The Netherlands' Bart Classens took his third victory at this year's Crocodile Trophy on Thursday, winning stage 6 by just five seconds from Australia's Michael England, who in turn took a handful of seconds back from race leader Alan Gordon of South Africa.
At 125km, the sixth stage was the longest of this year's eight-stage mountain bike race, but with fewer climbs and some smoother road surfaces compared to previous stages, the time differences between the elite riders were much smaller than they have been.
England, who led the race after winning the opening stage, took just 15 seconds back from Gordon, who still leads overall by 5:51 with two stages remaining. Classens, despite having taken three stage victories, remains in third, 11:28 back on Gordon, having lost 14 minutes on day one, while Spain's Brandan Marquez Fernandez is fourth, at 12:33.
"With 10km to go the race got serious, with one attack after the other," England explained in a press release. "Bart and I managed to get away on the second-final climb, but Alan and Brandan weren't far behind, and finished within less than a minute of us."
Elite women's leader Angelika Tazreiter (Austria) again finished in the top 10 on the stage to retain her 11th place overall.
|1||Bart Classens (Ned)||04:40:48|
|2||Michael England (Aus)||0:00:05|
|3||Alan Gordon (RSA)||0:00:20|
|4||Brandan Marquez Fernandez (Spa)||0:00:29|
|5||Stijn Van Boxstael (Bel)||0:03:12|
|6||Alex Malone (Aus)||0:08:40|
|7||Lukas Kaufmann (Aut)||0:14:51|
|8||Carel van Wyk (RSA)||0:25:09|
|1||Angelika Tazreiter (Aut)||05:06:49|
|1||Alan Gordon (RSA)||25:05:16|
|2||Michael England (Aus)||0:05:51|
|3||Bart Classens (Ned)||0:11:28|
|4||Brandan Marquez Fernandez (Spa)||0:12:33|
|5||Stijn Van Boxstael (Bel)||0:57:06|
|6||Alex Malone (Aus)||1:23:36|
|7||Lukas Kaufmann (Aut)||1:40:50|
|8||Carel van Wyk (RSA)||3:42:54|
|1||Angelika Tazreiter (Aut)||29:25:06|
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