You’ve been thinking of riding the Crocodile Trophy for a long time, but you doubt if you’re fit enough and if you can do it? – Let yourself be inspired by the story of Stefan Schmeckenbecher!
The 37-year-old German Stefan Schmeckenbecher had won an entry to the Croc, which was the main prize last year at a raffle in the cycling magazine “Bike”! He had entered the competition to win the free entry knowing full well that he would have to take on what is probably the most legendary and adventurous mountain bike stage race in the world in Australia. As a former successful beach volleyball athlete, Stefan had barely ridden a bike until then.
Stefan started practising for the Crocodile Trophy 8 months ahead of the event and as part of his preparation after 4 months he rode the Alpentour Trophy stage race in Austria, a gruelling 4-day stage race in the heart of the European Alps with 200km and almost 9,500vm of climbing. He finished the Alpentour in May – and then he fulfilled his dream and completed the Crocodile trophy in October 2018.
“Before the start of the Crocodile Trophy, I had the feeling that I could do it. The Alpentour Trophy in June in Austria , which was my first mountain bike race ever, gave me a lot of confidence”.
“But then came the Crocodile Trophy, 700km of eight stages one of the oldest MTB races in the world … and I had no racing experience, most would call that madness. But, when you get the right mix of will, self-esteem, and some obsession, then you can increase the human body to high performance in no time”.
It’s about noon when Stefan reaches the destination – the magnificent Four Miles Beach near Port Douglas, which is rightly praised as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Overwhelmed by the surge of adrenaline and endorphins, Stefan plunges into the beautifully tropical waters of the Pacific with his full gear.
“When I crossed to the finish line after eight days, I was full of humility and gratitude in the face of happiness, trying to stuff the force of my emotions into a sentence.
But I know that my emotions are difficult to convey to outsiders. It’s my mission, my experience, my moment … but that’s the great thing”!