Rybarik the strongest in Smithfield on Croc Trophy stage 1

For the first time in Crocodile Trophy history, a circuit race kicked off the nine-day stage race. More than 130 riders were at the start in Cairns, which included local Australian mountain bikers who competed with the stage racers in a public classification.

Elite men

All eyes had been on the 2008 overall race winner Ondrej Fojtik, but it was his Czech Republic compatriot Ivan Rybarik who quickly took the lead after the race start and kept it over five laps, crossing the finish line in 1:31:21. Rybarik had won two stages in the 2008 edition of the Crocodile Trophy and showed a strong performance today, adding a third Boomerang to his collection at the multi-lap race in Smithfield, contested on the 6km course previously used in the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships.

Belgian rider Mike Mulkens came in second, 1:48 back. Australian 24-hour Solo World Champion Jason English finished third at 2:09 and will be racing in the Australian leader's jersey for stage 2.

"I knew I had to attack early and I kept pushing hard and attacking as soon as I felt them coming closer," said Rybarik.

The Czech rider praised the Cairns course and said he had fun and enjoyed the technical sections, however he was very guarded in regards to his hopes for a possible overall win this year. "It's only day one and I am happy about my win, but I want to stay grounded. There are another eight long days to go. This was just the warm-up stage and we'll have to wait and see what tomorrow brings."

Rybarik teamed up with fellow Czech racer and import business partner Ondrej Slezak, who is based in Sydney, to prepare for the event. The team manager of Rubena Rocky Trail Racing, who finished in fifth place today, was content with his team's performance. "I raced the Crocodile Trophy last year and loved the challenge! So this year we have eight riders racing here, including a team of two in the new adventure category, which they are leading after today's stage. I'm very proud of the boys, they did well – not only do we have a stage win in our pocket, we had another two second podium getters in M1 and M2. Now the main thing is to recover well for tomorrow's race."

Last year's overall fourth place finisher, Mike Mulkens, was in close pursuit of Rybarik throughout the entire race and ultimately conceded 1:48 to the Czech rider. "The pace right from the start was like fireworks, full-gas for every rider," said Mulkens. "I was pushing and smashing it hard to be first in the field, because you needed at least a top-ten position in the start sprint for a victory today. I was happy when I heard that I was in second place after Ivan Rybarik. He was too strong for me, especially on that kind of track, which isn't my favourite."

Third place went to the fastest Australian racer of the day English, who clocked in 1:33:30 for five laps, 2:09 down on Rybarik. "I felt good today and kept riding, trying to stay in the front and to keep up with the number one [Fojtik] and two [Krenn] racers. I didn't get any lap split times so was very surprised when they told me I got third when I finished."

Top favourites Wolfgang Krenn finished fourth while Ondrej Fojtik placed sixth.

Elite women

The Australian triathlete and IronMan finisher Kate Major managed the most incredible pursuit of the day. Major accidentally rode the wrong direction – South – out of Cairns in the morning to warm up, and when she realized her error she was 40km away from the race venue. "When I realised I had ended up in the wrong direction, I knew all I could do was put the thumb out and hope that someone would pick me and my bike up," said Major. "I thought 'the Aussie spirit is to help each other out' and I had hitchhiked a lot when I was a teenager to get around. I had a nice lady stop for me who offered to drop me off in Smithfield – wherever you are, thank you so much! I don't know what I would have done without her!"

In the end, Major started three minutes late and showing great determination she caught up to the field and started to overtake the other five female racers one by one. Major ultimately won the five-lap women's race by the narrowest of margins, beating runner-up Alice Pirard by two seconds. Third place went to Jade Forsyth, 14:11 off the winning time.

Stage 2

Stage 2 will start from the Cairns Lagoon as the field will contest a 92km marathon stage featuring 2,500m of climbing across the Atherton Tablelands to Lake Tinaroo.

Two videos are below.  One is an interview with several top finishers and another is race footage from during the stage.

