Fojtik braves the heat to take stage 6 win at Maitland Downs

Rybarik and Major continue as race leaders

The Czech Republic collected another boomerang on Thursday as its Ondrej Fojtik claimed his second stage win of this year's race, ahead of race leader Ivan Rybarik and Cory Wallace after a gruelling stage. In the general classification, the two Czech riders still dominate the field, with Rybarik leading ahead of Fojtik and Austrian Wolfgang Krenn. The gap was increased to fourth placed Werner van der Merwe of the UK and Ondrej Slezak of Czech remains in fifth overall. Australian Kate Major is still leading the women's classification while Steven Rankine took over the Australian leader's jersey.

Under cloudy skies, the sixth stage of the 2012 Crocodile Trophy started with an immediate attack by M1 racer Christof Marien. The first 60km of the race were on undulating gravel roads and with the Austro-Australian duo Dominick Hrinkow and Justin Morris trying to chase Marien down, the peloton with most of the leaders' jerseys was cruising along. The Rubena Rocky Trail Racing team with Rybarik, Slezak and Michal Kafka controlled the pace of the main peloton, often called the "Croc train" among racers, leading the group towards the dreaded climb that was going to take them up more than 450m of elevation across only about 20km.

"The first 60km were not so difficult," said the beaming stage winner, Fojtik, at the finish. "We rode in the group and there were some attacks from riders, but we were not worried. However, the second part of the stage caught all of us by surprise - it was considerably more difficult than what the elevation profile in the road book had promised."

He had noticed that Rybarik had started to suffer already after the first feed zone. "I tried to stay consistent throughout the day, and I think Ivan went too hard in the beginning of the race and then wasted valuable energy coming into the first few climbs and his energy was dropping."

From the mid-stage point after the second feeding zone, Rybarik had taken initiative and attacked the hill furiously. Fojtik didn't stay far behind, but as they caught the breakaway riders, the entire chasing peloton exploded around them, as today's third place finisher Wallace described it. "That was the hardest stage this year so far. Long, hot, dry, sandy and steep climbs that wouldn't end. After the second depot we hit the first big climb and basically, the bunch blew into pieces. I wasn't feeling so good at the start, but started to bounce back by just riding a consistent pace on the climbs. I tried not to use all my energy and made a mistake to let the two get away after the third depot. They raced off and had a bout a 30 second lead on me - I kept seeing them ahead of me for more than an hour!"

Fojtik added that he was particularly happy to claim today's stage win Boomerang. "I am really happy about my victory. We saw today that Ivan is not superhuman and that he also suffers on such a tough stage. But to win after almost five hours in that heat and after such a difficult race with all those technical climbs, river crossings and rocky descents, makes me really proud."

"I think all riders are a little bit tired and slowly the stages are taking their toll. I think this year is much tougher - the stages seem shorter on paper, but they really challenge your riding skills and endurance," said fifth place finisher Krenn. He rode together with M1 race leadervan der Merwe for most of the day, who crossed the finish line only seconds ahead of him. "Everyone needed to really dig deep now and look after themselves and their equipment to get through the next three days of racing," Krenn said.

Women's race leader Kate Major said, "I knew that the Australian Outback would be tough and wasn't too surprised that the climbs today were never-ending."  When asked if she had seen any crocodiles yet, she said, "No, and honestly, the only crocodile I want to see is the one that doesn't move on my trophy in Cooktown."

Keeping the Croc train running

Throughout the nine race days, the Croc riders are accompanied by almost 100 staff, including two bike mechanics, two doctors and six physio therapists.

"You do notice that people are starting to fatigue now," said Dr. Andreas Nemeth. "The most common injuries we see are bruises, scratches, sore bottoms, but we are also prepared for serious incidents. We are in contact with all major hospitals and ambulance services." He added that either of them travelled with the lead and finish vehicles and that way they follow the entire race track. "We are on call 24/7, basically. Riders come to us in the morning to get fresh bandages, we look after them during the race and then of course as they come into the camp, where we have set up our tent that functions as a small clinic," said the general practitioner and trained paramedic from Austria today.

