Canadian Cyclist


September 16/17 10:04 am - Smith and Bouchard Lead Crocodile Trophy after Stage 1

Posted by Editoress on 09/16/17

Crocodile Trophy started with a lap race at Smithfield MTB Park in Cairns today with Haley Smith and Leandre Bouchard claiming a double victory for Canada. Fellow Canadian Andrew L'Esperance was the runner-up in the men's with the Russian Anton Sintsov coming in third. Tomorrow the riders from 17 countries will race a marathon from Cairns to Lake Tinaroo.

Australia's and the World's oldest and most iconic mountain bike stage race will travel through Tropical North Queensland for eight stages via the Atherton Tablelands to Herberton and Skybury Coffee and via Wetherby Station finish in Port Douglas next Saturday. In total they will cover almost 700km and more than 10,000vm of elevation racing from the tropical rainforests and bushlands in and around Cairns into the Outback and back to the magnificent coast with the finish on Four Mile Beach.

Calling Tropical North Queensland home
For more than a decade the MEPT – Crocodile Trophy has called Tropical North Queensland home. The event has retained its legendary status from back in 1994 when it started with a brutal 2670 km race in 18 stages across the Outback Highways from Darwin to Cairns. In recent years the race has included a lot more mountain bike terrain into its stage plan, using the excellent facilities of the Smithfield MTB Park in Cairns and the vast network of firetrails in the region that lead to Port Douglas – via the Outback.

In 2017 the stage plan has changed slightly to include a new venue with the Tepon Equestrian Park in Herberton as the destination for stage three. The event will stop over at the Skybury Coffee Planatation near Mareeba for two nights as well as at the Wetherby Cattle Station high up on the escarpment from Port Douglas. New also this year is The Middle East Peace Tour (MEPT) who came on board as the principal sponsor and events partner. The MEPT is the first cross-border sporting event for peace in the world. Cyclists from all around the world will be permitted to participate in its inaugural race in March 2018.






Bouchard and Smith take the lead
On today's lap race it was the cross-country experts of Leandre Bouchard and Haley Smith from Canada who took the lead in the elite categories. Both will be at the start of tomorrow's marathon onto the Atherton Tablelands in the elite leader jerseys. Andrew L'Esperance (Can) and Anton Sintsov (RUS) came in second and third in the elite men's.



Leader jerseys (l-r): Martin Wisata (AUT, Austria), Alex Malone (AUS, Amateur), Ondrej Slezak (AUS, Australia), Haley Smith (CAN, Elite Women), Leandre Bouchard (CAN, Elite Men), Daniela Erni Ruoss (SUI, Amateur Women), Bart Duraj and Brendon Skerke (AUS, Teams)


Today's top three placed finishers had raced together for the first half of the race until Anton Sintsov, Russian National Cross-country Champion lost valuable time due to a mechanical issue. He was able to fix it at the technical feed zone but couldn't catch up to Leandre Bouchard who put in an attack on fellow Canadian Andrew L'Esperance on the last lap increasing his 10 second lead to a finishing gap of 1:30min. Bouchard secured the elite men's leader jersey in a race time of 1:38:08.

Haley Smith, ranked in 16th internationally by the UCI (International Cycling Federation), finished as the first Elite Woman in 1:54:39 ahead of Yana Belamoyna by 1s.

Overall after Stage 1
1 Leandre Bouchard (BH SR Suntour KMC) 1:38:08
2 Andrew L'Esperance (Forward Racing-Norco) at 1:29
3 Ondrej Slezak (Quantum Racing Team) 4:07
4 Anton Sintsov (JBG-2 Team) 4:38
5 Alex Malone (Cyclist Magazine) 4:50
6 Erik Dekker 6:30
7 Michal Kafka (Quantum Racing Team) 6:41
8 Daniel Beresford (Team Cycle Station/Hammer Nutrition/Norco) 9:15
9 Hiroyuki Okamoto (INPULSE) 11:10
10 Peter Lister (Corry Cycles ACE Racing) 13:14
11 Ben May (Bicycle Riders/Specialized/Infinit Nutrition) 13:46
12 Haley Smith (Norco Factory Team) EW 15:55
13 Yana Belamoyna EW 15:56
14 Mike Blewitt ( 15:58
15 Martin Wisata (Il Pastaio / Rocky Trail Racing) 16:22
16 Tom Van Brempt (Ferme de la H) 16:56
17 James Garry (Ashfield Specialized Racing) 17:38
18 Grant Webster (Apollo Bicycles - nitelights - BBD - dust monkies) 19:03
19 Cees De Ridder 20:31
20 Bart Duraj (Astute Financial Racing Team) 20:33
21 Brendon Skerke (Astute Financial Racing Team) 20:33
22 Richard Read (Cops at the Croc - Enduro Magazine) 20:45
23 Peter Urdl 22:14
24 Jaroslav Slezak (Quantum Racing Team) 22:47
25 Brian Tracey (ECS) 22:52
26 Micheal Wilson 23:24
27 Jean-Luc De Bruyckere (Bezmbikers) 23:50
28 Jürgen Krieber (MTB-Intersport Montafon/Fahrschule Mallin) 24:33
29 Johnathan Todd 25:05
30 Peter Winfield 25:06
31 John Harris (JH) 26:15
32 Pieter Van Der Eijk (MTB Team FATlab NL) 26:23
33 Rod Stormonth (Cops at the Croc - Enduro Magazine) 26:38
34 Graeme Young 26:53
35 Nick Hutton 27:00
36 Radek Jaros (Quantum Racing Team) 29:44
37 Mick Ritchie (Cops at the Croc - Enduro Magazine) 31:44
38 Olaf Trenner (Trenner der Renner) 32:08
39 Blake Coppo (Corry Cycles Ace Racing) 32:10
40 Pieter Lanssens 33:29
41 Balboni Vanni (BICISCOUT.IT) 33:30
42 Daniela Erni Ruoss (2XU) W 33:38
43 Sebastian Arnstedt 33:54
44 Nick Gatland (Nick & Nick) 34:10
45 Nick Smith (Nick & Nick) 34:10
46 Marc Russenberger (2XU) 34:48
47 Paul Brown (Inparadise) 36:17
48 Jodi Brown (Inparadise) WM 36:17
49 Serge Muylle (Serge Muylle) 38:32
50 Luc Van Aelbroeck 40:05
51 Michael Peters (Zelzer Racing Team) 41:04
52 Roman Pfister (ROMO Cycling Team) 41:34
53 Stefan Zorniger (Team Strassacker) 43:38
54 Alexander Onofre Brempel Ballester (Bikepoint Mallorca Racing Team) 44:58
55 Romana Fritz-Winter (Team Sportordination) WM 45:22
56 Robert Fritz (Team Sportordination) 45:22
57 Daniela Rebhan (Steil is geil) WM 45:22
58 Carsten Selbach (Steil is geil) 49:02
59 Willem Dijk 49:02
60 Kylie Lindsay W 55:57


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