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Crocodile Trophy 2011

Date range:
October 18-27, 2011

October 19, Stage 2: Lake Tinaroo - Koombooloomba 106km

Huber proves strongest during another rainy stage

By:
Cycling News
Published:
October 19, 2011, 15:49 BST,
Updated:
October 19, 2011, 22:32 BST

Boelen and Krenn try to follow

Urs Huber (Stöckli Pro Team) wins stage 2 of the Crocodile Trophy

Urs Huber (Stöckli Pro Team) wins stage 2 of the Crocodile Trophy

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It took only the one terrible climb to Mount Baldy at the beginning of the stage to make a difference in the outcome of stage 2 of the Crocodile Trophy. Swiss marathon champion Urs Huber needed only 30 minutes to ride away from the others. For the rest of the stage, some 70 lonesome kilometers, he was able to keep and even to increase his advantage.

After another day in the rain, Huber finished with a four-minute lead ahead of Dutch rider Jeroen Boelen, Bart Brentjens' protégé. At the finish line, it was clear that a very bad night was going to lie ahead for the riders as it didn't stop raining onto their small tents. With wind gusts hitting the Croc Trophy camp, news reached riders that it had been the wettest October day in 47 years for North Queensland.

It was not those torrential downpours from Cairns anymore, but it still rained. Heavily. In fact, it never stopped the entire day.

"[It's] very unusual for October and the dry season," even the locals admitted.

The wet red clay from Tully Gorge National Park was responsible for most of the 90 competitors, especially the two hand cyclists, arriving looking like red devils at the finish line. Fortunately, at least the temperature was favourable and right after the start, a nice climb increased heart rates and body temperatures.

"I had watched the roadbook yesterday and had seen that it was a stage that I could win", said Huber. "On paper, I am the strongest climber of all, but every year you have new competitors. Yesterday already in the neutralized stage, I was surprised to see how well the Milka rider [Jeroen Boelen] and one of the Koreans did."

The two-time Crocodile Trophy winner attacked and was gone. In no time, he gained a one-minute advantage to a quartet consisting of two Dutch riders, Huub Duijn and Jeroen Boelen, Belgian Mike Mulkens and Austrian Wolfgang Krenn. The other Austrian, Josef Benedseder, tried to follow the four but blew up. Kevin Hulsmans did not even try to do so. His "diesel needed some time to warm up", as he jokingly admitted. Tom Boonen's former lieutenant climbed very cleverly and consistently and hoped to come back on the descent, but the verdict after the descent and after 35km of racing was a different one.

The solo effort of Huber gave the Swiss rider a two-minute advantage over the three chasers: Boelen, Krenn and Mulkens. At seven minutes, teammates Hulsmans and Duijn, Geeni Yong Choi from Korea, the Austrian riders Sokoll and Benedseder and the surprising Aussie rider Mark Griffin, best Australian rider but also battling for a position at that stage as best master 1 rider in this 17th Crocodile Trophy.

That's why, behind Griffin's back, about one minute behind, other Australian masters organized the chase. Ashley Hayat, Brad Davies, Justin Morris and Arnott Graeme got the help from Chang Min Park and at the last feed zone, at 35km from the finish, just when the group Griffin-Hulsmans stopped to take some drinks and food, they passed them all, without taking fuel.

In the mean time also in the front, some beaten bodies appeared. Not Huber, though, who was powering towards the finish and was even increasing his lead to three minutes. On the contrary - it was the chasing group which litterally exploded.

Boelen said, "Urs was far too strong for us. In that long flat part, following Mount Baldy, we were a group of three, which was our advantage, but still I felt already that Mulkens and Krenn spared some forces. However, when I accelerated at 30km from the finish, I realised that they could not follow me anymore. From then on, I had to chase on my own. The three-minute gap became a four-minute gap, but I should not complain. In mountain bike racing, this is nothing. One bad luck moment for Huber, and we could be starting all over again. That's why I really kept on fighting till the end."

After three hours and 16 minutes in the pouring rain, Huber reached Koombaloomba. The overall victory is still far away, but it is clear that nobody can beat him on those steep and uphill sections. "It looks good, but the race is not over yet," said Huber, who exchanged his national champion's jersey for the red leader's jersey. "What I did today is impossible to repeat every day, and I really need to increase that four-minute lead to race more comfortably. We will see."

With Bart Brentjens still in the race, the situation could have been different. The sick Milka-Trek team owner did not start yesterday because of high fever. "I thought about Bart a lot today", said teammate and number two in the GC Boelen. "Uphill we both cannot follow Huber but we could have helped each other a lot the other 70km. We could have been able to ride two teeth faster."

Wolfgang Krenn from Austria finished third and was happy with the unexpected result. "What should I complain about? Huber is hors categorie, and I only had to pass on that acceleration of the Milka guy. It's far too early to dream of the final podium, but I will go for it. But please, can you give us some better weather?"

Note: The Australians, with Ashley Hayat, Brad Davies and Jessica Douglas, are leading the GCs in the M1, M2 and women categories. Best M3 rider is Pio Tomaseli from Italy. The Crocodile Trophy again will be missing a rider at the start line as Dirk Abeloos crashed. The Belgian rider broke the neck of the femur. He will undergo surgery in Cairns on Thursday.

