David Rosa wins marathon stage at Atherton MTB Park

Greg Saw defends overall lead

Portuguese Olympian and Cross-Country (XCO) National Champion David Rosa won the marathon stage at Atherton MTB Park, which many experienced Crocodile Trophy racers described as one of the most challenging days in the history of the event. Held on parts of the Australian National Marathon Series course, Rosa won the stage with a four-minute gap ahead of Ramses Bekkenk from the Netherlands and yesterday's stage winner Greg Saw, who defended his overall race lead.

Imogen Smith made a strong return and was the fastest woman of the day.

Rosa had been today's race favourite and in a not so unexpected move after a neutralised ride from Lake Tinaroo to the town of Atherton, Rosa attacked right from the official start. Entering the vast Atherton MTB Park singletrail network as the lone escapee, he was able to quickly ride away from the elite group and keep a four-minute lead throughout the three laps on the 20km circuit.

"On the first lap I just had fun and got used to the tight switchback climb and fast rolling descents," Rosa said. "I found my rhythm and during the second lap I really tried to push it hard to increase my gap to the chasers but I paid for it on the third lap, my legs feel like concrete now," he said.

Since a broken wheel incident during the event's first stage on Saturday left him with almost an hour's gap, Rosa said he had some unfinished business at the Crocodile Trophy that he wanted to take care of today.

Finishing in 3:20 hours he concluded as he picked up the stage win trophy, an Australian boomerang, "I know, I can't get the overall top spot anymore; my gap is too high. So it was my goal to get a stage win and a few good placings to get as many UCI points as possible."

The elite group settled in behind Cory Wallace who kept the pace up during the first lap. Soon after, Ramses Bekkens, Greg Saw, Milton Ramos and Yuki Ikeda made their move, rode away from Wallace and finished after three laps in that order at the camp site at the Atherton Rifle Club.

Ideal race track for Australian amateur racers

In the amateur classes, the Australian competitors dominated their fields - and Canberran racers in particular. Andrew Hall defended his "Best Australian" leader jersey today with a top 10 overall position of today's stage in a race time of 3:40:47.271, only 20 minutes off the elite winner Rosa, and won the A2 (30+) category for the second consecutive time.

"This is the sort of race track that we Australians are used to, this style of riding I knew would suit us", said Hall. Fello Canberrans Jason Chalker (40+ stage winner) and Garry James (50+ stage winner) agreed. "We didn't have to train for this type of racing, we focused on the wide fireroad climbs to be competitive with the European racers", they explained. Andrew Lloyd from Newcastle (NSW) won the under-30's category in 3:44:24.013 today, crossing the line as 13th overall.

No change in the "Best Austrian" and "Best Australian" leader jerseys - Guido Thaler (AUT) and Ondrej Slezak (AUS) still have a tight grip on their respective titles.

Greg Saw defends leader jersey as fellow elites shuffle

Overall in the general classification, Greg Saw defended his leader jersey and now leads by 4:16.41 ahead of Spain's Milton Ramos and the Dutch rider Ramses Bekkenk (+11:03.85), who defends his third place. Cory Wallace is still fourth overall (+14:16.24) and Yuki Ikeda from Japan advances into fifth place. A big upset for the 2012 Crocodile Trophy Champion, Ivan Rybarik from the Czech Republic - at the start line today as category second overall, he crashes during the second lap today. Rybarik escapes uninjured, however, one of his bike wheels suffers some damage, causing him to loose valuable time and dropping back into sixth spot behind Ikeda in the overall elite category classification.

Tomorrow's fourth stage (72km / 2200m) will once again take the Crocodile Trophy racers around the Atherton region trails - first up a 500m elevation climb ascending to the top of the Great Dividing Range and then make a loop through the Herberton Range State Forest before descending back to camp.

