Croc Trophy: Huber takes control on stage 4, Van Vleuten loses race lead

Alice Pirard moves into commanding position as new women's leader

Three-time Crocodile Trophy winner Urs Huber bounced back from the disappointment of a mechanical in the finale of stage 3 to take his second stage win of 2016. The Swiss rider remains the overall race leader with stage 3 winner Sebastien Carabin (Merida-Wallonie-Vojo Mag) sitting second overall.

In the women's race, Annemiek Van Vleuten suffered as the race leader took a wrong turn and saw her large lead in the morning become a 1:04:22 deficit to the winner Alice Pirard. The Belgian becomes the new race leader with half the race to come.

"The stage was not too difficult but got a bit tight at the 35km mark when I had a flat tyre. Bas Peters just flew past me and Sebastien Carabin went with him. I had to bridge the gap which was about a minute and managed to do so right before the flat part in the middle of the stage," Huber said of of his second stage win in four days. "Well, I think it wasn't very fair to attack when I had the mechanical, which I told them. Then I had another flat tyre and they waited for me, which I thought was very sportsman-like. Towards the finish Sebastien and I were equally strong, we didn't attack each other anymore and I was actually happy after two flats to being able to stay with him. I was able to claim the stage in a finish sprint."

For Pirard, to take her third win of the race and move into the leader's jersey was a surprise as she explained.

"I'm surprised that Annemiek is not here, she must have taken a wrong turn or crashed, because I heard during the race that she had a big gap, like 15 or 20 minutes. I hope she's ok and that she will come soon," she said. "For me it was a hard day, I was kind of in survival mode because I'm getting tired... just surviving in the forest. I did enjoy the last singletrack downhill though, that was really nice. We'll see.

"The next stages coming up are all really fast and rolling, which doesn't suit me generally, because I like the technical stages, but well, I'm so tired and in survival mode right now."

Stage 5 is the longest of the race at 131km with the riders to travel from Atherton to the Skybury Coffee Plantation.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Urs Huber (Swi) Team Bulls3:28:17 
2Sebastien Carabin (Bel) Merida-Wallonie-Vojo Mag0:00:03 
3Bas Peters (Ned) MijnBadLiv/Giant offroad team0:05:24 
4Michiel Van Aelbroeck (Bel) WMTB.be0:07:27 
5Matthias Grick (Aut) KTM Ebner Transporte Cycling Team Graz0:11:38 
6Manuel Pliem (Aut) Team KTM-RAD.SPORT.SZENE0:18:52 
7Stef De Louwere (Ned) Veco cycling team0:28:13 
8Frédéric Ischard (Fra) Team velochannel.com0:46:23 
General classification after stage 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Urs Huber (Swi) Team Bulls12:49:51 
2Sebastien Carabin (Bel) Merida-Wallonie-Vojo Mag0:01:40 
3Michiel Van Aelbroeck (Bel) WMTB.be0:46:29 
4Bas Peters (Ned) MijnBadLiv/Giant offroad team0:50:35 
5Manuel Pliem (Aut) Team KTM-RAD.SPORT.SZENE0:55:13 
6Matthias Grick (Aut) KTM Ebner Transporte Cycling Team Graz1:06:11 
7Stef De Louwere (Ned) Veco cycling team2:06:10 
8Frédéric Ischard (Fra) Team velochannel.com3:11:41 
Elite Women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alice Pirard (Bel) Merida-Wallonie MTB Team4:44:59 
2Ruth Corset (Aus)0:09:50 
3Sarah Kaehler (Aus) Astute Financial Racing Team1:01:41 
4Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Orica-AIS / Scott1:08:31 
General classification after stage 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alice Pirard (Bel) Merida-Wallonie MTB Team17:02:43 
2Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Orica-AIS / Scott1:04:22 
3Ruth Corset (Aus)1:16:54 
4Sarah Kaehler (Aus) Astute Financial Racing Team2:54:47  


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