Mark Frendo won his third Crocodile Trophy stage at this year’s event in Laura today. Cory Wallace came in second in a finish sprint, unable to shake off the race leader who still firmly holds onto an 11 minute lead. Jiri Krivanek is third, completing the podium of the general elite classification. Liesbeth Hessens is the fastest women of the day again coming in as the incredible 26th finisher overall and increasing her lead in the women’s classification to more than seven hours.
Today’s stage from Granite Creek Dam to Laura took the riders via the historic Old Coach Trail, an old mining travel route. Laura lies on the entrance to the Cape York Peninsula about 120km inland from the coast in Far North Queensland and is a small township of 80 residents, which is more than tripled tonight by its Crocodile Trophy visitors. The day started with an attack by the Austrian Patrick Schörkmayer, who was caught by the race leaders at the first rough climb about a third into the race. Falling back, he was later joined by yesterday’s stage winner and fellow road racing team mate Josef Benetseder.
Race lead still with Frendo after attacks by Wallace
Cory Wallace had planned to attack the overall race leader Mark Frendo today, but didn’t succeed as the Australian kept his pace. “I sort of thought that ahead of the rather flat stages into Cooktow that are ahead today was going to be my last chance to attack”, admitted Wallace after the sprint finish at Laura today. “I tried to crack him, but he just rode too well and I’m not sure if and how I can get the 11 minutes back”, he added and even though they knew each other well from their race together at the Monoglia Challenge stage race earlier in the year, that they were racing eachother as soon as they put on their racing kits.
“I’m not looking forward to tomorrow’s stage, because I don’t think that Cory is going to back off”, said Frendo as they both enjoyed a paddle pop in the 40+ degree heat at Laura today. Jiri Krivanek came in third again today with a 5:35 minute gap, which increases Frendo’s overall lead to the technically strong Czech rider to 44 minutes. Master 1 racer Mario Färberböck (AUT) and elite rider Matthew Page (GBR) came in ex aequo in fourth.
Fastest Australian leader jersey for Mashford
The most unlucky fellow of the Crocodile Trophy would have to be last year’s fastest Australian finisher, Steven Rankine. Riddled by mechanicals over the last few stages his racing shoes practically disintegrated today and were held together only by cable ties and duct tape until the finish. After three flat tires he lost his leaders jersey to team mate Paul Mashford from Cairns who is currently fourth in the overall elite classification and Matthew Page sits in fifth.
Liesbeth Hessens targeting top-20 position
With an incredible lead of more than seven hours in her women’s category, Liesbeth Hessens now has her eyes on a top-20 position in the overall male field. “Two days ago I was in 18th position, but the last two days were so hot that it was really tough for me”, said the Belgian, who lives, works and trains in the Swiss canton of Wallis. “I don’t mind climbing and some of those descends yesterday and today were just awesome, but I suffered in the heat and lost some time”, added the Alpentour Trophy winner of 2013.
Tomorrow’s stage seven will be a 38km time trial at Laura with riders starting in 30 second gaps – almost a rest day for the support crews and an unmeasurable adrenaline rush for the racers at the Crocodile Trophy.
For more information, visit www.crocodile-trophy.com
Top Results – Stage 5:
1. Mark Frendo (AUS) / #12 / 4:35:00
2. Cory Wallace (CAN) / #2 / Kona-MBC / 4:35:01 / +0:00:01
3. Jiri Krivanek (CZE) / #17 / PRESTIGE / 4:40:35 / +0:05:35
4. Paul Mashford (AUS) / #5 / Tenni\’s – Cairns Home Loans / 4:43:50 / +0:08:50
4. Matthew Page (GBR) / #9 / A Cycling/Pivot / 4:43:50 / +0:08:50
1. Liesbeth Hessens (BEL) / #93 / 5:47:16
2. Maria Cristina Prati (ITA) / #95 / GS Cicli Matteoni FRW / 6:51:44 / +1:04:28
3. Giordana Sordi (ITA) / #91 / SKYsport-Italy / 9:37:46 / +1:30:45
4. Anne-Mette Mortensen / #92 / Team Fit 4 Run / 10:55:58 / +2:28:08
Stage winners in other categories:
M1: Mario Färberböck (AUT) / #33 / Bikepalast.com / 4:40:56 / Category 1st
M2: Hans Planckaert (BEL) / #40 / Smart Cycling Team / 5:08:05 / Category 1st
M3: Daniele Bertozzi (ITA) / #81 / 4:51:55
Overall race lead ELITE Men:
1. Mark Frendo (AUS ) / #12 / Elite / 19:03:45
2. Cory Wallace (CAN) / #2 / Elite / Kona-MBC / + 00:11:01
3. Jiri Krivanek (CZE) / #17 / Elite / PRESTIGE / + 00:44:02
4. Paul Mashford (AUS) / #5 / Tenni\’s – Cairns Home Loans / +1:38:19
5. Matthew Page (AUS) / #9 / A Cycling/Pivot / +2:01:21
Overall race lead Women:
1. Liesbeth Hessens (BEL) / #93 / 29:13:17
2. Maria Cristina Prati (ITA) / #95 / GS Cicli Matteoni FRW / 36:38:01 / + 7:24:44
3. Giordana Sordi (ITA) / #91 / SKYsport-Italy / 36:49:44/ + 7:36:27
4. Anne-Mette Mortensen / #92 / Team Fit 4 Run / 40:46:14 / + 11:32:57
Full Results: http://crocodile-trophy.com/index.php?id=97
Stage Plan 2013:
stage 1 Smithfield (5 laps) / 35 km/900 m
stage 2 Cairns – Lake Tinaroo / 89 km/2500 m
stage 3 Atherton – Irvinebank / 80 km/2500 m
stage 4 Irvinebank – Mt. Mulligan / 118 km/1600 m
stage 5 Mt. Mulligan – Granite Creek Dam / 163 km/3000 m
stage 6 Granite Creek Dam – Laura / 116 km/1800 m
stage 7 Laura – Laura / 50 km/150 m – Time Trial
stage 8 Laura – Hope Vale / 113 km/1100 m
stage 9 Hope Vale – Cooktown / 50 km/500 m