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Ludescher lands a tight win

On a shortened stage through tropical rainforests Austrian rider Philipp Ludescher finally got himself a stage win and with it the highly desired Boomerang. The youngest participant of the Crocodile Trophy won ahead of Estonian Allan Oras and Canada's Cory Wallace in a thrilling finish sprint.

Fellow Austrian Christoph Sokoll was forced to watch the race from the sidelines after a broken collar bone cut the event short for the Carinthian rider.

Not a day passes without any challenges for the organisers of the Crocodile Trophy. From mudslides and a race restart to broken-down depot cars and a tragic fatality - the crisis management skills of organiser Gerhard Schönbacher and his crew have been challenged quite a bit at this year's event.

On the ninth day of the Trophy a new stage track had to be spontaneously found. "The Bloomfield River's water levels are extremely high this year. To cross it would be totally irresponsible," explained Schönbacher at the daily rider briefing. Thus, instead of the demanding and steep Zig-Zag-track, the loop around the stage destination of Ayton was shortened to a 10km lap on gravel and asphalt and the stage length was 80km instead the originally-planned 124; above all however, the 700m of climbing was eliminated.

Team McSabutage, consisting of Rene Haselbacher and Philipp Ludescher, used these circumstances instantly. "Rene constantly attacked, while I was comfortably riding in the bunch," said the stage winner. Eventually, several of the eight riders in the leading bunch tried to break away and besides the Austrian, Oras and Wallace were successful.

With 40 seconds' lead the trio raced towards the finish, where Philipp Ludescher displayed all of his experience from his "real life" as an elite road racer. "I picked the tightest line in the last sandy corner before the finish line and was able to brazen it out," said the Austrian rider from Vorarlberg. Time-wise ex aequo, but with half a wheel length ahead upon yesterday's winner, the 23-year old secured the second-last possible stage win in 2:37.26.

Wallace, who is a pro on the climbing sections, arrived at the finish line hanging onto the back wheels of his fellow escapees. Even though he would have liked to console himself with a Boomerang for the lost third place in the overall classification, the TransRockies winner and runner up at the recent 24H Solo World Championships in Canberra accepted his defeat.

"I can't do more than try hard and give my best. But the climbs were to short for me today and sprinting is not one of my biggest strengths. Maybe I'll have more luck tomorrow," he said.

In the three master categories yesterday's results were repeated: the stage wins were claimed by the category leaders - Christof Mariën (Belgium), Jaan Kirsipuu (Estonia), Hans Dielacher (Austria) and Abby McLennan (Australia).

Time trial to wrap it up

After eight days through rainforests and outback the riders' energy levels are dwindling, the legs are tired and the posteriors sore. Even ultra-marathon athlete Franz Preihs, tormented by blisters on his feet, was gratified at today's shortened ride.

"The shorter the stage, the less my feet are swelling up and the less pain I am in. Also, now that you can literally smell the race finish, the motivation goes up," says the Styrian, who had hoped for a better placement than a fourth place in the M1 classification.

Following the tradition of well-known road races, the 16th Crocodile Trophy will end tomorrow with a 38km long time trial. Overall leader Urs Huber, who had a broken spoke today but lost no time on his chaser Bart Brentjens, is expecting an attack by the Dutch rider. "Today I began to notice that I'm tired. But if nothing happens, my time gap should be enough," said the Swiss rider, hopeful for a second Trophy victory.


Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Philipp Ludescher (Aut) McSabutage2:37:26
2Allan Oras (Est) Rietumu-Delfin
3Cory Wallace (Can)0:00:01
4Bart Brentjens (Ned) Trek Brentjens0:00:41
5Mike Mulkens (Bel)0:00:42
6Urs Huber (Swi)0:00:43
7Christoph Tschellnig (Aut) morethanbike0:00:48
8Taigh Banson (Aus) Fraser and Mountain0:02:53
9Matthijs Pot (Ned) Bike One Team Lapierre0:07:09
10Marc Locherer (Aus) Fraser and Mountain0:11:19
11Paul Ensink (Ned) Bike One Team Lapierre0:13:19
12Peter Van Mill (Ned) Jef Abels Bikes Gulpen0:13:21
13Vinne Los (Ned) Bike One Team Lapierre0:20:08
14Réne Haselbacher (Aut) McSabutage0:22:12
15James Lamb (Aus) SVC Imports / Rocky Trail0:25:10
16Bart Verberckmoes (Bel) RESIBIKE Cycling Team0:34:45
DNFChristoph Sokoll (Aut)
DNFHamish Taylor (Aus) Fraser and Mountain

