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Crocodile Trophy 2012

Date range:
October 20-28, 2012

October 26, Stage 7: Maitland Downs - Maytown 120km

Mulkens fulfills dream of winning a Croc Trophy Stage

By:
Cycling News
Published:
October 26, 2012, 15:03 BST,
Updated:
October 26, 2012, 16:25 BST

Rybarik and Major defend overall leads with two stages remaining

Mike Mulkens on the way to winning his first Crocodile Trophy stage

Mike Mulkens on the way to winning his first Crocodile Trophy stage

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Mike Mulkens achieved his life-long dream upon winning today's Crocodile Trophy stage into Maytown. After four years and 36 stages, he got his first stage win and the accompanying boomerang. in record temperatures reaching more than 45 degrees Celsius, Cory Wallace came in a close second, and Josef Benetseder finished third. With two stages to go, the overall classifications of both men and women's elite categories are still unchallenged with the Czech Ivan Rybarik and the Australian Kate Major, respectively leading.

Happy, emotional, excited, content - these and many more emotions were written across Mulkens' face, when he jumped off his bike at Maytown with his arms shooting into the air in victory. Racing at the Crocodile Trophy for the fourth time, it had been the Belgian amateur cyclist's life-long goal and dream to win a stage.

"Today, everything was perfect for me. Good legs, an early attack that worked, awesome riding mates that raced really well and for the first time in a Crocodile Trophy stage I kept telling myself to stay calm and patient and it worked. I can't believe it - I'm so happy!" said a beaming Mulkens at the finish. His 2012 race had started with bad luck with Mulkens suffering flat tires, a broken seat and fatigue on the technical and hot mountain bike stages. However, despite the extreme temperatures today he prevailed.

The morning started pleasantly cool with less than 15 degrees overnight and Mulkens attacked right away. Fellow Belgians Michiel Van Aelbroeck and Christof Marien as well as Wallace decided to go as well and with three more Austrians - Benetseder, Dominick Hrinkow and Patrick Konrad - they formed the breakaway group. In the meantime, the peloton kept riding at a steady pace and most leaders' jerseys were in it. It had taken them a long time to increase the gap to two minutes, said Mulkens after a refreshing swim in the nearby billabong, however, then the lead group, now without Marien, who fell back to the peloton on the steep climbs of the wide gravel roads, kept increasing their pace.

From the second feeding station Mulkens said, "I knew I had to give it all. On the last 30km, I really pushed hard and attacked. Cory stayed on my wheel and at a sandy and technical section just 5km before the finish, we were able to leave the Austrians and Van Aelbroeck behind and then I just smashed it." After more than three hours of racing, he was looking forward to "beer, chips and a party".

"I am really happy for Mike, he deserves this win," said second place getter Wallace. "Had it been an uphill finish, maybe I would have had an advantage. But it was slightly downhill and Mike had the better line on the finish straight and was the stronger sprinter." Benetseder finished in third with 3:11.24, followed by Van Aelbroeck and Konrad.

Preserving energy for second-last stage into Laura

"The plan among riders in the peloton had been to take it easy ahead of tomorrow's rough stage into Laura and to preserve as much energy as possible," said Wolfgang Krenn. Finishing in eighth place, his GC position won't be challenged and he was satisfied with his result and excited about Mulken's win. "We had a chat amongst each other in the bunch and a good ride together. The Crocodile Trophy is a race where you really get to know your fellow riders. That's why I'm really happy for Mike today - we rode a lot together during last year's race and he had asked me earlier this week how a stage win felt. We all knew how much he wanted a stage win. Now he can experience it himself and he deserves it," Krenn said.

