The hard road to Cooktown, Part 5

Words by Flow | Images by Rocky Trail Entertainment

We rejoin our troupe of very sore, very dusty Croc’ers after stages 5  and 6 – some of the longest and hottest legs of the Croc. Stage 5 presented riders with a massive 163km, while stage 6 ran from Granite Creek Dam to Laura via the historic Old Coach Trail, an old mining travel route and contained some brutal climbs. Laura lies on the entrance to the Cape York Peninsula about 120km inland from the coast in Far North Queensland and is a small township of 80 residents, which was more than tripled by the Crocodile Trophy visitors.

At the pointy end, Australian Mark Frendo has maintained a very healthy 11-minute lead over Canada’s Cory Wallace. “I’m not looking forward to tomorrow’s stage, because I don’t think that Cory is going to back off”, said Frendo as he and Wallace both enjoyed a Paddle Pop in the 40+ degree heat at Laura today.

It was a rough trot for some of the Il Pastaio team. Big Martin did not enjoy the climbs of stage 6, saying, “Those were not hills, they were freakin’ ramps. Some climbing spurs would have come in handy today.” Young Phil had a barbwire fence incident as well on stage 5, while Old Pete maintained his perpetually happy mood which seems to make him ideally suited to multiday racing.

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Phil does his best Johnny Hoogerland impression.

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Martin questions the wisdom of riding 163km in the outback.

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It’s a lonely old road.

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Big Martin is built for the downhill which, thankfully, tend to follow the ups.

Big Martin is built for the downhills which, thankfully, tend to follow the ups.

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