Rybarik extends race lead on stage 8 of Crocodile Trophy

Czech cruising toward overall victory

Ivan Rybarik was again the fastest Crocodile Trophy racer across the finish line today at Laura after an impressive ride and solo finish. Rybarik secured his lead by more than five minutes over second in the elite men's GC, fellow Czech rider Ondrej Fojtik. Fojtik finished third today, only seconds behind Mike Mulkens of Belgium.

With one more stage into Cooktown and Rybarik holding a comfortable lead, him and all podium contenders agree that the fickle Crocodile Trophy isn’t over yet so the camp is trying to recover in glistening heat at Laura and gearing up for the arrival on Grassy Hill tomorrow.

The first 54 km to the Little Laura River crossing were deemed too rough for 4WD cars so the race quad crew was again leading and following the riders on track across an old gold mining trail that had been built in 1873 during the gold rush era in the Palmer river region.

Yesterday’s stage winner Mulkens attacked right away but was soon caught by Rybarik who said that he didn’t want to risk anything and his goal for today was to secure his overall lead gap.

"Today was an awesome stage, I loved those drop-offs and downhills!" said Rybarik. "I pushed really hard until the end; I put the hammer down all the way. I kept getting really hungry after the two and three hour marks, but was lucky to have enough food with me to keep going." He was hoping that tomorrow’s final stage would be a relaxed ride towards Cooktown and that his biggest competitor Ondrej Fojtik wouldn’t attack to hard to still challenge his title.

It wasn’t such a smooth race today for Mulkens, who suffered yet another flat tire at the 10km mark, just as he was racing well together with Rybarik. "Ivan did hesitate and stopped for a few seconds but I understand that he couldn’t wait for me – it took me ages to fix the flat and I dropped back to at least 50th position," said the Belgian rider who managed to catch back up with the main chaser group. "On those technical downhills I risked a lot today," said Mulkens. "My legs felt strong and I thought it’s either going to be another flat or catching the lead groups."

In an impressive chase, Mulkens settled into the chasing group with Cory Wallace, Wolfgang Krenn and Werner van der Merwe. Just before the last feed zone and with 15km to go, they were six minutes behind the leader Rybarik and his solo chaser Fojtik on whom he had 4:30 minutes at that point.

Fojtik said later, "Today was the most beautiful stage that I’ve ever experienced at a Crocodile Trophy. It was really difficult and technical, but really awesome and it suited me perfectly. Ivan was very strong again today and at the last feed zone I decided to preserve some energy for tomorrow, backed off and the chasing group caught me." In the strong headwind of the open fireroads towards the finish, they worked together well and in a sprint finish, Mulkens crossed the line just seconds ahead of Fojtik, about five minutes behind the stage winner Rybarik.

Wallace's legs felt heavy in the morning following his efforts of the previous two stages. "I still pushed hard from the start, because I wanted to keep Ondrej Slezak in my sight, who has been trying to challenge my fourth position overall in the elite category. When you stay with Ivan Rybarik, you get second."

"Today was a perfect track, I wish it would be like this every day," said Wallace. "A few sections were really sandy, and we tried going off into the woods, but you get sticks in your spokes and I'm scared of the snakes - so I stayed on the track and walked some of it."

Like many riders, also Wolfgang Krenn is hesitant to look at the current standings and predict any possible final results. "Today I wanted to secure the third overall place, and I think I managed that well. I didn't want to risk anything on the technical downhill sections, Ivan's racing a crazy pace, however, anything can happen at the Croc. There's one more long stage ahead of us."

Werner van der Merwe agreed, "Today you really needed to be switched on - it was pure mountain biking. I did come down twice, but I still loved today, because the track was so interesting and a real mountain biker's stage," said the Subaru/Marathon-MTB team rider today. The British M1 category leader, who would be placing fourth-fastest overall, added that he was hopeful for a successful finish at Cooktown. "It's only over when the fat lady has sung, isn't it? So hopefully tomorrow it's not going to be too hot and the head wind into Cooktown won't be as strong as promised."

One of the unlucky fellows of the day was Slezak who had suffered a flat tire and realised that he had forgotten the inflating tool to fix it. Luckily, his Rubena Rocky Trail teammate Mark Griffin caught up to him. "I waited for a few minutes and Mark helped me and gave me some spare parts, however, I still lost more than 10 minutes." Griffin's adventure category team rider Aaron Lakeman suffered a similar fate. "Three flat tires in a row today, I can't believe it. It was a fun track, I much preferred it to just sitting on a fire road, but it takes its toll on the equipment."

