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Classens wins stage 2 of Crocodile Trophy, England keeps overall lead

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Stage 2 winner Bart Classes leads overall leader Michael England and Stijn Van Borstal at the 2019 Crocodile Trophy

Stage 2 winner Bart Classes leads overall leader Michael England and Stijn Van Borstal at the 2019 Crocodile Trophy
(Image credit: Regina Sta)
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Elite women's leader Angelika Tazreiter on stage 2 of the 2019 Crocodile Trophy

Elite women's leader Angelika Tazreiter on stage 2 of the 2019 Crocodile Trophy
(Image credit: Reg)

The Netherlands' Bart Classens won stage 2 of the 2019 Crocodile Trophy MTB stage race on a 76km circuit around Ringer's Rest in Mareeba, Queensland, on Sunday, while overnight leader Michael England retained his overall lead at the Australian mountain bike stage race.

Classens finished over 14 minutes off the pace in sixth place on Saturday's opening stage, and so was pleased to have found his legs again.

"Yesterday was terrible for me, but today was much better as I was able to ride in the lead group of four all day and we worked together well," Classens said in a press release.

"On the last climb, I attacked and, together with the South African [Alan Gordon], we rode away from the leader of the race. I dropped him just before the finish, and it was just full gas for me until the end, constantly looking over my shoulder," he said, with Gordon, who started the day third overall, 1:05 behind England, finishing the stage 33 seconds down.

Belgium's Stijn Van Boxstael took third place on the stage, another 40 seconds down, with leader England in fourth, a second further back.

With the second-placed rider on stage 1, Spain's Brandan Marquez Fernandez, finishing more than 10 minutes back, it means that England still holds the overall lead by 25 seconds over Gordon, with Marquez Fernandez dropping to third, 9:30 back.

Classens moved up to fourth overall, but is still almost 13 minutes behind England.

"I'm surprised how quickly I've got used to the heat, and the landscape is really amazing," said elite women's category leader Tazreiter, who is the only rider in her category this year.

Despite a puncture, Tazreiter's strong riding netted her 17th place on the stage out of 59 individual riders.

"Those rainforest trails today were incredible and a completely new experience for me. I'm also surprised that I really love the Croc camp life, which somehow makes you slow down and feel like you're not in any rush. I really enjoy that," she said.

Monday's third stage offers 450 vertical metres of climbing over an 83km course from Ringer's Rest to Wondecla.

Stage 2 results - ELITE MEN
1Bart Classens (Ned)3:10:03
2Alan Gordon (RSA)0:00:33
3Stijn Van Borstal (Bel)0:01:13
4Michael England (Aus)0:01:14
5Brandan Marquez Fernandez (Spa)0:10:44
6Lukas Kaufmann (Aut)0:12:27
7Alex Malone (Aus)
8Carel van Wyk (RSA)0:25:01

Stage 2 results - ELITE WOMEN
1Angelika Tazreiter (Aut)3:56:48

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