Monday, October 26, 2015

2015 Crocodile Trophy Stage 9 - ITT

I’m sitting in Cairns airport the day after the final stage of the Crocodile Trophy - I leave with bags of coffee from Skybury (yum - Mel will be so happy to see it when I arrive out to her with it), a few bits and bobs from the race, a minor cut below my left knee (why oh why, always the left knee) but more importantly a bunch of great memories from my two and a half weeks racing, riding and enjoying North Queensland.

The final stage of the race will surely become an iconic one in years to come. Basically we have an individual time trial (I don’t think some folks knew that this means no drafting) of 15km rolling dirt roads followed by a 4km rollercaster descent aptly named the Bump Track, a little flat around the suburbs of Port Douglas followed by a 4km sprint across the beach. Have a look at the strava file - it looks cool.

Like every night here I slept like a baby (one of the good ones, not the ones that wakes up every 2 hours) and woke at the usual 5:50am (it isn’t as bad as it sounds - you go to be at 8!). Due to tides, our start times were much later than the usual 8am and we had plenty of time to chat, relax and do this unknown curiosity called a warmup.

Finished with no new scrapes Mel will be happy to know - Photo Stewart Carr
As my race started I got into it pretty much perfectly from the start - one last effort to end the season was the motivation but I still wasn’t going to go nuts on the Bump Track (I like my mostly healed skin on my left knee) - easy to land in the bushes on that one as many riders found out. The race through the suburbs of Port Douglas was a little crazy but that was all forgotten when I hit the beach. Man, that beach is long I thought as I could barely see (a mixture of sunscreen, sweat and salt water leaving me half blind) - I rode as steady/hard as I could to the finish eventually seeing the large red finish banner. I finished empty to be greeted by Stewart and his family at the line. My time was the fastest at that point but showing the quality if the field Urs who won the stage went over four minutes faster breaking the course record by four minutes… And we didn’t even have the usual strong tailwind! Crazy crazy strong.




As I mentioned at the start, from the time I picked up mountain biking I always wanted to race this race - it has changed a lot since then (Mongolian Challenge is probably more similar to the old Croc) but remains a fantastic race with a mix of all types of riding.

My eyes, oh my eyes - Photo Stewart Carr

6 comments:

Conor McGrane said...

Seriously well done over the 9 stages and loved the blog. Some super results and some great writing too. In awe ...

djconnel said...

That's amazing -- nice job! Yeah -- I'd remembered reading about this race back when it was two weeks. Still, 9 days is super-impressive -- very nice job!

Tyreplusnewmarket said...

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Jenny Hayes said...

Hmmm, Your writing and entertaining style is so awesome, keep it up buddies! Jimmy

Cosplasyky UK said...
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Daccordi said...

Crodile has been always my dream! Maybe one day...