Crocodile Trophy: Second stage wins of the race for Carabin and Pirard

Merida-Wallonie enjoyed a successful day of racing at the Crocodile Trophy in Atherton with its riders Sebastien Carabin and Alice Pirard taking the stage 3 wins. The duo repeated their stage 1 wins with Carabin getting the better of race leader Urs Huber (Team Bulls) by over one minute, while Pirard took time back on Annemiek Van Vleuten after the Orica-AIS rider took a massive win on stage 2.

"Today suited me really well, beautiful singletrails and perfect for a cross-country specialist like me! In the beginning I couldn't pass Urs Huber at all. But on the last lap he had a problem, when a tree branch got stuck in his wheel, so that's when I was able to pass him. I waited for him to get going again and then attacked with about 10km to go," Carabin said of the stage.

Huber, a three-time winner of the Crocodile Trophy, explained that while he was disappointed to have suffered an untimely mechanical, he will stay calm in the knowledge there is still half the race to come.

"The long stages will suit me better, but generally I think the overall length of the race will play in my favour. I think Carabin had some advantages today with his fully [full suspension bike], I think, otherwise technically I'm equally strong. But the track today was quite rough, so he had a good set up," Huber said. "I have more experience when it comes to the Crocodile Trophy, I know when to pace myself, when to be careful - the gap is very small now, but I'm still relatively relaxed about it. Carabin gained some time today, but had to risk a lot for it - and if that doesn't work out, your whole week might be over. That's why my motto is, stay cool and it will work out."

For Pirard, the parcours suited her characteristics down to the ground as the Belgian described the day played out to perfection.

"Today was a wonderland - it was a dream! It was singletrack paradise, the wholetime technical stuff, berms, roots, rockgardens, exactly what I love," Pirard said. "It was real mountain biking today! I pushed hard from the beginning, so I had a good rhythm just like in cross-country racing, I think I have quite a good gap. It's really nice to have a second stage win. Also, Sebastien is my team mate, so it's really cool for our team that we both won the stage again and on the same day."

Stage 4 of the Crocodile Trophy takes the riders from Atherton to Atherton over a distance of 72km.

Full Results

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Elite Men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sebastien Carabin (Bel) Merida-Wallonie-Vojo Mag3:34:40
2Urs Huber (Swi) Team Bulls0:01:11
3Matthias Grick (Aut) KTM Ebner Transporte Cycling Team Graz0:09:43
4Michiel Van Aelbroeck (Bel) WMTB.be0:15:22
5Manuel Pliem (Aut) Team KTM-RAD.SPORT.SZENE0:15:23
6Bas Peters (Ned) MijnBadLiv/Giant offroad team0:21:43
7Stef De Louwere (Ned) Veco cycling team0:32:17
8Frédéric Ischard (Fra) Team velochannel.com0:43:38
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General classification after stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Urs Huber (Swi) Team Bulls9:54:33
2Sebastien Carabin (Bel) Merida-Wallonie-Vojo Mag0:01:37
3Manuel Pliem (Aut) Team KTM-RAD.SPORT.SZENE0:36:22
4Michiel Van Aelbroeck (Bel) WMTB.be0:39:02
5Bas Peters (Ned) MijnBadLiv/Giant offroad team0:45:12
6Matthias Grick (Aut) KTM Ebner Transporte Cycling Team Graz0:54:33
7Stef De Louwere (Ned) Veco cycling team1:37:58
8Frédéric Ischard (Fra) Team velochannel.com2:25:18
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Elite Women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alice Pirard (Bel) Merida-Wallonie MTB Team4:25:56
2Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Orica-AIS / Scott0:15:08
3Sarah Kaehler (Aus) Astute Financial Racing Team0:34:17
4Ruth Corset (Aus)0:46:20
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General classification after stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Orica-AIS / Scott12:46:35
2Alice Pirard (Bel) Merida-Wallonie MTB Team0:04:09
3Ruth Corset (Aus)1:11:12
4Sarah Kaehler (Aus) Astute Financial Racing Team1:57:15


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