It almost seems that today's stage has closed a chapter in the Crocodile Trophy's race history with Mulken's emotional win on the tip of everyone's tongue. Werner van der Merwe, M1 race leader said today that he himself had a comfortable gap among his field of competitors, but that he won't relax just yet. "At such an intense and long race, anything can happen. Look at Mike Mulkens - earlier this week he had flat tires and even a broken seat and was riding right at the back of the bunch. Today he wins a stage - you do need endurance, good legs, but also a bit of luck." The accountant added that he still couldn't believe that he was leading the M1 classification. "I came here for the adventure. I love riding my bike, because it takes my mind off the sometimes monotonous work I do. So really, I'm on a holiday here - my parents and my wife support me on this journey and what more could I ask for?"

Strong women's field impresses and has fun

Kate Major the successful tri- and endurance athlete is comfortably leading the general women's classification at the 2012 Crocodile Trophy. Today she said that she felt a bit of fatigue setting in but that she was still looking forward to the last two stages. "On the rides into Laura and Cooktown I'll see more places that I haven't been to, and I'm always up for an adventure!" she said.

Today, of the six women at the start, three started an hour before the entire Croc field. Not challenging the top three positions of Kate Major, Alice Pirard and Tinneke Van de Voorde, they got their own gun shot-start at 7:00 am and a head start in the cool of the morning.

While Annie van der Linde, the 55-year-old Dutch rider pushed ahead, the Australian Jade Forsyth and Kirsten De Keyser rode together all the way to the finish. "I was happy about the early start because it meant that after some time the top riders started to overtake us and it was so exciting to see at what high speeds they race," said De Keyser. "They were so encouraging, saying 'Come on you're doing great' and some even slapped my bum and pushed me along a bit - but I didn't mind, it was actually really motivating and you feel part of the race." It had been nice to talk about "girl stuff", she said. "You know, about sore bums and what else hurts by now, but also about our personal life and we really got to know each other."

De Keyser said that on most of the previous days she had been riding at the back of the bunches and would probably get the "wooden spoon trophy" in the end, but that you also experienced some fun moments. "The depot crew is always good value - the other day, as they had packed up and started overtaking me towards the finish, they actually drove level with me and a girl opened the window presenting me with a plate full of extra muesli bars and fruit. And at the depots they treat me like a queen, filling my water bottles, massaging my legs or waving paper at me for a breeze," she said with a big smile about her days out on the bike.

Forsyth from Australia agreed that it had been fun to share a day out at the Crocodile Trophy with a fellow female rider. "We talked about life and our hobbies and it was awesome to see the fast boys go past and to being able to cheer them on," said the insurance broker. Of the remaining two stages, she added that tomorrow's stage into Laura she expected a lot of rough and rocky sections, but as a passionate mountain biker she felt confident. "The last day is going to be really long. Straight main roads and a head wind at the end, but I hope, maybe we'll find some gentlemen who will ride with us and give us some rest in their slipstream for the final kilometres of this race."

Stage 8

Riding towards civilisation again, the riders will arrive at Laura tomorrow after 87km and 1300 m of elevation.

