Today the 25th Crocodile Trophy finished on Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas. The South African racer Alan Gordon claimed the overall victory of the Anniversary Edition with a stage win on today’s 34km individual time trial stage. He clocked in a fast stage finish time of 1h25:14 winning by almost one minute and claims the overall victory after eight stages and a winning time of 29h15:11,1. Michael Gordon from Gladstone in Queensland/Australia finished in fourth today and defended his overall second position in 29h28:28,0 (+00:13:16). The Spaniard Brandan Marquez Fernandez pushed himself into third overall (29h28:54,4 / +00:13:43) with a second place in today’s stage with 1h26:24. In third today with 1h27:50 and fourth outright is the 4-time stage winner of 2019, Bart Classens from the Netherlands. Stijn Van Boxstael is fifth outright. Bram Saeys from Belgium finishes in fifth in today’s race and claims the outright Amateur race victory this year. Angelika Tazreiter (AUT) is the winning female competitor, completing the 700km stage plan in 11th outright after 34h02:44,8 of racing.
The 2019 Anniversary Edition of this iconic event concluded with an individual time trial from Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures via Quaid Road, a pinchy 4.6 km climb before re-entering the thick rainforest and the beautiful single trails of the Twin Bridges track. The final stretch was then raced on the infamous ‘Bump Track’ down the escarpment into Port Douglas, where the riders descended over 400 vertical meters in just 1 km before stopping the clock for the 8th stage of the 25th edition. The grand finale today was the mass arrival of the peloton on Four Mile Beach – all 2019 Crocodile Trophy finishers crossed the Anniversary Finish Line together in Port Douglas.
Anniversary Edition ‘has everything’
The 25th Crocodile Trophy started last Saturday on 12 October 2019 in Cairns and almost 150 racers and crew from all over the World and Australia have been on the tour together – the peloton alone represented 20 different nationalities. Brendon Skerke , as of today 8-time Crocodile Trophy finisher, designed this year´s course and said that he had wanted this year’s 700km and 13,000vm stage plan to reflect his passion for this race and his enthusiasm to showcase the incredibly versatile terrains and scenery his home in Tropical North Queensland has to offer.
On day one they climbed up to the Atherton Tablelands and for the first time the event will stopped at Ringer’s Rest Function Venue and Wondecla for two nights each. The race then moved to the Mareeba region with two nights at Skybury Tropical Plantation before finishing at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures, a memorable experience for racers and crew. After spending the night at Hartley’s with the crocs and many other native Australian animals, the final stage was today’s short but challenging 34 km time trial. The racers will be released in reverse order of the general classification.
Race founder Gerhard Schönbacher said today that he was impressed with the performance of all Crocodile Trophy finishers and proud of the achievements of his crew throughout the past two weeks. He said that he rode sections of each stage each day himself and that for the first time in 25 years he himself felt the true spirit of his event, “With the crew we assembled this year, finally after 25 years I could experience this event like every racer should – not just as an organiser in a four wheel drive car. I truly enjoy riding my bike here every day, not because I want to go fast but because on your bike out here you get such an incredibly intense sense of your surrounds, you cannot compare this feeling to anything… and you can´t even explain it.”
Schönbacher added that the Port Douglas stage meant a lot to him as it was raced in memory of a great personal friend, local supporter and mentor for the Crocodile Trophy event, “The final stage has been a time trial since 2014, and since last year the stage has been dedicated to Greg Parr, who lost his battle with cancer last year. Greg had been involved with the Croc for years, and participated numerous times with his wife who joins us today as well.”
The Hon Kate Jones, Minister for Tourism Industry Development, said that it was wonderful how the Crocodile Trophy welcomed national and so many international competitors, “Regional events like this play an important role in driving visitors to the region which support local jobs. The Queensland Government is proud to support this event through Tourism and Events Queensland. Congratulations to the event organisers and all those involved in delivering the event.” She said that it was unique that this race offered riders a unique Queensland experience through rainforest trails and bushland, where no two days were the same.
