Official highlight video Stage 9:
The team has made it to Port Douglas!
Today’s time trial stage started the rider field in reverse order of the general classification onto undulating, historic gold rush mining trails and then down the infamous “Bump Track” into Port Douglas, which is a very steep and technical descent through the dense rainforest surrounding the popular holiday destination in Tropical North Queensland.
The race leader Urs Huber was released last and said that he knew he had a healthy gap and didn’t take any risks on the rough descent. The Crocodile Trophy finishers concluded that nowadays you had to be a complete cyclist to win this event – you must have the skills and strength to do well on all terrains: singletrack, rainforest and bush trails and the wide open Outback roads. The race winner Urs Huber said, that you had to be an all-rounder and be able to deal with race tactics, especially on the later and longer marathon stages. “Of course the conditions in Australia are always a challenge, but exactly what makes this race so unique!”, he said and our team agrees.
From jungle to bush to Outback to beach
The final kilometres were be raced on the sandy beach, right on the water and for many riders the start in the jungle around Cairns seems long ago. Since last Saturday they raced in on the Atherton Tablelands’ MTB Park and rainforest surrounds. For stage five and six the Crocodile Trophy raced in the bushlands, mining country and the Outback in the Irvinebank region before arriving at the tropical Skybury Coffee Plantation on Friday. Last night the set up camp at the historic Wetherby Cattle Station and for the second time in the race history, the event finished on Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas.
The racers received a warm welcome in Port Douglas with more than 500 spectators cheering them on as they crossed the final finish line for 2015. Many were reunited with families and friends and the international racers will spend more time in Tropical North Queensland, some taking up to three weeks here to recover from the strains and pains of the legendary mountain bike stage race that is the Crocodile Trophy.