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Abby McLennan (Aus) Rattle N Hum3:09:59
2Nancy Caceres (Aus)0:45:10
3Lesley Sutton (Aus)0:48:04
4Lauretta Howarth (Aus) SheSpoke Cycle Wear0:48:05
5Maree Roberts (Aus) SheSpoke Cycle Wear1:05:35
6Sharman Parr (NZl) SheSpoke Cycle Wear1:32:27

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Christof Mariën (Bel) Crocteam Belgium12:40:20
2Raf De Bakker (Bel)0:04:16
3Roli Zehnder (Swi) Swiss Bike Brothers0:10:23
4Rolf Stebler (Swi) Swiss Bike Brothers0:10:24
5Matthias Schwarze (Ger) The Fitzroy Revolution
6Sjoerd Tilstra (Ned)0:17:16
7Peter Clayton (Aus)0:18:59
8Sven Mariën (Bel) Crocteam Belgium10:24:08
9Franz Preihs (Aut) Radsport Kotnik0:25:45
10Martin Wisata (Aut) Rocky Trail Entertainment0:29:40
11Brendon Skerke (Aus) Rattle N Hum0:29:41
12Michel Haenggi (Swi) Swiss Bike Brothers0:31:50
13Struan Lamont (Aus) Struan Lamont0:32:24
14Cas Brentjens (Ned) Cannasia - Cannondale0:33:19
15Bert Belga (Ned) Belga Fietsen Crocodiles0:33:21
16Mark van Harmelen (Ned) Belga Fietsen Crocodiles0:33:31
17Rutger van Herpen (Ned)0:37:09
DNFPatric Wiedmer (Swi) Boomerang Reisen
DNFDavid Wood AUD
DNFNathan Sandford AUD

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Rietumu-Delfin2:38:07
2Kurt Alderweireldt (Bel)0:12:15
3Indrek Kelk (Est) Rietumu-Delfin0:12:36
4Johan Wekeman (Ned) BikeLife Roden0:12:38
5Darren Withers (Aus)0:21:11
6Guido Vangertruyden (Bel)0:25:31
7Luuk Belga (Ned) Belga Fietsen Crocodiles0:28:07
8Lieven Van Poeck (Bel) RESIBIKE Cycling Team
9Julius Vincze (Aut)0:28:08
10Hans Mertens (Bel) Crocteam Belgium20:28:18
11Scott McLennan (Aus) Rattle N Hum0:34:49
12Michael Foreman (Aus) MIG0:34:50
13Marc Withofs (Bel) Crocteam Belgium20:38:22
14Rob Wijnbergen (Ned)1:01:40

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Hans Dielacher (Aus)2:50:44
2Hans Post (Ned) Dutch Chicken
3Roger Cull (Aus) Team Yeti-GU0:01:56
4Sjaak Etten (Ned) Dutch Chicken0:07:07
5Joachim Oberföll (Ger)0:15:32
6Hein Lansbergen (Ned) Dutch Chicken0:15:33
7Leon van den Schoor (Ned)0:23:09
8Rudi Stroobants (Bel) Crocteam Belgium10:28:56
9Greg Parr (NZl) MIG0:41:35
10Harry Beutetrading (Ned) BikeLife Roden0:45:03
11Ivan Whittle (Aus) MIG0:50:52
DNFWeit Heuker (Ned) BikeLife Roden

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Klaus Sever (Aut)3:27:42
2Udo Huber (Aut)

