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Crocodile Trophy - NE

Australia, October 21-November 2, 2003

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Stage 1 - October 21: Mareeba - Mt. Mulligan 95 km

By Christi Anderson

The first stage of this extreme competition began with 19 km of bitumen, and that was the last anyone saw of the Italians, Bettin and Stauder. At 25 km, as soon as the race went to dirt, Mauro Bettin and Roland Stauder accelerated away from the front group of riders containing last four years winner Jaap Viergever, the Dream Team's Phil Anderson and his team mate, Alberto Elli to name a few.

Elli responded immediately and went up the road with his countrymen. Viergever also realised that that was the winning move and jumped across after a few kilometres. It wasn't until the first feed zone (a table in the middle of a paddock full of curious Brahman bulls with three Austrians and several drink coolers) at 40 km that Viergever caught Elli.

Between the first feed at 40 km and the second feed at 78 km, the two up group of Bettin and Stauder put 15 minutes into the perusing Elli, Viergever and host of other seasoned hard men. The two front-runners were clocked at 40 km/h on the technical sandy, rocky dessert terrain. They moved with supple precision that could be likened to synchronized swimmers. It was actually quite beautiful and appeared effortless. Truly impressive!

When Bettin and Stuader came to the line alone with 23 minutes on Anderson, 26 mins on Elli and 21 mins on Viergever it wasn't much of a surprise. What was extraordinary was the result of New Zealander Tim Vincent who finished third at nine minutes. Tim said, " I just hope I can keep it up and stay in the top five. It's so hot I am melting."

Bettin said, " It's really really hot! I did not expect that."

Bettin looked relaxed and confident. He is no stranger to a stage race as he competed in the Transalpe. The Crocodile Trophy is five stages longer than the Transaple and surely hotter, but there is no telling at this point who will be the victor.


1 Mauro Bettin (Ita) Red Bull                           3.31.23 (26,97 km/h)
2 Roland Stauder (Ita) Red Bull
3 Tim Vincent (NZl)                                        9.25
4 Robert Hotter (Aut) Team Sport Nora                     12.17
5 Adam Hansen (Aus)                                       13.20
6 Bart Bosmans (Bel) Tom Taylor Team                      18.45
7 Adrian Laing (Aus) TTTSW                                18.46
8 Jaap Viergever (Ned) TTTSW                              21.03
9 Kris Lapere (Bel) Tom Taylor Team                       23.38
10 Phil Anderson (Aus) Dream Team                         23.58
11 Alberto Elli (Ita) Dream Team                          26.09
12 Karl Arnold (Swi) Arnold                               32.17
13 Frans Verbeeck (Bel)                                   33.20
14 Oyvind Aas (Nor) Dream Team                            34.22
15 Michael Bösiger (Swi)                                  35.28
16 Dennis Teeuwen (Ned) TTTSW                             37.11
17 Rainer Rosenberger (Aut)                               39.27
18 Peter Paelinck (Bel) www.reevax.be                     40.01
19 Dominiek Sacre (Bel) www.reevax.be                     40.01
20 Mark Fraeyman (Aut)                                    41.29
21 Reinhard Desmedt (Bel)                                 47.47
22 Rosi King (Aus)                                        59.34
23 David Olle (Aus) Dream Team                          1.02.44
24 Perry Moermann (Bez) Dream Team                      1.04.43
25 Daniele Modolo/Attillio Santi (Ita) TANDEM           1.09.32
26 Paul West (GBr)                                      1.10.21
27 Charles Blanc (Fra)                                  1.21.25
28 M. Apperman/R. Donckers (Bel) TANDEM                 1.27.40
29 André Vögele (Aus)                                   1.29.52
30 Lisi Hager (Aut) MBR 2radChaoten SWAT                1.39.19
31 Gerard Looijstyn (Ned) TTTSW                         1.46.47
32 Miguel Blanco (Spa) Blanco                           1.50.45
33 Thomas Lenzenhofer (Aus)                             1.51.12
34 Martin Meier (Aut) Team Sport Nora                   1.51.57
35 Ulrich Strasser (Aut)                                1.52.06
36 Debra Eason (Aus) Eason                              2.30.09
37 Toru Watanabe (Jpn)                                  2.45.52
38 Manfred Liszt (Aut)                                  3.15.52
39 Bernd Lautner (Aut)                                  3.15.52
   Mario Appermans (Bel) Tom Taylor Tandem
   Jan Jelinek (Cze) Jelinek
   Manuel Pino (Spa) Blanco
   Daniele Modolo (Ita) Bike & More
   Steven Pauwels (Bel) www.reevax.be
   Karsten Kaas (Den)


1 Mauro Bettin (Ita) Red Bull                             20 pts
2 Roland Stauder (Ita) Red Bull                           15
3 Tim Vincent (NZl)                                       10
4 Robert Hotter (Aut) Team Sport Nora                      5
5 Adam Hansen (Aus)                                        2

1 Rosi King (Aus)                                       4.30.57 (21,04 km/h)
2 Lisi Hager (Aut) MBR 2radChaoten SWAT                   39.45
3 Debra Eason (Aus) Eason                               1.30.35


1 Kel Boers (Aus)
2 Peter Johnson (Aus)
3 Jon Johnson (Aus)