Full Results

Elite men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Mike Mulkens (Bel) 3:10:21  
2 Cory Wallace (Can) 0:00:01  
3 Josef Benetseder (Aut) Team Eybl-Gastrogas.at 0:01:03  
4 Michiel Van Aelbroeck (Bel) O2 Bikers - WMTB.be - Schwalbe    
5 Patrick Konrad (Aut) 0:02:21  
6 Matthew Page (GBr) 0:06:19  
7 Dominick Hrinkow (Aut) 0:08:28  
8 Wolfgang Krenn (Aut) 0:11:06  
9 Ondrej Slezak (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE    
10 Ritchie Motke (Ned) 0:11:07  
11 Paul Mashford (Aus) Tenni's / SKM    
12 Ivan Rybarik (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE 0:11:09  
13 Ondrej Fojtik (Cze) 0:11:10  
14 Steven Rankine (Aus) Tenni's / SKM 0:13:02  
15 Mike Blewitt (Aus) Subaru/marathonMTB.com 0:13:53  
16 Guillaume Bourgeois (Swi) 0:17:22  
17 Evan Corry (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 1 0:19:33  
18 Luke Haines (Aus) 0:34:38  
19 Peter Fröhlich (Aut) Rams Cycling Black tusk 0:36:54  
20 Justin Morris (Aus) Subaru/marathonMTB.com 0:40:50  
21 Tommy Arnoldy (Lux) CT Toproad Roeserbann 02 1:05:48  
22 Sebastian Einsle (Lux) CT Toproad Roeserbann 01 1:05:49  
23 Stefan Hackl (Aut) 1:14:50  
24 Francis Ransley (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 2 1:15:03  
25 Lukas Babor (Cze) 1:21:05  
26 Evert Desmidt (Bel) 1:44:55  
Elite women
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Kate Major (Aus) 3:37:34  
2 Alice Pirard (Bel) O2 Bikers - WMTB.be - Schwalbe 0:19:41  
3 Tinneke Van de Voorde (Bel) 1:34:33  
4 Annie van der linde (Ned) 1:40:42  
5 Jade Forsyth (Aus) 2:12:42  
6 Kirsten De Keyser (Bel) 2:12:43  
M1
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Werner van der Merwe (GBr) Subaru/marathonMTB.com 3:21:29  
2 Henri Delheye (Bel) WACKY 0:02:43  
3 Davy Blancquaert (Bel) Belgium F-16 Ridley Team 0:02:44  
4 Wesley Reibel (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 1 0:04:58  
5 Bjorn De Baets (Bel) WACKY 0:06:09  
6 Jeremy Ross (Aus) Crocodile Tears 0:08:26  
7 David Osmond (Aus) Crocodile Tears 0:16:02  
8 Michal Kafka (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE 0:19:33  
9 Raf De Bakker (Bel) Belgian Connections MTB Team 0:19:35  
10 Stephen Jackson (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 2 0:33:33  
11 Peter Lister (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 2 0:36:09  
12 David Carrillo (Spa) 0:40:04  
13 Christophe Heinix (Bel) Team Lingier-Versluys-Beachbikers    
14 Kris Hendrickx (Bel) Belgium F-16 Ridley Team 0:45:08  
15 Ken De Trogh (Bel) Belgium F-16 Ridley Team    
16 Barry Sey (Bel) Wacky Immobilia Team 0:48:47  
17 Lukas Mraz (Cze) 0:50:15  
18 Wim Verheyen (Bel) 0:56:59  
19 Kris Van De Putte (Bel) 0:57:36  
20 Martin Wisata (Aut) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master 1:03:40  
21 Pieter van der Eijk (Ned) 1:07:41  
22 Ryan Corry (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 1 1:07:45  
23 Gunter Selleslagh (Bel) 1:23:47  
24 Christof Marien (Bel) 1:28:37  
25 Mathias Deleu (Bel) 1:56:06  
DNF Jason Chalker (Aus) Crocodile Tears    
M2
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Marc Baechli (Swi) 3:28:51  
2 Bart De Boeck (Bel) 0:03:12  
