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Crocodile Trophy: Huber and Coldwell win stage 3 in Herberton

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Swiss riders Konny Looser and Urs Huber can barely be split after stage 3 of the 2018 Crocodile Trophy, with Looser leading by just a single second at the halfway point of the race

Swiss riders Konny Looser and Urs Huber can barely be split after stage 3 of the 2018 Crocodile Trophy, with Looser leading by just a single second at the halfway point of the race (Image credit: Regina Stanger / Crocodile Trophy)
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Matthias Grick with 'DIY' ventilation on his Best Austrian Leader Jersey trying to get some relief in Monday's horrenduous temperatures in the high 30s

Matthias Grick with 'DIY' ventilation on his Best Austrian Leader Jersey trying to get some relief in Monday's horrenduous temperatures in the high 30s (Image credit: Regina Stanger / Crocodile Trophy)
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Race leader Konny Looser on one of the tough climbs that characterised stage 3 of the 2018 Crocodile Trophy

Race leader Konny Looser on one of the tough climbs that characterised stage 3 of the 2018 Crocodile Trophy (Image credit: Regina Stanger / Crocodile Trophy)
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Elite women's race leader Lucy Coldwell charging through Herberton National Range Park

Elite women's race leader Lucy Coldwell charging through Herberton National Range Park (Image credit: Regina Stanger / Crocodile Trophy)
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Queensland police lend a helping hand after a 'military ordnance' is found close to the start of Monday's third stage

Queensland police lend a helping hand after a 'military ordnance' is found close to the start of Monday's third stage (Image credit: Regina Stanger / Crocodile Trophy)
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Sarah White - second place overall in the elite women's event - during stage 3 of the 2018 Crocodile Trophy

Sarah White - second place overall in the elite women's event - during stage 3 of the 2018 Crocodile Trophy (Image credit: Regina Stanger / Crocodile Trophy)
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Urs Huber and Konny Looser riding climbs that many others walked on stage 3 of the 2018 Crocodile Trophy

Urs Huber and Konny Looser riding climbs that many others walked on stage 3 of the 2018 Crocodile Trophy (Image credit: Regina Stanger / Crocodile Trophy)
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Philipp Wetzelberger with the peloton approaching a tough climb in the background

Philipp Wetzelberger with the peloton approaching a tough climb in the background (Image credit: Regina Stanger / Crocodile Trophy)
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Luxembourg's Soren Nissen (right) stayed in third place overall

Luxembourg's Soren Nissen (right) stayed in third place overall (Image credit: Regina Stanger / Crocodile Trophy)

A single second is all that separates the top two riders in the elite men's category approaching the halfway mark of the 2018 Crocodile Trophy mountain bike stage race.

After the third of eight stages, Swiss riders Konny Looser and Urs Huber can barely be split, with Looser currently holding the slim advantage and therefore the race lead.

It was Huber who won stage 3 on Monday after getting the better of Looser on the shortened, 68km route around the Herberton National Park in Far North Queensland, Australia, with a start and finish in the town of Herberton.

However, after the discovery of a "military ordnance" – some kind of explosive device – close to the start of the stage, the organisers made the decision to delay the start and then shorten the day's stage from the originally planned 80km.

Luxembourg's Soren Nissen started the day almost 12 minutes down on the two leading riders in third place overall, but going off course on stage 3 saw him handed a 29-minute time penalty. Although he retains third place overall, he's now over 40 minutes down on Looser and Huber.

In the women's elite race, Australia's Lucy Coldwell won the stage and extended her lead to 27 minutes over compatriot – and winner of stage 2 the previous day – Sarah White, with Belgium's Sjoukje Dufoer in third spot.

Tuesday's stage 4 could see some bigger time gaps and therefore changes in the overall standings as the riders of the 2018 Crocodile Trophy go against the clock in a 38km individual time trial between Herberton and Irvinebank.

"An individual time trial can always shake things up," said Crocodile Trophy founder Gerhard Schönbacher.

"Tomorrow [Tuesday] the riders will be started at one-minute intervals and in reverse order of the general classification. So you actually get to chase a 'physical target', which is a huge incentive to make up time, but you are also in a wild race against the clock."

Results

Elite Men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Urs Huber (Swi)3:35:12
2Konny Looser (Swi)
3Philipp Wetzelberger (Aut)0:29:10
4Matthias Grick (Aut)
5Sören Nissen (Lux)0:29:11
6Milan Damek (Cze)0:42:23
7Leander Hamelink (Ned)0:58:23
8Tom Vandenbussche (Bel)1:51:26

Elite Women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lucy Coldwell (Aus)5:01:51
2Sarah White (Aus)0:02:54
3Sjoukje Dufoer (Bel)1:52:06

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