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Crocodile Trophy 2011

Date range:
October 18-27, 2011

October 23, Stage 6: Mt. Mulligan - Mt. Mulgrave 189km

Boelen breaks Huber to take stage 6

By:
Cycling News
Published:
October 23, 2011, 14:14 BST,
Updated:
October 24, 2011, 17:09 BST

Dutchman heads overall after latest win

Jeroen Boelen (Milka-Trek) leads a river crossing

Jeroen Boelen (Milka-Trek) leads a river crossing

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Race leader Urs Huber was ready to win his third consecutive Crocodile Trophy. He only needed to follow his number one competitor Jeroen Boelen, but in the 189km marathon stage, Huber broke. Like most of the riders today, Huber punctured, but he also ran out of energy in the hot outback of Queensland. In the end, Jeroen Boelen (Milka-Trek) won the stage to Mt Mulgrave and took the leader's jersey from the Swiss champion.

Some of the vehicles with drinks and energy gels had gotten stuck in the Mitchell river and needed to be pulled across by others. It was a stage full of unexpected challenges and turns of events for all.

"This is cycling. This kind of riding makes my day," said Austrian René Haselbacher after his ride through the desert. "This here is like the feeling you have when you finish Paris-Roubaix. If you asked me now, I would consider starting to race again." The retired road professional said all that even after having flatted when he was riding in the lead.

Not all riders shared Hasi's opinion in the finish. Australian Brad Davies flatted five times and lost his leader's jersey in the masters category. "What am I doing here? Where were the cars with our drinks and food?" said a furious Kevin Hulsmans.

Surprisingly strong Korean rider Geeni Yong Choi didn't stop repeating, "I never did something like this in my life." But his eyes brightened up soon again.

Some support vehicles had become stuck with a flooded engine at the deep Mitchell river, halfway through the race. The river was too deep to cross for most of them. After breakneck manoeuvres including getting them towed across the river that also carried a strong current and swapping drinks and food among them, it took them a long time to catch up to the fast lead groups.

However, for some riders the misery had started earlier already, after 15km. At the front, a group of 22 riders formed after a speedy start, among them Belgian Bruno Naessens who straight after crashed in a sandy section. Another Belgian, Jan Verboven couldn't escape the crash. With an injured left knee, Verboven started to chase and managed to come back in the front. He would later finish the stage in 11th position. Naessens' front wheel was completely buckled and he wobbled for 175km further, all alone.

As the race progressed in the hot midday heat, the front group became smaller and smaller. What contributed to this was a crash (Michal Lanik), a broken chain (Steve Petre), punctures (Brad Davies champion with five of them), sun stroke (Chang Min Park), but mainly it was because of a strong attack at the 30km mark by Austrians René Haselbacher and Josef Benedseder, as well as Belgian Kevin Hulsmans.

In the back, Jeroen Boelen - Huber's challenger for the GC and four minutes behind the Swiss rider - saw his chance at the first crossing of the Mitchell river at 50km. All riders had to walk through the river that carried a high current, but Boelen was the only one who managed to stay on the bike. And then he was gone, chasing the front trio ahead of him. Boelen succeeded to bridge the one-minute gap. The cohesion in the front was perfect. A chasing Huber didn't come closer... at least for a little while.

"But then we had to stop at a closed cattle gate," said Boelen. "Instead of climbing over it, we decided to open it, but that didn't go as expected. We lost some time and Huber was there again. This could have been my chance to take back minutes on Huber as he was alone, and I was with three others for the remaining 150 kilometers."

With Huber back, riders looking at each other and the pace slowing down, other riders returned to the front. It felt, like the race had started all over again. And it did until again Haselbacher, Hulsmans and Benedseder went away. This time, they went with Christoph Sokoll.

Hulsmans, as well as Haselbacher punctured.

With only the two Austrian teammates Sokoll-Benedseder in the front, Huber and Boelen made the race harder in the background. "I had already given up on gaining back time on Huber," said Boelen, "But I just hoped for a third stage win and Huber looked like he wanted the same."