Elite women

Kate Major, the leading female at the Crocodile Trophy, enjoyed today's technical challenges and rode admittedly carefully. "I know I have a good lead, but at the end of the day, it's about arriving in Cooktown and finishing the race," she said, noting that tomorrow's stage isn't just a formality.

When asked if she'd do the Crocodile Trophy again, she said, "Never say never, I might do it again. For now I'll just try to ride a good pace into Cooktown tomorrow."

Stage 9: The final day

After a 140km stage with 1150m of elevation, riders are expected to start arriving at Cooktown's Grassy Hill beginning at 2:00 pm local time.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ivan Rybarik (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing3:27:36 
2Mike Mulkens (Bel)0:05:27 
3Ondrej Fojtik (Cze)0:05:28 
4Cory Wallace (Can)0:05:38 
5Wolfgang Krenn (Aut)0:05:45 
6Michiel Van Aelbroeck (Bel) O2 Bikers - WMTB.be - Schwalbe0:15:25 
7Dominick Hrinkow (Aut)0:19:31 
8Matthew Page (GBr)0:20:02 
9Ondrej Slezak (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE  
10Steven Rankine (Aus) Tenni's / SKM0:21:59 
11Evan Corry (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 10:26:21 
12Luke Haines (Aus)0:31:51 
13Peter Fröhlich (Aut) Rams Cycling Black tusk0:32:54 
14Ritchie Motke (Ned)0:33:19 
15Mike Blewitt (Aus) Subaru/marathonMTB.com0:33:20 
16Justin Morris (Aus) Subaru/marathonMTB.com0:52:17 
17Evert Desmidt (Bel)1:04:09 
18Josef Benetseder (Aut) Team Eybl-Gastrogas.at1:05:56 
19Paul Mashford (Aus) Tenni's / SKM1:18:49 
20Guillaume Bourgeois (Swi)1:22:11 
21Tommy Arnoldy (Lux) CT Toproad Roeserbann 021:29:41 
22Sebastian Einsle (Lux) CT Toproad Roeserbann 011:29:42 
23Patrick Konrad (Aut)1:38:48 
24Lukas Babor (Cze)1:51:55 
25Stefan Hackl (Aut)2:33:29 
26Francis Ransley (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 23:19:01 
DNFJason English (Aus) RUOK Rocky Tail Racing  
DNFDen Hutmacher (Lux) CT Toproad Roeserbann 01  
Elite Women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kate Major (Aus)4:34:09 
2Alice Pirard (Bel) O2 Bikers - WMTB.be - Schwalbe0:23:08 
3Tinneke Van de Voorde (Bel)1:27:41 
4Jade Forsyth (Aus)2:04:44 
5Annie van der linde (Ned)2:27:50 
6Kirsten De Keyser (Bel)3:05:01 
M1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Werner van der Merwe (GBr) Subaru/marathonMTB.com3:33:20 
2Michal Kafka (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE0:18:33 
3Wesley Reibel (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 10:20:36 
4Raf De Bakker (Bel) Belgian Connections MTB Team0:22:55 
5Jeremy Ross (Aus) Crocodile Tears0:24:23 
6David Osmond (Aus) Crocodile Tears0:24:46 
7Kris Hendrickx (Bel) Belgium F-16 Ridley Team0:26:46 
8Davy Blancquaert (Bel) Belgium F-16 Ridley Team  
9Ken De Trogh (Bel) Belgium F-16 Ridley Team0:26:47 
10Christof Marien (Bel)0:38:48 
11Henri Delheye (Bel) WACKY  
12Wim Verheyen (Bel)0:46:14 
13Peter Lister (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 20:46:41 
14Bjorn De Baets (Bel) WACKY0:54:59 
15Martin Wisata (Aut) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master1:06:15 
16Barry Sey (Bel) Wacky Immobilia Team1:11:43 
17Christophe Heinix (Bel) Team Lingier-Versluys-Beachbikers1:13:23 
18Stephen Jackson (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 21:27:36 
