Frendo wins opening stage of Crocodile Trophy

The 19th annual Crocodile Trophy started with a multi-lap race in Smithfield near Cairns on Saturday. More than 80 riders from 15 countries kicked off the race, and with an overall race time of 1:30:14, the Australian Mark Frendo took the stage win and elite leader's jersey with a 1:06 gap overJan Fojtik and Wolfgang Krenn. The women's lead was claimed by Liesbeth Hessens from Belgium.

Frendo had been called the "dark horse" among riders of this year's Crocodile Trophy stage race after the first training rides at the Smithfield World Cup trails over the past few days in Cairns. And the 28-year-old rider from Brisbane didn't disappoint - straight from the start at the James Cook University event centre in Smithfield, he set a high pace, creating himself a 30-second lead right way, which increased to over a minute within five laps of the 6.2km course that was dominated by tight singletrail sections, set out by the hosting Cairns MTB Club.

"I prepared as best as I could for this race, today really suited me because I have a bit of a cross country background, and I just gave it a go and it all went to plan", said the U19 and U23 national mountain bike champion, who plans to keep challenging his fellow elite racers over the coming eight stages.

Czech rider Jan Fojtik, whose older brother Ondrej won the Crocodile Trophy in 2008, also proved to be in top form and said he enjoyed the course layout. "I like such technical trails and today's race was great fun. But my brother warned me that anything can happen at the Crocodile Trophy, we still have eight days ahead of us."

Like so many others, today's third place, the Austrian Wolfgang Krenn, agreed. "I think the real race starts tomorrow. The steep climbs towards Copperlode Dam will be the first endurance test for the field."

Canadian Marathon National Champion Cory Wallace was content with his fourth place today and said that his goal was to race consistent until the long and hot Outback stages on day five and six, which will take them over 163km Mt Mulligan to Granite Creek Dam and then to Laura on a 116km stage where a 50km time trial will be held for stage seven.

Fastest Australian leader jersey goes to Rankine

With Frendo wearing the overall race leader's jersey at tomorrow's stage 2 start at the Cairns Esplande, Steven Rankine, currently fifth in the general classification, was awarded the leader's jersey for the best Australian in the race, a title he claimed in last year's event as well.

The master leader's jersey went to Johan Schrauwen from Belgium, and in the women's field, Liesbeth Hessens won ahead of Maria Cristina Prati and Giordana Sordi. Hessens will start tomorrow's stage with a whopping 15:34 lead.

In the Adventure Team classification, the Cairns local team with Jon Standage and Brendon Skerke is took the lead.

Stage 2 preview

Stage 2 will take the Crocodile Trophy peloton out of Cairns in a neutral ride to the official race start at a look-out high above the town towards Copperlode Dam. Riders will assemble at the Cairns Esplanade from 8:30 am with the inofficial stage two start at 9:30 am. The first finishers are expected to arrive at Lake Tinaroo near Atherton at 1:30 pm.


