"Ivanator" Rybarik regains leader's jersey in Croc Trophy

Major remains in lead of women's race

The Australian media has called it the "Czech domination" at the Crocodile Trophy and also their fellow riders admit that Ivan Rybarik and Ondrej Fojtik's performances of the last three stages are to be admired. After today's wild ride across the rough terrain of the Hasties Swamp National Park, Rybarik kept pushing hard and left Fojtik and the Austrian chaser trio with Dominick Hrinkow, Josef Benetseder and Wolfgang Krenn behind.

Whilst after almost four hours, Fojtik finished second and Hrinkow ended up securing the third place, Kate Major was again the fastest female racer of the day and the Crocodile Trophy adventure was still in full swing with Mark Griffin and Aaron Lakeman increasing their lead in the new two-man team category.

Elite men

Ivan Rybarik arrived at the finish with a big smile, but you could see the sheer exhaustion from racing at high pace for almost four hours in the Australian Outback heat on his face. "This was one of the hardest days in my life," said the new race leader today. "My plan had been to get back the leaders jersey, but it wasn't easy."

Belgian rider Mike Mulkens and the Austrian Josef Benetseder tried to break away early, however, Rybarik and Fojtik led up a chaser group including Hrinkow, Krenn and the Canadian Cory Wallace to catch up. As the pace then slowed and the riders tried to frantically preserve their energy, the two Czech riders, who know each other well, decided to pick it back up. They dropped the group and on the first long descent towards the first feedzone, Rybarik had gained a minute on Fojtik.

"We are really good friends and ride together a lot back home in the Czech Republic, but this is racing after all and we need to be competitive," said the Rubena Rocky Trail Team CZE racer Rybarik at the finish. "I noticed that Ondrej wasn't riding at a 100 percent today, so I grabbed my chance and thought, 'This is it, maybe I can get the jersey back,' and I just tried it. I am happy that I could do it, but you never know, there are still six days to go."

"No water, no power, no legs." That's how Ondrej Fojtik described today's stage as he arrived at the finish with a gap of almost 10 minutes on Rybarik. He looked disappointed and added that it had been a typical Croc stage, that's long, steep and hot. "This was a hard day. Ivan was just so strong today, I couldn't keep up."

First-time Croc racer, young road talent Hrinkow placed third today. "Benetseder, Krenn and I rode well together today and when we were dropped by the two Czech riders, we just tried to keep our pace up. About 20km before the finish, I felt strong and was able to ride away and decided to sprint solo to the finish." Hrinkow's goal for the remaining week is set high and he has his eyes on a stage win: "After all, I promised my girlfriend a boomerang," he said with a cheeky grin.

Elite women

Kate Major has increased her lead in the female category with another stage win today.

Other categories

Marc Baechli, winner of today's M2 category, rolled across the finish line outside the Irvinebank pub particularly relieved. "Last year my cassette broke and I had to run the last 30km into town. Today was a special stage for me and coming into Irvinebank on my bike was my main goal. To win my age group on top of it makes me really happy." A strong Werner van der Merwe from the Subaru/MarathonMTB team claimed the fastest time in the M1 classification with his second consecutive stage win today.

Whilst the top riders are in for a daily battle for positions in the front, the Crocodile Trophy adventures unfold in the midfield and back. Riders from all over the world have come to Far North Queensland to challenge themselves, to experience nine days on their bikes in the Outback and it's often groups of friends that are in it together.

"Strike hard, strike home." This slogan of their Squadron Nr. 349 of the Belgian army keeps the four F16 pilots and their Ridley Team going each day. "This is just an awesome adventure," said team leader Kris "Jimmy" Hendrickx today. "It's exactly what we imagined and hoped for - hard, rough and the experience of a lifetime." The four F16 fighter pilots have also entered a team classification and are content that they manage to ride together every day. "That's what we planned, we wanted to do this race together and we tried to be on the same endurance level, so we would be able to be out on track, the four of us together." I had not always been easy to prepare and train for this race, that's known as the "hottest, longest and most adventurous MTB race in the world", Hendrickx admitted. "Combining training, racing and preparing for this journey with family, kids and a full-time job requires full commitment," he said.