3 Stephen Billington (Aus) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master 0:08:40  
4 Peter Urdl (Aut) 0:18:23  
5 Bart Heirewegh (Bel) 0:21:26  
6 Alain De Munter (Bel) Fietsen Mertens 0:21:59  
7 Johan Frooninckx (Bel) Belgian Connections MTB Team    
8 Brendon Skerke (Aus) Tenni's / SKM 0:24:50  
9 Peter Roelands (Bel) 0:24:51  
10 Guy Sorensen (Aus) Superior Screens 0:28:27  
11 Jakob Steen-Petersen (Den) HMTBK SRAM 0:37:38  
12 Hans Planckaert (Bel) Smart Cycling Team 0:37:55  
13 Rik Rohart (Bel) 0:50:14  
14 James Heron (Aus) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master 0:53:43  
15 Nicholas Westwood (Aus) Koiled imports /cleanskin coffee racing 0:56:52  
16 Bohuslav Babor (Cze) 1:02:35  
17 Johny Thielemans (Bel) 1:03:16  
18 Stefan Plas (Bel) 1:08:43  
19 Allen Liversage (RSA) 1:27:38  
20 Alex Moonen (Bel) ATB kempen 1:31:04  
21 Jaroslav Hrdlicka (Cze) 1:36:37  
22 Peter Stubbe (Bel) Wacky Immobilia Team 1:52:14  
23 Sven Demunter (Bel) Wacky 2XL-team 2:18:53  
24 Thierry Ide (Bel) Wacky 2XL-team    
25 Barto Du Plessis (Aus) 2:34:55  
26 Kelly Duhig (Aus)    
27 Chris Neal (Aus) 2:34:56  
DNF Paul Fitzgerald (Bel) Wacky 2XL-team    
M3
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Milan Spolc (Cze) 3:30:30  
2 Freddy Cassiers (Bel) 0:22:18  
3 Sam Sprunger (Swi) GVFI Fleisch gibt Kraft 0:23:14  
4 Freddy Vekens (Bel) 0:28:55  
5 Johannes Sewald (Ger) bavarian-riders    
6 Ruedi Senn (Swi) Top Müller.ch 0:31:03  
7 Erik Defillet (Bel) Fitopia Bikers 0:45:38  
8 Rudy Motke (Ned) 0:53:51  
9 Andrew Radcliffe (Aus) 0:56:48  
10 Robrecht De Meyer (Bel) Fitopia Bikers 0:58:41  
11 Manfred Ertl (Ger) bavarian-riders 1:05:03  
12 Georg Schollerer (Ger) bavarian-riders    
13 Luc Janssens (Bel) 1:25:09  
14 Guy Vandijck (Bel) 2:25:17  
15 Philippe Maertens (Bel) Belgian Connections MTB Team 2:25:19  
16 Robert de la Motte (Aus) 2:35:31  
CA M1
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Pierre Paligot (Bel) CROCO RR Team Habay 5:15:31  
1 Dirk Abeloos (Bel) CROCO RR Team Habay 5:15:32  
CA Man
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Mark Griffin (Aus) Rubena RockyTrail Racing 3:24:12  
1 Aaron Lakeman (Aus) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing 3:24:13  
2 Filip Kuzniak (Pol) Team KUBIS Gomola Trans Airco 0:21:49  
2 Szymon Wojciech Zacharski (Pol) Team KUBIS Gomola Trans Airco    
Points
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
4 Patrick Konrad (Aut) 5  pts
5 Michiel Van Aelbroeck (Bel) O2 Bikers - WMTB.be - Schwalbe 10  
6 Josef Benetseder (Aut) Team Eybl-Gastrogas.at 15  
7 Cory Wallace (Can) 20  
12 Mike Mulkens (Bel) 25  
Elite men general classification after stage 7
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Ivan Rybarik (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE 25:29:09  
2 Ondrej Fojtik (Cze) 0:12:14  
3 Wolfgang Krenn (Aut) 0:43:17  
4 Cory Wallace (Can) 1:08:45  
5 Ondrej Slezak (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE 1:09:40  
6 Michiel Van Aelbroeck (Bel) O2 Bikers - WMTB.be - Schwalbe 1:21:55  
7 Steven Rankine (Aus) Tenni's / SKM 1:36:24  
8 Dominick Hrinkow (Aut) 1:51:12  