When the Crocodile Trophy tomorrow heads to Irvinebank (instead of Gunnawarra as previously planned), it will leave the rain forest. The weather should be better then.

Full results for stage 2 and GC after stage 2 (stage 1 was neutralized)

Men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Urs Huber (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team 3:16:30  
2 Jeroen Boelen (Ned) Milka-Trek 0:03:56  
3 Wolfgang Krenn (Aut) 0:11:43  
4 Mike Mulkens (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team 0:17:56  
5 Justin Morris (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 0:19:49  
6 Christoph Sokoll (Aut)    
7 Huub Duyn (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 0:19:50  
8 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1    
9 Josef Benedseder (Aut) 0:19:51  
10 Geeni Yong Choi (Kor) Team Korea 0:19:52  
11 Chang Min Park (Kor) Team Korea 0:34:49  
12 Samuel McGregor (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution 0:39:52  
13 Ondrej Slezak (Cze) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing 0:48:38  
14 Bruno Naessens (Bel) 0:50:15  
15 Roeland Suys (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team 1:08:49  
16 Sam Van De Gucht (Bel) 1:17:24  
17 Sander Van Schuerbeeck (Bel) 1:17:25  
18 Chris Hellman (Aus) 1:19:03  
19 Bram Donckers (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 2:23:50  
DNS Bart Brentjens (Ned) Milka-Trek Mountain Bike Racing team    
Women
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Jessica Douglas (Aus) 4:20:18  
2 Sharman Parr (NZl) kickass 2:13:09  
Handcycle
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Patrik Doak (USA) Team Van Be Venture    
1 Carlos Moleda (USA) Team Van Be Venture    
M1
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Ashley Hayat (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution 3:36:42  
2 Mark Griffin (Aus) Ashfield Cycles & Rockytrail 0:05:21  
3 Arnott Graeme (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 0:06:04  
4 Jan Verboven (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 2011 0:14:35  
5 Michal Lanik (Cze) 0:18:42  
6 Mike Blewitt (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com    
7 René Haselbacher (Aut) 0:18:44  
8 Matthias Schwarze (Ger) The Fitzroy Revolution 0:24:12  
9 Michal Kafka (Aus) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing 0:28:26  
10 Gert Maes (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 2011 0:40:56  
11 Steve Petre (Aus) 0:42:19  
12 Ki Joong Kim (Kor) Team Korea 0:46:26  
13 Martin Wisata (Aut) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing 0:52:44  
14 Tim Schepens (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc 0:57:13  
15 Werner Van Vuuren (Aus) 0:58:32  
16 Peter Roelens (Bel) 1:00:23  
17 Andreas Buchegger (Aut) 1:12:32  
18 Michael Taylor (Aus) 1:30:42  
19 Christophe Demeyere (Bel) 1:47:04  
20 Nicola Gianfranceschi (Ita) 1:50:58  
21 Laurent Tesch (Bel) 1:57:23  
22 Frederic Starck (Bel)    
23 Dirk Hörnig (Ger) 2:04:14  
M2
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Brad Davies (Aus) 3:36:19  
2 Marc Baechli (Swi) 0:15:47  
3 Shaun Portegys (NZl) 0:19:08  
4 Carl Maroney (Aus) 0:28:36  
5 Markus Frey (Swi) 0:53:57  
6 Patrick Mensch (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 2011 0:56:19  
7 Baelen Guy Van (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc 0:57:33  
8 Aloyse Albert Schartz (Lux) 1:10:52  
9 Jeroen Tiebie (Ned) Silvis en Vos 1:29:57  
10 Johan Van Splunter (Ned) Silvis en Vos 1:29:58  
11 Christiaan Van Splunter (Ned) Silvis en Vos 1:29:59  
12 John Boswell (Aus) 1:32:38  
13 Gianni Banterla (Ita) 1:51:22  
14 Stéphane Maitrejean (Bel) 1:57:45  
15 Thomas Holmberg (Den) 2:04:37  
16 Blair King (NZl) 2:08:02  
17 Rien Montsma (Ned) Silvis en Vos 2 2:11:31  
DNF Jakob Steen-Peterson (Den) HMTBK Sram    
DNF Paul Riedo (Swi) Tröhler/ Stevens Bike    
DNF Dirk Abeloos (Bel)    
DNF Andrew Chafer (USA) Team Van Be Venture    
M3
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Pio Tomasetig (Ita) Danieli Team 4:35:14  
2 Dennis Bowen-Day (Aus) 0:21:47  
3 Andrew Radcliffe (Aus) 0:29:22  
4 Gerhard Grasmugg (Aut) 0:39:46  
5 Marc Desender (Bel) Team Marc Desender 0:54:14  
6 Andreas Wittmann (Ger) 0:58:50  
7 Ronny Potter (Bel) Ronny Potter 1:21:06  
8 Greg Parr (Aus) kickass 1:58:13  
9 Anton Wachter (Aut) 2:06:33  
Tandem
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Doris Ermens & Lieven Straetmans (Bel) 5:05:00  
2 Daniele Modolo & Sebastian Favaro (Ita) Il Tandem Italia 0:26:50