Full results for stage 1 and general classification after stage 1

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Elite Men
1Ivan Rybarik (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE1:31:21
2Mike Mulkens (Bel)0:01:48
3Jason English (Aus) RUOK Rocky Tail Racing0:02:09
4Wolfgang Krenn (Aut)0:02:47
5Ondrej Slezak (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE0:03:02
6Ondrej Fojtik (Cze)0:03:22
7Cory Wallace (Can)0:05:27
8Steven Rankine (Aus) Tenni's / SKM0:06:35
9Matthew Page (GBr)0:08:32
10Evan Corry (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 10:09:22
11Paul Mashford (Aus) Tenni's / SKM0:10:14
12Mike Blewitt (Aus) Subaru/marathonMTB.com0:10:16
13Ritchie Motke (Ned)0:10:41
14Michiel Van Aelbroeck (Bel) O2 Bikers - WMTB.be - Schwalbe0:12:04
15Dominick Hrinkow (Aut)0:16:22
16Guillaume Bourgeois (Swi)0:17:25
17Josef Benetseder (Aut) Team Eybl-Gastrogas.at0:17:26
18Patrick Konrad (Aut)0:17:34
19Tommy Arnoldy (Lux) CT Toproad Roeserbann 020:19:07
20Peter Fröhlich (Aut) Rams Cycling Black tusk0:20:21
21Luke Haines (Aus)0:22:44
22Francis Ransley (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 20:25:33
23Stefan Hackl (Aut)0:30:15
24Den Hutmacher (Lux) CT Toproad Roeserbann 010:32:52
25Lukas Babor (Cze)0:44:10
26Sebastian Einsle (Lux) CT Toproad Roeserbann 010:45:21
DNFJustin Morris (Aus) Subaru/marathonMTB.comRow 26 - Cell 2
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Elite Women
1Kate Major (Aus)1:58:50
2Alice Pirard (Bel) O2 Bikers - WMTB.be - Schwalbe0:00:02
3Jade Forsyth (Aus)0:14:11
4Kirsten De Keyser (Bel)0:26:52
5Annie van der linde (Ned)0:29:51
6Tinneke Van de Voorde (Bel)0:39:38
DNSEstie Du Plessis (RSA)Row 6 - Cell 2
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1Jeremy Ross (Aus) Crocodile Tears1:35:56
2Michal Kafka (Cze) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE0:01:27
3Jason Chalker (Aus) Crocodile Tears0:02:08
4Werner van der Merwe (GBr) Subaru/marathonMTB.com0:02:36
5Bjorn De Baets (Bel) WACKY0:06:46
6Wesley Reibel (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 10:07:46
7Raf De Bakker (Bel) Belgian Connections MTB Team0:08:10
8Ken De Trogh (Bel) Belgium F-16 Ridley Team0:08:46
9Kris Hendrickx (Bel) Belgium F-16 Ridley Team0:08:47
10Henri Delheye (Bel) WACKY0:11:37
11David Carrillo (Spa)0:13:06
12Peter Lister (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 20:13:29
13Davy Blancquaert (Bel) Belgium F-16 Ridley Team0:13:55
14Ryan Corry (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 10:15:14
15Christophe Heinix (Bel) Team Lingier-Versluys-Beachbikers0:16:16
16Wim Verheyen (Bel)0:18:22
17Christof Marien (Bel)0:18:33
18Barry Sey (Bel) Wacky Immobilia Team0:20:56
19David Osmond (Aus) Crocodile Tears0:22:37
20Martin Wisata (Aut) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master0:22:51
21Lukas Mraz (Cze)0:26:56
22Kris Van De Putte (Bel)0:27:08
23Pieter van der Eijk (Ned)0:28:27
24Ian Humble (GBr)0:31:29
25Stephen Jackson (Aus) RUOK Corry Cycles 20:34:41
26Gunter Selleslagh (Bel)0:49:45
DNSJosef Ajram (Spa) Red Bull EspanaRow 26 - Cell 2
DNSVincent Vantorre (Bel) Wacky Immobilia TeamRow 27 - Cell 2
DNSOscar Polo (Ita)Row 28 - Cell 2
DNSThomas Theuermann (Aut)Row 29 - Cell 2
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1Marc Baechli (Swi)1:41:23
2Stephen Billington (Aus) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master0:03:10