9 Matthew Page (GBr) 2:14:53  
10 Mike Blewitt (Aus) Subaru/marathonMTB.com 2:27:45  
11 Paul Mashford (Aus) Tenni's / SKM 2:33:34  
12 Ritchie Motke (Ned) 2:45:04  
13 Josef Benetseder (Aut) Team Eybl-Gastrogas.at 3:00:17  
14 Evan Corry (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 1 3:20:35  
15 Justin Morris (Aus) Subaru/marathonMTB.com 3:53:32  
16 Luke Haines (Aus) 4:31:33  
17 Mike Mulkens (Bel) 4:51:09  
18 Patrick Konrad (Aut) 5:28:44  
19 Guillaume Bourgeois (Swi) 5:30:06  
20 Peter Fröhlich (Aut) Rams Cycling Black tusk 5:53:44  
21 Francis Ransley (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 2 10:27:47  
22 Tommy Arnoldy (Lux) CT Toproad Roeserbann 02 10:46:28  
23 Sebastian Einsle (Lux) CT Toproad Roeserbann 01 11:09:31  
24 Stefan Hackl (Aut) 11:10:05  
25 Lukas Babor (Cze) 12:13:19  
26 Evert Desmidt (Bel) 13:11:15  
Elite women general classification after stage 7
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Kate Major (Aus) 31:45:57  
2 Alice Pirard (Bel) O2 Bikers - WMTB.be - Schwalbe 2:10:06  
3 Tinneke Van de Voorde (Bel) 8:44:30  
4 Annie van der linde (Ned) 13:01:28  
5 Jade Forsyth (Aus) 14:01:52  
6 Kirsten De Keyser (Bel) 18:34:01  
M1 general classification after stage 7
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Werner van der Merwe (GBr) Subaru/marathonMTB.com 26:33:07  
2 Jeremy Ross (Aus) Crocodile Tears 0:52:17  
3 Henri Delheye (Bel) WACKY 1:05:16  
4 Raf De Bakker (Bel) Belgian Connections MTB Team 2:18:19  
5 David Osmond (Aus) Crocodile Tears 2:44:55  
6 Wesley Reibel (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 1 2:45:29  
7 Michal Kafka (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE 2:59:15  
8 Davy Blancquaert (Bel) Belgium F-16 Ridley Team 3:29:04  
9 Bjorn De Baets (Bel) WACKY 4:03:44  
10 Kris Hendrickx (Bel) Belgium F-16 Ridley Team 4:06:19  
11 Ken De Trogh (Bel) Belgium F-16 Ridley Team 4:06:20  
12 Peter Lister (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 2 4:37:36  
13 Christophe Heinix (Bel) Team Lingier-Versluys-Beachbikers 4:51:51  
14 David Carrillo (Spa) 5:04:58  
15 Christof Marien (Bel) 6:39:54  
16 Stephen Jackson (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 2 7:00:08  
17 Barry Sey (Bel) Wacky Immobilia Team 7:03:26  
18 Kris Van De Putte (Bel) 7:31:17  
19 Ryan Corry (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 1 7:37:10  
20 Martin Wisata (Aut) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master 9:04:27  
21 Pieter van der Eijk (Ned) 9:39:29  
22 Lukas Mraz (Cze) 10:12:57  
23 Wim Verheyen (Bel) 10:24:09  
24 Mathias Deleu (Bel) 16:42:37  
25 Gunter Selleslagh (Bel) 18:47:39  
M2 general classification after stage 7
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Marc Baechli (Swi) 27:55:40  
2 Stephen Billington (Aus) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master 1:24:04  
3 Hans Planckaert (Bel) Smart Cycling Team 1:24:16  
4 Bart Heirewegh (Bel) 1:45:25  
5 Peter Urdl (Aut) 2:24:57  
6 Bart De Boeck (Bel) 2:41:26  
7 Alain De Munter (Bel) Fietsen Mertens 2:58:40  
8 Johan Frooninckx (Bel) Belgian Connections MTB Team 3:10:46  
9 Brendon Skerke (Aus) Tenni's / SKM 4:00:49  
