I am back again in Luxembourg after my last mountain bike race in this year`s season. Like you know I participated from the 13th – 20th of October in the biggest mountain bike stage race in Australia, the „Crocodile Trophy“.
700km and more than 15.000 meters of elevation. I can only say it has been eight wonderful days of racing through Tropical North Queensland!!
My goal for this race was pretty clear: Do better than I did in my first participation back in 2015, where I finished on 2nd position. By aiming for the overall victory everything was set for 8 hard stages battling some of the strongest riders in the world. The Swiss riders Urs Huber (Team Bulls) and Konny Looser (BIXS) were the guys that I had to beat if I wanted to win the race.
We raced against each other like crazy all week. I was maybe lacking a bit of speed after a long season. I tried to follow the two guys and planning to make my move as soon as they would show any weakness in strength. But Huber and Looser never really had any big problems all week long, which made it difficult for me to try my luck. I finished in top 3 on almost every stage. During stage 4 I took a wrong turn on the track caused by sabotage of the marking of the route. After a lot of discussion with the UCI Commissaries I was “punished” with 30. My chance to win the overall was fading due to this decision. I decided to focus on day results instead. Finally I could raise my hands when winning the 130km long stage 6. Wonderful to take my first victory ever in Australia.
Crocodile Trophy has been a really great season ending with a strong 3rd place overall. I really gave it all but in the end I had to be satisfied with my result.
I will now enjoy some time off the bike. My plan is to be back on the cross bike for the 11th of November. I will do like the other years and slowly build up my shape for new MTB season. Normally that means that I will be in good shape by the end of the year, and hopefully I can once again go for the win at the Luxembourgish championships in cyclo-cross.
Here some links to news and articles from the “Crocodile Trophy”:
Here a video from the Croc race: