Czech Six-Pack as Trophy reaches Mount Mulgrave
The Czech Republic made it a six-pack of stage victories at Australia’s Crocodile Trophy as VIG+ Racing’s Kejval Lubos delivered on the promise he showed during yesterday’s stage at Chillagoe.
This time there was no blowing up at the death as Lubos and breakaway partner Tomas Kozak made it another “Czech-one-two” when the race reached its annual stop-over at Mount Mulgrave Station, a cattle grazing property almost as large as some European principalities.
The pancake flat parcours along the dusty gravel roads of outback Tropical North Queensland perfectly suited the Czech strongman, who had always been singled out for a tilt at this stage. In years past, this, the flattest stage of the Crocodile Trophy has been won by big-gear grinders.
“Yes, today I am very happy that everything went to plan,” Lubos said. “Yesterday I was supposed to be the winner, but twenty kilometres from the finish I had a problem.”
The Czech pair broke away three kilometres into today’s stage and with the group of G.C. leader Ondrej Fojtik taking a measured ap-proach, the move was always destined to succeed.
“Everyone was just watching each other,” Australia’s fifth placed rider Craig Gordon said of the tactical battle in the G.C. group.
“It’s just out in the open and for me, like, a smaller guy it’s just the element and the wind and it’s difficult when the big Czechs get out the front.”
Both Gordon and Belgian Nic Vermeulen will need to find something special to challenge the Czechs as they cling to slim hopes of standing on the final podium. The G.C. has changed little over the past two days, with Vermeulen 11.04 behind Fojtik and Gordon at 18.33.
The Australian, racing with out the help of a team, who declared at the start of the race he would “show the Euro’s how it’s done” is at least talking confidently after suffering an intestinal upset.
“I saw the doctor and I’ve had some Imodium for the last couple of days and I’m feeling good, a lot better,” Gordon said.
It appears the Czech weapons cache of Fojtik, Martin Horak and Tomas Trunschka will save its next explosive effort for tomorrow’s signature stage from Mount Mulgrave to Laura, where VIG+ racing will have no choice but to play its hand and reveal which rider it really intends to support for the overall victory.
Rumours flooded the Crocodile Trophy camp kitchen at this evening’s presentation that the Czechs would be splitting into two groups, with one team supporting Fojtik and another supporting either Horak or Trunschka.
“The tactic is that I am the leader, I am the leader,” Fojtik af-firmed. “I want to keep first place and it will be three days until the finish and I hope to be the leader of this great race in Cape Tribulation."
Czech team continued its complete dominance with Martin Horak scoring his first stage win and fourth consecutive stage win for his team as the off-road classic reached the Australian outback town of Chillagoe.
Czech team VIG+ racing made it five straight stage victories from five attempts today as Ivan Rybarik scored his second stage win at the Crocodile Trophy of 2008.