Posted by Editoress on 10/26/10
Stage 8: Laura to Cooktown, 141km
Second stage win for Estonia
Allan Oras is the happy winner who claimed today's prestigious stage with its arrival at Cooktown. The Canadian Cory Wallace and the overall leader Urs Huber (SUI) completed the podium high above the coastal town.
“This is the most beautiful view I have ever seen in my life”, said an astonished Allan Oras after just having arrived at the Grassy Hill high above Cooktown after 4:41.24 hours of riding. With this stage win at the Crocodile Trophy a long desired dream had come true for the 34-year old Estonian. Nevertheless immediately afterwards he had eyes only for the panoramic view, which Captain Cook himself must have marvelled at in 1777 upon his arrival: green rain forest, white beaches and the azure ocean.
Already in the leading bunch with Rene Haselbach (AUT) an the two Belgian riders Mike Mulkens and Cristof Mariën from kilometre 15, the 2009 European marathon champion was the only one who was able to fend off the approaching chase group – and to increase his slimming lead of 30 seconds again to five minutes towards the finish line. “My friend Jaan Kirsipuu helped me and carried a lot of the work load”, said the first-time traveller to the Southern hemisphere and surprise stage winner, who hadn't believed in the success of his attack until the last metres. The five minutes lead, however, emphasised the Rietumu-Delfin team rider's perfect form of the day quite clearly.
Astonishingly also, Cory Wallace was able to break away from the seven-rider strong chaser group. The Canadian rider gained a lead of 23 seconds on the overall leader Urs Huber on the brutal final 30% inclining ascent and now hopes for more climbing challenges like it over the last two days to possibly still travel home with a Boomerang.
In fact, Urs Huber had trusted in his climbing abilities and hoped for another stage win, however, in the end was happy about the bronze position. “Allan somehow got away from us. There wasn't much harmony among our racing field today, so we didn't continue trying to chase him”, the Swiss rider recounted. The 25-year old was still able to expand his buffer in the overall rankings to about 5 minutes, despite a moment of shock at a river crossing where he almost crashed.
No need to worry
In all other categories the respective overall leaders arrived at Cooktown as stage winners. With that, the two Australians Abby McLennan and Hans Dielacher (M3) have maximised their efforts at the Crocodile Trophy so far: seven days, seven victories. What the two – and the remaining 66 participants – benefited from: the 142km long road from Laura to Cooktown, which has been counted as the “stage from hell” until now, lost a bit of its scare due to comprehensive road works over the past year. Nonetheless the one or the other kilometre of the dreaded corrugated awaited the riders, however, in between packed dirt and fixed roads delivered a bit of relief from the relentless off-road tracks. The headwind that had dominated yesterday's stage, devotedly accompanied the riders also today.
Even more rewarding was the jump into the pool for the racers, supporters and staff of the Crocodile Trophy at the luxurious camp ground in the heart of Cooktown. Not to mention the panoramic views at the finish line referred to earlier...
|1 Allan Oras (Est) Rietumu-Delfin Team 9||4:41:24|
|2 Cory Wallace (Can) Kona||4:46:17|
|3 Urs Huber (Sui)||4:46:40|
|4 Bart Brentjens (Ned) Brentjens/Trek||4:47:04|
|5 Philipp Ludescher (Aut)||4:47:13|
|6 Mike Mulkens (Bel) GAWW||4:47:17|
|7 Christoph Tschellnig (Aut) morethanbike||4:48:04|
|8 Taigh Banson (Aus) Fraser and Mountain Team 6||5:02:46|
|9 Matthijs Pot (Ned) BIKE ONE TEAM LAPIERRE Team 1||5:03:02|
|10 Réne Haselbacher (Aut)||5:04:28|
|11 Peter Van Mill (Ned) Jef Abels Bikes Gulpen||5:30:15|
|12 Marc Locherer (Aus) Fraser and Mountain Team 6||5:30:29|
|13 James Lamb (Aus) SVC Imports / Rocky Trail||5:30:53|
|14 Paul Ensink (Ned) BIKE ONE TEAM LAPIERRE Team 1||5:32:10|
|15 Vinne Los (Ned) BIKE ONE TEAM LAPIERRE Team 1||5:57:41|
|16 Bart Verberckmoes (Bel) RESIBIKE Cycling Team||6:00:18|
|1 Abby McLennan (Aus) Rattle N Hum Team 10||5:58:45|
|2 Lauretta Howarth (Aus) SheSpoke Cycle Wear Team 2||6:49:24|
|3 Lesley Sutton (Aus)||6:49:30|
|4 Nancy Caceres (Aus)||7:10:20|
|5 Sharman Parr (NZl) SheSpoke Cycle Wear Team 2||7:55:55|
|6 Maree Roberts (Aus) SheSpoke Cycle Wear Team 2||8:04:19|
|1 Urs Huber (Sui)||28:11:45|
|2 Bart Brentjens (Ned) Brentjens/Trek||28:16:36|
|3 Mike Mulkens (Bel) GAWW||28:46:32|
|4 Allan Oras (Est) Rietumu-Delfin Team 9||29:05:23|
|5 Cory Wallace (Can) Kona||29:36:55|
|6 Christoph Tschellnig (Aut) morethanbike||30:10:10|
|7 Taigh Banson (Aus) Fraser and Mountain Team 6||30:47:18|
|8 Philipp Ludescher (Aut)||30:53:39|
|9 Matthijs Pot (Ned) BIKE ONE TEAM LAPIERRE Team 1||31:17:26|
|10 Réne Haselbacher (Aut)||31:19:00|
|11 Peter Van Mill (Ned) Jef Abels Bikes Gulpen||31:28:09|
|12 Paul Ensink (Ned) BIKE ONE TEAM LAPIERRE Team 1||33:26:41|
|13 Marc Locherer (Aus) Fraser and Mountain Team 6||34:16:55|
|14 James Lamb (Aus) SVC Imports / Rocky Trail||34:18:45|
|15 Vinne Los (Ned) BIKE ONE TEAM LAPIERRE Team 1||36:47:34|
|16 Bart Verberckmoes (Bel) RESIBIKE Cycling Team||37:16:00|
|1 Abby McLennan (Aus) Rattle N Hum Team 10||36:35:17|
|2 Lauretta Howarth (Aus) SheSpoke Cycle Wear Team 2||43:36:49|
|3 Nancy Caceres (Aus)||44:41:16|
|4 Lesley Sutton (Aus)||45:41:54|
|5 Sharman Parr (NZl) SheSpoke Cycle Wear Team 2||48:03:55|
|6 Maree Roberts (Aus) SheSpoke Cycle Wear Team 2||48:43:15|
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