Czech rider Ivan Rybarik wins the fourth stage of the 2012 Crocodile Trophy at Irvinebank today and the overall race result stays the same with Czech and Austrian riders dominating the top five positions: Rybarik leads ahead of fellow Czech rider Ondrej Fojtik in second and the Austrian Wolfgang Krenn is third. Ondrej Slezak (CZE) is fourth and Dominick Hrinkow (AUT) claims fifth overall place. With a solid performance, the Belgian rider Michiel Van Aelbroeck (BEL) was second at Irvinebank and Ondrej Fojtik crossed the line as third.
Day four at the Crocodile Trophy 2012 saw riders line up for a lap race around Irvinebank today. A stage with plenty of variety and the 26km course around the old mining town delivered. And so did Ivan Rybarik who yesterday promised to defend his leaders jersey come hell or high water.
“I didn’t want to take any risks today and kept pushing hard. I still feel very strong and that I have some reserves left for the coming stages”, said the retired pro-cyclist and geography and PE high school teacher today. Together with his
Together with his wife a doctor he operates a naturopathy clinic in the Bohemia region of the Czech Republic and when he is not riding his bike, Rybarik is studying to become a nutritionist. “We have a 16 month old daughter, Elena, and I am very lucky that my wife is so supportive of my cycling passion, so I could train all last year for the Crocodile Trophy.” He was in his best physical shape ever, so that his bike would hold up for the remaining stages was his biggest hope, he added.
Belgian surprise podium
Today’s second fastest racer at Irvinebank was the Belgian rider Michiel Van Aelbroek. “I came to this race with no particular interest in the general classification, but I wanted to do really well in at least one stage. So today, I tried to attack early on and had Mike Mulkens [BEL] with me, but Rybarik doesn’t hand out any presents – his counterattack came fast and we didn’t get away.”, said Van Aelbroek of his experience out on the race track. He said that it was understandable that as the race leader you would want to have a comfortable advantage and added, “As long as Rybarik rides that strong, all we can do is watch, so I’m actually quite happy with my second placing today.”
“It’s like Ivan is racing his own race this year”, agreed today’s third, Ondrej Fojtik, who said that his main goal over the next few days was now to hang on to second place overall, adding “The technical sections were very challenging today – a lot of steep and rough dry creek crossings and I’m just happy that I’m at the finish in one piece.”
Technical sections challenge Croc field
She had been surprised at the singletrail sections and dry creek crossings today, said Kate Major, still the fastest lady in the race. “After about half the lap we left the wide offroad section and entered a technical singletrail – one of the creek crossings caught me out and I crashed, but with every lap, I enjoyed it more.” In the overall female classification, Alice Pirard (BEL) is coming in second and fellow Belgian Tinneke Van de Voorde currently is third.
Riders raced through undulating terrain and thick bush on narrow trails, crossing countless dry creek beds with big boulders that challenged their mountain biking skills. After another climb that seemed tame, but “still hurt”, as some of the finishers admitted, it was a wild descent into Irvinebank again. Most riders took more than an hour to complete each lap and the midday heat was punishing.
Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE fastest team after four stages
With his Rubena Rocky Trail Racing CZE team mates, Ondrej Slezak and Michal Kafka, overall leader Rybarik is also ahead the Crocodile Trophy team classification with the Australian “Crocodile Tears” team from Canberra coming in second. Third after four stages is the local Cairns team “Tenni\’s / SKM”.