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Urs Huber (Swi)28:11:45
2Bart Brentjens (Ned) Trek Brentjens0:04:51
3Mike Mulkens (Bel)0:34:47
4Allan Oras (Est) Rietumu-Delfin0:53:38
5Cory Wallace (Can)1:25:10
6Christoph Tschellnig (Aut) morethanbike1:58:25
7Taigh Banson (Aus) Fraser and Mountain2:35:33
8Philipp Ludescher (Aut) McSabutage2:41:54
9Matthijs Pot (Ned) Bike One Team Lapierre3:05:41
10Réne Haselbacher (Aut) McSabutage3:07:15
11Peter Van Mill (Ned) Jef Abels Bikes Gulpen3:16:24
12Paul Ensink (Ned) Bike One Team Lapierre5:14:56
13Marc Locherer (Aus) Fraser and Mountain6:05:10
14James Lamb (Aus) SVC Imports / Rocky Trail6:07:00
15Vinne Los (Ned) Bike One Team Lapierre8:35:49
16Bart Verberckmoes (Bel) RESIBIKE Cycling Team9:04:15
Christoph Sokoll (Aut)
Hamish Taylor (Aus) Fraser and Mountain

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Abby McLennan (Aus) Rattle N Hum36:35:17
2Lauretta Howarth (Aus) SheSpoke Cycle Wear7:01:32
3Nancy Caceres (Aus)8:05:59
4Lesley Sutton (Aus)9:06:37
5Sharman Parr (NZl) SheSpoke Cycle Wear11:28:38
6Maree Roberts (Aus) SheSpoke Cycle Wear12:07:58

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Christof Mariën (Bel) Crocteam Belgium130:38:27
2Raf De Bakker (Bel)0:21:51
3Roli Zehnder (Swi) Swiss Bike Brothers1:59:16
4Franz Preihs (Aut) Radsport Kotnik3:02:45
5Matthias Schwarze (Ger) The Fitzroy Revolution3:35:58
6Rolf Stebler (Swi) Swiss Bike Brothers3:36:08
7Mark van Harmelen (Ned) Belga Fietsen Crocodiles5:08:35
8Sjoerd Tilstra (Ned)5:28:20
9Bert Belga (Ned) Belga Fietsen Crocodiles5:29:33
10Martin Wisata (Aut) Rocky Trail Entertainment5:45:37
11Michel Haenggi (Swi) Swiss Bike Brothers5:46:20
12Sven Mariën (Bel) Crocteam Belgium15:46:37
13Brendon Skerke (Aus) Rattle N Hum6:05:21
14Rutger van Herpen (Ned)6:32:19
15Cas Brentjens (Ned) Cannasia - Cannondale6:52:15
16Peter Clayton (Aus)7:49:47
17Struan Lamont (Aus) Struan Lamont10:43:18
Patric Wiedmer (Swi) Boomerang Reisen
David Wood AUD
Nathan Sandford AUD

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Rietumu-Delfin30:02:46
2Indrek Kelk (Est) Rietumu-Delfin0:50:13
3Kurt Alderweireldt (Bel)3:16:59
4Johan Wekeman (Ned) BikeLife Roden3:32:09
5Hans Mertens (Bel) Crocteam Belgium23:36:14
6Lieven Van Poeck (Bel) RESIBIKE Cycling Team4:44:03
7Julius Vincze (Aut)5:13:14
8Guido Vangertruyden (Bel)5:21:58
9Luuk Belga (Ned) Belga Fietsen Crocodiles5:51:09
10Darren Withers (Aus)6:26:41
11Scott McLennan (Aus) Rattle N Hum6:59:50
12Rob Wijnbergen (Ned)8:39:42
13Marc Withofs (Bel) Crocteam Belgium28:46:11
14Michael Foreman (Aus) MIG10:39:28

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Hans Dielacher (Aus)31:09:09
2Roger Cull (Aus) Team Yeti-GU2:06:55
3Hans Post (Ned) Dutch Chicken2:45:05
4Leon van den Schoor (Ned)4:35:15
5Joachim Oberföll (Ger)5:28:28
6Sjaak Etten (Ned) Dutch Chicken6:22:10
7Rudi Stroobants (Bel) Crocteam Belgium17:25:43
8Hein Lansbergen (Ned) Dutch Chicken7:36:56
9Harry Beutetrading (Ned) BikeLife Roden8:21:43
10Greg Parr (NZl) MIG8:38:54
11Ivan Whittle (Aus) MIG12:37:37
Weit Heuker (Ned) BikeLife Roden

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Klaus Sever (Aut)46:05:41
2Udo Huber (Aut)4:41:13


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