Full Results for stage 1 and GC after stage 1

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Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mark Frendo (Aus)1:30:14
2Jan Fojtik (Cze) Symbio+ Giant0:01:06
3Wolfgang Krenn (Aut) Zwillingscraft Stevens - SC Knauf Liezen0:01:39
4Cory Wallace (Can) Kona-MBC0:03:50
5Steve Rankine (Aus) Tenni's - Cairns Home Loans0:04:57
6Paul Mashford (Aus) Tenni's - Cairns Home Loans0:07:13
7Jiri Krivanek (Cze) Prestige0:07:29
8Matthew Page (GBr) A Cycling/Pivot0:08:57
9Patrick Schörkmayer (Aut) Team-Beniva0:09:13
10Josef Benetseder (Aut) Team Eybl0:09:39
11Bart Duraj (Aus) Tenni's - Cairns Home Loans0:10:30
12Adam Cobain (Aus) Amy Gillet Foundation0:11:25
13Bevan Spratt (NZl)0:15:34
14Sander Cordeel (Bel)0:21:44
15Alessandro Bianchi Perugini (Ita) asd s.martino emmedue bikepoint0:28:29
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Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Liesbeth Hessens (Bel)1:53:54
2Maria Cristina (Ita) GS Cicli Matteoni FRW0:15:35
3Giordana Sordi (Ita) SKYsport-Italy0:18:11
4Anne-Mette Mortensen (Den) Team Fit 4 Run0:22:54
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Johan Schrauwen (Bel) Houtambacht - Who killed Joe?1:37:26
2Mario Färberböck (Aut) Bikepalast.com0:00:38
3Kristof Schrauwen (Bel) Houtambacht - Who killed Joe?0:03:57
4Martin Wisata (Aut) Il Pastaio / Rocky Trail Racing0:10:33
5Huub Tankink (Ned) GT-YellowWings Racing0:14:29
6Andreas Ueberrhein (Ger) Mountainbike-Freiburg0:15:25
7Jürgen Hofer (Aut)0:18:26
8Vincent Baert (Bel) One life. Live it!0:22:22
9Kurt Hannes (Bel)0:23:00
10Bart Couckuyt (Bel)0:24:14
11Matthew Moroney (Aus)0:38:08
12David Vermander (Bel) Houtambacht - Who killed Joe?0:59:34
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Hamish Morrin (NZl)1:45:06
2Hans Planckaert (Bel) Smart Cycling Team0:01:32
3Dennis Valerius (Ned) Jobkitchen.be0:02:03
4Phil Welch (GBr) Il Pastaio / Rocky Trail Racing0:03:32
5Zbigniew Mossoczy (Pol) Wertykal bikeBoard0:09:41
6Kristof Roelandts (Bel) One life. Live it!0:10:26
7Andy Tubbs (USA) andy tubbs0:11:55
8Robert Waters (GBr)0:13:55
9Christian Wenger (Aut) bikepalast0:14:22
10Kurt Alderweireldt (Bel)0:17:22
11Steve Bunton (NZl) Cervo Rosso / Flat Out Forty0:19:02
12Georg Vinczencz (Aut) Radsport Waldherr0:21:24
13Giovanni Montini (Ita) SKYsport-Italy0:22:17
-4lapsPeter Mühl (Aut)0:51:54
-4lapsWolfgang Mader (Aut) Dreamteam TirolRow 14 - Cell 2
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Peter Selkrig (Aus) Il Pastaio / Rocky Trail Racing1:47:30
2Daniele Bertozzi (Ita) GS Cicli Matteoni FRW0:02:26
3Simon Gillett (Aus) Amy Gillett Foundation0:16:51
4Gerhard Grassmugg (Aut) Rofa-Sport Graz0:19:55
5Robert Topfer (Aus) Amy Gillett Foundation0:24:02
6Chris Wessels (Aus)0:43:11
7Andrew Wily (Aus) Amy Gillett Foundation0:47:26
8Radim Novotny (Cze) Prestige0:49:30
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mario Slabe (Aut) race4two - carinthia2:07:46
2Franz Schmidhofer (Aut) race4two - carinthia0:00:00
3Drik Oostvogels (Bel) One Eight Five Vets 20:04:18
4Marc Coninx (Bel) One Eight Five Vets 20:04:21
5Guy Palinckx (Bel) One Eight Five Vets 10:04:44
6Luc Peeters (Bel) One Eight Five Vets 10:04:45
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Men open
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jon Standage (Aus) Tenni's - Cairns Home Loans CA1:47:14
2Brendon Skerke (Aus) Tenni's - Cairns Home Loans CA0:00:00
3Isaac Tonello (Aus) AMDF - Australian Mitochondrial Disease Federation0:06:17
4David Stallan (Aus) AMDF - Australian Mitochondrial Disease Federation0:06:18

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