Boelen and Huber went harder and harder. Together with Mike Mulkens, they arrived at the front, dropped Sokoll and then, suddenly, Huber had to stop, some 60km from the finish.

"I had already had a flat tyre after 15 minutes in the race," said Huber. "The whole season I had no punctures at all, and I did a lot of races. I put some air in it and the tube held and looked to hold up with the sealing liquid in my tube. After two hours, however, it lost air again. I inflated the tire again as I didn't dare to change the tube. Otherwise I would have lost the group with Boelen. In the end, however, I had to change my tube, and Jeroen was gone."

"Immediately, I thought that this was again my chance to take back some time. Of course Urs Huber would have been able to come back, but in that case he would have lost a lot of energy in the chasing job. And is it unfair? I also had two punctures earlier in the race, but I was apparently luckier."

There were no more comebacks for Huber. Boelen, in the front was strong and didn't seem to struggle with the heat."Where is that rain?" begged many riders after the finish. On the way there, Boelen dropped Mulkens, and at 10km from the finish also Benedseder.

"I tried to follow and help Jeroen Boelen as much as I could as I thought I could take the stage win, while he would be happy with the time bonus, but Jeroen was too strong. In the end I was more like a fifth wheel on the car for him," said a disappointed Benedseder. "Huber followed at a five-minute distance; I understood very well that Boelen could not wait for me."

During those last 10km, Boelen was indeed flying (31km/h on average over the 189km stage). Both Benedseder and Huber lost five extra minutes.

"With my flat tyre, I only lost two minutes, I guess," said Huber. "But the last two (of five) feed zones were not in place and that was a big problem for me as I had no bottles or sugars with me. I did not have enough energy for the last two hours of the race. It was a long way to the finish for me, but that's racing. I hope I can still get out of this situation over the next four days."

After chilling out at the creek of Mt Mulgrave Station this afternoon and the bush camping overnight, tomorrow's seventh stage goes from Mt Mulgrave to Laura. Laura is a small settlement with 80 residents, mainly aboriginals. After two days in the middle of nowhere, the race finishes again in a town, and everyone is looking forward to a small piece of civilisation.

