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Crocodile Trophy 2011

Date range:
October 18-27, 2011

October 22, Stage 5: Irvinebank - Mt. Mulligan 110km

Boelen the brave beats the field

By:
Cycling News
Published:
October 22, 2011, 9:44 BST,
Updated:
October 24, 2011, 16:23 BST

Teamwork sees Huber remain in lead

Stage 5 winner Jeroen Boelen (Milka-Trek) at the finish

Stage 5 winner Jeroen Boelen (Milka-Trek) at the finish

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Steep uphills and frightening downhills - that was on the menu for the first 40km of the fifth stage of this year’s Crocodile Trophy. And those 40km made all the difference as many riders decided not to take risks and there were plenty of punctures. Urs Huber and Jeroen Boelen avoided all the bad luck and were in a different league, sprinting towards victory from the beginning as Boelen took his second consecutive stage win in Mt Mulligan.

“Woaw," said Boelen at the finish. “This is real mountain biking! This is like the South African Cape Epic where I was seventh earlier this year.” Boelen is participating for the first time in Queensland and every day he's in awe of the spectacular scenery.

The stage was rough and undulating from the start, with large and loose protruding rocks and lots of ruts. About 5km from the start, there was a breakaway when the road started to incline with Austrian Christoph Sokoll, Belgian Kevin Hulsmans and Australian duo Justin Morris and Brad Davies. They gained a maximum advantage of one minute. “We all suffered,” said Davies, the leader in the Master 2 category. “I told Kevin, this is the real Crocodile Trophy. This is a fantastic course. He didn’t seem to agree with me, but hey, no worries!”

On the first technical climb, race leader Huber then accelerated. Boelen followed. The pair caught the quartet up front and swiftly left them behind. Later, Wolfgang Krenn and Mike Mulkens did the same and joined the two leaders. The top four on GC were in front again, but not for long as Mulkens and Krenn were dropped on a second steep rough climb.

“We tried to hang on for dear life, Mike and me, but the two were just too strong,” said Krenn at the finish. There was a section over particularly rough terrain, which almost everyone needed to walk. Some did it for 500 meters, others for only 50. And then there was the downhill. Big gaps opened up as a lot of riders struggled and found it too difficult. And there were the punctures, too. One of the big victims was Geeni Yong Choi from Korea.

The downhill sections made all the difference in the field behind the first four in the race. The Koreans and Australians, who ride lots of singletrack, had the upper hand and could take advantage of their experience. They rode away from the seasoned road riders. Kevin Hulsmans explained it thus: “I had the impression that they flew over the rocks while I was riding under the ground.”

Teammate Huub Duijn was just too scared to follow the others. “It is more or less the first time in my life that I do a mountain bike race. Honestly, I was frightened to descent. I still have a road season to do and cannot risk my life or my career.”

The result after the "bad" zone was that Huber and Boelen were in the lead, followed by Mulkens and Krenn at only 20 seconds. The two Koreans, Park and Choi, followed at five minutes, the quartet of Davies, Hulsmans, Graeme and Hayat were at 6:30. Surprisingly, fifth and sixth on GC, Josef Benedseder and Sokoll from Team Eybl, were nowhere in sight at the front. They followed with a gap of 18 minutes.

“Bene had a puncture when we were riding in sixth and seventh position," said Sokoll. “As I am a teammate, I waited for him. We lost a lot of time. On top of it all, in his spare tube there appeared to be a small leak, too, so we had to change twice. The most important thing was to reach the finish line. Tomorrow is a long stage. It will not be so technical, so we will have a chance then to win the stage.”

In the front, there was a nice battle between the two pairs - Huber/Boelen and Mulkens/Krenn. For about 15km, the latter duo hung around the 20-second mark. “They didn’t let us come closer,” said Mulkens. “Krenn and I slowed down a bit then, more or less pretending that we were unable to come closer and hoping that they would slow down in the front too, but they didn’t. They took one minute immediately. But at the end it was simple: the best two riders were in front.”