That he was a lucky guy admitted also Aaron Lakeman from Sydney, who is leading the two-man "Adventure" classification with Mark Griffin and their Rubena Rocky Trail Racing team after finishing as the fastest team for the third day in a row. "My wife Annie deserves to get one of my stage win-boomerangs, because she let me go on this indulgent tour with my riding buddies." The two-man team category had been added to the Crocodile Trophy classifications this year and team riders need to cross the finish line within two minutes of each other. "Yesterday, Aaron suffered on the long climbs, but today we both found a good pace and really enjoyed riding and racing together. It's good, because you get to encourage each other and now that we have a comfortable lead in the team classification, I think, we'll just make sure we'll keep looking after ourselves out there and take every stage as it comes," added Griffin, who said that he is looking forward to bring one of his stage win boomerangs back to Sydney for his godson Josh and tell him all about his mountain bike adventure in the Australian Outback.

Stage 4

Tomorrow's stage 4 will be another multi-lap race with start and finish in Irvinebank, an old mining town set on a lake in the mountains of the Great Dividing Range. A 26km loop has been marked out and riders will have to ride it four times, covering 600m of elevation per lap with race start at 8:00 am.

A video, including interviews with top finishers, is below.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ivan Rybarik (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE3:44:09 
2Ondrej Fojtik (Cze)0:10:42 
3Dominick Hrinkow (Aut)0:15:23 
4Wolfgang Krenn (Aut)0:19:59 
5Ondrej Slezak (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE0:20:08 
6Josef Benetseder (Aut) Team Eybl-Gastrogas.at0:21:16 
7Steven Rankine (Aus) Tenni's / SKM0:21:44 
8Justin Morris (Aus) Subaru/marathonMTB.com0:25:23 
9Michiel Van Aelbroeck (Bel) O2 Bikers - WMTB.be - Schwalbe0:26:52 
10Mike Mulkens (Bel)0:27:00 
11Mike Blewitt (Aus) Subaru/marathonMTB.com0:28:27 
12Matthew Page (GBr)0:31:06 
13Evan Corry (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 10:31:07 
14Guillaume Bourgeois (Swi)0:36:46 
15Paul Mashford (Aus) Tenni's / SKM0:39:24 
16Patrick Konrad (Aut)0:49:01 
17Ritchie Motke (Ned)0:51:48 
18Luke Haines (Aus)0:56:16 
19Peter Fröhlich (Aut) Rams Cycling Black tusk0:56:29 
20Cory Wallace (Can)0:58:42 
21Evert Desmidt (Bel)1:45:39 
22Tommy Arnoldy (Lux) CT Toproad Roeserbann 022:01:10 
23Sebastian Einsle (Lux) CT Toproad Roeserbann 012:01:11 
24Stefan Hackl (Aut)2:03:40 
25Lukas Babor (Cze)2:29:08 
26Francis Ransley (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 22:40:18 
DNFDen Hutmacher (Lux) CT Toproad Roeserbann 01  
DNFJason English (Aus) RUOK Rocky Tail Racing  
Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kate Major (Aus)4:50:49 
2Alice Pirard (Bel) O2 Bikers - WMTB.be - Schwalbe0:37:46 
3Tinneke Van de Voorde (Bel)1:39:32 
4Annie van der linde (Ned)2:09:15 
5Jade Forsyth (Aus)2:38:06 
6Kirsten De Keyser (Bel)2:57:31 
M1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Werner van der Merwe (GBr) Subaru/marathonMTB.com4:05:34 
2Jason Chalker (Aus) Crocodile Tears0:05:05 
3Jeremy Ross (Aus) Crocodile Tears  
4Raf De Bakker (Bel) Belgian Connections MTB Team0:16:21 
5Henri Delheye (Bel) WACKY0:21:12 
6Michal Kafka (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE0:26:16 
7Wesley Reibel (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 10:35:04 
8Christophe Heinix (Bel) Team Lingier-Versluys-Beachbikers0:36:10 
9Kris Hendrickx (Bel) Belgium F-16 Ridley Team0:40:33 
10Davy Blancquaert (Bel) Belgium F-16 Ridley Team0:40:34 
