Brentjens turns the tables on stage two

Huber still GC leader, Zeldenrust continues dominance in women's classification

It was sure to be only a matter of time before the great Dutchman Bart Brentjens stamped his winning seal on the 2009 Crocodile Trophy and that occasion arrived promptly today when the former Olympic and World Champion made easy work of the second stage to Granite Gorge on Australia's Tropical Tableland.

The victory came at the end of a relatively short, though nonetheless eventful 71 kilometre stage, which featured a climb to the 1200 metre summit of Mount Edith shortly after the race start.

That was where the fun began!

The course for stage two needed to be cleared of fallen trees over the weekend after bushfires swept through the forest country. What riders and organisers hadn't counted on was an overnight downpour at the Lake Tinaroo campsite that brought down more trees over the track, blocking the path for riders after the first ten kilometres of climbing.

At the point that the race was re-started, five riders were in the hunt for stage honours after watching most of the peloton disappear from their rear view on the lower slopes.

The select group was stacked with class and included Brentjens, race leader Urs Huber and ultra-tough Slovenian Jure Robic. Also showing their talent were Belgian Mike Mulkens and the youngest rider in the race, Josh Prete of the Tropical Tableland Discovery team, who had scouted the stage several times in training.

The decision by organisers to re-instate the time gaps at the restart meant that the breakaway group still had every chance of success. By the summit of Mount Edith, it was down to a group of three riders in contention for the stage as Prete and Mulkens struggled to stay in touch.

With just 50 kilometres of undulating country roads remaining on the transitional stage before the Crocodile Trophy heads seriously outback, the finale came down to a technical sprint finish on dirt, which suited Brentjens to a tee.

"I'm very happy it wasn't that difficult as yesterday, the last 10 kilometres was real fast with a tailwind," Brentjens said.

"Most of the time in mountainbiking it's always hectic, especially with some turns at the end, so I was leading the last kilometre and took some risks in the corners very fast, and they couldn't catch me before the line."

Bart Brentjens wins stage two

As for the unique set of circumstances that led to the race re-start, the Dutchman enjoyed the experience in a place where mother nature serves up climate in extremes.

"It was fun to see all these guys have to clear the trees so we can pass," said Brentjens.

The stage result brought little change to the overall classification, with Huber still leading Brentjens by just over two minutes.

Tropical Tablelanders Impress

A major talking point from today's Crocodile Trophy stage was the performance of the local Tropical Tableland Discovery team who now lead the teams classification, after all three of its riders finished inside the top ten.

Their best performance was a fourth placing to the youngest cyclist in the field, 19-year-old Tablelander Josh Prete, who is still finding it hard to believe he's in the same race as the likes of Bart Brentjens.

"Yeah, it's good, they're definitely very talented, they just sit on the front riding on tempo and I'm just hanging on the back," Prete said.

"It's awesome riding with them, especially riding with the Olympic champion."

The amateur team, cobbled together at the last minute for the Crocodile Trophy assault, has performed beyond expectation and put the visiting Europeans on notice.

It's a remarkable effort, given two of the team's riders Steve Rankine and Isaac Tonello work full-time and have been training at night on indoor trainers or under lights in the early hours of the morning to prepare for the race.

Monique Takes it Easy

With such a commanding lead in the women's race, Dutch cyclist Monique Zeldenrust decided today to leave some petrol in the tank, before the Crocodile Trophy heads towards the Outback.

Zeldenrust again showed she could ride at a level above her fellow competitors, but remains cautious, given the Trophy's brutal reputation for bringing even the best riders unstuck.

"I took it very easy today, relaxed and found a comfortable rhythm," Zeldenrust said.

An interesting battle looms for the minor podium placings with Austrian Lisa Pleyer maintaining a solid lead over Australia's Abby McLennan, who has based her training in the Outback in recent months, to make sure she is ready for the extreme conditions.