Head physio therapist Maria Schöffmann said today that sometimes they also had to provide some moral support to riders. "By now riders seem to get really tired and their bodies are suffering. We massage riders and can also do basic osteopathic adjustments, stretching and tape treatments, but sometimes a friendly smile and listening to their day's adventure makes the feel better after a long stage in the saddle," she said.

Bike doctors on call

Micha Salden can't remember how often he has been helping out as a bike mechanic at the Crocodile Trophy anymore, only that sometimes only improvising is what keeps a bike rolling. "I am a bike mechanic by trade and with all those modern bikes these days you really need to know what you are doing," he said. The most common problems are faults with gear shifting and buckled wheels. His "second-in-command" this year, Niels added that the stage into Mt Mulligan had been the toughest on equipment so far. "The riders experienced heavy rain in the morning, crossed through knee-deep rivers, rode across mud and sand, that takes its toll."

Stage 7

Tomorrow's stage 7 will head to Maytown on 120km with 1400m elevation. The former main settlement on the Palmer River goldfields in Far North Queensland is the venue for the best views of a Solar Eclipse in November this year.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ondrej Fojtik (Cze)4:51:38 
2Ivan Rybarik (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE0:03:28 
3Cory Wallace (Can)0:04:21 
4Wolfgang Krenn (Aut)0:07:11 
5Paul Mashford (Aus) Tenni's / SKM0:19:53 
6Ritchie Motke (Ned)0:19:54 
7Steven Rankine (Aus) Tenni's / SKM0:20:02 
8Ondrej Slezak (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE0:20:08 
9Dominick Hrinkow (Aut)0:24:39 
10Michiel Van Aelbroeck (Bel) O2 Bikers - - Schwalbe0:26:12 
11Guillaume Bourgeois (Swi)0:34:00 
12Matthew Page (GBr)0:41:51 
13Justin Morris (Aus) Subaru/marathonMTB.com0:47:44 
14Mike Blewitt (Aus) Subaru/  
15Evan Corry (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 10:53:46 
16Luke Haines (Aus)0:55:36 
17Peter Fröhlich (Aut) Rams Cycling Black tusk1:00:40 
18Patrick Konrad (Aut)1:15:12 
19Josef Benetseder (Aut) Team Eybl-Gastrogas.at1:15:13 
20Stefan Hackl (Aut)1:38:12 
21Francis Ransley (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 21:45:53 
22Lukas Babor (Cze)1:58:50 
23Tommy Arnoldy (Lux) CT Toproad Roeserbann 022:00:35 
24Sebastian Einsle (Lux) CT Toproad Roeserbann 01  
25Evert Desmidt (Bel)2:30:20 
26Mike Mulkens (Bel)2:57:39 
DNFDen Hutmacher (Lux) CT Toproad Roeserbann 01  
Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kate Major (Aus)6:02:41 
2Alice Pirard (Bel) O2 Bikers - - Schwalbe0:21:09 
3Tinneke Van de Voorde (Bel)1:41:47 
4Jade Forsyth (Aus)2:15:53 
5Annie van der linde (Ned)3:33:49 
6Kirsten De Keyser (Bel)4:13:58 
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Werner van der Merwe (GBr) Subaru/marathonMTB.com4:58:23 
2Henri Delheye (Bel) WACKY0:19:28 
3Jason Chalker (Aus) Crocodile Tears  
4David Osmond (Aus) Crocodile Tears0:25:17 
5Jeremy Ross (Aus) Crocodile Tears0:29:26 
6Wesley Reibel (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 10:41:17 
7Raf De Bakker (Bel) Belgian Connections MTB Team0:44:12 
8Christof Marien (Bel)0:46:51 
9David Carrillo (Spa)0:47:02 
10Michal Kafka (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE0:53:04 
