Urs Huber claims Crocodile Trophy title number four; Alice Pirard is the Women’s Champion in Port Douglas

The 22nd Crocodile Trophy finished after eight days of racing through its home in Tropical North Queensland in Port Douglas.  The legendary event started last Saturday in Cairns with a lap race at the Smithfield MTB Park and continued onto the Atherton Tablelands on Sunday. It was the climb onto the Atherton Tablelands and the tough undulating course of the second stage was the hardest, the riders all agreed. Three stages were raced in the Atherton MTB Park and also in the Herberton State Forest and surrounds, very technical and demanding on the riders. huberarrival_08_croc16_hr-3431 sebcarabin_urshuber_finish_08_croc16_hr-3438 urshuber_alicepirard_crocstaff_08_croc16_hr-3760

From the rainforests in Cairns into the bushlands of the Tablelands and via the so iconic Outback to Skybury Coffee Plantation was next on the stage plan. The racers enjoyed two nights in the tropical Skybury estate and raced through the Mareeba Wetlands on Thursday.

Yesterday the race stopped over at Wetherby Station after a marathon stage via open Outback Highways – a fast race in glistening heat. Riders were in for a treat – a 30km timetrial down the infamous “Bump Track” from Wetherby Station into the holiday paradise of Port Douglas with the final finish on the beautiful Four Mile Beach.

Urs Huber wins his fourth Crocodile Trophy title

The Swiss Marathon National Champion claimed his fourth Crocodile Trophy victory after winning before in 2009, 2010 and last year. Only one man before him has won this legendary race four times, Jaap Viergever from The Netherlands (1997, 1999, 2001 & 2002). 

He said the race was a tough mind game for him this week clocking in a total of 23h52:51.6.

“The week was really tough, not physically but mentally because the gap [to Sebastien Carabin] was always really small and I had to stay concentrated for the whole week. I couldn’t make any mistakes – I could manage that really well and so, the win is here. 

He complimented his biggest opponent Sebastien Carabin as being equally as strong. “We both were very strong. He just had one bad day and I didn’t. And in the end, that was the difference.”

The “bad day” was stage two from Cairns to Atherton, which pushed most of the riders to their absolute limits. A long stage in very hot and particularly humid conditions, so hard that even a world-class rider like Sebastien Carabin suffered and ultimately cost him too much time. 

Overall, only 1:48 minutes separated the top two finishers of the 2016 event with Huber taking the day’s stage in 52:59.3 with a gap of five seconds to second-placed Carabin.

With an incredible performance in the time trial the Belgian Michiel van Aelbroeck defended his third position overall and has a gap of 1h05 to Huber. The 40-year old Dutch racer Bas Peters took out fourth (+1h11:05.4) and the Austrian Matthias Pliem came in fifth (+1h16:29.0).

Alice Pirard wins the Women’s Trophy

The Belgian Marathon National Champion finishes her 2016 season with a win at the Crocodile Trophy, her second appearance at the legendary stage race. With strong performances all week she dominated the technical stages and the dark horse, but well-known rider, in the field Annemiek van Vleuten was a strong opponent. The Dutch Olympic road racer had claimed to “race the Crocodile Trophy as a holiday”, but half-way through the week caught the racing bug on the flat and less-technical stages.alicepirard_finish_08_croc16_hr-3504 14715590_1247584418646064_4748425118571155972_o 14882202_1247587928645713_8765333415381208905_o

Twice riddled with bad luck by missing turns and loosing a lot of time, Annemiek van Vleuten still claimed three stage wins and was the fastest woman in the time trial with 1h03:45.6.

Overall the women’s result has Alice Pirard finishing with 30h34:45.0 ahead of van Vleuten (+44:15) and the Australian road racer Ruth Corset (+1h06:27). 

The marathon specialist Sarah Kaehler from Cairns came in fourth (+5h39:57).

For detailed race results, visit www.crocodile-trophy.com


Elite Men:

1. #11 Urs HUBER (Team Bulls)  / SUI / 0h52:59.3 

2. #1 Sebastien CARABIN (merida wallonie-Vojo Mag) / BEL / 0h53:04.7 +0:05

3. #4 Michiel VAN AELBROECK (WMTB.be) / BEL / 0h55:13.2 +2:13

4. #2   Matthias Grick (KTM Ebner Transporte Cycling Team Graz) / AUT / 0h56:01.5      +3:02

5. #10 Manuel PLIEM (Team KTM-RAD.SPORT.SZENE) / AUT / 0h56:05.6 +3:06

Elite Women:

1. #22 Annemiek VAN VLEUTEN (Orica-AIS / Scott) / NED / 1h03:45.6

2. #25 Ruth CORSET / AUS / 1h05:30.1    +1:44

3. #21 Alice PIRARD (Merida-Wallonie MTB Team) / BEL / 1h09:57.0    +6:11 

4. #23 Sarah KAEHLER (Astute Financial Racing Team) / AUS / 1h17:38.3     +13:52



Elite Men:

1. #11 Urs HUBER (Team Bulls) / SUI / 23h52:51.6

2. #1 Sebastien CARABIN (merida wallonie-Vojo Mag) / BEL / 23h54:39.6 +1:48  

3. #4 Michiel VAN AELBROECK (WMTB.be) / BEL / 24h58:44.0 +1h05:52.4  

4. #3 Bas PETERS (MijnBadLiv/Giant offroad team) / NED / 25h03:57.0 +1h11:05.4  

5. #10 Manuel PLIEM (Team KTM-RAD.SPORT.SZENE) / AUT / 25h09:20.6 +1h16:29.0

Elite Women:

1. #21 Alice PIRARD (Merida-Wallonie MTB Team) / BEL / 30h34:45.0

2. #22 Annemiek VAN VLEUTEN (Orica-AIS / Scott) / NED / 31h19:00.2 +44:15

3. #25 Ruth CORSET / AUS /  31h41:12.4 +1h06:27

4. #23 Sarah KAEHLER (Astute Financial Racing Team) / AUS / 36h14:41.7    +5h39:57

Further category and leader jersey winners:

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