19Ryan Corry (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 11:27:38 
20Kris Van De Putte (Bel)1:33:42 
21Lukas Mraz (Cze)1:35:53 
22David Carrillo (Spa)2:02:17 
23Pieter van der Eijk (Ned)2:41:27 
24Gunter Selleslagh (Bel)3:05:51 
25Mathias Deleu (Bel)3:13:17 
DNSChalker Jason AUS Crocodile Tears T16  
DNSHumble Ian GBR M1  
M2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Bart De Boeck (Bel)3:59:41 
2Hans Planckaert (Bel) Smart Cycling Team0:01:31 
3Johan Frooninckx (Bel) Belgian Connections MTB Team0:07:03 
4Jakob Steen-Petersen (Den) HMTBK SRAM0:11:55 
5Marc Baechli (Swi)0:12:31 
6Stephen Billington (Aus) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master0:16:54 
7Peter Urdl (Aut)0:21:54 
8Brendon Skerke (Aus) Tenni's / SKM0:28:16 
9Bart Heirewegh (Bel)0:33:43 
10Peter Roelands (Bel)0:40:31 
11Alain De Munter (Bel) Fietsen Mertens0:55:36 
12James Heron (Aus) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master0:56:52 
13Johny Thielemans (Bel)1:06:56 
14Rik Rohart (Bel)1:12:30 
15Guy Sorensen (Aus) Superior Screens1:15:39 
16Nicholas Westwood (Aus) Koiled imports /cleanskin coffee racing1:15:42 
17Bohuslav Babor (Cze)1:19:51 
18Alex Moonen (Bel) ATB kempen1:22:43 
19Allen Liversage (RSA)1:38:26 
20Jaroslav Hrdlicka (Cze)1:41:51 
21Stefan Plas (Bel)1:43:39 
22Peter Stubbe (Bel) Wacky Immobilia Team2:01:57 
23Barto Du Plessis (Aus)3:01:43 
24Kelly Duhig (Aus)3:11:18 
25Chris Neal (Aus)3:16:16 
26Sven Demunter (Bel) Wacky 2XL-team3:26:53 
27Thierry Ide (Bel) Wacky 2XL-team3:26:54 
28Paul Fitzgerald (Bel) Wacky 2XL-team3:26:53 
DNFBoswell John AUS M2  
DNFRafeiner Günter AUT M2  
DNFReding Camille LUX CT Toproad Roeserbann  
DNFvan Rooyen Pieter USA M2  
M3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Milan Spolc (Cze)4:10:29 
2Sam Sprunger (Swi) GVFI Fleisch gibt Kraft0:10:10 
3Ruedi Senn (Swi) Top Müller.ch0:23:03 
4Freddy Cassiers (Bel)0:23:39 
5Johannes Sewald (Ger) bavarian-riders0:33:14 
6Robrecht De Meyer (Bel) Fitopia Bikers0:47:25 
7Freddy Vekens (Bel)0:56:08 
8Guy Vandijck (Bel)1:05:56 
9Andrew Radcliffe (Aus)  
10Georg Schollerer (Ger) bavarian-riders1:07:44 
11Manfred Ertl (Ger) bavarian-riders1:07:45 
12Rudy Motke (Ned)1:38:18 
13Luc Janssens (Bel)1:50:59 
14Robert de la Motte (Aus)  
15Erik Defillet (Bel) Fitopia Bikers2:36:08 
16Philippe Maertens (Bel) Belgian Connections MTB Team3:17:28 
DNSSnelders Eddy BEL Fitopia Bikers T14  
DNSVerlinde Luc BEL Luc Verlinde M3  
DNSVan Aelbroeck Luc BEL M3  
DNSSpidalieri Antonio SUI GVFI Fleisch gibt Kraft M3  
CA M1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Dirk Abeloos (Bel) CROCO RR Team Habay6:26:33 
1Pierre Paligot (Bel) CROCO RR Team Habay  
1Szymon Wojciech Zacharski (Pol) Team KUBIS Gomola Trans Airco3:56:14 
1Filip Kuzniak (Pol) Team KUBIS Gomola Trans Airco3:56:26 
2Aaron Lakeman (Aus) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing0:11:29 
2Mark Griffin (Aus) Rubena RockyTrail Racing0:00:01 
DNFGerhardt Thomas AUT o_E-Bike DNF  
DNFGielen Luc/Saelen Jan BEL TAN DNF  
Points
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ivan Rybarik (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE25 pts
2Mike Mulkens (Bel)20 
4Ondrej Fojtik (Cze)15 
5Cory Wallace (Can)10 
7Werner van der Merwe (GBr) Subaru/marathonMTB.com5 