Full Results

Elite men stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1David Rosa (Por) Liberty Seguros/Movefree3:20:00 
2Ramses Bekkenk (Ned) Koga KMC0:04:47 
3Greg Saw (Aus) iHus-Spiuk Norge0:04:48 
4Milton Ramos (Spa) Intense-TowCar0:05:59 
5Yuki Ikeda (Jpn) Topeak/Ergon/Canyon0:07:12 
6Cory Wallace (Can) KONA Factory Team0:11:02 
7Ondrej Slezak (Cze) Way2live Quantum Racing0:12:13 
8Guido Thaler (Aut) CRAFT - Rocky Mountain0:18:38 
9Márton Blazsó (Hun) Kross Hungary0:21:00 
10Jiri Krivanek (Cze) Prestige hotel0:23:04 
Elite women stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Imogen Smith (Aus) Subaru-MarathonMTB.com4:31:49 
Women amateur stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rita Esteves (Por)5:18:02 
2Tania Tryhorn (Aus)0:11:51 
3Sandra Starke1:08:55 
4Sharman Parr (Aus)1:55:22 
Men amateur 1 stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Andrew Lloyd (Aus)3:44:24 
2Jindra Knot (Cze)0:39:34 
3Marek Tichy (Cze)1:19:13 
4Benoit Smeuninx (Bel)1:30:23 
Men amateur 2 stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Andrew Hall (Aus) Vie 13 kustom apparel3:40:47 
2Silva Tiago (Por)0:01:37 
3Lander Vanhee (Bel) desperate husbands0:08:00 
4Grant Webster (Aus) Il Pastaio / Rocky Trail Racin0:08:23 
5Michal Kafka (Cze) Way2live Quantum Racing0:09:39 
6Jürgen Hofer (Aut) Jürgen Hofer0:12:53 
7Adrian Scott (GBr) Pecker legs0:15:51 
8Dan McNamara (Aus) Vie 13 kustom apparel0:18:04 
9Michel Pannekeet (Ned) MTB Team Giant/Theo Schilder0:20:05 
10Timothy Nelson (GBr) Il Pastaio / Rocky Trail Racin0:29:39 
Men amateur 3 stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jason Chalker (Aus) Vie 13 kustom apparel4:02:00 
2Lieven Machtelinckx (Bel)0:01:15 
3Timothy Goulding (Aus)0:02:09 
4Pascal De Meulenaer (Bel) Born2Bike0:04:07 
5Tom Smets (Bel) O2Bikers0:04:35 
6Alex Kooijman (Ned) Way2live Quantum Racing0:04:39 
7Jaysen Searle (Aus) Team Redarc0:05:11 
8Max Lelli (Ita) Italian Cistyc Fibrosis Founda0:11:32 
9Matteo Marzotto (Ita) Italian Cistyc Fibrosis Founda0:11:33 
10Ronny Raeymakers (Bel) Desert Duvel\'s0:11:35 
Men amateur 4 stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Garry James (Aus) Garry James4:06:09 
2John Cosgriff (Aus) Team Redarc0:08:16 
3Andrew Radcliffe (Aus) the greatcyclechallenge & Ride0:24:11 
4Freddy Cassiers (Bel)0:35:13 
5Davide Cassani (Ita) Italian Cistyc Fibrosis Founda0:36:55 
6Georg Vinczencz (Aut) Radsport Waldherr0:40:11 
7Jim Knudsen (Den) JJ Peleton0:43:48 
8Erik Van Meel (Bel)0:45:31 
9Radim Novotny (Cze) Prestige hotel1:10:29 
10Paul van Hattem (Ned) Scholten Cycling1:22:41 
Elite men general classification after stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Greg Saw (Nor) iHus-Spiuk Norge8:36:45 
2Milton Ramos (Spa) Intense-TowCar0:04:17 
3Ramses Bekkenk (Ned) Koga KMC0:11:04 
4Cory Wallace (Can) KONA Factory Team0:14:16 
5Yuki Ikeda (Jpn) Topeak/Ergon/Canyon0:16:29 
6Ivan Rybarik (Cze) Way2live Quantum Racing0:25:56 
7Márton Blazsó (Hun) Kross Hungary0:27:24 
8Ondrej Slezak (Aus) Way2live Quantum Racing0:28:26 
9Jiri Krivanek (Cze) Prestige hotel0:29:52 
10Guido Thaler (Aut) CRAFT - Rocky Mountain0:36:36 
Elite women general classification after stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Imogen Smith (Aus) Subaru-MarathonMTB.com11:45:18 
Amateur women general classification after stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rita Esteves12:53:34 
2Tania Tryhorn1:08:59 
3Sandra Starke1:44:48 
4Sharman Parr3:55:06 
Amateur men 1 general classification after stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Andrew Lloyd (Way2live Quantum Racing)9:39:10 
2Jindra Knot (Way2live Quantum Racing)0:33:46 
3Benoit Smeuninx2:24:03 
4Marek Tichy3:45:03 
Amateur men 2 general classification after stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Andrew Hall (Vie 13 kustom apparel)9:16:55 
2Silva Tiago0:22:07 
3Jürgen Hofer (Jürgen Hofer)0:24:19 
4Grant Webster (Il Pastaio / Rocky Trail Racin)0:25:07 
5Lander Vanhee (desperate husbands)0:26:07 
6Michal Kafka (Way2live Quantum Racing)0:39:05 
7Michel Pannekeet (MTB Team Giant/Theo Schilder A)0:54:34 
8Dan McNamara (Vie 13 kustom apparel)0:56:54 
9Adrian Scott (Pecker legs)1:04:05 
10Timothy Nelson (Il Pastaio / Rocky Trail Racin)1:07:16 
Amateur men 3 general classification after stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jason Chalker (Vie 13 kustom apparel)9:42:48 
2Max Lelli (Italian Cistyc Fibrosis Founda)0:13:53 
3Timothy Goulding0:31:45 
4Pascal De Meulenaer (Born2Bike)0:43:31 
5Lieven Machtelinckx0:43:36 
Amateur men 4 general classification after stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Garry James (Garry James)10:20:36 
2John Cosgriff (Team Redarc)0:35:39 
3Davide Cassani (Italian Cistyc Fibrosis Founda)1:07:28 
4Freddy Cassiers1:22:08 
5Andrew Radcliffe (the greatcyclechallenge & Ride)1:23:56 
6Jim Knudsen (JJ Peleton)1:49:03 
7Georg Vinczencz (Radsport Waldherr)1:50:00 
8Erik Van Meel2:13:16 
9Radim Novotny (Prestige hotel)2:47:54 
10Paul van Hattem (Scholten Cycling)2:52:34 
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