Elite Men
1Bart Brentjens (Ned) Trek-Brentjens Mtb Racing Team2:55:42 
2Urs Huber (Swi) Team Stöckli-Craft  
3Jurij Robic (Slo) Matej & Jure  
4Josh Prete (Aus) Tropical Tablelands Discovery0:03:46 
5Mike Mulkens (Bel)  
6Tomas Kozak (Cze) Di-Elcom-Outdoor Sports Club0:10:11 
7Steve Rankine (Aus) Tropical Tablelands Discovery0:12:27 
8Kai Hundertmark (Ger) Dream Team0:14:49 
9Daris Zubani (Ita) Neviprogettoavventura  
10Shane Taylor (Aus)0:19:56 
11Morten Larsen (Den) Team Sun-Print0:27:20 
12Ivan Negro (Ita) Neviprogettoavventura0:35:56 
13James Banner-Smith (Aus) Rattle N Hum0:45:11 
14Christoph Kirchmeier (Aut)0:50:34 
Elite Women
1Monique Zeldenrust (Ned)3:23:02 
2Lisa Pleyer (Aut) Roadbike Holidays - Ktm0:11:46 
3Abby Mclennan (Aus) Rattle N Hum0:17:51 
4Eva Hasek (Cze) Outdoor Sports Club0:31:49 
5Sharman Parr (Aus) Jungle Patrol; Wilderness Medicine1:14:12 
1Isaac Tonello (Aus)3:10:31 
2Raimund Burböck (Aut)  
3Nikolaus Syc (Ger)0:02:08 
4Alexander Valdiek (Ger) Jrv Team Deutsche Sepsisgesellschaft0:05:12 
5Sam Nathan (Aus) Team Nathan0:06:00 
6Franz Preihs (Aut) Radsport Kotnik-Focus  
7Per Imer (Den) Team Sun-Print0:12:31 
8Glen De Bont (Bel) Shifting Gears  
9Sam Brovender (Can) Team Sdc Chris Nicholson0:25:29 
10Ron Whitehead (Aus) Ron Whitehead  
11Dennis Bergen (Den) Team Sun-Print0:29:57 
12Jesse Hovestreijdt (Ned)1:06:01 
Masters Men
1Branko Grah (Aut) Team Rc Sereno3:10:41 
2Milan Spolc (Cze)0:00:11 
3Günter Weichbold (Aut)0:08:12 
4Erich Reith (Aut)0:09:02 
5Pieter Van Rooyen (Rsa) Team Van Rooyen0:12:21 
6Frederik Zierke (Ger) Dream Team0:20:13 
7Kees Zuidhoek (Ned) Team Kees Fietsshop0:24:07 
8Yvan Vekemans (Bel) Belgian Power/Granville  
9Paul Van Hattem (Ned) Team Kees Fietsshop  
10Mohammed Boufessile (Bel) Belgian Power/Granville0:24:27 
11Chris Nicholson (Aus) Team Sdc Chris Nicholson0:25:19 
12Josef Neururer (Swi) Velolade-Hittnau.Ch  
13Aaron Pickett-Heaps (Aus)  
14Scott Mclennan (Aus) Rattle N Hum0:30:12 
15Pio Tomasetig (Ita) Team Tomesetig0:34:52 
16Geert Matthijs (Bel) Team Matthys0:34:54 
17Bernhard Weixelbaum (Aut) Team Rc Sereno0:35:35 
18Jörg Steenbock (Ger) Wingsforlife.Com  
19Theo Molenbrugge (Ned) Theo Molenbrugge0:39:57 
20Marten Zeldenrust (Ned)0:39:59 
21Rudolf Hansgut (Cze)0:42:45 
22Willemjan Hopstaken (Ned) Team Kees Fietsshop0:44:08 
23Hennie Schoonheim (Ned)0:56:26 
24Andrew Graham (Aus) Jungle Patrol; Wilderness Medicine0:56:30 
25Greg Parr (Aus) Jungle Patrol; Wilderness Medicine  
26Günter Rafeiner (Aut)1:03:28 
27Erwin Klocker (Aus)1:07:13 
28Heinz Von Holzen (Swi)  
29Philipp Herzog (Aus)  
30Jan Van Baast (Ned)1:14:49 
31Erik Stokman (Ned)1:18:46 
32Chris Neal (Aus)1:30:13 
1Bart Brentjens (Ned) Trek-Brentjens Mtb Racing Team20pts
2Urs Huber (Swi) Team Stöckli-Craft15 
3Jurij Robic (Slo) Matej & Jure10 
4Mike Mulkens (Bel)5 
5Tomas Kozak (Cze) Di-Elcom-Outdoor Sports Club2 
1Tropical Tablelands Discovery (Aus)9:18:08 
2Dream Team (Ger)0:34:09 
3Team Sun-Print (Den)1:08:24 
4Rattle N Hum (Aus)1:44:31 
5Team Kees Fietsshop (Ned)1:46:17 
6Jungle Patrol; Wilderness Medicine (Aus)3:33:28 
Elite men General classification after stage 2
1Urs Huber (Swi) Team Stöckli-Craft7:00:45 
2Bart Brentjens (Ned) Trek-Brentjens Mtb Racing Team0:02:02 
