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Crocodile Trophy 2011

Date range:
October 18-27, 2011

October 20, Stage 3: Koombooloomba - Irvinebank 115km

Huber overcomes Mount Misery to win stage 3

By:
Cycling News
Published:
October 20, 2011, 13:12 BST,
Updated:
October 20, 2011, 19:26 BST

Boelen puts up a good fight for second

Race leader Urs Huber ahead of Brad Davies and Kevin Hulsmans

Race leader Urs Huber ahead of Brad Davies and Kevin Hulsmans

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On the steep uphills to Irvinebank, Swiss marathon champion Urs Huber showed again that nobody can beat him on the longer climbs; however, the difference between him and Dutch rider Jeroen Boelen was only six seconds. Huber lost precious time not daring to cross a deep river on the bike. At the 17th Crocodile Trophy, all cards are still on the table...

Worldwide, the race is known as "the world's longest and hardest mountain bike adventure for professionals and amateurs", and it was adventurous spirit and improvisational skills that prevailed at Koombooloomba Dam. On the eve of the stage, in the flooded race camp, the organizers decided not to race to Gunnawara but to Irvinebank, to spare racers from a gruelling stage along the Powerline Track after a sleepless night in leaking tents for a lot of competitors.

The race that was on the (new) menu was nice: 36km of easy off-road trails followed by 22km asphalt and 38km of real mountain biking on undulating terrain. The final section of the stage did reward riders for the past two wet days and a freezing night with fast and sweeping descents.

It had stopped raining, the sun tried hard to come out and the trails were grippy. However, the sign at the final turn off to Irvinebank - "Mount Misery Road" - short and steep pitches kept challenging the riders' endurance on the final kilometres into the small mining town.

"What am I doing here? I wished that I was anywhere but out there on those last 10km," said Australian rider Brad Davies. "So hard, but such a nice ride!" Davies was the big surprise of the day. The 41-year-old Melbourne based rider was the only Master, even Master 2, rider in the elite front group that powered to the finish. That group was formed immediately after a breakneck speedy start.

Besides Davies, there were Huber, Boelen, Wolfgang Krenn and Mike Mulkens, the top four of the GC, as well as Josef Benedseder, Christoff Sokoll, Kevin Hulsmans and Chang Min Park.

The three Australians Mark Griffin, Justin Morris and Ashley Hayat were only able to keep up with those nine riders for 6km, then it was over and out for them. Missing in the front group was Korean Geeni Yong Choi, who punctured his front tire on the first kilometer, and his bad luck continued as he rolled across the finish line with another flat rear tire. Dutch rider Huub Duijn, another unlucky rider, was closely in pursuit of the Korean. He had misunderstood announcements at the rider briefing and thought there would be a neutralized start. That wasn't the case and he missed his spot in the lead group.

The nine riders in that lead group worked together well, knowing nobody would try to break away before that terrible Mount Misery Road. Also, the "veteran" in the group, Davies did his part of the job. "Honestly, contrary to many others, I had a good night's sleep, even better than the night before when I had a lot of water puddles in my tent. I share the tent with Jessica Douglas, who leads the women category. We both slept very well," said Davies, who was fifth last year at the 24-hour solo world championships in Canberra.

With 25km to go, Huber and Boelen thought it was time to accelerate. They did it smoothly, but firmly. No surprise attack, just accelerating very strongly. The first one they left behind was Park, then Sokoll fell back, followed by Davies (who had a flat tire) and finally Hulsmans had to let the others go. A bit further on and Krenn and Mulkens couldn't keep up anymore.

Only Josef Benedseder from Austria was able to follow Boelen and Huber. The race was on as the road continued to go uphill, and Huber attacked again. It was time to get rid of Boelen. Huber succeeded. First the Austrian rider exploded, then Boelen, too. From then on, it would only be a question of staying safely on the bike to win the stage.

"Uphill I saw Urs Huber constantly some 300 meters in front of me, which is quite a lot when you climb, on the downhill sections he disappeared out of sight," said Boelen. "The last 5km were technically challenging. Three times I nearly crashed on that descent. That was the point where I decided not to take any risks any more, but suddenly I saw Huber walking through a deep river crossing.

"I took all risks and rode through the river, putting my weight to the back and hoping not to crash. I succeeded to cross the river on the bike. Suddenly only 50 meters separated me from Huber. Unfortunately we were already too close to the finish for me to take advantage of it."

Huber won his second consecutive stage and increases his lead in the GC with six seconds.
"When you ride in the front, those river crossings are hard to take," said Huber. You have no idea how deep the water is or how rideable or walkable the surface is. I didn't dare to take a risk. The most important thing for me was to keep this nice leader's jersey."

