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Crocodile Trophy - NE

Australia, October 21-November 2, 2003

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Stage 12 - November 1: Cooktown - Daintree 134 km

Elli Romps in the rain forest

By Christi Anderson

Jacob's Creek-Shimano Dream Team's Alberto Elli took his fourth stage along the spectacular CREB track into Daintree. Clearly considered the Queen stage of the Crocodile Trophy, the stage boasts not only a scenic route but it possessed every element that a mountain bike race can include. It began with corrugations, followed by the first of many wall like climbs lasting several kilometres each. Then once the cyclists begin to feel they can find a rhythm the terrain throws them a curve ball. Maybe a decreasing radius corner covered in gravel on a steep descent, or an off-camber rutted bend, but what ever it was there was no time to relax, no time to recover.

The first 26 km were paved, then the bone jarring corrugations began, lasting for the next 44 km. Dream Team's Phil Anderson and Queenslander Adam Hansen went away early with the Austrian Robert Hotter. The powerful 22 yr old Hansen kept the pressure on repeatedly attacking Anderson and Hotter to try and escape on his own early. Here is a man who likes the big solo efforts, unlike the 45 year old Anderson who chased everything down until 75 km when began the first nasty vertical climb. When Hansen attacked for the third time on that climb Anderson simply could not continue to chase. Hansen's style is not for everyone, as was evident two stages ago when he kept attacking and Tom Taylor's Bart Bosman caught up to him and said, "You can't keep attacking you'll die!" The young power rider replied," You'll die before I do." And he was right!

Once Alberto Elli knew his teammate Phil Anderson was not in contention, he attacked with Red Bull Team mates Bettin and Stauder. The three Italians made quick work of the pursuit and motored by Hotter, Anderson and Hansen at a fairly spectacular speed. Elli spoke about his ride with his countrymen today, "I was making time on them in the climbs. I would reach the top and begin the decent carefully, it was dangerous. And every time on the decent they would come screaming past me so fast. It was unbelievable how fast."

The two Italian's really are specialists, they move so seemingly painlessly over the really rough stuff. Both Bettin and Stauder are completely supple, as Mauro Bettin demonstrated this morning in Cooktown where he performed a feat that surely no other in the field could. Bettin did a Russian split on the start line - just a little demonstration of his abilities. There were some who grimaced just watching.

When Elli crossed the line victorious, he commented about his tyres. "I haven't had one puncture. Can you believe it?" The Dream Team's running Hutchinson tubeless Pythons. Last year Phil Anderson won this stage.

Jaap Viergever, former four-time winner of the Crocodile Trophy is having a shockingly bad tour. From equipment failure today causing him to have a big stack half way through the stage to general team issues. Still the talented Dutchman is coming third in the general classification.

Polar Heart Rate Monitor Jacob's Creek-Shimano Dream Team Stats

Alberto Elli: Max 175 Avg 140
Phil Anderson: Max 165 Avg 140
Øyvind Aas: Max 162 Avg 136
Perry Moerman: Max 170 Avg 132


1 Alberto Elli (Ita) Dream Team              5.48.58
2 Mauro Bettin (Ita) Red Bull                       
3 Roland Stauder (Ita) Red Bull                     
4 Adam Hansen (Aus)                             8.27
5 Phil Anderson (Aus) Dream Team               20.15
6 Jaap Viergever (Ned) TTTSW                   20.17
7 Tim Vincent (NZl)                            25.53
8 Oyvind Aas (Nor) Dream Team                  28.02
10 Reinhard Desmedt (Bel)                      48.35
11 Michael Bösiger (Chi)                       49.43
12 Robert Hotter (Aut) Team Sport Nora         51.26
13 Bart Bosmans (Bel) Tom Taylor Team          55.37
14 Adrian Laing (Aus) TTTSW                  1.04.24
15 Peter Paelinck (Bel) www.reevax.be        1.04.25
16 Rosi King (Aus)                           1.17.16
17 Dennis Teeuwen (Ned) TTTSW                1.17.40
19 Dominiek Sacre (Bel) www.reevax.be        1.43.37
20 Frans Verbeeck (Bel)                      2.04.21
21 Manfred Liszt (Aut)                       2.05.25
22 Rainer Rosenberger (Aut)                  2.12.11
23 Perry Moermann (Blz) Dream Team           2.35.46
24 André Vögele (Aus)                        2.36.24
25 Mark Fraeyman (Aut)                       2.59.55
26 Lisi Hager (Aut) MBR 2radChaoten SWAT     3.00.42
27 Charles Blanc (Fra)                       3.41.42
27 Toru Watanabe (Jpn)                       4.13.00
1 Rosi King (Aus)                            7.06.14
2 Lisi Hager (Aut) MBR 2radChaoten SWAT      1.43.26
1 Karl Arnold (Chi) Arnold                   6.29.10
2 Kel Boers (Aus)                              52.04
3 Gerard Looijstyn (Ned) TTTSW               2.33.10
General classification after stage 12
1 Roland Stauder (Ita) Red Bull             56.12.50
2 Mauro Bettin (Ita) Red Bull                   2.24
3 Jaap Viergever (Ned) TTTSW                   56.12
4 Alberto Elli (Ita) Dream Team              1.18.38
5 Tim Vincent (NZl)                          1.21.05
6 Adam Hansen (Aus)                          2.27.19
7 Phil Anderson (Aus) Dream Team             2.54.17
8 Robert Hotter (Aut) Team Sport Nora        3.30.21
9 Bart Bosmans (Bel) Tom Taylor Team         3.35.39
10 Oyvind Aas (Nor) Dream Team               4.50.23
11 Adrian Laing (Aus) TTTSW                  6.23.01
12 Peter Paelinck (Bel) www.reevax.be        7.34.40
13 Reinhard Desmedt (Bel)                    8.15.37
14 Michael Bösiger (Chi)                     8.47.38
15 Dennis Teeuwen (Ned) TTTSW                9.10.13
16 Dominiek Sacre (Bel) www.reevax.be       10.05.04
17 Frans Verbeeck (Bel)                     12.14.39
18 Rainer Rosenberger (Aut)                 16.04.25
19 Perry Moermann (Blz) Dream Team          16.50.31
20 Rosi King (Aus)                          17.37.35
21 Manfred Liszt (Aut)                      19.02.20
22 Mark Fraeyman (Aut)                      21.31.22
23 André Vögele (Aus)                       21.46.25
24 Lisi Hager (Aut) MBR 2radChaoten SWAT    25.39.37
25 Charles Blanc (Fra)                      25.30.02
26 Toru Watanabe (Jpn)                      35.38.12
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                  24.06.24
2 Kel Boers (Aus)                            3.22.37
3 Gerard Looijstyn (Ned) TTTSW               5.57.07
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