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Crocodile Trophy - NE

Australia, October 21-November 2, 2003

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Stage 11 - October 31: Laura - Cooktown 142 km

Bettin takes yet another

By Christi Anderson

It was heart breaking to see Italian Alberto Elli, riding for the Jacob's Creek - Shimano Dream team, captured in the final meters of today's stage but in the end it was once again Mauro Bettin of the Red Bull Team who won easily ahead of Jaap Viergever (Tom Taylor), race leader Roland Stauder (Red Bull) and the Dream Team's Phil Anderson in fourth.

The race exploded from the first kilometre in the dirt, which quickly separated the strong from the merely surviving. Adam Hansen opened the attack fest but was quickly reeled in and left behind. Hansen rode 130 kilometres alone between the front group of Elli, Viergever, Anderson, Bettin and Stauder. In the end Hansen finished 13 minutes down on Anderson, who only needs 7 more minutes to be the highest placed Australian.

Today's stage was the first to see Bettin complain. At the end of the race Bettin was describing his impressions of the corrugations like this, "You have three choices, you can ride over the bone rattling corrugations , or ride in the silty bull dust, or you can ride in the sand... your choice." After he finished he was remarking about the corrugations as though it was something he had not seen before. He was clearly not enjoying the stage and nursing a sore wrist and aching feet.

The corrugations are roughly 80 cm apart and 6 cm high, separated by small dry piles of bull dust. It is physically impossible to float over the corrugations so the cyclists must climb each and everyone. If you add all of the 6 cm climbs together, with approximately 100 km of solid corrugations...the riders would have climbed the equivalent of 7200 meters, 6 cm at a time! That little statistic combined with the oppressive heat and leg snapping race pace made this a stage for the really hard men.

Elli attacked at the highest point in the race approximately 80 km into the stage, as a reaction to Viergever's attempt to lift the tempo. Elli rode up to Anderson who had been feeling good earlier in the stage and asked if Phil wanted to go. Anderson replied, "Ah, no mate, you can go."

Elli quickly put five minutes into the group but the gap never grew any larger. Tim Vincent, the Kiwi and Jaap Viergever had to make the chase pretty much on their own. The two Italians Stauder and Bettin just rolled through on the wheel with Elli's teammate Anderson following. The chasing duo really let fly with 10 kms to the finish on a paved road into a head wind. And although they made up 5 mins over 9.9 km on Elli, they could not shake Bettin, Stauder & Anderson. Tim Vincent did 75% of the chasing on the front, but when Jaap Viergever joined him they flew along the sealed roads, foiling Elli's huge solo effort.

The final kick in the head for the cyclists today was the last kilometre climb to the highest lookout in Cooktown. This little gem has an average gradient of 15% and at the summit of The Grassy Hill the cyclists must climb 30 cement steps to the finish line. Øyvind Aas actually rode the stairs in a spectacular show of strength and skill.


1 Mauro Bettin (Ita) Red Bull                5.31.16
2 Jaap Viergever (Ned) TTTSW                    0.07
3 Roland Stauder (Ita) Red Bull                 0.24
4 Phil Anderson (Aus) Dream Team                    
5 Tim Vincent (NZl)                             1.36
6 Alberto Elli (Ita) Dream Team                 1.49
7 Adam Hansen (Aus)                            13.12
8 Bart Bosmans (Bel) Tom Taylor Team           36.55
9 Michael Bösiger (Chi)                        38.41
10 Oyvind Aas (Nor) Dream Team                 44.31
11 Peter Paelinck (Bel) www.reevax.be          45.19
12 Reinhard Desmedt (Bel)                      51.09
13 Robert Hotter (Aut) Team Sport Nora         54.16
14 Adrian Laing (Aus) TTTSW                    55.47
15 Dennis Teeuwen (Ned) TTTSW                  58.41
16 Frans Verbeeck (Bel)                      1.06.26
17 Dominiek Sacre (Bel) www.reevax.be        1.19.40
18 André Vögele (Aus)                        1.49.38
19 Perry Moermann (Blz) Dream Team           1.59.52
20 Manfred Liszt (Aut)                       2.00.21
21 Rosi King (Aus)                           2.07.48
22 Rainer Rosenberger (Aut)                  2.17.20
23 Mark Fraeyman (Aut)                       2.28.02
24 Charles Blanc (Fra)                       2.38.00
25 Lisi Hager (Aut) MBR 2radChaoten SWAT     3.13.02
26 Toru Watanabe (Jpn)                       4.13.02

