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Central Australia Bike Challenge - NE

Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia, March 14-20, 2003

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Prologue - March 14: Botanical Gardens Sturt Tce, 25 km

By Joe Ward

Prologue finish
Photo: © Joe Ward
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Under hot and dusty conditions yesterday, the race that's set to redefine the word brutal got underway in Alice Springs (Northern Territory) with the prologue of the seven day tour event.

The criterium format opener was hotly contested and came down to battle of nations with Dutch, Swiss and Aussie riders neck and neck on the final lap. The Aussie, Chris Jongewaard took the prologue and a one minute time bonus into the first stage. Jongewaard who lived in Alice until recently, was very happy with the win against such riders as Marcus Amstutz the Swiss national champion and Jaap Viergever the five-time winner of the Crocodile Trophy.

Jill Burston raced with the men and embarrassed quite a few, being the last women to go in the elimination format, with only 15 men left in the pack. Burston also carries a time bonus into today's stage.

Brief results

Open Men
 
1 Chris Jongewaard
2 Marcus Amstutz
 
Open Women
 
1 Jill Burston