“Of course we didn’t want to let them join us”, said Boelen.”I remember day two of this race, when we were also with more riders in the front, it was always Urs and I who had to do the work. I prefer not to have people sitting on my backwheel, leeching off me. At the feed zone they almost caught us as we stopped there to take food and to clean our cassettes that had been full of grass. When we saw them arriving, we jumped on our bikes again.”

“We were surprised too”, said Mulkens. “The difference was only 200 meters. As I still had one full bottle, I told Krenn not to stop at the feed zone in order to catch Huber and Boelen. I just wanted to throw away my empty bottle, but by mistake I threw away my full bottle… So we both stopped for some seconds. We chased at a speed of 45 km/h, but didn’t come any closer. Those two in the front were of course not stupid either.”

Huber and Boelen understood each other perfectly. “It was an advantage to stay there with only two in the front," said red jersey wearer Huber. “It is all less tactical and with one against one, you still have 50 percent chance to win. The second part of the race was very fast with a lot of tailwind. The course was very undulating, but unfortunately there was no little climb anymore where I could have dropped Jeroen.”

The lack of a steep climb at the final section was indeed the luck of Boelen who is a better sprinter compared to Huber. Boelen took his second consecutive stage win and leads now in the points classification. More than seven minutes later, Mulkens finshed third ahead of Krenn.

“At 20km from the finish, I told Mike that I would not sprint for the stage win," said the Austrian Bike Team Kaiser rider. "Yesterday Mike was so strong and alone in the front for such a long time, but got nothing at the finish. He deserved the podium today.”

