Excitement was in the air as the field of riders gathered this morning at 9am for the final showdown.
For the first time the 38km long stage from Ayton to Cape Tribulation was raced as a time trial,
whereby the athletes started in reverse order of the overall classification. Would Sir Bart with his
mighty pedal strokes on the straights be able to challenge his Swiss opponent’s place in the sun?
Would Urs Huber be able to counter the attacks on the steep ascents? Would Mike Mulkens after two
years and 19 stages, respectively, finally be able to claim a Boomerang? Or would the pro on the
climbs, Cory Wallace, once more reach for the stars?
But at first those riders, for whom this event had been more fun and adventure than competition,
kicked off the time trial, whilst being cheered on by the pros and race leaders. So the first ever female
racing team at the Croc, including the experienced adventure racer Sharman Parr (NZL), the triathlete
Lauretta Howarth (AUS) and the road racer Maree Robers (AUS); the Belgian rider Kurt Alderweireldt,
who had been raising funds for each and every kilometre ridden at the Croc for the Marc Herremans-
Foundation; the E-Biker Udo Huber and Klaus Sever from Austria; the previous XC racer from Belgium,
Bart Verberckmoes, who has been living with a inserted nuts in his spine since a severe accident; all
in all 66 participants from all over the world, between 23 and 60 years old.
Even though Bart Brentjens achieved a lead of 40 seconds over Urs Huber on the first flat kilometres,
the Swiss rider seized one second after the other on the nasty uphills in the tropical rainforest of
North Queensland. After a time of 1:15.01 the 25-year old titleholder the finish line at Cape
Tribulation with 23 seconds lead over “Sir Bart” – and promised right there and then to return to the
Croc next year. Third was, as in 2009, the Belgian rider Mike Mulkens, Canadian phenom Cory Wallace for fourth and Christoph Tschellnig in 5th.