The Crocodile Trophy is one of the toughest and the most legendary MTB stage race in the World and its 24th edition will start on Saturday, 13 October in Cairns. For almost a quarter of a century it has challenged racers from all over the World and this year our Il Pastaio/Rocky Trail Racing Team will be at the start with three competitors! Together with a multicultural peloton of 16 different nationalities they will embark onto the most diverse stage plan of any race of its kind – eight days through Tropical North Queensland. Rainforests. Bushtrails. Outback. And the finish on Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas.
May we introduce our team line-up for the Croc in 2018:
Robert Wieser – The whippet
The 38-year old IT Executive from Sydney has been a regular at Rocky Trail events and with the upcoming birth of bub number 2 it was time to sign up he said and that really, it had been Martin who talked him into it. These two are really good mates, sharing a good deal of Austrian heritage. So, inevitably at dinners, BBQ’s and family events, the Croc comes up… within 5 minutes of those two talking to each other. We are über-excited that Rob will race in the yellow-and-black Rocky Trail owayo-Croc jersey this year.
RT: Rob, what are you looking forward to the most at the Croc?
Rob: The finish line in Port Douglas 😂
RT: What made you tick the Croc off your bucket list this year?
Rob: Martin…. but seriously, I’ve always wanted to experience a stage race. Und wenn schon, denn schon!
… which is, “Go big or go home” in German. You picked the right race, man!
Rob concluded, that he was a bit nervous because he didn’t have much time to train over the last few weeks due to family commitments. We’re sure he will do well, though. Rob is the whippet in the team, he is light, he is fast and he comes with a great road & MTB riding and racing experience.
Andrew Radcliffe – Serial Croc Racer
At 58-years old Andrew Radcliffe is a “serial” Rocky Trail & Croc Racer. With countless Rocky Trail events under his belt since when he started riding in 2011, he has competed in the Crocodile Trophy already four times: 2011,2012, 2014 and 2016.
RT: What fascinates you about this event, what makes you come back each time?
I love the Croc because it puts riders in the hurt box at multiple times and really tests you out physically and mentally.
Sometimes when you are having a bad day on the bike which is inevitable in such a race you wonder why you are doing it .
But the friendship and encouragement from fellow riders and support crew gets you through. ( hopefully)
It makes those tough moments all the more special.
I have made many friends at the Croc
The route is so variable and there is always some great mtb riding
In short I love the place the event and the people involved in it and the local vibe of North Queensland
RT: What are you looking forward to the most?
Andrew: The thing I am looking forward to the most is the opportunity to ride my bike with my buddies both old and new for 8 days doing what I love
RT: This year you are racing in a team, what are you expecting from this experience?
The Rocky Trail team are a fantastic group
I have been riding their races since I started MTB in 2011.
Hopefully I can stay upright and contribute something to Rob and Martin in their efforts at this event. This more than any other is an event that you need to ride in bunches . So hopefully that will happen a bit with the team.
Not sure if I will be able to keep up with them but hopefully we can help each other out sometime either on or off the bike.
The Owayo kit and Shimano Lazer helmet are extremely comfortable and light . As well as sic looking. You will spot us a mile off! Ha
Martin Wisata – Croc #9
Rocky Trail’s Race Director Martin Wisata will be at the Crocodile Trophy start for the ninth time in 2018. As such the 41-year old is the current record holder of most consecutive Croc races completed in a row. The Austrian who has been living in Australia since 2003 has had quite the journey with this event, which has shaped not only his attitude towards cycling, but which has become a pivotal part of his everyday and family life. Since 2008 he has been organising mountain biking events with Rocky Trail Entertainment in NSW and the ACT and after joining the Crocodile Trophy team as part of the track marking crew that year, he could not help but compete.
RT: What does it mean to be the current World Record holder of most Crocs finished in a row?
To be honest the results I was able to achieve at some of them mean more to me than the world record of most races finished. That just means I can ride them out but standing on a podium next to a cycling legend means you had to work very hard for that. However I am still proud to have been able to achieve that many finishes in a row. I got to know my body and it’s limits very well over the years and learned how to manage that. Managing risk is also a big factor: descending at 80% capacity means I loose a few seconds but at least I won’t crash or get a flat tyre.
RT: What memories do you have of you first Croc?
It’s the race that broke me as a biker ider and then rebuilt me from ground up. Those 10 days have changed the way I ride a bike forever. My setup was quite hectic too: I rode with 4 bottles attached to the bike. 2 on the downtube and 2 behind my saddle – TT style. I also didn’t want to get into trouble with tyres so opted for pretty big rims. All up my bike fully loaded was around 16kg. But back then the only goal was to finish and I achieved that.
RT: Has racing it become an addiction?
Absolutely. My entire year on the bike revolves around the Crocodile Trophy. How many weeks are there until the race? How much weight would I like to loose until then. What other races are good to get the legs ready. When can I get solid training blocks in? Who will be on the team this year? Who is going to support us?
RT: What are you looking forward to the most each and this year?
Martin: Hard to say. The whole experience: from arriving in beautiful Cairns, getting ready, doing pre-race interviews with the press (feeling like a pro), to the pre-race nerves on the Esplanade, then the ‘routine’ of racing your bike every day, to finishing on the 4 Mile Beach in Port Douglas and the tiredness that follows. It’s magic and wonderful. Like being in a totally different world for 10 days or so.