The Hard Road to Cooktown, Part 1.

The infamous Croc Trophy kicks off in just two days, departing Cairns and trucking north through some of the hottest, toughest country in Australia to Cooktown.

With 900km of racing over nine stages in brutal conditions, the Croc is widely regarded as one of the most gruelling mountain bike events on the planet. Despite the inevitable suffering, the Croc attracts an all-star cast, always with a healthy contingent of masochistic European hammerheads.

This year, Flow’s going to be taking a more personal look at the Croc, viewing it through the dust-filled eyes of the Il Pastaio Rocky Trail Racing Team. Over the next week and a bit, we’ll be relaying their experiences to you right here. Every cramp, saddle sore and callous in its agonising-yet-strangely-rewarding glory.

Introducing team Il Pastaio Rocky Trail Racing

Croc Trophy team
Phil and Peter, wondering what they’ve let Martin talk them into.

Martin Wisata: Big Martin is at the Crocodile Trophy for the fourth time this year and will race in the Master 1 category. He says that it is a personal challenge to complete this grueling race every year, something that motivates him to train all year.

Croc Trophy Phil Welsch

Phil Welch: Young Phil will race in the Master 2 category and will report for us from inside the Croc peloton. The experience endurance racer was very surprised at the fast pace of even the training rides in Cairns that the European racers have been setting.

Peter Selkrig Croc Trophy

Peter Selkrig: Old Pete is an Australian ex-pro road racer and one of the strongest contenders in the Master 3 category. Very strong-minded he will be ready to withstand the attacks of his international counterparts.

Stage Plan 2013:
Stage 1    Smithfield (5 laps) / 35 km/900 m
Stage 2    Cairns – Lake Tinaroo / 89 km/2500 m
Stage 3    Atherton – Irvinebank / 80 km/2500 m
Stage 4    Irvinebank – Mt. Mulligan / 118 km/1600 m
Stage 5    Mt. Mulligan – Granite Creek Dam / 163 km/3000 m
Stage 6    Granite Creek Dam – Laura / 116 km/1800 m
Stage 7    Laura – Laura / 50 km/150 m – Time Trial
Stage 8    Laura – Hope Vale / 113 km/1100 m
Stage 9    Hope Vale – Cooktown / 50 km/500 m

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