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Crocodile Trophy 2011

Date range:
October 18-27, 2011

October 27, Stage 10: Munburra - Cooktown 99km

Boelen wins Crocodile Trophy overall

By:
Cycling News
Published:
October 27, 2011, 15:10 BST,
Updated:
October 27, 2011, 17:47 BST

No GC changes on final stage

Croc Trophy winner Jeroen Boelen in action on the final stage

Croc Trophy winner Jeroen Boelen in action on the final stage

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Jereoen Boelen (Milka-Trek) won five Crocodile Trophy stages en route to victory in the 17th edition's overall. The 33-year-old worked where he needed to and made himself popular with riders and race staff alike. After 1200 kilometers across the rainforests and the Outback of North Queensland, Boelen finished with almost an hour's lead on Austrians Wofgang Krenn and Josef Benedseder.

The result could have been different, if main challenger Urs Huber from Switzerland hadn't dropped out on the eve of the ninth stage. Boelen, a successful former road rider, has just begun his mountain bike career. Earlier this season, he finished seventh at the Cape Epic with teammate Bart Brentjens.

"This victory is so important for me and for the team," said winner Boelen. "The Crocodile Trophy has a big name in mountain bike community. It is important for my sponsors, too. Without sponsors we have no sport. I am glad I can give them this victory."

The race promised to be a battle between Swiss champion Urs Huber, former Olympic champion Bart Brentjens and Belgian rider Mike Mulkens. The numbers one, two and three of the last two years were back with the same ambition, to win this crazy mountain bike race.

Bart Brentjens, 43, had arrived sick in Cairns and was unable to start on October 18. Urs Huber, 26, got sick during the race and Mike Mulkens, 31, just missed that little extra power. After having been third overall two years in a row, the Belgian rider aimed for a stage win. In Laura, he was close to his goal until a puncture on the last kilometer ruined his plans. In Irvinebank "Iron Mike" was caught at 4km from the finish after a marathon breakaway.

That Huber got sick could have been caused by the terrible weather during the first two days of the race. Stage 1 needed to be neutralized as support cars were unable to ride the course, which had deteriorated rapidly due to torrential downpours. In an epic stage 2 in the never ending rain, no one was able to follow Huber when the road went up. He went away on the terrible Mount Baldy and would stay away until the end. Only Dutch rider Boelen, Brentjens' pupil, could keep the damage a bit under control. Huber was in search for a unique third in a row overall victory. Earlier this year, he had already won eight races including the TransAlp, the Grand Raid and the Dolomiti Superbike. Huber continued to show his strength in a - due to the rain - modified stage 3.

Boelen raced very consistently for 10 days and claimed his moment of honor in the fourth stage. It would not be his last victory. The former road rider is fast at the finish, but also just strong. "I think I am more talented as a road rider, but I needed a new challenge," he said. In his former road career, Boelen won two stages in Olympia's Tour (Netherlands) and was overall winner of the Tour de Liège (Belgium) ahead of Robert Gesink and Johnny Hoogerland and the Route Nivernaise Morvan (France).

"Many people told me that I am too social, or better not enough non-social to be professional road rider," said Boelen. "But I don't regret having become a mountain biker now."

Boelen won stages 5 and 6. It was in that 189-kilometer sixth stage that he took the leader's jersey. Huber looked unbeatable, but broke that day. Like most of the riders that day, also Huber punctured, but he also ran out of energy in the hot outback of Queensland. Some of the vehicles with drinks and energy gels had gotten stuck in the Mitchell river and needed to be pulled across by others. It was a stage full of unexpected challenges and turns of events for all. Instead of leading with four minutes, he had to make up seven minutes. Huber counted on making that up in the long sand stage 9, but by then he was not in the race any more.

With or without Huber, the race stayed very animated as the Austrian riders were very active. Former pro rider René Haselbacher attacked every day. Krenn and Benedseder rode a consistent race for second and third overall. Christoph Sokoll won the stage in Laura and with Boelen winning 50 percent of the stages, it was not possible for others to win a stage. More than once, the Austrians played a tactical game with the Darrell Lea teammates Kevin Hulsmans and Huub Duyn. Hulsmans attacked every day as well, but did not get a prize. His teammate Duyn did, as he was the stage winner in Kalpowar.

Behind the elite riders, the battle between the masters riders was as interesting. Especially the Australian home riders were impressive. Graeme Arnott, Mark Griffin, Brad Davies, Ashley Hayat, Justin Morris, all guys with a full time job, working a whole year to perform well in this race, were every day in the front. The respect they got from the pro's was huge.

The Crocodile Trophy drew participants from Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Korea, Czech Republic, Italy, USA, South Africa and Denmark. The three Koreans surprised frequently. Geeni Yong Choi was the hero of stage 9, finishing third in the long and sandy queen stage. Surprisingly, he did not start the last stage due to knee pain - he did not want to jeopardize his coming season.

