Croc Trophy: Stef de Louwere wins stage 6, Huber remains race leader

A long range attack from Annemiek van Vleuten surprised the field on Stage 6 of the Crocodile Trophy as the Orica-AIS rider rode away with 19-year-old Stef de Louwere the only rider to follow her. De Louwere would take the overall stage win with van Vleuten the first elite rider over the line in the women's category to be rewarded for her efforts

"I had an amazing day, I was so afraid.... I was too scared to look back, so I didn't. I constantly thought they'll come...it's amazing. I'm so happy. Just before the finish Annemiek attacked and I waited a few minutes but then decided to go after her, I caught up and we worked together, it was great," de Louwere said. "My background is road racing so, so far it's been very technical for me. Today it wasn't, so that was good for me. Normally I fall back in the downhill and have to work hard to catch up on the uphills, but today was just perfect for me.

"The special thing about the Croc is the heat for me. It's so warm and always sandy and there are so many rocks. It's a country I've never been to before, my dad is here with me, it's our first time and this is a very special moment! I'll never forget it."

Having taken the wrong turn two days in a row to see her overall aspirations all but disappear, van Vleuten explained she was relieved to have a stage go her way.

"For two days I had ridden quite well and then twice I missed those turns and lost the leads with big advantages and also a lot of time, so finally I didn't have back luck - yesterday even, after surviving all the downhills, someone rode into my wheel on the asphalt and made me crash, just really back luck. So today was a good day for me - my revenge," she said. "I won't be able to get back to the GC lead anymore, so now I'll just go for the stage wins for the rest of the race. I look forward to getting a nice boomerang for the stage win again today, maybe again tomorrow."

The short stage saw little change to the overall standings with Urs Huber (Bulls) keeping hold of the leader's jersey with Sebastien Carabin still in second place at one hour and 41 minutes in arrears. Alice Pirard also holds on her lead in the women's category with van Vleuten in second place.

The seventh stage of the race is more than double the length of stage 6 with the riders to travel from Skybury Coffee Plantation to Wetherby Station on a 102km course. 

Full Results

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Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Stef De Louwere (Ned) Veco Cycling Team1:31:28
2Sebastien Carabin (Bel) Merida Wallonie-Vojo Mag0:03:24
3Urs Huber (Swi) Team BullsRow 2 - Cell 2
4Matthias Grick (Aut) KTM Ebner Transporte Cycling Team Graz0:03:32
5Michiel Van Aelbroeck (Bel) WMTB.be0:03:36
6Manuel Pliem (Aut) Team KTM-Rad.Sport.Szene0:03:40
7Bas Peters (Ned) Mijnbadliv/Giant Offroad Team0:03:42
8Frédéric Ischard (Fra) Team Velochannel.com0:03:49
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General classification after stage 6
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Urs Huber (Swi) Team Bulls19:33:55
2Sebastien Carabin (Bel) Merida Wallonie-Vojo Mag0:01:41
3Michiel Van Aelbroeck (Bel) WMTB.be1:02:45
4Bas Peters (Ned) Mijnbadliv/Giant Offroad Team1:06:56
5Manuel Pliem (Aut) Team KTM-Rad.Sport.Szene1:11:33
6Matthias Grick (Aut) KTM Ebner Transporte Cycling Team Graz1:55:21
7Stef De Louwere (Ned) Veco Cycling Team2:19:32
8Frédéric Ischard (Fra) Team Velochannel.com4:16:03
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Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Orica-AIS / Scott1:32:23
2Ruth Corset (Aus)0:08:27
3Alice Pirard (Bel) Merida-Wallonie MTB Team0:12:29
4Sarah Kaehler (Aus) Astute Financial Racing Team0:25:25
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General classification after stage 6
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alice Pirard (Bel) Merida-Wallonie MTB Team25:23:01
2Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Orica-AIS / Scott1:10:52
3Ruth Corset (Aus)1:13:08
4Sarah Kaehler (Aus) Astute Financial Racing Team4:39:56

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