Tomorrow's stage will take riders on an 84km race with start and finish at Irvinebank. Huber again will start in the red Crocodile Trophy leader's jersey with Jeroen Boelen following in the white jersey of the points classification.

Full Results

Men stage 3
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Urs Huber (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team 3:06:56  
2 Jeroen Boelen (Ned) Milka-Trek 0:00:06  
3 Josef Benedseder (Aut) 0:02:52  
4 Mike Mulkens (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team 0:03:24  
5 Wolfgang Krenn (Aut) 0:05:22  
6 Christoph Sokoll (Aut) 0:13:00  
7 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 0:13:03  
8 Chang Min Park (Kor) Team Korea 0:14:45  
9 Justin Morris (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 0:17:55  
10 Huub Duyn (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 0:19:01  
11 Ondrej Slezak (Cze) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing 0:30:03  
12 Samuel McGregor (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution    
13 Geeni Yong Choi (Kor) Team Korea 0:43:38  
14 Bruno Naessens (Bel) 0:44:27  
15 Roeland Suys (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team    
16 Sander Van Schuerbeeck (Bel) 1:00:55  
17 Sam Van De Gucht (Bel) 1:00:56  
18 Chris Hellman (Aus) 1:05:50  
19 Bram Donckers (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 2:09:40  
Women stage 3
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Jessica Douglas (Aus) 3:57:38  
2 Sharman Parr (NZl) kickass 1:57:31  
Handcycle stage 3
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Patrik Doak (USA) Team Van Be Venture 5:28:00  
1 Carlos Moleda (USA) Team Van Be Venture    
M1 stage 3
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Arnott Graeme (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 3:25:03  
2 Ashley Hayat (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution 0:02:07  
3 Mark Griffin (Aus) Ashfield Cycles & Rockytrail    
4 Mike Blewitt (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 0:08:15  
5 Michal Lanik (Cze) 0:11:47  
6 Jan Verboven (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 2011 0:11:56  
7 René Haselbacher (Aut) 0:29:48  
8 Steve Petre (Aus) 0:29:50  
9 Gert Maes (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 2011 0:35:46  
10 Tim Schepens (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc 0:35:47  
11 Michal Kafka (Aus) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing 0:35:57  
12 Matthias Schwarze (Ger) The Fitzroy Revolution 0:39:21  
13 Werner Van Vuuren (Aus) 0:43:11  
14 Martin Wisata (Aut) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing 0:44:43  
15 Peter Roelens (Bel) 0:52:59  
16 Frederic Starck (Bel) 0:55:39  
17 Laurent Tesch (Bel) 0:55:40  
18 Ki Joong Kim (Kor) Team Korea 0:56:09  
19 Michael Taylor (Aus) 1:08:32  
20 Andreas Buchegger (Aut) 1:17:38  
21 Dirk Hörnig (Ger) 1:46:50  
22 Christophe Demeyere (Bel) 1:53:46  
23 Nicola Gianfranceschi (Ita) 2:02:25  
M2 stage 3
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Brad Davies (Aus) 3:21:42  
2 Shaun Portegys (NZl) 0:03:50  
3 Patrick Mensch (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 2011 0:39:08  
4 Carl Maroney (Aus) 0:39:20  
5 Baelen Guy Van (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc 0:43:08  
6 Thomas Holmberg (Den) 0:46:18  
7 Markus Frey (Swi) 0:55:15  
8 Stéphane Maitrejean (Bel) 0:58:58  
9 Aloyse Albert Schartz (Lux) 1:07:25  
10 Jeroen Tiebie (Ned) Silvis en Vos 1:16:21  
11 Christiaan Van Splunter (Ned) Silvis en Vos 1:16:29  
12 Johan Van Splunter (Ned) Silvis en Vos    
13 John Boswell (Aus) 1:22:40  
14 Marc Baechli (Swi) 1:39:03  
15 Gianni Banterla (Ita) 2:05:46  
16 Andrew Chafer (USA) Team Van Be Venture 2:06:18  
17 Blair King (NZl) 2:07:21  
18 Rien Montsma (Ned) Silvis en Vos 2 2:11:58  
M3 stage 3
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Pio Tomasetig (Ita) Danieli Team 4:15:28  
2 Dennis Bowen-Day (Aus) 0:03:10  
3 Andreas Wittmann (Ger) 0:05:14  
4 Andrew Radcliffe (Aus) 0:23:11  
5 Gerhard Grasmugg (Aut) 0:34:43  
6 Ronny Potter (Bel) Ronny Potter 1:11:35  
7 Greg Parr (Aus) kickass 1:39:41  
Tandem
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Doris Ermens & Lieven Straetmans (Bel) 4:41:53  
2 Daniele Modolo & Sebastian Favaro (Ita) Il Tandem Italia 0:44:40  