11Ken De Trogh (Bel) Belgium F-16 Ridley Team  
12David Osmond (Aus) Crocodile Tears  
13Christof Marien (Bel)0:45:02 
14Peter Lister (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 20:47:01 
15David Carrillo (Spa)0:56:08 
16Stephen Jackson (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 21:02:40 
17Bjorn De Baets (Bel) WACKY1:06:56 
18Martin Wisata (Aut) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master1:21:30 
19Barry Sey (Bel) Wacky Immobilia Team1:22:56 
20Kris Van De Putte (Bel)1:23:56 
21Ryan Corry (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 11:25:13 
22Lukas Mraz (Cze)1:45:31 
23Pieter van der Eijk (Ned)1:54:46 
24Wim Verheyen (Bel)2:00:56 
25Mathias Deleu (Bel)3:04:41 
26Gunter Selleslagh (Bel)3:42:44 
DNFIan Humble (GBr)  
M2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Marc Baechli (Swi)4:11:25 
2Bart Heirewegh (Bel)0:16:56 
3Stephen Billington (Aus) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master0:19:42 
4Hans Planckaert (Bel) Smart Cycling Team0:20:05 
5Peter Urdl (Aut)0:26:09 
6Bart De Boeck (Bel)0:30:33 
7Johan Frooninckx (Bel) Belgian Connections MTB Team0:32:43 
8Alain De Munter (Bel) Fietsen Mertens0:35:21 
9Peter Roelands (Bel)0:36:16 
10Brendon Skerke (Aus) Tenni's / SKM0:48:47 
11James Heron (Aus) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master0:50:10 
12Jakob Steen-Petersen (Den) HMTBK SRAM1:08:13 
13Guy Sorensen (Aus) Superior Screens1:09:35 
14Johny Thielemans (Bel)1:16:50 
15Nicholas Westwood (Aus) Koiled imports /cleanskin coffee racing1:23:28 
16Alex Moonen (Bel) ATB kempen1:25:15 
17Pieter van Rooyen (USA)1:38:38 
18Rik Rohart (Bel)1:40:54 
19Bohuslav Babor (Cze)2:04:38 
20Chris Neal (Aus)2:08:30 
21Stefan Plas (Bel)2:22:29 
22Peter Stubbe (Bel) Wacky Immobilia Team2:40:51 
23Jaroslav Hrdlicka (Cze)2:47:14 
24Allen Liversage (RSA)2:55:24 
25Kelly Duhig (Aus)2:59:43 
26John Boswell (Aus)3:19:35 
27Thierry Ide (Bel) Wacky 2XL-team3:32:21 
28Sven Demunter (Bel) Wacky 2XL-team3:32:22 
29Paul Fitzgerald (Bel) Wacky 2XL-team3:32:26 
30Barto Du Plessis (Aus)3:41:51 
DNFCamille Reding (Lux) CT Toproad Roeserbann 01  
DNFGünter Rafeiner (Aut)  
M3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Milan Spolc (Cze)4:36:17 
2Sam Sprunger (Swi) GVFI Fleisch gibt Kraft0:27:37 
3Luc Verlinde (Bel) Luc Verlinde0:27:47 
4Ruedi Senn (Swi) Top Müller.ch0:28:41 
5Freddy Vekens (Bel)0:42:43 
6Johannes Sewald (Ger) bavarian-riders0:44:27 
7Erik Defillet (Bel) Fitopia Bikers0:45:04 
8Andrew Radcliffe (Aus)0:54:53 
9Freddy Cassiers (Bel)0:56:29 
10Rudy Motke (Ned)0:58:10 
11Robrecht De Meyer (Bel) Fitopia Bikers1:10:45 
12Georg Schollerer (Ger) bavarian-riders1:11:02 
13Manfred Ertl (Ger) bavarian-riders1:11:25 
14Eddy Snelders (Bel) Fitopia Bikers1:23:13 
15Guy Vandijck (Bel)1:30:13 
16Philippe Maertens (Bel) Belgian Connections MTB Team2:21:21 
17Robert de la Motte (Aus)2:21:23 
18Luc Janssens (Bel)2:34:30 
DNFLuc Van Aelbroeck (Bel)  
DNFAntonio Spidalieri (Swi) GVFI Fleisch gibt Kraft  
CA M1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Pierre Paligot (Bel) CROCO RR Team Habay7:10:11 
1Dirk Abeloos (Bel) CROCO RR Team Habay7:10:12 
CA Men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mark Griffin (Aus) Rubena RockyTrail Racing4:23:30 
1Aaron Lakeman (Aus) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing4:23:32 
 Filip Kuzniak (Pol) Team KUBIS Gomola Trans Airco  
 Szymon Wojciech Zacharski (Pol) Team KUBIS Gomola Trans Airco  
E-bike
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
DNFThomas Gerhardt (Aut)  
Tandem
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jan Saelen (Bel) / Luc Gielen (Bel)8:17:49 
Points