The Crocodile Trophy will kick off the next chapter of it´s history when it returns to Tropical North Queensland from 17-24 October 2020.
Results | Category Winners
- 2019 Champion & Elite Men’s Category Winner: Alan Gordon (SAF)
- 2019 Female Elite Winner: Angelika Tazreiter (AUT)
- 2019 Amateur Champion: Bram Saeys (BEL)
- 2019 Female Amateur Winner: Monika Bayer (AUT)
Top category results:
- Alan Gordon (SAF) | Insect Science Pro | 29:15:11,1
- Michael England (Gladstone, QLD, AUS) | Multitrade Building Hire | 29:28:28,0 +00:13:16
- Brandan Marquez Fernandez (ESP) | Tres Lunas Valdeorras | 29:28:54,4 +00:13:43
- Bart Classens (NED) | ThijsHendriks.nl – Bikesight | 29:29:13,6 +00:14:02
- Stijn Van Boxstael (BEL) | Individueel | 30:19:00,9 +01:03:49
- Angelika Tazreiter (Lower Austria, AUT) | KTM MTB Factory Team | 34:02:44,8 +04:47:33
Amateur Men 2 (30+ years):
- Bram Saeys (BEL) | Trust mtb team vzw | 30:44:36,0 +01:29:24
- Nathan Sandford (Cairns, AUS) | 33:22:57,7 +04:07:46
- Sean Hall (Mount Larcom, QLD, AUS) | 34:57:39,4 +05:42:28
- Vince Marcel (Mareeba, QLD, AUS) | 35:46:40,1 +06:31:29
- Maarten Gofflo (BEL) | Tandjen By MF | 37:23:11,0 +08:07:59
Amateur Men 3 (40+ years):
- Martin Wisata (Ried im Innkreis AUT, Central Coast NSW, AUS) | Il Pastaio Rocky Trail Racing | 36:06:25,3 +06:51:14
- Daniel Beresford (Wagga Wagga, NSW, AUS) | Blackchrome Racing | 37:37:59,3 +08:22:48
- Peter Reis (Piding, Bavaria, GER) | Radsport Zellner | 37:39:42,2 +08:24:31
- Markus Beck (Bad Reichenhall, Bayern, GER) | Bike Friends Salzburg-ASKÖ | 38:34:07,9 +09:18:56
- Jakob Steen-Petersen (DEN) | Holte MTB Klub | 39:21:42,1 +10:06:31
Amateur Men 4 (50+ years):
- Hans Planckaert (BEL) | Rotwild-Agu Racing Team | 34:09:35,0 +04:54:23
- Graeme Young (Wellington, NZL) | 35:04:19,2 +05:49:08
- René Vallée (FRA) | LA FORESTIERE | 36:56:05,7 +07:40:54
- Olaf Trenner (SUI) | Trenner der Renner | 38:23:32,6 +09:08:21
- Adolfo Buratovich (ARG) | Gili Bike | 41:23:26,3 +12:08:15
Amateur Men 5 (60+ years):
- Mark Knowles (Atherton, QLD, AUS) | 39:17:50,0 +10:02:38
- Christoph Diener (SUI) | ULLMANN YETI | 39:35:59,0 +10:20:47
- Andrew Radcliffe (Central Coast, NSW, AUS) | Il Pastaio Rocky Trail Racing | 42:05:36,8 +12:50:25
- Monika Bayer (Feuersbrunn, Lower Austria, AUT / Bondi NSW) | 57:30:02,8 +28:14:51
Adventure Teams Overall (combined racing times):
- UFO – CA Master2 (ESP): Pedro Vernis de Prats & Alex Vernis de Prats | 70h13:47,80
- Astute Financial Racing Team – CA Master1 (Cairns, QLD, AUS): Brendon Skerke & Bart Duraj | 71h24:44,10 +01:21:16
- BVC cycling team – CA Master1 (BEL): Raf De Cock & Bert Apers | 77h23:46,80 +07:25:22
Photos: Regina Stanger
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By Faber Film