Die 25. Crocodile Trophy started diesen Samstag in Cairns und mehr als 100 Rennteilnehmer kommen in diesen Stunden im tropischen Norden von Queensland an um bei der Jubiläumsausgabe dieses legendären Etappenrennens teilzunehmen.
Der heurige Etappenplan wurde vom sieben-maligen Finisher Brendon Skerke aus Cairns zusammengestellt, der heute sagte die Rennstrecke sei eine Homage an die Heimat des Rennens in Australien.
Mit Rennstart in Cairns am 12. Oktober 2019 wird die 25. Crocodile Trophy in spektaulärer Manier die tropische Region in und um die Urlaubsmetropole Cairns zur Schau stellen: gleich am ersten Tag geht es auf die Atherton Hochebene und zum erstem Mal macht man beim Ringer´s Rest Camp und in verträumten Städtchen Wondecla Halt. Die Skybury Kaffeeplantage wird am fünften Tag angefahren und nach einem Marathon in der Mareeba Region wird der Peloton zum ersten Mal bei Hartley´s Crocodile Adventures ankommen – eine Touristenattraktion und Krokodilfarm! Die Zielankunft gibt es dann nächsten Samstag, 19. Oktober 2019 am Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas.
Die Rennteilnehmer kommen aus 20 verschiedenen Ländern – unter ihnen fünf deutsche Rennfahrer und auch fünf Österreicher. Unter ihnen die Österreichische Marathonstaatsmeisterin Angelika Tazreiter und Lukas Kaufmann aus Oberösterreich, die als Favoriten für die Gesamtsiege gehandelt werden. Der Niederösterreicher Felix Vogler und die Wahlaustralierin Monika Bayer fahren in der Amateurklasse. Der dritte Oberösterreicher im Bunde ist Martin Wisata aus Ried im Innkreis, der heuer schon zum 10. Mal am Start der Crocodile Trophy steht.
Mit einem täglichen Streckendurchschnitt von 88km wird die längste Etappe 125km lang sein und die kürzeste wird das Zeitfahren am achten Tag sein. Die Königsetappe ist die Marathon am vierten Tag mit 3.200 Höhenmetern.
Erste Stimmen aus dem Fahrerlager
Deutsche Version folgt in Kürze.
Photos: Regina Stanger
Lukas Kaufmann (AUT) – the Elite racer from Austria started his full-time professional mountain bike racing career only in February this year and finished 3rd overall in the challenging Salzkammergut Trophy in Austria and won a new Italian stage race across the Appenine ranges only a few weeks ago. The 25-year old said today that the Crocodile Trophy had been a goal of his since he started mountain biking 10 years ago,
“In Austria the Crocodile Trophy is incredibly well-known not only among cyclists – from a young age I have been watching the documentaries on TV and it has been a dream to be here. I was born in the year the first Crocodile Trophy was held and to be at the start of this Anniversary is very special for me! I am extremely thankful to all my local supporters from back home who have helped me get here.”
Martin Wisata (AUT) – The 42-year old will be at the start for the 10th time in a row, which is the current record world-wide. The Austrian has been living in Australia for 15 years and said today that the Crocodile Trophy had become his major motivation to ride and race throughout the year and it had been a life-changing experience since his first race in 2010. Living on the NSW Central Coast he organised mountain bike events across NSW the ACT and soon also in Queensland with his business Rocky Trail Entertainment.
“What I love most about this race is the cameraderie among the riders and staff and that I get to ride my bike for eight days straight. During the year I’m making sure that my racers are safe and happy and this is my race that even after all this time remains a huge challenge, which is why I keep coming back. I’ve come from crawling across the finish line very day to racing for category positions and that’s a lot of fun. I am very proud to the be Rider Representative and an ambassador for the event in Australia – I’m happy about the strong field this year with a lot of familiar faces and new riding mates to get to know over the next few days.”
Brendon Skerke (AUS) – The Operations Manager and seven-time Crocodile Trophy finisher is making his debut as the stage plan designer for the 25th Anniversary Edition. He says the course layout will reflect his passion for this race and will showcase the incredibly versatile terrains and scenery his home in Tropical North Queensland has to offer.
“Obviously my experience and love for the event meant that I wanted to create a course that in this special 25th edition took on all the greatest aspects of the race from the past quarter of a century of Crocodile Trophy racing. I wanted to try to mix a bit of the old-style Croc with the new and to cater for all of the various styles of rider to give an even playing ground. Basically the racers can expect climbing stages through the rainforest, dry, dusty, sandy and long outback stages, tight and technical single track stages. Some stages will have a blend of two of those elements or maybe even all three. This way this year’s Croc will have a little something for everybody and more importantly the likely category leaders will be the true allrounders.
We will be utilising the manicured single track of both the Davies Creek and Atherton Mountain Bike Parks, the beautiful trails in the rainforests of Clohsey River, Bridal Creek, Twin Bridges and infamous Bump Track and ascend and descend some of the highest points in Tropical North Queensland with Mt Baldy, Mt Edith and Mt Misery, one of the most infamous climbs in the history of the Croc as its name suggests. We will also be tackling some tough dusty rocky Outback trails such as Stannery Hills and the Tryconnell Mines as well as beautiful water channels and the iconic Rail Trail.”
Daniel Beresford (AUT) – The two-time Croc Finisher Daniel Beresford is a local Australian artist who has been inspired by the Crocodile Trophy over the last few years. As the fastest Australian Finisher in 2017 he literally put his passion to paper, created two magnificent artworks, which will no doubt become iconic pieces. One print of each of the paintings will be awarded to our overall male and overall female winners in this year’s 25th Anniversary Edition.
“I really love the race and it has changed my life since I did my first Croc in 2016! Everyone does this race with different goals and passions in mind and I really found myself in that race, from being stripped bare physically and mentally! I see my family and whats important in life because of a bike race that unites people around the World and how lucky are we to have it in Australia! I wanted to create artworks that would remind a rider of what they have achieved and have a memory that is immortalized into Canvas!”
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