The 25th Crocodile Trophy finished on Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas on Saturday 19 October 2019. 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. Read full STAGE 8 race report with results and photo/video stories…
Here are snippets from the finish line talks:
Gerhard Schoenbacher, Race Founder
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.”
#3 Alan Gordon (SAF) / 2019 Crocodile Trophy Champion
“We’re done! I am very happy and it was a really nice race. We didn’t know what to expect, in the beginning, but I am so happy we did it. Next year we’ll be back to do it again, hopefully!”
#201 Michael England (AUS) / 2019 Best Australian, 2nd Overall
“I came here to finish the Croc Trophy, I’ve been racing for a long time now and to have the Croc Trophy is one of my last big events that I wanted to go well at. Mate, it’s been amazing! The support from everyone, even from my own competitors out there, the staff, all the Australians, all the Europeans, you feel part of the family as a finisher of this Croc Trophy. Regardless of my goals, I’ve achieved it, I finished it. The 25th Anniversary of the Croc Trophy! I’m so happy!”
#6 Brandan Marquez Fernandez (ESP) / 3rd Elite Men and Overall 2019
“I didn’t expect that, because it is the end of the season for me and I have done a lot of kilometers this year. I only had one bad stage, the second one, for the rest I felt good. I am really happy that I arrive as the third overall in this race.”
#101 Angelika Tazreiter (AUT) / Overall Women’s Winner 2019
“The panoramic views after this eighth stage are really incredible. I must admit I really enjoyed the peace and quiet this morning in my tent and when it was still calm in the camp, I rode out to the ocean and watched the sunrise. I so enjoyed that. Now, after the stage, when you know, it’s all done, it is just unbelievable. Everyone is in a good mood and I think we’ll have a big party this evening, I reckon.”
#5 Lukas Kaufmann (AUT) / Elite Men’s 7th
“I didn’t really know what to expect from the finish, these last few kilometers riding together along the beach… that was probably the most beautiful finish I’ve ever experienced in my whole life.”
#302 Martin Wisata, Ried im Innkreis (AUT) / Central Coast NSW / 10th Crocodile Trophy, 1st in Amateur 3
“I can’t believe that I just won my age group at the Crocodile Trophy. I had a really flawless race, I never had an off-day, the biggest mechanical I had was today. With two days to go I had a flat tyre in the rear, which self-sealed and forced me to go really slowly down the hill. I think I lost only 20 seconds and I didn’t care about that anymore. The goal was just getting to the finish.
“The whole race was fantastic, I loved it as I always do. I might just have to come back for number 11.”
#150 Monika Bayer, Feuersbrunn (AUT) / Bondi NSW (AUS) / Amateur Women’s Winner
“For the last five kilometers or so I thought about what has happened these last few days. You meet so many cool people from all over the world, you suffer, you sweat, but at the end of the day you go to sleep and on the next day you get back on the bike and keep pedaling.”
#208 Vince Marcel, Cairns Region QLD (AUS) / 4th in Amateur 4
“This was my first international event, the atmosphere has been fantastic, the groups that have ridden together throughout the Croc stages have been fantastic and really encouraging. It’s been really good to get through every day. The Europeans are an amazing caliber and very interesting group of riders, certainly something I’m not used to, but at the end of the day, we’re all there doing the same thing though every single day, day by day. It was really good to ride alongside them.”
#300 Daniel Beresford, Wagga Wagga NSW (AUS) / 2nd in Amateur 3
“This is my third Croc and I feel really good. I have my family here with me, which has become a tradition. Every time I do the Croc they get a holiday as well.
“I enjoyed the ride together along Four Mile Beach, that was really enjoyable, really well done. I reckon I’ll be back next year, just not sure if it will be in a team or solo.”
Sarah Kaehler, Cairns QLD (AUS) / 2016 Winning Female
“This is the first time I’ve done the 3-day event. I looked at this as a good training opportunity for me. The atmosphere was really awesome among all the overseas riders, we had some really hot days towards the end now and I take my hat off to them for riding in this heat. This was hot for me, the eight days is definitely a great challenge.”
Photos: Regina Stanger
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