Crocodile Trophy 2010: Mudslides Cause Chaos In Cairns

The 2010 Crocodile Trophy, the ten-day mountain bike race in Australia, is off to a turbulent start. A mudslide caused by heavy rain forced the riders to divert from the original track. Last year's winner, Urs Huber, overcame the forces of nature and won the first race.

Crocodile Trophy 2010.  Photo: Event HostThe 2010 Crocodile Trophy in Cairns - the hardest mountain bike race in the world - attracted more than 75 athletes from 16 various countries.

Despite the proven trails of the 2010 race, organisers were faced with a significant challenge.  Heavy rains in the area had caused a mudslide and the first stage, which was supposed to run from Cairns to the Atherton Tablelands, had to be diverted after 25km and restarted.

The Swiss rider Urs Huber, Crocodile Trophy Overall Winner in 2009, was able to cope well with the changes and difficult conditions.  He finished the remaining 65km after the restart in 2:35.11 hours and won by 4.32 minutes ahead Bart Brentjens.

“It was extremely difficult. The terrain was very slippery and muddy and was constantly slightly uphill. It always felt like getting stuck," said Urs Huber. “I'm very glad and happy about the time gap that I was able to gain today."

Both Urs Huber and Bart Brentjens were in the lead before the restart and it was not until the final climb that Huber was able to distance himself from Brentjens. The Canadian Cory Wallance achieved third place by using the break for a power nap.

“I didn't eat enough during the race pause. My brother did give me a bar and there was fruit at the depot, but towards the end I became extremely hungry and ran out of energy“, explained Brentjens of the Trek Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team.

Crocodile Trophy 2010.  Photo: Event HostThe fastest woman of the day was Australian Abby McLennan. The second-fastest woman was Lesley Sutton from Cairns.

“It seems so much longer and harder than last year’s race“, said Abby. “The climbs never seemed to end. It was just up up up.”

This year to get Abby onto the Crocodile Trophy podium again for the second year running she and husband Scott have teamed up with local ‘cop’ Brendan Skerke to race the croc as Team ‘Rattle N Hum’. Skerke had a tough stage this stage but this was planned.

“I knew this stage would be my Achilles heel of the race," said Skerke "I’m learning from it and looking forward to the next 9 days, but tough day."

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