Urs Huber won his fifth Crocodile Trophy Champion title today in Port Douglas after eight days and 27:38:30,7 of racing and set a new record in the 24-year history of the event. Fellow Swiss racer Konny Looser won the finale stage 8 and finished second overall, however, he claimed the points classification.
In third, was the Luxemburg National Champion Soren Nissen ahead of the Austrian Matthias Grick and the Czech rider Milan Damek.
"I'm extremely happy about this victory and that I achieved what I set out to at the start of this race," said Urs Huber of his record-breaking fifth victory today.
He explained that this was his sixth participation in 10 years and that a lot had changed in the event. "It used to be a road racers competition with long Outback highways and is now an event where you need to be an all-rounder, however, what is still the same is the fierce competition at the front end. You need to be a good technical rider, but know how to ride a tactical race too." he said and that he had gone up and succeeded against the likes of Olympic Champion Bart Brentjens from the Netherlands.
This year had been tough as well with fellow Swiss racer Konny Looser a strong contender. "I went into this race fully focused, all that counted was the overall win," he explained his strategy, which got him the win by one minute overall.
White wins women's title
Cairns racer Sarah White claimed her second Crocodile Trophy victory in the women’s classification with 36:10:25,6 ahead of Lucy Coldwell (AUS) and Sjoukje Dufoer (BEL).
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Mathieu van der Poel opened his 2018-2019 Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup account on Sunday afternoon with a solo victory on a fast course in Bern, Switzerland. The European champion distanced his rivals during the third of 11 laps, held off a comeback from world champion Wout van Aert and completed his long solo effort to capture the win at the Weyermannshaus open-air pool in Bern.
Van Aert kept the pressure high and finished as runner-up at eight seconds from Van der Poel. World Cup leader Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea Lions) won the battle for third place at a minute from the winner and holds on to the leader’s jersey after his back-to-back wins in the USA.
On the fast course in sunny Bern, it was hard to make the difference for the top riders. Van Aert had a great start and was joined up front by Daan Soete (Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice) and Van der Poel. The rest of the field lost ground as riders struggled on the few technical obstacles and held up the rest of the pack.
During the third lap of the race, Van der Poel took command with an acceleration along the barriers. Moments later, Van Aert dropped his chain after coming through a 180-degree corner. Van der Poel never allowed the Belgian rider to close the small gap back down.
“Wout started explosively and I was suffering. I knew Daan was in second place. At the barriers I knew Daan wasn’t jumping, so I planned to accelerate there. It’s hard to create a gap on this course. There are only two or three sections where you can go flat out so that’s what I did, but Wout does that too,” Van der Poel said.
For eight laps, the cyclo-cross giants rode what seemed like a time trial. Van der Poel rode flawlessly and never seemed to let the race slip out of his control. Shortly after Van Aert’s mechanical problem, he rode the fastest lap of the race in five minutes 45. Van Aert was good during that fourth lap, but just not good enough to come much closer than the six seconds he lost when he dropped his chain. Halfway through the race, the gap suddenly increased to 11 seconds.
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