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ivan Rybarik (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE25 pts
2Ondrej Fojtik (Cze)20 
3Dominick Hrinkow (Aut)15 
4Wolfgang Krenn (Aut)10 
5Ondrej Slezak (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE5 
Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE3:44:09 
2Tenni's / SKM0:21:44 
3SubarumarathonMTB.com0:28:27 
4Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master0:46:58 
5RUOK? Corry Cycles 10:56:29 
6Belgian Connections MTB Team T050:59:59 
7Belgium F-16 Ridley Team1:01:59 
8Crocodile Tears  
9RUOK? Corry Cycles 21:24:05 
10W acky Zilvertoren Team1:44:21 
11CT Toproad Roeserbann 012:01:10 
12bavarian-riders2:03:10 
13Fitopia Bikers2:15:21 
14X-sports.cz2:29:08 
15Wacky 2XL-team3:59:37 
Elite men general classification after stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ivan Rybarik (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE8:55:15 
2Ondrej Fojtik (Cze)0:06:19 
3Wolfgang Krenn (Aut)0:27:30 
4Ondrej Slezak (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE0:31:42 
5Dominick Hrinkow (Aut)0:45:17 
6Steven Rankine (Aus) Tenni's / SKM0:45:53 
7Mike Mulkens (Bel)0:47:21 
8Josef Benetseder (Aut) Team Eybl-Gastrogas.at0:52:20 
9Mike Blewitt (Aus) Subaru/marathonMTB.com1:02:33 
10Michiel Van Aelbroeck (Bel) O2 Bikers - WMTB.be - Schwalbe1:03:12 
11Cory Wallace (Can)1:05:22 
12Evan Corry (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 11:07:25 
13Matthew Page (GBr)1:11:17 
14Paul Mashford (Aus) Tenni's / SKM1:28:53 
15Patrick Konrad (Aut)1:30:53 
16Ritchie Motke (Ned)1:37:05 
17Guillaume Bourgeois (Swi)1:47:58 
18Luke Haines (Aus)1:54:53 
19Justin Morris (Aus) Subaru/marathonMTB.com2:05:38 
20Peter Fröhlich (Aut) Rams Cycling Black tusk2:42:10 
21Tommy Arnoldy (Lux) CT Toproad Roeserbann 024:08:59 
22Stefan Hackl (Aut)4:13:33 
23Sebastian Einsle (Lux) CT Toproad Roeserbann 014:32:00 
24Francis Ransley (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 24:51:37 
25Lukas Babor (Cze)5:03:07 
26Evert Desmidt (Bel)5:20:28 
#VALUE! #VALUE! #VALUE! #VALUE! #VALUE!
Elite women general classification after stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kate Major (Aus)11:23:30 
M1 general classification after stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Werner van der Merwe (GBr) Subaru/marathonMTB.com0:39:16 
2Jeremy Ross (Aus) Crocodile Tears0:05:52 
3Jason Chalker (Aus) Crocodile Tears0:14:27 
4Henri Delheye (Bel) WACKY0:37:07 
5Raf De Bakker (Bel) Belgian Connections MTB Team0:44:39 
6Michal Kafka (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE0:46:57 
7Wesley Reibel (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 11:21:05 
8David Osmond (Aus) Crocodile Tears1:23:25 
9Kris Hendrickx (Bel) Belgium F-16 Ridley Team1:24:30 
10Ken De Trogh (Bel) Belgium F-16 Ridley Team  
11Davy Blancquaert (Bel) Belgium F-16 Ridley Team1:29:39 
12Christophe Heinix (Bel) Team Lingier-Versluys-Beachbikers1:31:16 
13Peter Lister (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 21:44:32 
14David Carrillo (Spa)1:48:40 
15Christof Marien (Bel)1:56:03 
16Bjorn De Baets (Bel) WACKY2:10:37 
17Martin Wisata (Aut) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master2:41:19 
18Stephen Jackson (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 22:44:53 
19Ryan Corry (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 12:48:00 
20Kris Van De Putte (Bel)2:53:41 
21Barry Sey (Bel) Wacky Immobilia Team2:57:42 
22Wim Verheyen (Bel)3:49:54 
23Pieter van der Eijk (Ned)4:22:24 
24Lukas Mraz (Cze)5:02:16 
25Mathias Deleu (Bel)6:21:41 
26Gunter Selleslagh (Bel)7:46:48 