3Tomas Kozak (Cze) Di-Elcom-Outdoor Sports Club0:36:08 
4Mike Mulkens (Bel)0:40:12 
5Jurij Robic (Slo) Matej & Jure0:43:54 
6Josh Prete (Aus) Tropical Tablelands Discovery0:55:19 
7Kai Hundertmark (Ger) Dream Team1:02:57 
8Daris Zubani (Ita) Neviprogettoavventura1:14:42 
9Steve Rankine (Aus) Tropical Tablelands Discovery1:23:42 
10Shane Taylor (Aus)1:40:37 
11Ivan Negro (Ita) Neviprogettoavventura1:43:32 
12Morten Larsen (Den) Team Sun-Print1:44:28 
13James Banner-Smith (Aus) Rattle N Hum2:29:38 
14Christoph Kirchmeier (Aut)2:50:09 
Elite women General classification after stage 2
1Monique Zeldenrust (Ned)8:26:45 
2Lisa Pleyer (Aut) Roadbike Holidays - Ktm0:33:47 
3Abby Mclennan (Aus) Rattle N Hum0:47:02 
4Eva Hasek (Cze) Outdoor Sports Club1:32:45 
5Sharman Parr (Aus) Jungle Patrol; Wilderness Medicine3:33:18 
Master men 1 general classification after stage 2
1Raimund Burböck (Aut)7:59:33 
2Isaac Tonello (Aus)0:04:08 
3Nikolaus Syc (Ger)0:09:43 
4Sam Nathan (Aus) Team Nathan0:14:40 
5Alexander Valdiek (Ger) Jrv Team Deutsche Sepsisgesellschaft0:15:41 
6Franz Preihs (Aut) Radsport Kotnik-Focus0:17:59 
7Glen De Bont (Bel) Shifting Gears0:24:18 
8Sam Brovender (Can) Team Sdc Chris Nicholson1:29:26 
9Per Imer (Den) Team Sun-Print1:34:19 
10Dennis Bergen (Den) Team Sun-Print1:37:58 
11Ron Whitehead (Aus) Ron Whitehead1:46:43 
12Jesse Hovestreijdt (Ned)2:46:06 
Master men 2 general classification after stage 2
1Milan Spolc (Cze) Dream Team7:59:54 
2Branko Grah (Aut) Team Rc Sereno0:12:42 
3Erich Reith (Aut)0:28:42 
4Günter Weichbold (Aut)0:31:25 
5Frederik Zierke (Ger) Dream Team0:32:55 
6Pieter Van Rooyen (Rsa) Team Van Rooyen0:57:45 
7Josef Neururer (Swi) Velolade-Hittnau.Ch1:07:18 
8Yvan Vekemans (Bel) Belgian Power/Granville1:11:55 
9Scott Mclennan (Aus) Rattle N Hum1:15:53 
10Mohammed Boufessile (Bel) Belgian Power/Granville1:16:49 
11Paul Van Hattem (Ned) Team Kees Fietsshop1:20:43 
12Chris Nicholson (Aus) Team Sdc Chris Nicholson1:29:05 
13Pio Tomasetig (Ita) Team Tomesetig1:37:08 
14Bernhard Weixelbaum (Aut) Team Rc Sereno1:39:21 
15Kees Zuidhoek (Ned) Team Kees Fietsshop1:39:33 
16Rudolf Hansgut (Cze)1:46:55 
17Marten Zeldenrust (Ned)1:49:42 
18Willemjan Hopstaken (Ned) Team Kees Fietsshop1:50:15 
19Geert Matthijs (Bel) Team Matthys1:55:57 
20Theo Molenbrugge (Ned) Theo Molenbrugge2:13:15 
21Jörg Steenbock (Ger) Wingsforlife.Com2:21:19 
22Aaron Pickett-Heaps (Aus)2:26:35 
23Hennie Schoonheim (Ned)2:44:28 
24Heinz Von Holzen (Swi)2:45:25 
25Klaus Sever (Aut) Radsport Weichberger Bionx3:25:36 
26Philipp Herzog (Aus)3:29:57 
27Erwin Klocker (Aus)  
28Greg Parr (Aus) Jungle Patrol; Wilderness Medicine3:30:06 
29Andrew Graham (Aus) Jungle Patrol; Wilderness Medicine  
30Jan Van Baast (Ned)3:40:17 
31Günter Rafeiner (Aut)3:47:03 
32Erik Stokman (Ned)4:11:45 
33Chris Neal (Aus)4:13:21 
Points classification
1Urs Huber (Swi)35pts
2Bart Brentjens (Ned)35 
3Jurij Robic (Slo)12 
4Tomas Kozak (Cze)10 
5Mike Mulkens (Bel)7 
Teams classification
1Tropical Tablelands Discovery (Aus)25:04:41 
2Dream Team (Ger)1:14:37 
3Team Sun-Print (Den)2:31:32 
4Rattle N Hum (Aus)2:55:16 
5Team Kees Fietsshop (Ned)3:45:32 
6Jungle Patrol; Wilderness Medicine (Aus)9:55:22 


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