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Full Results

Men stage 5
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Jeroen Boelen (Ned) Milka-Trek 3:14:47  
2 Urs Huber (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team 0:00:01  
3 Mike Mulkens (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team 0:07:21  
4 Wolfgang Krenn (Aut)    
5 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 0:17:18  
6 Geeni Yong Choi (Kor) Team Korea 0:17:34  
7 Ondrej Slezak (Cze) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing 0:17:35  
8 Bruno Naessens (Bel) 0:17:38  
9 Chang Min Park (Kor) Team Korea 0:22:54  
10 Samuel McGregor (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution 0:26:37  
11 Justin Morris (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 0:27:22  
12 Huub Duyn (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 0:27:27  
13 Christoph Sokoll (Aut)    
14 Josef Benedseder (Aut) 0:27:35  
15 Roeland Suys (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team 0:45:22  
16 Chris Hellman (Aus) 0:53:15  
17 Sam Van De Gucht (Bel) 1:09:01  
18 Sander Van Schuerbeeck (Bel) 1:09:02  
19 Bram Donckers (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 2:22:02  
Women stage 5
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Jessica Douglas (Aus) 4:05:17  
2 Sharman Parr (NZl) kickass 1:54:34  
Hand cycle stage 5
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Patrik Doak (USA) Team Van Be Venture 8:29:51  
1 Carlos Moleda (USA) Team Van Be Venture    
M1 stage 5
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Ashley Hayat (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution 3:31:52  
2 Arnott Graeme (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 0:00:01  
3 Mark Griffin (Aus) Ashfield Cycles & Rockytrail 0:00:30  
4 Jan Verboven (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 2011 0:02:21  
5 Gert Maes (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 2011 0:09:30  
6 René Haselbacher (Aut) 0:09:31  
7 Michal Lanik (Cze)    
8 Mike Blewitt (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 0:10:22  
9 Michal Kafka (Aus) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing 0:21:51  
10 Steve Petre (Aus) 0:28:15  
11 Matthias Schwarze (Ger) The Fitzroy Revolution 0:32:07  
12 Ki Joong Kim (Kor) Team Korea 0:33:25  
13 Tim Schepens (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc 0:33:26  
14 Martin Wisata (Aut) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing 0:40:22  
15 Laurent Tesch (Bel) 0:44:56  
16 Frederic Starck (Bel)    
17 Michael Taylor (Aus)    
18 Peter Roelens (Bel) 0:51:56  
19 Werner Van Vuuren (Aus) 0:58:40  
20 Andreas Buchegger (Aut) 1:14:38  
21 Dirk Hörnig (Ger) 1:37:08  
22 Christophe Demeyere (Bel) 2:29:57  
23 Nicola Gianfranceschi (Ita) 2:57:59  
M2 stage 5
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Brad Davies (Aus) 3:31:52  
2 Marc Baechli (Swi) 0:00:30  
3 Shaun Portegys (NZl) 0:03:40  
4 Carl Maroney (Aus) 0:09:31  
5 Patrick Mensch (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 2011 0:32:51  
6 Baelen Guy Van (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc 0:33:23  
7 Johan Van Splunter (Ned) Silvis en Vos 0:40:00  
8 Jeroen Tiebie (Ned) Silvis en Vos 0:40:02  
9 Christiaan Van Splunter (Ned) Silvis en Vos    
10 Stéphane Maitrejean (Bel) 0:44:54  
11 Thomas Holmberg (Den) 1:00:44  
12 Blair King (NZl) 1:24:24  
13 Aloyse Albert Schartz (Lux) 1:28:37  
14 Rien Montsma (Ned) Silvis en Vos 2 1:33:58  
15 John Boswell (Aus) 2:21:48  
16 Gianni Banterla (Ita) 2:57:59  
17 Andrew Chafer (USA) Team Van Be Venture 4:57:59  
M3 stage 5
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Pio Tomasetig (Ita) Danieli Team 4:13:16  
2 Andrew Radcliffe (Aus) 0:02:15  
3 Gerhard Grasmugg (Aut) 0:06:58  
4 Andreas Wittmann (Ger) 0:17:16  
5 Ronny Potter (Bel) Ronny Potter 1:12:42  
6 Greg Parr (Aus) kickass 1:46:35  
Tandem stage 5
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Doris Ermens & Lieven Straetmans (Bel) 4:14:50  
2 Daniele Modolo & Sebastian Favaro (Ita) Il Tandem Italia 0:25:44  
Points stage 5
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Jeroen Boelen (Ned) Milka-Trek 20  pts
2 Urs Huber (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team 15  
3 Mike Mulkens (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team 10  
4 Wolfgang Krenn (Aut) 5  
5 Ashley Hayat (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution 2  
Men general classification after stage 5
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Urs Huber (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team 12:12:08  
2 Jeroen Boelen (Ned) Milka-Trek 0:03:55  
3 Wolfgang Krenn (Aut) 0:24:55  
4 Mike Mulkens (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team 0:30:03  
5 Josef Benedseder (Aut) 0:51:01  