1 Rosi King (Aus)                            7.39.04             
2 Lisi Hager (Aut) MBR 2radChaoten SWAT      1.05.14
1 Karl Arnold (Chi) Arnold                   6.11.41
2 Kel Boers (Aus)                            1.27.24
3 Gerard Looijstyn (Ned) TTTSW               1.57.35
General classification after stage 11
1 Roland Stauder (Ita) Red Bull             50.23.54
2 Mauro Bettin (Ita) Red Bull                   2.27
3 Jaap Viergever (Ned) TTTSW                   35.53
4 Tim Vincent (NZl)                            55.10
5 Alberto Elli (Ita) Dream Team              1.18.46
6 Adam Hansen (Aus)                          2.18.50
7 Phil Anderson (Aus) Dream Team             2.34.00
8 Robert Hotter (Aut) Team Sport Nora        2.38.53
9 Bart Bosmans (Bel) Tom Taylor Team         2.40.00
10 Oyvind Aas (Nor) Dream Team               4.22.19
11 Adrian Laing (Aus) TTTSW                  5.18.35
12 Peter Paelinck (Bel) www.reevax.be        6.30.13
13 Reinhard Desmedt (Bel)                    7.27.00
14 Dennis Teeuwen (Ned) TTTSW                7.52.31
15 Michael Bösiger (Chi)                     7.57.53
16 Dominiek Sacre (Bel) www.reevax.be        8.21.25
17 Frans Verbeeck (Bel)                     10.10.16
18 Rainer Rosenberger (Aut)                 13.52.12
19 Perry Moermann (Blz) Dream Team          14.14.43
20 Rosi King (Aus)                          16.20.17
21 Manfred Liszt (Aut)                      16.56.53
22 Mark Fraeyman (Aut)                      18.31.25
23 André Vögele (Aus)                       19.09.59
24 Charles Blanc (Fra)                      21.48.18
25 Lisi Hager (Aut) MBR 2radChaoten SWAT    22.38.53
26 Toru Watanabe (Jpn)                      31.25.10
27 Gerard Looijstyn (Ned) TTTSW                     
28 David Olle (Aus) Dream Team                      
29 Kris Lapere (Bel) Tom Taylor Team                
30 M. Apperman/R. Donckers (Bel) Tandem             
31 Martin Meier (Aut) Team Sport Nora               
32 Jan Jelinek CZR Jelinek                          
33 Miguel Blanco (Spa) Blanco                       
34 Manuel Pino (Spa) Blanco                         
35 Daniele Modolo/Attillio Santi (Ita) Tandem       
36 Daniele Modolo (Ita) Bike & More                 
37 Steven Pauwels (Bel) www.reevax.be               
39 Karl Arnold (Chi) Arnold                         
40 Paul West (GBr)                                  
41 Karsten Kaas (Den)                               
42 Thomas Lenzenhofer (Aus)                         
43 Ulrich Strasser (Aut)                            
44 Bernd Lautner (Aut)                              
45 Debra Eason (Aus) Eason                          
Women classification
1 Rosi King (Aus)                           66.44.11
2 Lisi Hager (Aut) MBR 2radChaoten SWAT      6.18.36
Light classification
1 Karl Arnold (Chi) Arnold                   5.46.49
2 Kel Boers (Aus)                              24.33
3 Gerard Looijstyn (Ned) TTTSW                 53.36
Points classification
1 Mauro Bettin (Ita) Red Bull                    136 pts
2 Roland Stauder (Ita) Red Bull                   95
3 Jaap Viergever (Ned) TTTSW                      90
4 Alberto Elli (Ita) Dream Team                   74
4 Adam Hansen (Aus)                               66
6 Tim Vincent (NZl)                               52
7 Robert Hotter (Aut) Team Sport Nora             30
8 Phil Anderson (Aus) Dream Team                  24
9 Bart Bosmans (Bel) Tom Taylor Team               5