Organisers released details of the 2013 edition of the Crocodile Trophy mountain bike stage race. Nearly all of the stages will be the same as last year, with three slight changes, including the addition of a lengthy individual time trial.
"The stages will stay shorter than in previous years, however, they will include considerably more singletrack again," said organiser Gerhard Schönbacher. "Furthermore, a time trial will ensure more variety and a huge challenge on day six."
Stage 6 will feature a 97km individual time trial on the road to the former gold mining town of Maytown.
After the successful finish on Grassy Hill in Cooktown in 2012, the spectacular landing site of the legendary Captain Cook will crown the stage race at its grand finale again in 2013. Overall, the participants will ride 855km and climb more than 15,000m in elevation.
Favorites for 2013
Three serious candidates for the final podium have signed up already, including second place in last year's overall classification and 2008 race winner, Czech rider Ondrej Fojtik. Wolfgang Krenn from Austria, third last year and second in 2011, said that he wants to climb to the highest step of the podium in his third attempt. Finally, Canadan Cory Wallace, will be back. He finished fourth last year.
Others who will be on the start line include Belgian rider Mike Mulkens, who won last year his first stage in Maytown after two second overall positions in previous events - and best Australian finisher in 2012, Steve Rankin. Nobody else knows the Outback like the strong Queensland rider.
New category: Team relay
Organisers introduced a new category for the Crocodile Trophy 2013: the team relay. Each such team will consist of three participants, where one rider of each team has to ride a day's stage and the other two team riders go to the next camp in an official vehicle. Each rider of a relay team has to complete a minimum of one stage on a bike. A change during the stage will not be allowed.
At the 2012 Crocodile Trophy, Czech racer Ivan Rybarik won the elite men's category and triathlete Kate Major from Australia claimed the women's title.
2013 Crocodile Trophy
October 19: Stage 1: Cairns - Smithfield, 30km
October 20: Stage 2: Cairns - Lake Tinaroo, 92km
October 21: Stage 3: Atherton - Irvinebank, 111km
October 22: Stage 4: Irvinebank - Mt. Mulligan, 114km
October 23: Stage 5: Mt. Mulligan - Adams Dam, 147km
October 24: Stage 6: Adams Dam - Maytown (individual time trial), 96km
October 25: Stage 7: Maytown - Laura, 87km
October 26: Stage 8: Laura - Hopevale, 122km
October 27: Stage 9: Hope Vale - Cooktown, 56km