11Peter Lister (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 20:53:55 
12Bjorn De Baets (Bel) WACKY0:55:35 
13Kris Hendrickx (Bel) Belgium F-16 Ridley Team1:02:19 
14Davy Blancquaert (Bel) Belgium F-16 Ridley Team  
15Ken De Trogh (Bel) Belgium F-16 Ridley Team1:02:20 
16Kris Van De Putte (Bel)  
17Christophe Heinix (Bel) Team Lingier-Versluys-Beachbikers1:04:17 
18Barry Sey (Bel) Wacky Immobilia Team1:12:05 
19Stephen Jackson (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 21:17:18 
20Wim Verheyen (Bel)1:34:28 
21Lukas Mraz (Cze)1:35:36 
22Ryan Corry (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 11:42:45 
23Pieter van der Eijk (Ned)1:53:19 
24Gunter Selleslagh (Bel)2:46:39 
25Martin Wisata (Aut) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master3:10:42 
26Mathias Deleu (Bel)3:34:42 
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Hans Planckaert (Bel) Smart Cycling Team5:21:27 
2Bart De Boeck (Bel)0:06:32 
3Marc Baechli (Swi)0:06:57 
4Stephen Billington (Aus) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master0:12:03 
5Bart Heirewegh (Bel)0:21:16 
6Alain De Munter (Bel) Fietsen Mertens0:35:20 
7Peter Urdl (Aut)0:39:01 
8Jakob Steen-Petersen (Den) HMTBK SRAM0:48:38 
9Peter Roelands (Bel)0:51:54 
10Brendon Skerke (Aus) Tenni's / SKM0:52:45 
11Johan Frooninckx (Bel) Belgian Connections MTB Team0:57:44 
12James Heron (Aus) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master1:06:14 
13Guy Sorensen (Aus) Superior Screens1:13:14 
14Rik Rohart (Bel)1:34:24 
15Nicholas Westwood (Aus) Koiled imports /cleanskin coffee racing1:41:40 
16Bohuslav Babor (Cze)2:03:30 
17Stefan Plas (Bel)2:04:28 
18Alex Moonen (Bel) ATB kempen2:05:03 
19Allen Liversage (RSA)2:17:43 
20Johny Thielemans (Bel)2:19:23 
21Jaroslav Hrdlicka (Cze)2:26:03 
22Peter Stubbe (Bel) Wacky Immobilia Team2:45:10 
23Kelly Duhig (Aus)3:10:30 
24Barto Du Plessis (Aus)3:18:34 
25Paul Fitzgerald (Bel) Wacky 2XL-team3:42:34 
26Thierry Ide (Bel) Wacky 2XL-team3:43:26 
27Sven Demunter (Bel) Wacky 2XL-team3:43:27 
28Chris Neal (Aus)3:57:01 
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Milan Spolc (Cze)5:56:50 
2Sam Sprunger (Swi) GVFI Fleisch gibt Kraft0:03:34 
3Ruedi Senn (Swi) Top Müller.ch0:12:58 
4Freddy Cassiers (Bel)0:13:37 
5Johannes Sewald (Ger) bavarian-riders0:15:44 
6Robrecht De Meyer (Bel) Fitopia Bikers0:36:53 
7Erik Defillet (Bel) Fitopia Bikers0:49:11 
8Andrew Radcliffe (Aus)0:59:03 
9Georg Schollerer (Ger) bavarian-riders1:10:30 
10Manfred Ertl (Ger) bavarian-riders1:10:32 
11Freddy Vekens (Bel)1:44:05 
12Philippe Maertens (Bel) Belgian Connections MTB Team1:52:27 
13Guy Vandijck (Bel)1:52:29 
14Luc Janssens (Bel)1:58:20 
15Robert de la Motte (Aus)2:17:04 
16Rudy Motke (Ned)2:27:31 
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Pierre Paligot (Bel) CROCO RR Team Habay7:55:10 
1Dirk Abeloos (Bel) CROCO RR Team Habay7:55:11 
CA Man
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mark Griffin (Aus) Rubena RockyTrail Racing5:24:58 
1Aaron Lakeman (Aus) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing5:25:01 
2Szymon Wojciech Zacharski (Pol) Team KUBIS Gomola Trans Airco0:17:31 
2Filip Kuzniak (Pol) Team KUBIS Gomola Trans Airco0:00:01 
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ondrej Fojtik (Cze)25 pts
