Croc Trophy: Huber and van Vleuten claim penultimate day stage wins

Huber and Alice Pirard poised to seal overall victory

Urs Huber (Team Bulls) won his fffth stage of the 2016 Crocodile Trophy while Annemiek van Vleuten (Orica-AIS/Scott) won her third of the race with just the final day 30km Wetherby Station to Port Douglas time trial to come. Huber is all but assured of sealing his fourth overall victory while Alice Pirard (Merida-Wallonie MTB Team) will win her first edition of the race as long she finishes stage 8.

Huber took the stage win in a two-up sprint against second placed Sebastien Carabin who praised the Swiss rider for his continued domination of the event.

"Urs is never tired - the first part of each stage is not a problem for me, because I know I can stay with him, but the second half of each stage I know that I might have a moment of weakness, but not him. It means that I'm not as confident as him, but I'm feeling good about tomorrow's last stage," said Carabin. "Second behind Urs is a good result, I'm close to him - he's such a strong rider and famous in the cross-country world. To be not far off from him is good."

Despite it being another tough day in the saddle, van Vleuten explained she enjoyed the final 'road' stage of the race and expressed her pleasure in making the decision to head down under.

"Today was wonderful, I really enjoyed the stage. I'm here to see some of Australia and today we had a lot of nice views. But I saw a lot of my front wheel because I suffered a lot today," she said. "I surprised myself a little bit this week - at first I came here starting the race for a holiday, but half-way through I suddenly got into the race mode. On the not-so-technical stages I felt really well and I enjoy to race hard and also with the guys here, it's really wonderful to race together.

"It's been super-difficult to adapt to the conditions here. I'm really not a mountain biker, so I'm also very careful, because I want to start my season in January with the Tour Down Under without injuries on the road, so I'm here to take it easy on the technical and dangerous parts and ride fast on the other parts."

The final day time trial will see the riders head off in reverse general classification order with Huber the last man out of the start house. 

Results

Elite Men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Urs Huber (Team Bulls)3:25:57 
2Sebastien Carabin (Merida Wallonie-Vojo Mag)0:00:01 
3Bas Peters (Mijnbadliv/Giant Offroad Team)0:00:53 
4Michiel Van Aelbroeck (Wmtb.Be)  
5Manuel Pliem (Team Ktm-Rad.Sport.Szene)0:01:50 
6Matthias Grick (Ktm Ebner Transporte Cycling Team Graz)0:01:55 
11Stef De Louwere (Veco Cycling Team)0:29:30 
12Frédéric Ischard (Team Velochannel.Com)0:30:23 
General Classification after stage 7
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Urs Huber (Team Bulls)22:59:52 
2Sebastien Carabin (Merida Wallonie-Vojo Mag)0:01:42 
3Michiel Van Aelbroeck (Wmtb.Be)1:03:38 
4Bas Peters (Mijnbadliv/Giant Offroad Team)1:07:49 
5Manuel Pliem (Team Ktm-Rad.Sport.Szene)1:13:23 
6Matthias Grick (Ktm Ebner Transporte Cycling Team Graz)1:57:16 
7Stef De Louwere (Veco Cycling Team)2:49:03 
8Frédéric Ischard (Team Velochannel.Com)4:46:26 
Elite Women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Annemiek Van Vleuten (Orica-Ais / Scott)3:41:21 
2Ruth Corset0:18:11 
3Alice Pirard (Merida-Wallonie Mtb Team)0:20:25 
4Sarah Kaehler (Astute Financial Racing Team)1:12:45 
General Classification after stage 7
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alice Pirard (Merida-Wallonie Mtb Team)29:24:48 
2Annemiek Van Vleuten (Orica-Ais / Scott)0:50:26 
3Ruth Corset1:10:54 
4Sarah Kaehler (Astute Financial Racing Team)5:32:15 
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