Boelen the brave beats the field

Teamwork sees Huber remain in lead

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) TeamResult
1Jeroen Boelen (Ned) Milka-Trek3:14:47 
2Urs Huber (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team0:00:01 
3Mike Mulkens (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team0:07:21 
4Wolfgang Krenn (Aut)  
5Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 10:17:18 
6Geeni Yong Choi (Kor) Team Korea0:17:34 
7Ondrej Slezak (Cze) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing0:17:35 
8Bruno Naessens (Bel)0:17:38 
9Chang Min Park (Kor) Team Korea0:22:54 
10Samuel McGregor (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution0:26:37 
11Justin Morris (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com0:27:22 
12Huub Duyn (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 10:27:27 
13Christoph Sokoll (Aut)  
14Josef Benedseder (Aut)0:27:35 
15Roeland Suys (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team0:45:22 
16Chris Hellman (Aus)0:53:15 
17Sam Van De Gucht (Bel)1:09:01 
18Sander Van Schuerbeeck (Bel)1:09:02 
19Bram Donckers (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 12:22:02 
Women stage 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jessica Douglas (Aus)4:05:17 
2Sharman Parr (NZl) kickass1:54:34 
Hand cycle stage 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Patrik Doak (USA) Team Van Be Venture8:29:51 
1Carlos Moleda (USA) Team Van Be Venture  
M1 stage 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ashley Hayat (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution3:31:52 
2Arnott Graeme (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com0:00:01 
3Mark Griffin (Aus) Ashfield Cycles & Rockytrail0:00:30 
4Jan Verboven (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 20110:02:21 
5Gert Maes (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 20110:09:30 
6René Haselbacher (Aut)0:09:31 
7Michal Lanik (Cze)  
8Mike Blewitt (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com0:10:22 
9Michal Kafka (Aus) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing0:21:51 
10Steve Petre (Aus)0:28:15 
11Matthias Schwarze (Ger) The Fitzroy Revolution0:32:07 
12Ki Joong Kim (Kor) Team Korea0:33:25 
13Tim Schepens (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc0:33:26 
14Martin Wisata (Aut) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing0:40:22 
15Laurent Tesch (Bel)0:44:56 
16Frederic Starck (Bel)  
17Michael Taylor (Aus)  
18Peter Roelens (Bel)0:51:56 
19Werner Van Vuuren (Aus)0:58:40 
20Andreas Buchegger (Aut)1:14:38 
21Dirk Hörnig (Ger)1:37:08 
22Christophe Demeyere (Bel)2:29:57 
23Nicola Gianfranceschi (Ita)2:57:59 
M2 stage 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Brad Davies (Aus)3:31:52 
2Marc Baechli (Swi)0:00:30 
3Shaun Portegys (NZl)0:03:40 
4Carl Maroney (Aus)0:09:31 
5Patrick Mensch (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 20110:32:51 
6Baelen Guy Van (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc0:33:23 
7Johan Van Splunter (Ned) Silvis en Vos0:40:00 
8Jeroen Tiebie (Ned) Silvis en Vos0:40:02 
9Christiaan Van Splunter (Ned) Silvis en Vos  
10Stéphane Maitrejean (Bel)0:44:54 
11Thomas Holmberg (Den)1:00:44 
12Blair King (NZl)1:24:24 
13Aloyse Albert Schartz (Lux)1:28:37 
14Rien Montsma (Ned) Silvis en Vos 21:33:58 
15John Boswell (Aus)2:21:48 
16Gianni Banterla (Ita)2:57:59 
17Andrew Chafer (USA) Team Van Be Venture4:57:59 
M3 stage 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Pio Tomasetig (Ita) Danieli Team4:13:16 
2Andrew Radcliffe (Aus)0:02:15 
3Gerhard Grasmugg (Aut)0:06:58 
4Andreas Wittmann (Ger)0:17:16 
5Ronny Potter (Bel) Ronny Potter1:12:42 
6Greg Parr (Aus) kickass1:46:35 
Tandem stage 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Doris Ermens & Lieven Straetmans (Bel)4:14:50 
2Daniele Modolo & Sebastian Favaro (Ita) Il Tandem Italia0:25:44 
Points stage 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jeroen Boelen (Ned) Milka-Trek20 pts
2Urs Huber (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team15 
3Mike Mulkens (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team10 
4Wolfgang Krenn (Aut)5 
5Ashley Hayat (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution2 
Men general classification after stage 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Urs Huber (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team12:12:08 
2Jeroen Boelen (Ned) Milka-Trek0:03:55 
3Wolfgang Krenn (Aut)0:24:55 
4Mike Mulkens (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team0:30:03 
5Josef Benedseder (Aut)0:51:01 
6Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 10:55:01 
1Christoph Sokoll (Aut)13:13:51 
7Huub Duyn (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 113:19:24 
8Justin Morris (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com13:21:44 
9Geeni Yong Choi (Kor) Team Korea13:41:04 
1Chang Min Park (Kor) Team Korea13:43:13 
2Ondrej Slezak (Cze) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing0:14:07 
3Samuel McGregor (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution0:22:44 
10Bruno Naessens (Bel)0:40:28 
11Roeland Suys (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team1:40:48 
4Chris Hellman (Aus)2:24:33 
2Sam Van De Gucht (Bel)0:01:41 
12Sander Van Schuerbeeck (Bel)0:01:42 
5Bram Donckers (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 14:06:47 
Women general classification after stage 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
13Jessica Douglas (Aus)15:27:45 
6Sharman Parr (NZl) kickass22:52:28 
Handcycle general classification after stage 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
7Patrik Doak (USA) Team Van Be Venture34:04:39 
14Carlos Moleda (USA) Team Van Be Venture  
M1 general classificaiton after stage 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
3Arnott Graeme (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com13:21:54 
8Mark Griffin (Aus) Ashfield Cycles & Rockytrail13:23:22 
9Ashley Hayat (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution13:28:49 
10Jan Verboven (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 201113:45:22 
11Mike Blewitt (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com14:00:21 
4Michal Lanik (Cze)14:06:09 
15René Haselbacher (Aut)14:11:49 
1Gert Maes (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 201114:52:21 
5Michal Kafka (Aus) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing14:56:19 
12Steve Petre (Aus)15:07:13 
6Matthias Schwarze (Ger) The Fitzroy Revolution15:13:47 
13Tim Schepens (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc15:44:09 
16Ki Joong Kim (Kor) Team Korea15:53:37 
17Martin Wisata (Aut) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing16:11:18 
18Werner Van Vuuren (Aus)16:25:17 
14Peter Roelens (Bel)16:36:28 
1Frederic Starck (Bel)17:22:20 
15Laurent Tesch (Bel)17:22:22 
16Michael Taylor (Aus)17:31:05 
7Andreas Buchegger (Aut)17:40:12 
8Dirk Hörnig (Ger)19:28:28 
9Christophe Demeyere (Bel)20:36:23 
10Nicola Gianfranceschi (Ita)21:15:28 
M2 general classification after stage 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
17Brad Davies (Aus)13:08:38 
18Shaun Portegys (NZl)13:54:07 
1Carl Maroney (Aus)14:40:32 
1Marc Baechli (Swi)15:16:26 
11Patrick Mensch (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 201115:42:17 
19Baelen Guy Van (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc15:49:24 
12Jeroen Tiebie (Ned) Silvis en Vos17:07:45 
2Johan Van Splunter (Ned) Silvis en Vos0:00:08 
20Christiaan Van Splunter (Ned) Silvis en Vos0:00:11 
3Stéphane Maitrejean (Bel)0:14:32 
4Aloyse Albert Schartz (Lux)0:19:49 
2Thomas Holmberg (Den)0:04:45 
2John Boswell (Aus)1:37:32 
13Blair King (NZl)2:21:49 
21Rien Montsma (Ned) Silvis en Vos 22:28:46 
14Gianni Banterla (Ita)3:27:29 
15Andrew Chafer (USA) Team Van Be Venture16:32:20 
M3 general classification after stage 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
19Pio Tomasetig (Ita) Danieli Team16:16:56 
22Andrew Radcliffe (Aus)17:33:39 
5Gerhard Grasmugg (Aut)17:59:05 
16Andreas Wittmann (Ger)18:00:10 
23Ronny Potter (Bel) Ronny Potter20:59:06 
6Greg Parr (Aus) kickass22:01:47 
Tandem general classification after stage 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
2Doris Ermens & Lieven Straetmans (Bel)17:26:38 
17Daniele Modolo & Sebastian Favaro (Ita) Il Tandem Italia19:07:54 
Points classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jeroen Boelen (Ned) Milka-Trek70 pts
2Urs Huber (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team65 
3Wolfgang Krenn (Aut)32 
4Mike Mulkens (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team20 
5Josef Benedseder (Aut)15 
6Justin Morris (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com2 
6Huub Duyn (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 12 
6Ashley Hayat (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution2 
Teams classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Subaru/MarathonMTB.com40:43:59 
2The Fitzroy Revolution2:04:34 
3Team Korea2:33:55 
4Den Outback 4bikes croc team 20113:36:01 
5Bernard Rocky Trail Racing4:20:58 
6Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 15:57:07 
7Silvis en Vos10:39:35 
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