Club member Brad Davies has recently taken out the masters 2 category by over and hour at the Crocodile Trophy in far north Queensland. The race is a 10 stage mountain bike race of over 1200km through the remote rainforest and outback scrub from Cairns to Cooktown with stages as long as 190km.
The race is highly regarded in Europe and as such, numerous current and former road and mountain bike professionals made the long trip to Australia to ensure that a top class field would assemble on the start line in Cairns. Monsoon like downpours caused havoc in the early stages both on and off the bike, with tent accommodation adding further hardship and providing little change to escape the elements.
The rain and mud of the early stages would eventually give way to outback dust, corrugated tracks and almost unrideable sand. In the latter parts of the race participants were subjected to back to back days with the mercury in the 40s. A brief extract from Brad’s blog from stage 6 gives an insight into just how punishing the event was.
….All the chasing had sent me deep into the red zone and I had forgotten to keep drinking in between tyre changes. The temperature hit 42 degrees and I was out of water and completely cooked – but with 70kms still to ride across some incredible rough track and deep sand. I stayed with the group for 50kms but was getting dumped on all the hills and would bridge on as it flattened out. I then punctured again – and then once more for good measure – and waved the group goodbye with 20kms to ride. I was in full survival mode for the last hour and told myself not to do anything silly. I had vomited a few times and even though I had lots of water I was struggling to keep anything down. I rolled across the line in 7 hours 30 and a good hour behind where I expected to be.
As well as winning the masters 2 category, Brad finished 8th overall on GC and posted 6 top ten stage finishes outright, regularly riding wheel to wheel with the lead riders in the open category. A hugely impressive result when you consider most of the front runners were full time cyclists or former pros whilst Brad mixes cycling with a regular full time job.
Congratulations from all at SKCC. Respect is most definitely due.
Check out CyclingTipsBlog’s write up of the Crocodile Trophy here.