The biggest respect from all participants was for the two American handbikers. After stage 6 they arrived at the Crocodile Trophy Camp after 18 hours on their bikes, unfortunately not able to start the day after, due to a heat stroke (Patrik Doak) and an open skin wound (Carlos Moleda). Their teammate and supporter Andrew Chafer continued till the end in Hope Vale and got the biggest applause of all.

The last stage to Hope Vale didn't change the GC. After a 60km break including Chris Hellman from Australia, Belgian Roeland Suys and Austrian Martin Wisata, the road riders gave a demonstration of tactics and speed. The Austrians and the Darrell Lea guys fought it out, but in the end Boelen won. His mentor Brentjens will be proud.

"Bart and I are as strong," said Boelen. "We would have started here together and observed during the first days which one of us was going to do best and then made up plans together. Now, I did it alone. It was harder, but the pleasure is even bigger now."

The Crocodile Trophy will return to Far North Queensland in 2012. Race organizer Gerhard Schönbacher said, "I already have ideas for the track next year."

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Full Results

Men stage 10
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Jeroen Boelen (Ned) Milka-Trek 2:48:42  
2 Josef Benedseder (Aut) 0:00:06  
3 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 0:00:09  
4 Mike Mulkens (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team 0:00:16  
5 Huub Duyn (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 0:00:25  
6 Wolfgang Krenn (Aut) 0:00:39  
7 Justin Morris (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 0:00:45  
8 Ondrej Slezak (Cze) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing 0:01:01  
9 Bruno Naessens (Bel) 0:02:19  
10 Sam Van De Gucht (Bel) 0:03:03  
11 Sander Van Schuerbeeck (Bel)    
12 Roeland Suys (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team 0:08:53  
13 Samuel McGregor (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution 0:10:31  
14 Christoph Sokoll (Aut) 0:17:05  
15 Chris Hellman (Aus) 0:20:44  
16 Bram Donckers (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 0:22:34  
Women stage 10
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Jessica Douglas (Aus) 3:03:28  
2 Sharman Parr (NZl) kickass 1:10:12  
Masters 1 stage 10
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Gert Maes (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 2011 2:49:25  
2 René Haselbacher (Aut) 0:00:02  
3 Arnott Graeme (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 0:00:47  
4 Steve Petre (Aus) 0:03:39  
5 Mike Blewitt (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 0:03:45  
6 Mark Griffin (Aus) Ashfield Cycles & Rockytrail 0:04:15  
7 Jan Verboven (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 2011 0:04:18  
8 Michal Lanik (Cze) 0:06:30  
9 Ki Joong Kim (Kor) Team Korea 0:06:32  
10 Ashley Hayat (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution 0:09:49  
11 Martin Wisata (Aut) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing 0:13:33  
12 Tim Schepens (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc 0:13:34  
13 Michal Kafka (Aus) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing 0:14:29  
14 Matthias Schwarze (Ger) The Fitzroy Revolution 0:14:37  
15 Werner Van Vuuren (Aus) 0:19:02  
16 Frederic Starck (Bel) 0:19:55  
17 Laurent Tesch (Bel) 0:19:56  
18 Dirk Hörnig (Ger) 0:20:33  
19 Michael Taylor (Aus) 0:20:45  
20 Peter Roelens (Bel) 0:22:31  
21 Andreas Buchegger (Aut) 0:24:59  
22 Nicola Gianfranceschi (Ita) 0:37:16  
23 Christophe Demeyere (Bel) 0:44:57  
Masters 2 stage 10
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Brad Davies (Aus) 2:49:25  
2 Shaun Portegys (NZl) 0:00:51  
3 Patrick Mensch (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 2011 0:01:39  
4 Marc Baechli (Swi) 0:03:49  
5 Carl Maroney (Aus) 0:03:52  
6 Aloyse Albert Schartz (Lux) 0:08:08  
7 Baelen Guy Van (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc 0:13:32  
8 Stéphane Maitrejean (Bel) 0:19:56  
9 Thomas Holmberg (Den) 0:20:14  
10 Christiaan Van Splunter (Ned) Silvis en Vos 0:22:24  
11 Johan Van Splunter (Ned) Silvis en Vos    
12 Rien Montsma (Ned) Silvis en Vos 2    
13 Jeroen Tiebie (Ned) Silvis en Vos    
14 John Boswell (Aus) 0:30:09  
15 Blair King (NZl) 0:37:16  
16 Gianni Banterla (Ita)    
17 Andrew Chafer (USA) Team Van Be Venture 0:37:17  
Masters 3 stage 10
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Greg Parr (Aus) kickass 3:08:22  
2 Gerhard Grasmugg (Aut) 0:00:04  
3 Pio Tomasetig (Ita) Danieli Team 0:00:05  
4 Andreas Wittmann (Ger) 0:18:20  
5 Andrew Radcliffe (Aus) 0:43:20  
Tandem stage 10
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Doris Ermens & Lieven Straetmans (Bel) 3:09:01  
2 Daniele Modolo & Sebastian Favaro (Ita) Il Tandem Italia 0:10:37  
Men final general classification
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Jeroen Boelen (Ned) Milka-Trek 34:50:14  
