CT Toproad Roeserbann 01 0:32:44  
26 Chris Neal (Aus) 0:34:50  
27 Kelly Duhig (Aus) 0:37:54  
28 Thierry Ide (Bel) Wacky 2XL-team 0:39:38  
29 Günter Rafeiner (Aut) 0:41:52  
30 Sven Demunter (Bel) Wacky 2XL-team 0:42:36  
31 Paul Fitzgerald (Bel) Wacky 2XL-team 0:48:31  
32 Barto Du Plessis (Aus) 1:10:14  
1 Milan Spolc (Cze) 1:49:42  
2 Luc Verlinde (Bel) Luc Verlinde 0:02:20  
3 Robrecht De Meyer (Bel) Fitopia Bikers 0:03:29  
4 Ruedi Senn (Swi) Top Müller.ch 0:06:17  
5 Freddy Cassiers (Bel) 0:06:23  
6 Luc Janssens (Bel) 0:09:41  
7 Freddy Vekens (Bel) 0:09:42  
8 Johannes Sewald (Ger) bavarian-riders 0:11:18  
9 Guy Vandijck (Bel) 0:11:23  
10 Manfred Ertl (Ger) bavarian-riders 0:11:37  
11 Philippe Maertens (Bel) Belgian Connections MTB Team 0:12:00  
12 Rudy Motke (Ned) 0:12:35  
13 Andrew Radcliffe (Aus) 0:13:15  
14 Eddy Snelders (Bel) Fitopia Bikers 0:16:29  
15 Georg Schollerer (Ger) bavarian-riders 0:23:26  
16 Luc Van Aelbroeck (Bel) 0:26:33  
17 Robert de la Motte (Aus) 0:30:33  
18 Erik Defillet (Bel) Fitopia Bikers 0:34:48  
Elite Male Club
1 Kent James (Aus) 1:46:07  
2 Scott Clark (Aus) 0:03:24  
3 Ryan De La Rue (Aus) 0:09:14  
DNF Dominic Hoyal (Aus)    
Veteran Male Club
1 Marc De Goffrey (Aus) 1:41:39  
2 Lincoln Carolan (Aus) 0:00:42  
3 Jon Standage (Aus) 0:04:55  
4 Matt Greenwood (Aus) 0:05:23  
5 Matt Driver (Aus) 0:05:39  
6 Rudi De Faveri (Aus) 0:09:17  
7 Joshua Rayner (Aus) 0:11:32  
8 Lee Taylor (Aus) 0:13:46  
DNS Graham Nicholls (Aus)    
DNS Ben Smith (Aus)    
1 Jan Saelen (Bel) / Luc Gielen (Bel) 2:51:31  
1 Thomas Gerhardt (Aut) 2:35:44  
CA Men
1 Mark Griffin (Aus) Rubena RockyTrail Racing 1:45:09  
2 Aaron Lakeman (Aus) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing 0:00:02  
3 Szymon Wojciech Zacharski (Pol) Team KUBIS Gomola Trans Airco 0:00:56  
4 Filip Kuzniak (Pol) Team KUBIS Gomola Trans Airco    
5 Evert Desmidt (Bel) 0:32:38  
6 Mathias Deleu (Bel) 0:32:40  
1 Dirk Abeloos (Bel) CROCO RR Team Habay 2:42:34  
2 Pierre Paligot (Bel) CROCO RR Team Habay    
1 Antonio Spidalieri (Swi) GVFI Fleisch gibt Kraft 1:57:36  
2 Sam Sprunger (Swi) GVFI Fleisch gibt Kraft 0:00:02  


Back to top