6 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 0:55:01  
1 Christoph Sokoll (Aut) 13:13:51  
7 Huub Duyn (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 13:19:24  
8 Justin Morris (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 13:21:44  
9 Geeni Yong Choi (Kor) Team Korea 13:41:04  
1 Chang Min Park (Kor) Team Korea 13:43:13  
2 Ondrej Slezak (Cze) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing 0:14:07  
3 Samuel McGregor (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution 0:22:44  
10 Bruno Naessens (Bel) 0:40:28  
11 Roeland Suys (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team 1:40:48  
4 Chris Hellman (Aus) 2:24:33  
2 Sam Van De Gucht (Bel) 0:01:41  
12 Sander Van Schuerbeeck (Bel) 0:01:42  
5 Bram Donckers (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 4:06:47  
Women general classification after stage 5
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
13 Jessica Douglas (Aus) 15:27:45  
6 Sharman Parr (NZl) kickass 22:52:28  
Handcycle general classification after stage 5
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
7 Patrik Doak (USA) Team Van Be Venture 34:04:39  
14 Carlos Moleda (USA) Team Van Be Venture    
M1 general classificaiton after stage 5
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
3 Arnott Graeme (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 13:21:54  
8 Mark Griffin (Aus) Ashfield Cycles & Rockytrail 13:23:22  
9 Ashley Hayat (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution 13:28:49  
10 Jan Verboven (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 2011 13:45:22  
11 Mike Blewitt (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 14:00:21  
4 Michal Lanik (Cze) 14:06:09  
15 René Haselbacher (Aut) 14:11:49  
1 Gert Maes (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 2011 14:52:21  
5 Michal Kafka (Aus) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing 14:56:19  
12 Steve Petre (Aus) 15:07:13  
6 Matthias Schwarze (Ger) The Fitzroy Revolution 15:13:47  
13 Tim Schepens (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc 15:44:09  
16 Ki Joong Kim (Kor) Team Korea 15:53:37  
17 Martin Wisata (Aut) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing 16:11:18  
18 Werner Van Vuuren (Aus) 16:25:17  
14 Peter Roelens (Bel) 16:36:28  
1 Frederic Starck (Bel) 17:22:20  
15 Laurent Tesch (Bel) 17:22:22  
16 Michael Taylor (Aus) 17:31:05  
7 Andreas Buchegger (Aut) 17:40:12  
8 Dirk Hörnig (Ger) 19:28:28  
9 Christophe Demeyere (Bel) 20:36:23  
10 Nicola Gianfranceschi (Ita) 21:15:28  
M2 general classification after stage 5
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
17 Brad Davies (Aus) 13:08:38  
18 Shaun Portegys (NZl) 13:54:07  
1 Carl Maroney (Aus) 14:40:32  
1 Marc Baechli (Swi) 15:16:26  
11 Patrick Mensch (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 2011 15:42:17  
19 Baelen Guy Van (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc 15:49:24  
12 Jeroen Tiebie (Ned) Silvis en Vos 17:07:45  
2 Johan Van Splunter (Ned) Silvis en Vos 0:00:08  
20 Christiaan Van Splunter (Ned) Silvis en Vos 0:00:11  
3 Stéphane Maitrejean (Bel) 0:14:32  
4 Aloyse Albert Schartz (Lux) 0:19:49  
2 Thomas Holmberg (Den) 0:04:45  
2 John Boswell (Aus) 1:37:32  
13 Blair King (NZl) 2:21:49  
21 Rien Montsma (Ned) Silvis en Vos 2 2:28:46  
14 Gianni Banterla (Ita) 3:27:29  
15 Andrew Chafer (USA) Team Van Be Venture 16:32:20  
M3 general classification after stage 5
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
19 Pio Tomasetig (Ita) Danieli Team 16:16:56  
22 Andrew Radcliffe (Aus) 17:33:39  
5 Gerhard Grasmugg (Aut) 17:59:05  
16 Andreas Wittmann (Ger) 18:00:10  
23 Ronny Potter (Bel) Ronny Potter 20:59:06  
6 Greg Parr (Aus) kickass 22:01:47  
Tandem general classification after stage 5
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
2 Doris Ermens & Lieven Straetmans (Bel) 17:26:38  
17 Daniele Modolo & Sebastian Favaro (Ita) Il Tandem Italia 19:07:54  
Points classification
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Jeroen Boelen (Ned) Milka-Trek 70  pts
2 Urs Huber (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team 65  
3 Wolfgang Krenn (Aut) 32  
4 Mike Mulkens (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team 20  
5 Josef Benedseder (Aut) 15  
6 Justin Morris (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 2  
6 Huub Duyn (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 2  
6 Ashley Hayat (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution 2  
Teams classification
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 40:43:59  
2 The Fitzroy Revolution 2:04:34  
3 Team Korea 2:33:55  
4 Den Outback 4bikes croc team 2011 3:36:01  
5 Bernard Rocky Trail Racing 4:20:58  
6 Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 5:57:07  
7 Silvis en Vos 10:39:35