Men general classification after stage 3
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Urs Huber (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team 6:22:57  
2 Jeroen Boelen (Ned) Milka-Trek 0:04:11  
3 Wolfgang Krenn (Aut) 0:17:29  
4 Mike Mulkens (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team 0:21:49  
5 Josef Benedseder (Aut) 0:23:07  
6 Christoph Sokoll (Aut) 0:33:18  
7 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 0:33:22  
8 Justin Morris (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 0:38:13  
9 Huub Duyn (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 0:39:20  
10 Chang Min Park (Kor) Team Korea 0:50:03  
11 Geeni Yong Choi (Kor) Team Korea 1:03:59  
12 Samuel McGregor (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution 1:10:24  
13 Ondrej Slezak (Cze) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing 1:19:10  
14 Bruno Naessens (Bel) 1:35:11  
15 Roeland Suys (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team 1:53:45  
16 Sam Van De Gucht (Bel) 2:18:49  
17 Sander Van Schuerbeeck (Bel)    
18 Chris Hellman (Aus) 2:25:22  
19 Bram Donckers (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 4:33:59  
Women general classification after stage 3
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Jessica Douglas (Aus) 8:17:56  
2 Sharman Parr (NZl) kickass 4:10:40  
Handcycle general classification after stage 3
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Patrik Doak (USA) Team Van Be Venture 17:47:13  
1 Carlos Moleda (USA) Team Van Be Venture    
M1 general classification after stage 3
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Ashley Hayat (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution 7:03:52  
2 Arnott Graeme (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 0:03:57  
3 Mark Griffin (Aus) Ashfield Cycles & Rockytrail 0:05:21  
4 Jan Verboven (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 2011 0:24:24  
5 Mike Blewitt (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 0:24:50  
6 Michal Lanik (Cze) 0:28:22  
7 René Haselbacher (Aut) 0:46:25  
8 Matthias Schwarze (Ger) The Fitzroy Revolution 1:01:26  
9 Michal Kafka (Aus) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing 1:02:16  
10 Steve Petre (Aus) 1:10:02  
11 Gert Maes (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 2011 1:14:35  
12 Tim Schepens (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc 1:30:53  
13 Martin Wisata (Aut) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing 1:35:20  
14 Werner Van Vuuren (Aus) 1:39:36  
15 Ki Joong Kim (Kor) Team Korea 1:40:28  
16 Peter Roelens (Bel) 1:51:15  
17 Andreas Buchegger (Aut) 2:28:03  
18 Michael Taylor (Aus) 2:37:07  
19 Frederic Starck (Bel) 2:50:55  
20 Laurent Tesch (Bel) 2:50:56  
21 Christophe Demeyere (Bel) 3:38:43  
22 Dirk Hörnig (Ger) 3:48:57  
23 Nicola Gianfranceschi (Ita) 3:51:16  
M2 general classification after stage 3
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Brad Davies (Aus) 6:58:01  
2 Shaun Portegys (NZl) 0:22:58  
3 Carl Maroney (Aus) 1:07:56  
4 Patrick Mensch (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 2011 1:35:27  
5 Baelen Guy Van (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc 1:40:41  
6 Markus Frey (Swi) 1:49:12  
7 Marc Baechli (Swi) 1:54:50  
8 Aloyse Albert Schartz (Lux) 2:18:17  
9 Jeroen Tiebie (Ned) Silvis en Vos 2:46:18  
10 Johan Van Splunter (Ned) Silvis en Vos 2:46:27  
11 Christiaan Van Splunter (Ned) Silvis en Vos 2:46:28  
12 Thomas Holmberg (Den) 2:50:55  
13 John Boswell (Aus) 2:55:18  
14 Stéphane Maitrejean (Bel) 2:56:43  
15 Gianni Banterla (Ita) 3:57:08  
16 Blair King (NZl) 4:15:23  
17 Rien Montsma (Ned) Silvis en Vos 2 4:23:29  
18 Andrew Chafer (USA) Team Van Be Venture 10:49:12  
M3 general classification after stage 3
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Pio Tomasetig (Ita) Danieli Team 8:50:42  
2 Dennis Bowen-Day (Aus) 0:24:57  
3 Andrew Radcliffe (Aus) 0:52:33  
4 Andreas Wittmann (Ger) 1:04:04  
5 Gerhard Grasmugg (Aut) 1:14:29  
6 Ronny Potter (Bel) Ronny Potter 2:32:41  
7 Greg Parr (Aus) kickass 3:37:54  
Tandem general classification after stage 3
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Doris Ermens & Lieven Straetmans (Bel) 9:46:53  
2 Daniele Modolo & Sebastian Favaro (Ita) Il Tandem Italia 1:11:30