With a seventh stage win on the final day at the 21st Crocodile Trophy the Swiss Urs Huber claimed his third race victory since 2009 and 2010. Soren Nissen from Denmark claims the second place ahead of Australia’s Marathon National Champion, Brendan Johnston from Canberra. Nicholas Pettina comes in fourth overall and the young Austrian Lukas Islitzer in fifth. Sarah White from Cairns (AUS) takes the win in the Elite Women’s category on the podium at the breathtaking Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas after more than 700km and 17,000m of elevation raced since the event started nine days ago in Cairns.
Today’s time trial stage started the rider field in reverse order of the general classification onto undulating, historic gold rush mining trails and then down the infamous “Bump Track” into Port Douglas, which is a very steep and technical descent through the dense rainforest surrounding the popular holiday destination in Tropical North Queensland. The race leader Urs Huber was released last and said that he knew he had a healthy gap and didn’t take any risks on the rough descent.
Once again proofing this week that he is the deserving 2015 Crocodile Trophy Champion, he won today’s stage in 54:24.0 min, breaking last year’s record time by almost four minutes.
"I'm really happy about my third victory at the Crocodile Trophy. This race has changed so much since I won it last in 2009 and 2010," Huber said about the event that was founded in 1994.
“Nowadays you really have to be a complete cyclist to win this event - you must have the skills and strength to do well on all terrains: singletrack, rainforest and bush trails and the wide open Outback roads”, he added and explained that to win you had to be an all-rounder and be able to deal with race tactics, especially on the later and longer marathon stages. “Of course the conditions in Australia are always a challenge, but exactly what makes this race so unique," Huber concluded.
In second today was the Italian Nicholas Pettina (+1:28.1 min) and he claims the fourth overall placing in the race. “I’ve had a bit of back luck and lost a lot of time, but I’ll be back for sure, I know now what it takes to do well at this race”, Pettina said.
The second place overall was claimed by the Danish athlete Soren Nissen and having participated in marathons and stage races back to back since January he said caught up with him, but that he was hoping to be up against Huber again next year in Europe to get even. “I’ll be ready to go up against him again at the Alpen Tour Trophy next year in Austria," Nissen said, referring to the organisers’ four-day UCI stage race in the Austrian Alps in June.
Today’s third-fastest time was clocked in by the event’s Best Australian Brendan Johnston (AUS, Canberra) with a gap of +2:01.0 min. Finishing third overall in the strongest elite field in the history of this legendary race he said, made him proud, "This was the hardest race I've ever done and certainly the longest stage race. I’m still young and it was a fantastic experience to race with such strong racers from all over the world. To race onto the top-three podium, I'm happy with that."
|1||Urs Huber (Sui) Team Bulls||0:54:24|| |
|2||Nicholas Pettina (Ita) Gruppo Sportivo Forestale||0:55:52|| |
|3||Brendan Johnston (Aus) Brendan Johnston||0:56:25|| |
|4||Thomas Engelsgjerd (Nor) Energima Abax Hr||0:57:12|| |
|5||Greg Saw (Aus) Energima Abax Hr||0:57:28|| |
|6||Milton Ramos (Esp) Intense-TowCar||0:57:32|| |
|7||Matthias Grick (Aut) KTM RAD.SPORT.SZENE Ausseerland||0:57:36|| |
|8||Lukas Islitzer (Aut) CRAFT - Rocky Mountain Team||0:57:50|| |
|9||Manuel Pliem (Aut) KTM RAD.SPORT.SZENE Ausseerland||0:58:08|| |
|10||Sören Nissen (Den) Racing Team Stevens - iHUS||0:58:11|| |
|11||Ondrej Fojtik (Cze) FORCE KCK - PROGRESS CYCLES||0:58:42|| |
|12||Vincent Arnaud (Fra) Cycle Tyres - Addictiv||0:59:07|| |
|13||Ryan Sherlock (Ire) TR||0:59:08|| |
|14||Jeroen van Eck (Ned) MPL Specialized MTB Team||1:00:32|| |
|15||Jindra Knot (Cze) SWEEP CYCLING||1:00:40|| |
|16||Anthony Lincy (Aus) Astute Financial Racing||1:01:07|| |
|17||Jiri Krivanek (Cze) Prestige - EthicSport||1:02:31|| |
|1||Sarah White (Aus) Astute Financial Racing||1:13:31|| |
Final General Classification
|1||Urs Huber (Sui)||26:32:40|| |
|2||Sören Nissen (Den)||0:21:26|| |
|3||Brendan Johnston (Aus)||0:40:59|| |
|4||Nicholas Pettina (Ita)||0:51:12|| |
|5||Lukas Islitzer (Aut)||1:05:46|| |
|6||Milton Ramos (Esp)||1:34:30|| |
|7||Greg Saw (Aus)||1:35:14|| |
|8||Ondrej Fojtik (Cze)||1:49:48|| |
|9||Matthias Grick (Aut)||1:52:34|| |
|10||Vincent Arnaud (Fra)||2:04:16|| |
|11||Ryan Sherlock (Ire)||2:08:48|| |
|12||Jiri Krivanek (Cze)||3:04:51|| |
|13||Jindra Knot (Cze)||3:56:52|| |
|14||Jeroen van Eck (Ned)||4:46:47|| |
|15||Thomas Engelsgjerd (Nor)||4:56:34|| |
|16||Manuel Pliem (Aut)||5:06:56|| |
|17||Anthony Lincy (Aus)||5:55:28|| |
|1||Sarah White (Aus)||36:56:30|| |