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Full Results

Men stage 6
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Jeroen Boelen (Ned) Milka-Trek 6:07:05  
2 Josef Benedseder (Aut) 0:06:21  
3 Urs Huber (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team 0:11:10  
4 Christoph Sokoll (Aut) 0:23:27  
5 Wolfgang Krenn (Aut) 0:23:28  
6 Mike Mulkens (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team 0:23:29  
7 Geeni Yong Choi (Kor) Team Korea 0:26:39  
8 Huub Duyn (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 0:36:59  
9 Justin Morris (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 0:40:23  
10 Ondrej Slezak (Cze) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing 0:52:40  
11 Bruno Naessens (Bel) 1:20:59  
12 Samuel McGregor (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution 1:21:16  
13 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 1:21:36  
14 Sam Van De Gucht (Bel) 1:46:17  
15 Sander Van Schuerbeeck (Bel)    
16 Chris Hellman (Aus) 2:03:20  
17 Roeland Suys (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team 2:12:41  
18 Bram Donckers (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 4:25:48  
Women stage 6
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Jessica Douglas (Aus) 7:41:50  
2 Sharman Parr (NZl) kickass 3:12:01  
Handcycle stage 6
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Patrik Doak (USA) Team Van Be Venture 13:15:15  
1 Carlos Moleda (USA) Team Van Be Venture    
M1 stage 6
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Arnott Graeme (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 6:43:34  
2 Ashley Hayat (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution 0:00:09  
3 Jan Verboven (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 2011 0:03:52  
4 Gert Maes (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 2011 0:03:53  
5 Mark Griffin (Aus) Ashfield Cycles & Rockytrail    
6 Mike Blewitt (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 0:14:29  
7 Michal Lanik (Cze) 0:16:11  
8 René Haselbacher (Aut) 0:44:46  
9 Michal Kafka (Aus) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing 0:44:51  
10 Steve Petre (Aus) 0:51:00  
11 Tim Schepens (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc 0:53:02  
12 Ki Joong Kim (Kor) Team Korea 1:20:53  
13 Peter Roelens (Bel) 1:31:15  
14 Martin Wisata (Aut) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing 1:36:12  
15 Dirk Hörnig (Ger) 1:50:01  
16 Matthias Schwarze (Ger) The Fitzroy Revolution 2:08:50  
17 Laurent Tesch (Bel) 2:10:12  
18 Frederic Starck (Bel)    
19 Michael Taylor (Aus) 2:25:34  
20 Werner Van Vuuren (Aus) 2:25:35  
21 Andreas Buchegger (Aut) 2:44:26  
22 Christophe Demeyere (Bel) 3:42:28  
23 Nicola Gianfranceschi (Ita) 4:03:34  
M2 stage 6
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Marc Baechli (Swi) 6:55:11  
2 Shaun Portegys (NZl) 0:06:32  
3 Carl Maroney (Aus) 0:32:55  
4 Brad Davies (Aus) 0:41:59  
5 Patrick Mensch (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 2011 0:45:07  
6 Baelen Guy Van (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc 0:46:39  
7 Johan Van Splunter (Ned) Silvis en Vos 0:59:29  
8 Christiaan Van Splunter (Ned) Silvis en Vos    
9 Jeroen Tiebie (Ned) Silvis en Vos 0:59:31  
10 Aloyse Albert Schartz (Lux) 1:07:25  
11 Thomas Holmberg (Den) 1:15:12  
12 Stéphane Maitrejean (Bel) 1:58:35  
13 Rien Montsma (Ned) Silvis en Vos 2 2:10:35  
14 John Boswell (Aus) 2:19:27  
15 Blair King (NZl) 2:47:00  
16 Gianni Banterla (Ita) 3:51:57  
17 Andrew Chafer (USA) Team Van Be Venture 6:20:04  
M3 stage 6
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Pio Tomasetig (Ita) Danieli Team 7:57:58  
2 Gerhard Grasmugg (Aut) 1:04:06  
3 Andreas Wittmann (Ger) 1:11:09  
4 Andrew Radcliffe (Aus) 1:11:28  
5 Greg Parr (Aus) kickass 2:55:53  
Tandem stage 6
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Doris Ermens & Lieven Straetmans (Bel) 8:08:14  
2 Daniele Modolo & Sebastian Favaro (Ita) Il Tandem Italia 0:33:58  
Points stage 6
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Boelen Jeroen 20  pts
4 Benedseder Josef 15  
2 Huber Urs 10  
6 Krenn Wolfgang 5  
3 Krenn Wolfgang 2  
Men general classification after stage 6
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Jeroen Boelen (Ned) Milka-Trek 18:22:53  
2 Urs Huber (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team 0:07:25  