Elite men general classification after stage 8
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ivan Rybarik (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE28:56:30 
2Ondrej Fojtik (Cze)0:17:52 
3Wolfgang Krenn (Aut)0:49:17 
4Cory Wallace (Can)1:14:38 
5Ondrej Slezak (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE1:29:57 
6Michiel Van Aelbroeck (Bel) O2 Bikers - WMTB.be - Schwalbe1:37:35 
7Steven Rankine (Aus) Tenni's / SKM1:58:38 
8Dominick Hrinkow (Aut)2:10:58 
9Matthew Page (GBr)2:35:10 
10Mike Blewitt (Aus) Subaru/marathonMTB.com3:01:20 
11Ritchie Motke (Ned)3:18:38 
12Evan Corry (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 13:47:11 
13Paul Mashford (Aus) Tenni's / SKM3:52:38 
14Josef Benetseder (Aut) Team Eybl-Gastrogas.at4:06:28 
15Justin Morris (Aus) Subaru/marathonMTB.com4:46:04 
16Mike Mulkens (Bel)4:56:41 
17Luke Haines (Aus)5:03:39 
18Peter Fröhlich (Aut) Rams Cycling Black tusk6:26:53 
19Guillaume Bourgeois (Swi)6:52:32 
20Patrick Konrad (Aut)7:07:47 
21Tommy Arnoldy (Lux) CT Toproad Roeserbann 0212:16:24 
22Sebastian Einsle (Lux) CT Toproad Roeserbann 0112:39:28 
23Stefan Hackl (Aut)13:43:49 
24Francis Ransley (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 213:47:03 
25Lukas Babor (Cze)14:05:29 
26Evert Desmidt (Bel)14:15:39 
Elite women general classification after stage 8
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kate Major (Aus)36:20:06 
2Alice Pirard (Bel) O2 Bikers - WMTB.be - Schwalbe2:33:14 
3Tinneke Van de Voorde (Bel)10:12:11 
4Annie van der linde (Ned)15:29:18 
5Jade Forsyth (Aus)16:06:36 
6Kirsten De Keyser (Bel)21:39:02 
M1 general classification after stage 8
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Werner van der Merwe (GBr) Subaru/marathonMTB.com30:06:27 
2Jeremy Ross (Aus) Crocodile Tears1:16:40 
3Henri Delheye (Bel) WACKY1:44:04 
4Raf De Bakker (Bel) Belgian Connections MTB Team2:41:14 
5Wesley Reibel (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 13:06:05 
6David Osmond (Aus) Crocodile Tears3:09:41 
7Michal Kafka (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE3:17:48 
8Davy Blancquaert (Bel) Belgium F-16 Ridley Team3:55:50 
9Kris Hendrickx (Bel) Belgium F-16 Ridley Team4:33:05 
10Ken De Trogh (Bel) Belgium F-16 Ridley Team4:33:07 
11Jason Chalker (Aus) Crocodile Tears4:50:25 
12Bjorn De Baets (Bel) WACKY4:58:43 
13Peter Lister (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 25:24:17 
14Christophe Heinix (Bel) Team Lingier-Versluys-Beachbikers6:05:14 
15David Carrillo (Spa)7:07:15 
16Christof Marien (Bel)7:18:42 
17Barry Sey (Bel) Wacky Immobilia Team8:15:09 
18Stephen Jackson (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 28:27:44 
19Ryan Corry (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 19:04:48 
20Kris Van De Putte (Bel)9:04:59 
21Martin Wisata (Aut) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master10:10:42 
22Wim Verheyen (Bel)11:10:23 
23Lukas Mraz (Cze)11:48:50 
24Pieter van der Eijk (Ned)12:20:56 
25Mathias Deleu (Bel)19:55:54 
26Gunter Selleslagh (Bel)21:53:30 
M2 general classification after stage 8
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Marc Baechli (Swi)32:07:52 
2Hans Planckaert (Bel) Smart Cycling Team1:13:16 
3Stephen Billington (Aus) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master1:28:27 
