Stage 1: Cairns - Ringers Rest
Local rider Michael England won the opening stage of the 2019 Crocodile Trophy between Cairns and Ringer's Rest in Australia on Saturday. Angelika Tazreiter (Austria), meanwhile, is the only competitor in the elite women's category this year, but finished in 11th place on the stage.
"My plan for the first 35km was to just ride my own race," said England, who had to out-sprint Spain's Brandan Marquez Fernandez to win the elite men's race, taking 3:11:43 to complete the 80km-long first stage. South Africa's Alan Gordon took third, just over a minute further back.
"To win as an Aussie is pretty cool. I didn't expect to race this close to the front of the field," added England – a former road pro who rode for Australian Continental team Budget Forklifts and is a past competitor at the Herald Sun Tour.
"The heat really hits you up here; it's just blaring down on you in between the trees up in the mountains. Those first 35km felt like 70km – that first section of this stage just drains you and, even as a local Central Queensland boy, I was hurting. With one hour to the finish I was cramping," he said.
Tazreiter may not be facing any competition in the elite women's category – although compatriot Monika Bayer is taking part in the event in the amateur category – but her time of 3:47:36 was enough to give her 11th place on the stage among the individual elite and amateur riders, with nine teams also competing in the pairs categories.
|1||Michael England (Aus)||03:11:43|
|2||Brandan Marquez Fernandez (Spa)||0:00:01|
|3||Alan Gordon (RSA)||0:01:05|
|4||Alex Malone (Aus)||0:07:51|
|5||Lukas Kaufmann (Aut)||0:08:35|
|6||Bart Classens (Ned)||0:14:10|
|7||Stijn Van Boxstael (RSA)||0:21:28|
|8||Carel van Wyk (RSA)||0:55:12|
|1||Angelika Tazreiter (Aut)||3:47:36|
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