M2 general classification after stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Marc Baechli (Swi)0:47:58 
2Hans Planckaert (Bel) Smart Cycling Team0:41:15 
3Stephen Billington (Aus) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master0:48:20 
4Bart Heirewegh (Bel)1:00:22 
5Peter Urdl (Aut)1:13:10 
6Bart De Boeck (Bel)1:21:41 
7Johan Frooninckx (Bel) Belgian Connections MTB Team1:21:54 
8Alain De Munter (Bel) Fietsen Mertens1:38:48 
9Peter Roelands (Bel)1:42:26 
10Brendon Skerke (Aus) Tenni's / SKM1:49:51 
11James Heron (Aus) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master2:00:05 
12Guy Sorensen (Aus) Superior Screens2:10:29 
13Alex Moonen (Bel) ATB kempen2:56:48 
14Rik Rohart (Bel)3:01:48 
15Jakob Steen-Petersen (Den) HMTBK SRAM3:11:44 
16Pieter van Rooyen (USA)3:17:10 
17Nicholas Westwood (Aus) Koiled imports /cleanskin coffee racing3:20:43 
18Johny Thielemans (Bel)3:28:03 
19Bohuslav Babor (Cze)4:29:48 
20Chris Neal (Aus)4:33:01 
21Stefan Plas (Bel)4:42:22 
22Peter Stubbe (Bel) Wacky Immobilia Team5:15:02 
23Jaroslav Hrdlicka (Cze)5:38:34 
24Allen Liversage (RSA)5:41:39 
25Kelly Duhig (Aus)6:07:08 
26John Boswell (Aus)6:19:03 
27Thierry Ide (Bel) Wacky 2XL-team7:44:26 
28Sven Demunter (Bel) Wacky 2XL-team7:47:29 
29Paul Fitzgerald (Bel) Wacky 2XL-team7:53:26 
30Barto Du Plessis (Aus)8:17:15 
M3 General classification after stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Milan Spolc (Cze)1:46:30 
2Ruedi Senn (Swi) Top Müller.ch0:58:56 
3Freddy Cassiers (Bel)1:31:05 
4Robrecht De Meyer (Bel) Fitopia Bikers1:36:37 
5Johannes Sewald (Ger) bavarian-riders1:44:24 
6Sam Sprunger (Swi) GVFI Fleisch gibt Kraft1:46:40 
7Freddy Vekens (Bel)1:54:25 
8Luc Verlinde (Bel) Luc Verlinde1:59:06 
9Andrew Radcliffe (Aus)2:00:31 
10Rudy Motke (Ned)2:18:39 
11Erik Defillet (Bel) Fitopia Bikers2:37:01 
12Manfred Ertl (Ger) bavarian-riders2:40:35 
13Guy Vandijck (Bel)2:51:03 
14Georg Schollerer (Ger) bavarian-riders2:52:01 
15Eddy Snelders (Bel) Fitopia Bikers3:36:28 
16Luc Janssens (Bel)3:47:15 
17Philippe Maertens (Bel) Belgian Connections MTB Team3:55:03 
18Robert de la Motte (Aus)5:34:48 
CA M1 general classification after stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Pierre Paligot (Bel) CROCO RR Team Habay7:48:00 
1Dirk Abeloos (Bel) CROCO RR Team Habay7:48:03 
CA Man general classification after stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mark Griffin (Aus) Rubena RockyTrail Racing1:29:26 
1Aaron Lakeman (Aus) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing1:29:30 
2Filip Kuzniak (Pol) Team KUBIS Gomola Trans Airco0:38:53 
2Szymon Wojciech Zacharski (Pol) Team KUBIS Gomola Trans Airco0:00:02 
Tandem general classification after stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jan Saelen (Bel) / Luc Gielen (Bel)10:01:53 
Points classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ivan Rybarik (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE70 pts
2Ondrej Fojtik (Cze)45 
3Wolfgang Krenn (Aut)30 
4Mike Mulkens (Bel)20 
5Jason English (Aus) RUOK Rocky Tail Racing15 
5Cory Wallace (Can)15 
5Ondrej Slezak (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE15 
5Dominick Hrinkow (Aut)15 
Teams classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE28:43:53 
2Crocodile Tears1:43:24 
3SubarumarathonMTB.com1:49:19 
4Tenni's / SKM2:54:27 
5Belgium F-16 Ridley Team4:18:19 
6RUOK? Corry Cycles 14:36:54 
7Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master5:46:48 
8Belgian Connections MTB Team T057:17:12 
9RUOK? Corry Cycles 28:41:26 
10X-sports.cz8:53:00 
11W acky Zilvertoren Team8:58:13 
12bavarian-riders10:38:22 
13Fitopia Bikers11:11:28 
14Wacky 2XL-team23:51:07 
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