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Crocodile Trophy 2011

Date range:
October 18-27, 2011

October 21, Stage 4: Gunnawarra Lagoon - Irvinebank 106km

Boelen sprints to victory at end of tactical stage

By:
Cycling News
Published:
October 21, 2011, 14:31 BST,
Updated:
October 21, 2011, 17:40 BST

Huber retains overall lead

Jeroen Boelen (Milka-Trek) leads the chase on his way to a stage win

Jeroen Boelen (Milka-Trek) leads the chase on his way to a stage win

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Belgium's Mike Mulkens was the hero of the day, but in the end he was left with empty hands. The Crocodile Trophy stage 4 victory in Irvinebank - after a short but fast stage - was claimed by Jeroen Boelen from the Netherlands. He outsprinted Wolfgang Krenn, race leader Urs Huber and Josef Benedseder.

Huber successfully defended his leader's jersey. For Jeroen Boelen (Team Milka-Trek) today was his first big international mountain bike victory. Earlier this year, he won three road and three mountain bike races.

Other dominant racers today included road professional Kevin Hulsmans and the retired René Haselbacher. Boelen and Hulsmans know each other very well from their under 23 times when they both raced together at the road world championships in Verona in 1999.

Boelen did not react when immediately after the start Hulsmans attacked. Or rather tried to attack, because he attempted to break away two, three times in a row, but race leader Huber did not let it happen and kept riding strongly.

When Austrian René Haselbacher then saw a chance, he initiated an attack and his compatriot Krenn and Mulkens went with him, without any counter attack from Huber. This was surprising, as Krenn and Mulkens were a potential danger for his red leader's jersey.

Krenn said that he decided to let the others go and dropped back. "It was better this way, and I felt really strong today," said Krenn after the stage. "I always prefer to save my energy for the finale of a race. I reckon, tomorrow will be my day."

Mulkens and Haselbacher continued their efforts and were gone. And that was the line up for most of the race - they still had 70km ahead of them until the finish.

The stage was not a technically difficult one. The climbs were steep but short. And it didn't rain any more. The fact that the stage was a three times around a 27-kilometer lap kind of a race made it all very tactical. All riders could exactly judge where to attack, where to hide against the wind, etc.

"On the long sections, we could see Mulkens and Haselbacher ahead of us, and we observed that Mulkens had to slow down uphill for his companion. That's why we never panicked," said stage winner Boelen. "We speculated that Mulkens would never be able to stay in the front alone against the rest and most of the time fighting against the wind."

"I did my best," said Haselbacher. "In 2011, I was only on my bike 20 or 30 times. So, I may not complain. Moreover, I will get better every day. I am here to enjoy cycling. I have to be honest, I've missed cycling since I retired last year. This is fun for me. Oh yes, also when we have to ride in the rain and sleep in wet tents. This adventure, and believe me, is much better than riding for 200km in a Flemish Classic in the rain. Here the rain is not cold, you don't even need a rain jacket."

Haselbacher helped Mulkens, number 4 in the GC at 21:49 minutes after Huber, as much as he could, especially on the flat parts, but they were never able to gain more than three minutes. The cohesion in the chasing group of 16 was not optimal either. Besides the top 10 of the GC (Huber, Boelen, Krenn, Benedseder, Sokoll, Hulsmans, Davies, Morris and Duijn), the group also contained Graeme, Griffin, Park, Choi, Slezak, McGregor, Baeckli, Blewitt, Portegys, Maes and Verboven. For Maes, McGregor, Baeckli and Portegys (with mechanical problems), it all went too fast very quickly.

With fewer riders in the chasing group, the chase went better. Halfway through the race, Mulkens and Haselbacher still had 1:40 on the group. On the one steep climb at Earwackers Creek, Huber accelerated. Only Boelen, Krenn, Benedseder and the Donckers teammates Hulsmans and Duijn were able to follow. It was now two leaders against six chasers.

With 25km to go, the gap was down to 50 seconds, but then the chasers couldn't let go of each other and the gap became two minutes again. That's when Hulsmans decided to counterattack, even against the wind. His goal was to ride to "Iron Mike" Mulkens who had dropped Haselbacher in the meantime. He was able to get within 45 seconds of Mulkens and then cracked. Hulsmans had tried, but lost. Mulkens was extremely strong.

"Mulkens lives in my neighbourhood in Belgium," said Hulsmans. "When we leave for a training ride, he rides with us. We on a race bike, he on a mountain bike, and we always need to tell him to go slower. Strong guy."

But in the end, Mulkens was not strong enough any more. At 4km to go mark, the chasers caught him. The two-time third place overall finisher of the Crocodile Trophy is in his third year of competing in this event and still seeking a stage victory.

The attack of Huber on the third and last climb of Earwackers Creek was too much for the Flemish rider. Huber tried to finish alone, but Boelen, Krenn and Benedseder kept on his wheel. Duijn was dropped, tried to come back on the descent, but a derailleur problem prevented him from doing so. Four riders sprinted to the finish, and Boelen was the fastest. Krenn finished second, Huber third.

"Before the race my team owner Bart Brentjens had briefed me that I would always be able to win a the sprint against Huber, but I had no idea about the sprinting skills of Krenn," said Boelen. "First Benedseder misjudged the last corner, and then I passed Krenn and I won. I am very happy. This is also a victory for Bart Brentjens who should have been here."

Tomorrow's fifth stage will get the Croc Trophy camp back on track with the original race plan. The racers have 105km and 1100m of elevation ahead of them.

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Full Results

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