3Pieter van Rooyen (USA)0:04:35
4Bart De Boeck (Bel)0:04:40
5Johan Frooninckx (Bel) Belgian Connections MTB Team0:05:53
6Alain De Munter (Bel) Fietsen Mertens0:06:17
7Peter Roelands (Bel)0:07:37
8Hans Planckaert (Bel) Smart Cycling Team0:08:01
9Peter Urdl (Aut)0:09:14
10Brendon Skerke (Aus) Tenni's / SKM0:09:30
11James Heron (Aus) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing Master0:10:23
12Bart Heirewegh (Bel)0:11:39
13Alex Moonen (Bel) ATB kempen0:12:12
14Rik Rohart (Bel)0:14:39
15Peter Stubbe (Bel) Wacky Immobilia Team0:16:25
16Guy Sorensen (Aus) Superior Screens0:16:45
17Jakob Steen-Petersen (Den) HMTBK SRAM0:17:12
18Jaroslav Hrdlicka (Cze)0:21:29
19Nicholas Westwood (Aus) Koiled imports /cleanskin coffee racing0:22:19
20Bohuslav Babor (Cze)0:26:01
21Johny Thielemans (Bel)0:26:14
22Stefan Plas (Bel)0:30:40
23Allen Liversage (RSA)0:31:12
24John Boswell (Aus)0:32:11
25Camille Reding (Lux) CT Toproad Roeserbann 010:32:44
26Chris Neal (Aus)0:34:50
27Kelly Duhig (Aus)0:37:54
28Thierry Ide (Bel) Wacky 2XL-team0:39:38
29Günter Rafeiner (Aut)0:41:52
30Sven Demunter (Bel) Wacky 2XL-team0:42:36
31Paul Fitzgerald (Bel) Wacky 2XL-team0:48:31
32Barto Du Plessis (Aus)1:10:14
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1Milan Spolc (Cze)1:49:42
2Luc Verlinde (Bel) Luc Verlinde0:02:20
3Robrecht De Meyer (Bel) Fitopia Bikers0:03:29
4Ruedi Senn (Swi) Top Müller.ch0:06:17
5Freddy Cassiers (Bel)0:06:23
6Luc Janssens (Bel)0:09:41
7Freddy Vekens (Bel)0:09:42
8Johannes Sewald (Ger) bavarian-riders0:11:18
9Guy Vandijck (Bel)0:11:23
10Manfred Ertl (Ger) bavarian-riders0:11:37
11Philippe Maertens (Bel) Belgian Connections MTB Team0:12:00
12Rudy Motke (Ned)0:12:35
13Andrew Radcliffe (Aus)0:13:15
14Eddy Snelders (Bel) Fitopia Bikers0:16:29
15Georg Schollerer (Ger) bavarian-riders0:23:26
16Luc Van Aelbroeck (Bel)0:26:33
17Robert de la Motte (Aus)0:30:33
18Erik Defillet (Bel) Fitopia Bikers0:34:48
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Elite Male Club
1Kent James (Aus)1:46:07
2Scott Clark (Aus)0:03:24
3Ryan De La Rue (Aus)0:09:14
DNFDominic Hoyal (Aus)Row 3 - Cell 2
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Veteran Male Club
1Marc De Goffrey (Aus)1:41:39
2Lincoln Carolan (Aus)0:00:42
3Jon Standage (Aus)0:04:55
4Matt Greenwood (Aus)0:05:23
5Matt Driver (Aus)0:05:39
6Rudi De Faveri (Aus)0:09:17
7Joshua Rayner (Aus)0:11:32
8Lee Taylor (Aus)0:13:46
DNSGraham Nicholls (Aus)Row 8 - Cell 2
DNSBen Smith (Aus)Row 9 - Cell 2
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1Jan Saelen (Bel) / Luc Gielen (Bel)2:51:31
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1Thomas Gerhardt (Aut)2:35:44
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CA Men
1Mark Griffin (Aus) Rubena RockyTrail Racing1:45:09
2Aaron Lakeman (Aus) Rubena Rocky Trail Racing0:00:02
3Szymon Wojciech Zacharski (Pol) Team KUBIS Gomola Trans Airco0:00:56
4Filip Kuzniak (Pol) Team KUBIS Gomola Trans AircoRow 3 - Cell 2
5Evert Desmidt (Bel)0:32:38
6Mathias Deleu (Bel)0:32:40
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1Dirk Abeloos (Bel) CROCO RR Team Habay2:42:34
2Pierre Paligot (Bel) CROCO RR Team HabayRow 1 - Cell 2
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1Antonio Spidalieri (Swi) GVFI Fleisch gibt Kraft1:57:36
2Sam Sprunger (Swi) GVFI Fleisch gibt Kraft0:00:02


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