3 Wolfgang Krenn (Aut) 0:44:43  
4 Mike Mulkens (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team 0:49:52  
5 Josef Benedseder (Aut) 0:53:32  
6 Christoph Sokoll (Aut) 1:21:30  
7 Huub Duyn (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 1:40:35  
8 Justin Morris (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 1:46:19  
9 Geeni Yong Choi (Kor) Team Korea 1:51:55  
10 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 2:12:57  
11 Ondrej Slezak (Cze) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing 2:34:12  
12 Samuel McGregor (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution 3:11:25  
13 Bruno Naessens (Bel) 3:28:52  
14 Roeland Suys (Bel) Kipeo MTB Team 5:20:54  
15 Sam Van De Gucht (Bel) 5:39:56  
16 Sander Van Schuerbeeck (Bel) 5:39:57  
17 Chris Hellman (Aus) 5:55:18  
18 Bram Donckers (Bel) Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 12:24:33  
Women general classification after stage 6
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Jessica Douglas (Aus) 23:09:35  
2 Sharman Parr (NZl) kickass 10:36:44  
Handcycle general classification after stage 6
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Patrik Doak (USA) Team Van Be Venture 47:19:54  
1 Carlos Moleda (USA) Team Van Be Venture    
M1 general classification after stage 6
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Arnott Graeme (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 20:05:28  
2 Mark Griffin (Aus) Ashfield Cycles & Rockytrail 0:05:21  
3 Ashley Hayat (Aus) The Fitzroy Revolution 0:07:04  
4 Mike Blewitt (Aus) Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 0:52:56  
5 Jan Verboven (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 2011 0:57:20  
6 Michal Lanik (Cze) 1:00:26  
7 René Haselbacher (Aut) 1:34:41  
8 Gert Maes (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 2011 2:04:20  
9 Michal Kafka (Aus) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing 2:19:16  
10 Steve Petre (Aus) 2:36:19  
11 Tim Schepens (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc 3:45:17  
12 Ki Joong Kim (Kor) Team Korea 3:52:36  
13 Matthias Schwarze (Ger) The Fitzroy Revolution 4:00:43  
14 Martin Wisata (Aut) Bernard Rocky Trail Racing 4:25:36  
15 Peter Roelens (Bel) 4:45:49  
16 Werner Van Vuuren (Aus) 5:28:58  
17 Frederic Starck (Bel) 6:10:38  
18 Laurent Tesch (Bel) 6:10:40  
19 Michael Taylor (Aus) 6:34:45  
20 Andreas Buchegger (Aut) 7:02:44  
21 Dirk Hörnig (Ger) 7:56:35  
22 Christophe Demeyere (Bel) 10:56:57  
23 Nicola Gianfranceschi (Ita) 11:57:08  
M2 general classification after stage 6
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Brad Davies (Aus) 20:45:48  
2 Shaun Portegys (NZl) 0:10:02  
3 Carl Maroney (Aus) 1:22:50  
4 Marc Baechli (Swi) 1:25:49  
5 Patrick Mensch (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc team 2011 3:06:47  
6 Baelen Guy Van (Bel) Den Outback 4bikes croc 3:15:26  
7 Jeroen Tiebie (Ned) Silvis en Vos 4:16:39  
8 Johan Van Splunter (Ned) Silvis en Vos 4:16:45  
9 Christiaan Van Splunter (Ned) Silvis en Vos 4:16:48  
10 Aloyse Albert Schartz (Lux) 4:44:22  
11 Thomas Holmberg (Den) 4:56:54  
12 Stéphane Maitrejean (Bel) 5:30:15  
13 John Boswell (Aus) 7:38:41  
14 Rien Montsma (Ned) Silvis en Vos 2 8:21:03  
15 Blair King (NZl) 8:50:31  
16 Gianni Banterla (Ita) 11:01:08  
17 Andrew Chafer (USA) Team Van Be Venture 26:34:06  
M3 general classification after stage 6
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Pio Tomasetig (Ita) Danieli Team 24:14:54  
2 Andrew Radcliffe (Aus) 2:28:11  
3 Gerhard Grasmugg (Aut) 2:46:15  
4 Andreas Wittmann (Ger) 2:54:23  
5 Greg Parr (Aus) kickass 8:40:44  
Tandem general classification after stage 6
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Doris Ermens & Lieven Straetmans (Bel) 25:34:52  
4 Daniele Modolo & Sebastian Favaro (Ita) Il Tandem Italia 27:50:06  
Points classification
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Boelen Jeroen 90  pts
2 Huber Urs 75  
3 Krenn Wolfgang 34  
4 Benedseder Josef 30  
5 Mulkens Mike 20  
6 Krenn Wolfgang 5  
7 Morris Justin 2  
7 Duyn Huub 2  
7 Hayat Ashley 2  
Teams classification
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Subaru/MarathonMTB.com 61:13:04  
2 The Fitzroy Revolution 4:39:57  
3 Den Outback 4bikes croc team 2011 5:52:07  
4 Bernard Rocky Trail Racing 6:39:49  
5 Darrell Lee-Donckers Koffie Cycling 1 10:13:40  
6 Silvis en Vos 13:54:32