2 Wolfgang Krenn (Aut) 0:56:32  
3 Josef Benedseder (Aut) 1:04:35  
4 Mike Mulkens (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team 2:00:22  
5 Justin Morris (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 2:57:46  
6 Huub Duyn (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 3:36:23  
7 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 3:38:40  
8 Ondrej Slezak (Cze) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing 3:52:33  
9 Bruno Naessens (Bel) 4:43:05  
10 Christoph Sokoll (Aut) 4:49:09  
11 Samuel McGregor (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution 5:58:44  
12 Sam Van De Gucht (Bel) 8:43:18  
13 Sander Van Schuerbeeck (Bel) 8:43:35  
14 Chris Hellman (Aus) 9:41:44  
15 Roeland Suys (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team 9:50:46  
16 Bram Donckers (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 20:59:57  
Women final general classification
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Jessica Douglas (Aus) 43:01:27  
2 Sharman Parr (NZl) kickass 17:39:28  
Masters 1 final general classification
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Arnott Graeme (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 36:42:22  
2 Mark Griffin (Aus) Ashfield Cycles & Rockytrail 0:33:38  
3 Jan Verboven (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 2011 0:41:11  
4 Gert Maes (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 2011 1:41:52  
5 Ashley Hayat (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution 2:07:02  
6 Mike Blewitt (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 2:11:31  
7 René Haselbacher (Aut) 2:32:28  
8 Michal Lanik (Cze) 2:58:57  
9 Steve Petre (Aus) 4:42:12  
10 Michal Kafka (Aus) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing 5:01:16  
11 Tim Schepens (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc 5:12:13  
12 Ki Joong Kim (Kor) Team Korea 6:56:43  
13 Matthias Schwarze (Ger) The Fitzroy Revolution 7:07:23  
14 Peter Roelens (Bel) 8:34:32  
15 Martin Wisata (Aut) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing 9:53:33  
16 Werner Van Vuuren (Aus) 11:20:25  
17 Frederic Starck (Bel) 11:34:23  
18 Laurent Tesch (Bel) 11:34:35  
19 Michael Taylor (Aus) 12:23:10  
20 Andreas Buchegger (Aut) 13:36:30  
21 Dirk Hörnig (Ger) 14:00:48  
22 Nicola Gianfranceschi (Ita) 19:02:58  
23 Christophe Demeyere (Bel) 19:15:46  
Masters 2 final general classification
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Brad Davies (Aus) 37:44:12  
2 Shaun Portegys (NZl) 1:04:26  
3 Marc Baechli (Swi) 1:21:29  
4 Carl Maroney (Aus) 1:56:10  
5 Patrick Mensch (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 2011 4:43:10  
6 Baelen Guy Van (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc 5:00:18  
7 Johan Van Splunter (Ned) Silvis en Vos 7:38:19  
8 Christiaan Van Splunter (Ned) Silvis en Vos 7:38:21  
9 Aloyse Albert Schartz (Lux) 8:00:29  
10 Jeroen Tiebie (Ned) Silvis en Vos 8:44:57  
11 Thomas Holmberg (Den) 8:59:42  
12 Stéphane Maitrejean (Bel) 10:32:41  
13 Rien Montsma (Ned) Silvis en Vos 2 13:08:06  
14 Blair King (NZl) 14:51:03  
15 John Boswell (Aus) 16:39:31  
16 Gianni Banterla (Ita) 17:45:19  
17 Andrew Chafer (USA) Team Van Be Venture 32:51:19  
Masters 3 final general classification
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Pio Tomasetig (Ita) Danieli Team 44:26:28  
2 Gerhard Grasmugg (Aut) 3:33:30  
3 Andrew Radcliffe (Aus) 6:11:46  
4 Andreas Wittmann (Ger) 6:12:57  
5 Greg Parr (Aus) kickass 13:28:23  
Tandem final general classification
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Doris Ermens & Lieven Straetmans (Bel) 45:50:54  
2 Daniele Modolo & Sebastian Favaro (Ita) Il Tandem Italia 4:20:10  
Points
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Josef Benedseder (Aut) 15  pts
2 Mike Mulkens (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team 10  
3 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 5  
4 Huub Duyn (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 2  
Points classification
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
2 Josef Benedseder (Aut) 62  pts
3 Wolfgang Krenn (Aut) 44  
4 Mike Mulkens (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team 32  
5 Huub Duyn (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 24  
6 Christoph Sokoll (Aut) 20  
7 Arnott Graeme (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 15  
8 Justin Morris (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 12  
8 Geeni Yong Choi (Kor) Team Korea 12  
10 Wolfgang Krenn (Aut) 5  
10 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 5  
12 Ashley Hayat (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution 2  
Teams classification
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 113:24:15  
2 Den Outback 4bikes croc team 2011 4:50:54  
3 The Fitzroy Revolution 10:03:52  
4 Bernard Rocky Trail Racing 13:38:05  
5 Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 19:21:32  
6 Silvis en Vos 23:49:58