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Crocodile Trophy

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Event type:
MTB Stage
Event dates:
15 Oct 2021 - 8 day event
± 3 weeks until event
Race Organiser:
Race Director:
Gerhard Schönbacher

Crocodile Trophy

The Crocodile Trophy

The Crocodile Trophy is Australia‘s and the World‘s oldest and most iconic mountain bike stage race. It calls the holiday paradise that is tropical North Queensland home and its stage plan from Cairns to Port Douglas is unique – every day is different!
The nine days include lush rainforest trails, awesome single tracks in the so typical bushland surrounds; you‘llride through river crossings and the iconic Australian Outback and you‘ll finish on the breath-takingly beautiful Four Mile Beach. You can rely on a support crew that has decades of stage race experience, including mechanics, a chef, doctors and physio therapists, photographers and local experts setting up the daily feed zones out on track. Ride with over 100 cyclists from all over the world and Australia and for many this race is the challenge of a lifetime and for everyone it is an experience that they will never forget.

History of the Crocodile Trophy:

I first had the idea of organising a Tour de France type of cycle race for mountain bikes in 1993. Originally, the longest and most difficult mountain bike race was not supposed to take place in Australia but in Vietnam. It was to be a race starting in Saigon and ending in Hanoi 18 days and 2500 km later. After spending two weeks in Saigon, I realized it would not be possible to organise such an event in the way I visualised it there.
Australia, where I had been active as a professional cyclist from 1982-1985, and where I was a house owner at that time was the perfect alternative. We flew to Darwin in the Northern Territory, studied the most accurate maps, and finally decided on the route between Darwin and Cairns. In Darwin we collected as much information as we could on the route from the Tourist Board, the Police and the Ranger Station. After a few days we thought we knew all that had to be known, even though the information was quite scanty. We were also advised to obtain further tips from the farms on the way.
We left Darwin in an all-terrain vehicle packed with food and water, and headed towards the Kakadu National Park, a world heritage site and one of the most beautiful nature parks in the world. The most difficult part was to find routes and tracks which were difficult to master but still could be ridden on a mountain bike. The individual stages had to be less than 180 km, which was not always possible as we soon found. Sometimes there was no farm, water station or even a river at the end of such a distance.
Searching for a name for our event, we went through all the Australian animals, from Koala GP to Kangaroo Challenge, but nothing felt right till the third or fourth evening. Where we camped on the river bank having a few glasses of wine and tossing around ideas for a name, when the warning sign board “Don’t Swim – Crocodiles” struck us. We finally had the name for our event. The “Crocodile Trophy” was born.


The Crocodile Trophy

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Race reviews
On Sunday, 27th October 2013, the 19th Crocodile Trophy finished on Cooktown’s Grassy Hill and for the first time in eight years an Australian claimed the win. Mark Frendo from Brisbane conquered the oldest and hardest mountain bike stage race in the world and after nine days, 900km and more than 15,000m of elevation he finished in 30:40:17, ahead of the Canadian Cory Wallace and Jiri Krivanek from the Czech Republic.
Today the first stage of the Crocodile Trophy UCI S1 stage race was held in Cairns’ Smithfield MTB Park. In one of the strongest fields of the event’s history, the 2012 Crocodile Trophy Champion Ivan Rybarik from the Czech Republic won the Elite Men’s category ahead of Spain’s Milton Ramos and Greg Saw from Norway. Sydney’s Imogen Smith was the fastest woman of the day and Ondrej Slezak took out the Australian leader’s jersey.

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