Boelen wins Crocodile Trophy overall

No GC changes on final stage

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) TeamResult
1Jeroen Boelen (Ned) Milka-Trek2:48:42 
2Josef Benedseder (Aut)0:00:06 
3Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 10:00:09 
4Mike Mulkens (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team0:00:16 
5Huub Duyn (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 10:00:25 
6Wolfgang Krenn (Aut)0:00:39 
7Justin Morris (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com0:00:45 
8Ondrej Slezak (Cze) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing0:01:01 
9Bruno Naessens (Bel)0:02:19 
10Sam Van De Gucht (Bel)0:03:03 
11Sander Van Schuerbeeck (Bel)  
12Roeland Suys (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team0:08:53 
13Samuel McGregor (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution0:10:31 
14Christoph Sokoll (Aut)0:17:05 
15Chris Hellman (Aus)0:20:44 
16Bram Donckers (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 10:22:34 
Women stage 10
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jessica Douglas (Aus)3:03:28 
2Sharman Parr (NZl) kickass1:10:12 
Masters 1 stage 10
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Gert Maes (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 20112:49:25 
2René Haselbacher (Aut)0:00:02 
3Arnott Graeme (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com0:00:47 
4Steve Petre (Aus)0:03:39 
5Mike Blewitt (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com0:03:45 
6Mark Griffin (Aus) Ashfield Cycles & Rockytrail0:04:15 
7Jan Verboven (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 20110:04:18 
8Michal Lanik (Cze)0:06:30 
9Ki Joong Kim (Kor) Team Korea0:06:32 
10Ashley Hayat (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution0:09:49 
11Martin Wisata (Aut) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing0:13:33 
12Tim Schepens (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc0:13:34 
13Michal Kafka (Aus) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing0:14:29 
14Matthias Schwarze (Ger) The Fitzroy Revolution0:14:37 
15Werner Van Vuuren (Aus)0:19:02 
16Frederic Starck (Bel)0:19:55 
17Laurent Tesch (Bel)0:19:56 
18Dirk Hörnig (Ger)0:20:33 
19Michael Taylor (Aus)0:20:45 
20Peter Roelens (Bel)0:22:31 
21Andreas Buchegger (Aut)0:24:59 
22Nicola Gianfranceschi (Ita)0:37:16 
23Christophe Demeyere (Bel)0:44:57 
Masters 2 stage 10
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Brad Davies (Aus)2:49:25 
2Shaun Portegys (NZl)0:00:51 
3Patrick Mensch (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 20110:01:39 
4Marc Baechli (Swi)0:03:49 
5Carl Maroney (Aus)0:03:52 
6Aloyse Albert Schartz (Lux)0:08:08 
7Baelen Guy Van (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc0:13:32 
8Stéphane Maitrejean (Bel)0:19:56 
9Thomas Holmberg (Den)0:20:14 
10Christiaan Van Splunter (Ned) Silvis en Vos0:22:24 
11Johan Van Splunter (Ned) Silvis en Vos  
12Rien Montsma (Ned) Silvis en Vos 2  
13Jeroen Tiebie (Ned) Silvis en Vos  
14John Boswell (Aus)0:30:09 
15Blair King (NZl)0:37:16 
16Gianni Banterla (Ita)  
17Andrew Chafer (USA) Team Van Be Venture0:37:17 
Masters 3 stage 10
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Greg Parr (Aus) kickass3:08:22 
2Gerhard Grasmugg (Aut)0:00:04 
3Pio Tomasetig (Ita) Danieli Team0:00:05 
4Andreas Wittmann (Ger)0:18:20 
5Andrew Radcliffe (Aus)0:43:20 
Tandem stage 10
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Doris Ermens & Lieven Straetmans (Bel)3:09:01 
2Daniele Modolo & Sebastian Favaro (Ita) Il Tandem Italia0:10:37 
Men final general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jeroen Boelen (Ned) Milka-Trek34:50:14 
2Wolfgang Krenn (Aut)0:56:32 
3Josef Benedseder (Aut)1:04:35 
4Mike Mulkens (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team2:00:22 
5Justin Morris (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com2:57:46 
6Huub Duyn (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 13:36:23 
7Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 13:38:40 
8Ondrej Slezak (Cze) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing3:52:33 
9Bruno Naessens (Bel)4:43:05 
10Christoph Sokoll (Aut)4:49:09 
