Racers arrive in Tropical North Queensland for 22nd Crocodile Trophy

By Crocodile Trophy 2016

For the 22nd time, cyclists from all over the world will compete in the International Crocodile Trophy. The legendary mountain bike stage race will kick off this Saturday, 22 October in Cairns and finish on 29 October on Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas. Today, title defender and three-time Crocodile Trophy winner Urs Huber from Switzerland and fellow racers got a taste of the adventure at Cairns Zoom, face to face with a real crocodile!

Over eight days, the Crocodile Trophy participants will race for 600km and almost 11,000vm through the magnificent landscapes of the Cairns and Port Douglas regions: from the tropical rainforests in and around Cairns to the Atherton bushlands and via the remote Outback to Skybury Coffee Plantation and Wetherby Station, finishing eight days later on the breath-takingly beautiful Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas.
Crocodile Trophy/Regina Stanger
Crocodile Trophy/Regina Stanger

With the event’s endorsement by the UCI (International Cycling Federation) and its highest S1 status, some of the best marathon and endurance elite athletes in the world are competing for valuable international ranking points and a generous pool of prize money as well.

Title defender Urs Huber meets a croc
“I'm just as nervous as at my first race”, said last year's winner Urs Huber, the reigning Swiss Marathon MTB Champion. He explained that the conditions for the event were so different to what he was used to, including the heat and humidity, that every time again the Crocodile Trophy presented a challenge for him. “The competition this year is hard to judge; there are quite a few riders that I don't know, so I'm not sure what to expect”, he added. 

Huber enjoyed a day out with fellow racers at the Cairns Zoom & Wildlife Dome today, were he got to do some adventurous activities off the bike. One of those elite riders alongside him was the Austrian Matthias Grick for whom it will be the second Crocodile Trophy after a top-ten finish in 2015.

“Well, I hope this is not the preparation that we'll need for the race”, Grick said with a cheeky grin, as Urs Huber zoomed by via flying fox, high up in the air and across the resident 4-metre salt water crocodile. “I don't want to come across such a creature at those river crossings that are ahead”, he said. He added that he returned also because of the uniqueness of the landscapes the race went through, which was breath-taking.
Crocodile Trophy/Regina Stanger
Crocodile Trophy/Regina Stanger

Elite women catch up
Sarah Kaehler is the local competitor to watch among the elite women and today she and the Belgian National Marathon Champion Alice Pirard met, who is taking part for the second time in this event. Annemiek van Vleuten, the Dutch Olympian arrived late this afternoon, directly from Qatar where she finished in fifth in the 2016 Road World Championships. Earlier this month van Vleuten said that she was excited to come to Australia – she recently caught the mountain bike stage racing bug and said that she was looking forward to racing in the home country of her Orica GreenEdge team.

Martin Wisata adds to race record
When cyclists from all over the world and a notable number of Australian racers will assemble at the start line at the Pacific Palms Resort in Cairns on 22 October, the majority of the rider field of more than 100 men and women will be packed with amateur mountain bikers who every year seek this legendary adventure on their bikes. The event offers various age divisions and among this year's field are many riders who keep coming back. One of them is the current record-holder of most events finished – the Austrian Martin Wisata will be at the start line on Saturday for the seventh time in a row. Having lived in Australia since 2003 for him one of the main reasons was the social aspect of the event. “You meet so many riders from all over the world and this race is my big goal to ride, race and train for throughout the year”, he explained his passion for this event.
Crocodile Trophy/Regina Stanger

Overview stage plan 2016
The event will start on 22 October with a lap race at Smithfield MTB Park and finish on 29 October on Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas. An overview of the stage plan is as follows:
  • Stage 1, Saturday 22 October: Smithfield (4 laps) // 38km/900vm
          *12:00pm Start at Paradise Palms Resort (Kewarra Beach)
          *Peloton will race to Smithfield MTB Park, do 4 laps, return for finish at Paradise Palms Resort
          *2:30pm Winner celebration at Paradise Palms Resort
  • Stage 2, Sunday 23 October: Cairns – Atherton Lake Tinaroo (Marathon) // 99km/2300vm
         *9:00am Rider presentation Cairns Esplanade near Lagoon
         *9:30am Roll-out, official start after 12km towards Copperlode Dam
  • Stage 3, Monday 24 October: Atherton – Atherton (Marathon) // 57km/1600vm
  • Stage 4, Tuesday 25 October: Atherton – Atherton (Marathon) // 72km/2300vm
  • Stage 5, Wednesday 26 October: Atherton – Skybury Coffee Plantation (Marathon) // 131km/1900vm
  • Stage 6, Thursday 27 October: Skybury Coffee Plantation – Wetlands (Marathon) // 53km/500vm
  • Stage 7, Friday 28 October: Skybury Coffee Plantation – Wetherby Station (Marathon) // 108km/1200vm
  • Stage 8, Saturday 29 October: Wetherby Station – Port Douglas (Time Trial) // 30km/250vm
For further event information, visit
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