2Ivan Rybarik (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE20 
3Cory Wallace (Can)10 
4Werner van der Merwe (GBr) Subaru/marathonMTB.com5 
10Wolfgang Krenn (Aut)2 
Elite men general classification after stage 6
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ivan Rybarik (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE22:07:39 
2Ondrej Fojtik (Cze)0:12:13 
3Wolfgang Krenn (Aut)0:43:20 
4Ondrej Slezak (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE1:09:43 
5Cory Wallace (Can)1:20:03 
6Michiel Van Aelbroeck (Bel) O2 Bikers - - Schwalbe1:32:01 
7Steven Rankine (Aus) Tenni's / SKM1:34:31 
8Dominick Hrinkow (Aut)1:53:53 
9Matthew Page (GBr)2:19:43 
10Mike Blewitt (Aus) Subaru/marathonMTB.com2:25:01 
11Paul Mashford (Aus) Tenni's / SKM2:33:36 
12Ritchie Motke (Ned)2:45:06 
13Josef Benetseder (Aut) Team Eybl-Gastrogas.at3:10:28 
14Evan Corry (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 13:12:11 
15Luke Haines (Aus)4:08:04 
16Mike Mulkens (Bel)5:02:33 
17Guillaume Bourgeois (Swi)5:23:53 
18Peter Fröhlich (Aut) Rams Cycling Black tusk5:27:59 
19Patrick Konrad (Aut)5:37:32 
20Justin Morris (Aus) Subaru/marathonMTB.com8:03:50 
21Francis Ransley (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 29:23:53 
22Tommy Arnoldy (Lux) CT Toproad Roeserbann 029:51:49 
23Stefan Hackl (Aut)10:06:24 
24Sebastian Einsle (Lux) CT Toproad Roeserbann 0110:14:51 
25Lukas Babor (Cze)11:03:23 
26Evert Desmidt (Bel)11:37:29 
Elite women general classification after stage 6
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kate Major (Aus)28:08:23 
2Alice Pirard (Bel) O2 Bikers - - Schwalbe1:50:25 
3Tinneke Van de Voorde (Bel)7:09:57 
4Annie van der linde (Ned)11:20:46 
5Jade Forsyth (Aus)11:49:10 
6Kirsten De Keyser (Bel)16:21:18 
M1 general classification after stage 6
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Werner van der Merwe (GBr) Subaru/marathonMTB.com23:11:38 
2Jeremy Ross (Aus) Crocodile Tears0:43:51 
3Jason Chalker (Aus) Crocodile Tears0:51:52 
4Henri Delheye (Bel) WACKY1:02:33 
5Raf De Bakker (Bel) Belgian Connections MTB Team1:58:44 
6David Osmond (Aus) Crocodile Tears2:28:53 
7Michal Kafka (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE2:39:42 
8Wesley Reibel (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 12:40:31 
9Kris Hendrickx (Bel) Belgium F-16 Ridley Team3:21:11 
10Ken De Trogh (Bel) Belgium F-16 Ridley Team3:21:12 
11Davy Blancquaert (Bel) Belgium F-16 Ridley Team3:26:20 
12Bjorn De Baets (Bel) WACKY3:57:35 
13Peter Lister (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 24:01:27 
14Christophe Heinix (Bel) Team Lingier-Versluys-Beachbikers4:11:47 
15David Carrillo (Spa)4:24:54 
16Christof Marien (Bel)5:11:17 
17Barry Sey (Bel) Wacky Immobilia Team6:14:39 
18Stephen Jackson (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 26:26:35 
19Ryan Corry (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 16:29:25 
20Kris Van De Putte (Bel)6:33:41 
21Martin Wisata (Aut) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master8:00:47 
22Pieter van der Eijk (Ned)8:31:48 
23Lukas Mraz (Cze)9:22:42 
24Wim Verheyen (Bel)9:27:10 
25Mathias Deleu (Bel)14:46:31 
26Gunter Selleslagh (Bel)17:23:52 
M2 general classification after stage 6
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Marc Baechli (Swi)24:26:49 
2Hans Planckaert (Bel) Smart Cycling Team0:46:21 