4Bart Heirewegh (Bel)2:06:37 
5Bart De Boeck (Bel)2:28:55 
6Peter Urdl (Aut)2:34:20 
7Johan Frooninckx (Bel) Belgian Connections MTB Team3:05:18 
8Alain De Munter (Bel) Fietsen Mertens3:41:45 
9Brendon Skerke (Aus) Tenni's / SKM4:16:34 
10Peter Roelands (Bel)4:39:36 
11Jakob Steen-Petersen (Den) HMTBK SRAM4:55:25 
12James Heron (Aus) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master5:42:47 
13Guy Sorensen (Aus) Superior Screens6:31:47 
14Rik Rohart (Bel)8:53:28 
15Nicholas Westwood (Aus) Koiled imports /cleanskin coffee racing9:13:12 
16Johny Thielemans (Bel)9:59:10 
17Bohuslav Babor (Cze)11:48:14 
18Alex Moonen (Bel) ATB kempen12:49:03 
19Allen Liversage (RSA)14:06:18 
20Jaroslav Hrdlicka (Cze)14:46:29 
21Stefan Plas (Bel)14:46:55 
22Peter Stubbe (Bel) Wacky Immobilia Team14:56:21 
23Kelly Duhig (Aus)20:19:43 
24Chris Neal (Aus)21:31:17 
25Thierry Ide (Bel) Wacky 2XL-team22:36:52 
26Sven Demunter (Bel) Wacky 2XL-team22:39:57 
27Barto Du Plessis (Aus)23:13:32 
28Paul Fitzgerald (Bel) Wacky 2XL-team26:05:08 
M3 general classification after stage 8
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Milan Spolc (Cze)34:23:53 
2Sam Sprunger (Swi) GVFI Fleisch gibt Kraft2:11:29 
3Ruedi Senn (Swi) Top Müller.ch2:22:53 
4Freddy Cassiers (Bel)2:44:16 
5Johannes Sewald (Ger) bavarian-riders3:43:12 
6Robrecht De Meyer (Bel) Fitopia Bikers4:32:00 
7Freddy Vekens (Bel)6:04:50 
8Andrew Radcliffe (Aus)6:57:29 
9Erik Defillet (Bel) Fitopia Bikers7:19:47 
10Manfred Ertl (Ger) bavarian-riders8:07:00 
11Georg Schollerer (Ger) bavarian-riders8:18:48 
12Rudy Motke (Ned)8:24:20 
13Luc Janssens (Bel)12:20:30 
14Guy Vandijck (Bel)13:17:05 
15Philippe Maertens (Bel) Belgian Connections MTB Team16:32:37 
16Robert de la Motte (Aus)18:56:46 
CA general classification after stage 8
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Pierre Paligot (Bel) CROCO RR Team Habay21:18:51 
1Dirk Abeloos (Bel) CROCO RR Team Habay21:18:58 
1Mark Griffin (Aus) Rubena RockyTrail Racing32:43:09 
1Aaron Lakeman (Aus) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing32:43:19 
2Szymon Wojciech Zacharski (Pol) Team KUBIS Gomola Trans Airco1:11:29 
2Filip Kuzniak (Pol) Team KUBIS Gomola Trans Airco  
Points classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ivan Rybarik (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE160 pts
2Ondrej Fojtik (Cze)115 
3Wolfgang Krenn (Aut)67 
4Mike Mulkens (Bel)65 
5Cory Wallace (Can)60 
6Michiel Van Aelbroeck (Bel) O2 Bikers - WMTB.be - Schwalbe40 
7Jason English (Aus) RUOK Rocky Tail Racing15 
7Ondrej Slezak (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE15 
7Dominick Hrinkow (Aut)15 
7Josef Benetseder (Aut) Team Eybl-Gastrogas.at15 
7Werner van der Merwe (GBr) Subaru/marathonMTB.com15 
12Patrick Konrad (Aut)5 
Teams classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE92:47:59 
2Subaru/marathonMTB.com2:47:30 
3Tenni\'s / SKM6:52:28 
4Belgium F-16 Ridley Team10:33:24 
5RUOK? Corry Cycles 113:51:45 
6Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master18:56:08 
7RUOK? Corry Cycles 222:20:36 
8X-sports.cz23:44:41 
9W acky Zilvertoren Team24:28:21 
10Belgian Connections MTB TE T0925:10:33 
11GER bavarian-riders31:14:35 

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