11Samuel McGregor (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution5:58:44 
12Sam Van De Gucht (Bel)8:43:18 
13Sander Van Schuerbeeck (Bel)8:43:35 
14Chris Hellman (Aus)9:41:44 
15Roeland Suys (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team9:50:46 
16Bram Donckers (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 120:59:57 
Women final general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jessica Douglas (Aus)43:01:27 
2Sharman Parr (NZl) kickass17:39:28 
Masters 1 final general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Arnott Graeme (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com36:42:22 
2Mark Griffin (Aus) Ashfield Cycles & Rockytrail0:33:38 
3Jan Verboven (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 20110:41:11 
4Gert Maes (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 20111:41:52 
5Ashley Hayat (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution2:07:02 
6Mike Blewitt (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com2:11:31 
7René Haselbacher (Aut)2:32:28 
8Michal Lanik (Cze)2:58:57 
9Steve Petre (Aus)4:42:12 
10Michal Kafka (Aus) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing5:01:16 
11Tim Schepens (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc5:12:13 
12Ki Joong Kim (Kor) Team Korea6:56:43 
13Matthias Schwarze (Ger) The Fitzroy Revolution7:07:23 
14Peter Roelens (Bel)8:34:32 
15Martin Wisata (Aut) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing9:53:33 
16Werner Van Vuuren (Aus)11:20:25 
17Frederic Starck (Bel)11:34:23 
18Laurent Tesch (Bel)11:34:35 
19Michael Taylor (Aus)12:23:10 
20Andreas Buchegger (Aut)13:36:30 
21Dirk Hörnig (Ger)14:00:48 
22Nicola Gianfranceschi (Ita)19:02:58 
23Christophe Demeyere (Bel)19:15:46 
Masters 2 final general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Brad Davies (Aus)37:44:12 
2Shaun Portegys (NZl)1:04:26 
3Marc Baechli (Swi)1:21:29 
4Carl Maroney (Aus)1:56:10 
5Patrick Mensch (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 20114:43:10 
6Baelen Guy Van (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc5:00:18 
7Johan Van Splunter (Ned) Silvis en Vos7:38:19 
8Christiaan Van Splunter (Ned) Silvis en Vos7:38:21 
9Aloyse Albert Schartz (Lux)8:00:29 
10Jeroen Tiebie (Ned) Silvis en Vos8:44:57 
11Thomas Holmberg (Den)8:59:42 
12Stéphane Maitrejean (Bel)10:32:41 
13Rien Montsma (Ned) Silvis en Vos 213:08:06 
14Blair King (NZl)14:51:03 
15John Boswell (Aus)16:39:31 
16Gianni Banterla (Ita)17:45:19 
17Andrew Chafer (USA) Team Van Be Venture32:51:19 
Masters 3 final general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Pio Tomasetig (Ita) Danieli Team44:26:28 
2Gerhard Grasmugg (Aut)3:33:30 
3Andrew Radcliffe (Aus)6:11:46 
4Andreas Wittmann (Ger)6:12:57 
5Greg Parr (Aus) kickass13:28:23 
Tandem final general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Doris Ermens & Lieven Straetmans (Bel)45:50:54 
2Daniele Modolo & Sebastian Favaro (Ita) Il Tandem Italia4:20:10 
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Josef Benedseder (Aut)15 pts
2Mike Mulkens (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team10 
3Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 15 
4Huub Duyn (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 12 
Points classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
2Josef Benedseder (Aut)62 pts
3Wolfgang Krenn (Aut)44 
4Mike Mulkens (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team32 
5Huub Duyn (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 124 
6Christoph Sokoll (Aut)20 
7Arnott Graeme (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com15 
8Justin Morris (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com12 
8Geeni Yong Choi (Kor) Team Korea12 
10Wolfgang Krenn (Aut)5 
10Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 15 
12Ashley Hayat (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution2 
Teams classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
2Den Outback 4bikes croc team 20114:50:54 
3The Fitzroy Revolution10:03:52 
4Bernard Rocky Trail Racing13:38:05 
5Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 119:21:32 
6Silvis en Vos23:49:58 

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