Today the Crocodile Trophy had planned an 80km and 2,650 m of elevation circuit marathon in the Herberton National Park with start and finish in the historic town of Herberton. However, the start had to be and the race track shortened this morning due to a military ordnance that was found overnight on the first 10km of today’s race track. Lucy Coldwell (AUS) and Urs Huber (SUI) claim elite stage wins marathon in Herberton, Konny Looser keeps overall race lead by one second ahead of Huber.
Originally scheduled at 80km, the event’s General Manager Koenraad Vanschoren confirmed that due to the unforeseen track emergency, the race track was shortened to 68km, however, that despite the change the stage remained a huge challenge, „This stage might still well be the hardest climbing stage ever in the Crocodile Trophy.“ He thanked QLD and Herberton Police who escorted the peloton in neutral on a detour past the risky section that had been closed off and secured to re-enter the originally planned track safely.
Swiss domination continues
The Elite riders are keeping the overall classification very tight: the Swiss endurance specialists Urs Huber and Konny Looser once again crossed the line together with Huber claiming the stage win. In the overall standing, Looser keeps the incredibly narrow lead of only 1 second. All eyes will be on the clock during tomorrow’s time trial and how it will affect the the overall standings.
“An individual time trial can always shake things up”, says Crocodile Trophy founder Gerhard Schönbacher, reminscing about his own past as a road racing professional at some of the major events, including the Tour de France, in Europe. “Tomorrow the riders will be started in one-minute intervals and in reverse order of the general classification. So you actually get to chase a ‘physical target’, which is a huge incentive to make up time, but you are also in a wild race against the clock”, he explained.
Philipp Wetzelberger and Matthias Grick, the two Austrians also finished together. Of the race today Grick said it had been like a „rollercoaster through the bush“ and that the heat had been intense. „I’m very motivated and let’s see what the next days bring“, he said of his fourth overall place. Wetzelberger stay’s in fifth overall.
In an upset today, Soren Nissen missed a turn towards the end of the race and was given a 29 minute time penalty. However, Nissen keeps his overall third spot, albeit with an increased time gap of 41 minutes to the Swiss leaders.
In the women’s the overall result remains unchanged as well with Lucy Coldwell winning at Herberton today ahead of Cairns rider Sarah White and the Belgian rider, Sjoukje Dufoer.
In the Amateur age categories, Michal Láník from the Czech Republic leads the line honour ranking so far ahead of Markus Beck from Germany and Bart Duraj from Cairns.
Tomorrow’s stage will be a 38km individual time trial to Irvinebank and the first rider will be released onto the race track at 9:20am. With only 1,000 m of elevation it might be a ‚rest day‘ for some in the peloton, while for others this will be the chance to fit for podium positions. It might just be the deciding stage after all.
For detailed race results, please visit www.croctrophy.com/results/
Top Results | Stage 3
1. #1 Urs Huber (SUI) / Team Bulls / 03:35:12,9 — 22.3 km/h Elite Men (1)
2. # 3 Konny Looser (SUI) / BiXS Pro Team / 03:35:13,2 +00:00:00 22.3 km/h Elite Men (2)
3. # 5 Philipp Wetzelberger (AUT) / Friesi´s Bikerz RC Friedberg-Pinggau / 04:04:23,6 +00:29:10 19.6 km/h Elite Men (3)
3. # 6 Matthias Grick (AUT) / KTM – Wohbefinden Graz ARBÖ / 04:04:23,6 +00:29:10 19.6 km/h Elite Men (4)
5. # 2 Sören Nissen (LUX) / Team Stevens-LAUF / 04:04:24,0 +00:29:11 19.6 km/h Elite Men (5)
1. #102 Lucy Coldwell (AUS) / 05:01:51,5 — 15.9 km/h
2. #101 Sarah White (AUS) / Astute Financial Racing Team / 05:04:45,6 +00:02:54 15.7 km/h
3. 103 Sjoukje Dufoer (BEL) / Honeymoon Tom & Sjoukje / 06:53:58,0 +01:52:06 11.5 km/h
Stage 3 Amateur Category Stage Winners:
Amateur Men 1 | 204 Martin Plank (AUT) 04:47:18,1 — 16.7 km/h
Amateur Men 2 | 251 Luke Zweers (AUS) 05:04:45,6 — 15.7 km/h
Amateur Men 3 | 310 Markus Beck (GER) 04:31:05,6 — 17.7 km/h
Amateur Men 4 | 408 Graeme Young (AUS) 04:43:04,8 — 16.9 km/h
Amateur Men 5 | 504 Giovanni Colagiacomi Capponi (ITA) 05:26:23,8 — 14.7 km/h
Amateur Women 1 | 120 Lotte De Vet (BEL) 06:54:26,2 — 11.5 km/h
Amateur Women 2 | 125 Mona Van Nassauw (BEL) 06:31:46,1 — 12.2 km/h
OVERALL Standings after Stage 3:
OVERALL Men Elite after 3 Stages
1. 3 Konny Looser 12:54:36,1 — Elite Men (1)
2. 1 Urs Huber 12:54:37,2 +00:00:01 Elite Men (2)
3. 2 Sören Nissen 13:35:30,6 +00:40:54 Elite Men (3)
4. 6 Matthias Grick 14:02:56,9 +01:08:20 Elite Men (4)
5. 5 Philipp Wetzelberger 14:12:46,3 +01:18:10 Elite Men (5)
OVERALL Women Elite after 3 Stages
1. 102 Lucy Coldwell 17:16:56,0 +04:22:19 Elite Women (1)
2. 101 Sarah White 17:44:01,1 +04:49:25 Elite Women (2)
3. 103 Sjoukje Dufoer (BEL) / Honeymoon Tom & Sjoukje / 21:19:44,9 +08:25:08 Elite Women (3)