3Stephen Billington (Aus) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master1:15:24 
4Bart Heirewegh (Bel)1:23:59 
5Peter Urdl (Aut)2:06:34 
6Alain De Munter (Bel) Fietsen Mertens2:36:41 
7Bart De Boeck (Bel)2:38:14 
8Johan Frooninckx (Bel) Belgian Connections MTB Team2:48:47 
9Brendon Skerke (Aus) Tenni's / SKM3:35:59 
10Peter Roelands (Bel)3:46:45 
11James Heron (Aus) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master4:04:43 
12Jakob Steen-Petersen (Den) HMTBK SRAM4:18:23 
13Guy Sorensen (Aus) Superior Screens5:00:12 
14Rik Rohart (Bel)7:03:15 
15Nicholas Westwood (Aus) Koiled imports /cleanskin coffee racing7:13:09 
16Johny Thielemans (Bel)8:01:29 
17Bohuslav Babor (Cze)9:38:19 
18Alex Moonen (Bel) ATB kempen10:07:47 
19Allen Liversage (RSA)11:12:45 
20Peter Stubbe (Bel) Wacky Immobilia Team11:14:41 
21Jaroslav Hrdlicka (Cze)11:40:32 
22Stefan Plas (Bel)12:07:04 
23Kelly Duhig (Aus)14:46:01 
24Chris Neal (Aus)15:52:36 
25Thierry Ide (Bel) Wacky 2XL-team17:03:36 
26Sven Demunter (Bel) Wacky 2XL-team17:06:42 
27Barto Du Plessis (Aus)17:49:25 
28Paul Fitzgerald (Bel) Wacky 2XL-team19:13:36 
M3 general classification after stage 6
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Milan Spolc (Cze)26:42:54 
2Ruedi Senn (Swi) Top Müller.ch1:28:47 
3Sam Sprunger (Swi) GVFI Fleisch gibt Kraft1:38:05 
4Freddy Cassiers (Bel)1:58:19 
5Johannes Sewald (Ger) bavarian-riders2:41:03 
6Robrecht De Meyer (Bel) Fitopia Bikers2:45:54 
7Erik Defillet (Bel) Fitopia Bikers3:58:01 
8Freddy Vekens (Bel)4:39:47 
9Andrew Radcliffe (Aus)4:54:45 
10Rudy Motke (Ned)5:52:11 
11Manfred Ertl (Ger) bavarian-riders5:54:12 
12Georg Schollerer (Ger) bavarian-riders6:06:01 
13Luc Janssens (Bel)9:04:22 
14Guy Vandijck (Bel)9:45:52 
15Philippe Maertens (Bel) Belgian Connections MTB Team10:49:50 
16Robert de la Motte (Aus)14:30:16 
CA M1 general classification after stage 6
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Pierre Paligot (Bel) CROCO RR Team Habay38:33:17 
1Dirk Abeloos (Bel) CROCO RR Team Habay38:33:23 
CA Man general classification after stage 6
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mark Griffin (Aus) Rubena RockyTrail Racing25:11:01 
1Aaron Lakeman (Aus) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing25:11:11 
2Filip Kuzniak (Pol) Team KUBIS Gomola Trans Airco1:01:09 
2Szymon Wojciech Zacharski (Pol) Team KUBIS Gomola Trans Airco0:00:01 
Points classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ivan Rybarik (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE135 pts
2Ondrej Fojtik (Cze)100 
3Wolfgang Krenn (Aut)67 
4Michiel Van Aelbroeck (Bel) O2 Bikers - - Schwalbe30 
4Cory Wallace (Can)30 
6Mike Mulkens (Bel)20 
7Jason English (Aus) RUOK Rocky Tail Racing15 
7Ondrej Slezak (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE15 
7Dominick Hrinkow (Aut)15 
10Werner van der Merwe (GBr) Subaru/marathonMTB.com10 
Teams classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE71:17:08 
3Crocodile Tears2:05:38 
4Tenni\'s / SKM4:40:50 
5Belgium F-16 Ridley Team8:26:29 
6RUOK? Corry Cycles 111:08:10 
7Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master14:09:02 
8RUOK? Corry Cycles 215:25:49 
10W acky Zilvertoren Team18:04:50 
12GER bavarian-riders24:14:45 
13W acky 2XL-team39:24:51 
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