10 Peter Roelands (Bel) 4:11:36  
11 Jakob Steen-Petersen (Den) HMTBK SRAM 4:56:01  
12 James Heron (Aus) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master 4:58:26  
13 Guy Sorensen (Aus) Superior Screens 5:28:39  
14 Rik Rohart (Bel) 7:53:29  
15 Nicholas Westwood (Aus) Koiled imports /cleanskin coffee racing 8:10:01  
16 Johny Thielemans (Bel) 9:04:45  
17 Bohuslav Babor (Cze) 10:40:54  
18 Alex Moonen (Bel) ATB kempen 11:38:51  
19 Allen Liversage (RSA) 12:40:23  
20 Peter Stubbe (Bel) Wacky Immobilia Team 13:06:55  
21 Stefan Plas (Bel) 13:15:47  
22 Jaroslav Hrdlicka (Cze) 13:17:09  
23 Kelly Duhig (Aus) 17:20:56  
24 Chris Neal (Aus) 18:27:32  
25 Thierry Ide (Bel) Wacky 2XL-team 19:22:29  
26 Sven Demunter (Bel) Wacky 2XL-team 19:25:35  
27 Barto Du Plessis (Aus) 20:24:20  
M3 general classification after stage 7
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Milan Spolc (Cze) 30:13:24  
2 Ruedi Senn (Swi) Top Müller.ch 1:59:50  
3 Sam Sprunger (Swi) GVFI Fleisch gibt Kraft 2:01:19  
4 Freddy Cassiers (Bel) 2:20:37  
5 Johannes Sewald (Ger) bavarian-riders 3:09:58  
6 Robrecht De Meyer (Bel) Fitopia Bikers 3:44:35  
7 Erik Defillet (Bel) Fitopia Bikers 4:43:39  
8 Freddy Vekens (Bel) 5:08:42  
9 Andrew Radcliffe (Aus) 5:51:33  
10 Rudy Motke (Ned) 6:46:02  
11 Manfred Ertl (Ger) bavarian-riders 6:59:15  
12 Georg Schollerer (Ger) bavarian-riders 7:11:04  
13 Luc Janssens (Bel) 10:29:31  
14 Guy Vandijck (Bel) 12:11:09  
15 Philippe Maertens (Bel) Belgian Connections MTB Team 13:15:09  
16 Robert de la Motte (Aus) 17:05:47  
CA M1 general classification after stage 7
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Pierre Paligot (Bel) CROCO RR Team Habay 43:48:48  
1 Dirk Abeloos (Bel) CROCO RR Team Habay 43:48:55  
CA Man
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Mark Griffin (Aus) Rubena RockyTrail Racing 28:35:13  
1 Aaron Lakeman (Aus) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing 28:35:24  
2 Filip Kuzniak (Pol) Team KUBIS Gomola Trans Airco 1:22:58  
2 Szymon Wojciech Zacharski (Pol) Team KUBIS Gomola Trans Airco 0:00:01  
Points classification
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Ivan Rybarik (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE 135  pts
2 Ondrej Fojtik (Cze) 100  
3 Wolfgang Krenn (Aut) 67  
4 Cory Wallace (Can) 50  
5 Mike Mulkens (Bel) 45  
6 Michiel Van Aelbroeck (Bel) O2 Bikers - WMTB.be - Schwalbe 40  
7 Jason English (Aus) RUOK Rocky Tail Racing 15  
7 Ondrej Slezak (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE 15  
7 Dominick Hrinkow (Aut) 15  
7 Josef Benetseder (Aut) Team Eybl-Gastrogas.at 15  
11 Werner van der Merwe (GBr) Subaru/marathonMTB.com 10  
12 Patrick Konrad (Aut) 5  
Teams classification
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE 81:41:07  
2 Subaru/marathonMTB.com 2:00:13  
3 Tenni\'s / SKM 4:55:23  
4 Belgium F-16 Ridley Team 9:39:57  
5 RUOK? Corry Cycles 1 12:09:46  
6 Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master 16:10:17  
7 RUOK? Corry Cycles 2 17:19:54  
8 W acky Zilvertoren Team 20:36:24  
9 BELGIAN CONNECTIONS MTB TEAM T09 20:46:29  
10 X-sports.cz 20:49:50  
11 GER bavarian-riders 27:01:17