23rd MEPT - Crocodile Trophy
Cairns - Port Douglas / 16 - 23 September 2017
The MEPT - Crocodile Trophy is the world's and Australia's oldest and most legendary mountain bike stage race.
This year the 23rd edition of the event will start in Cairns on 16th September and finish on Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas on 23rd. In August this year the race organisers of the Crocodile Trophy confirmed a new major sponsor for the race with the "Middle East Peace Tour" coming on board as its principal patron and partner event.
Race favourites 2017
The high-profile line-up of riders at the 2017 edition of the oldest and most legendary mountain bike stage race have been confirmed to include the French National and World Marathon Champion, the Olympic Gold Medalist Miguel Martinez as well as four-time Tour de France stage winner Erik Dekker from The Netherlands.
Australia will be represented by a strong field of riders headed up by the Austro-Australian world-record holder of most completed events, Martin Wisata, who will be at the start line in Cairns for his 8th race. Multiple finishers Brendon Skerke and Bart Duraj from Cairns will dominate the pairs classification on their home trails and Garry James from Canberra is the big favourite in the Masters A4 (50+) age group.
In the Elite field, Australia is represented by marathon specialists Ben May and Joanne Koy who will take on some of the strongest endurance mountain bikers in the world including the Portuguese National Marathon Champion, David Rosa who will be racing with team mate Miguel Martinez for the Tropix Factory Racing Team. Leandre Bouchard, the 24-year old U23 National Marathon Champion of 2014 from Canada will be one to watch as well as his fellow Canadian, Haley Smith who is said to have been training in Tropical North Queensland for more than two weeks already.
The most legendary MTB stage race on earth
The Crocodile Trophy is known as the hardest MTB stage race in the world because of its versatile stage plan and all the different terrains that the Australian-style mountain bike track throws at them. As Brendan Johnston, Australian National Marathon Champion and runner-up in the Elite Men's in 2015 said, "You really have to be an all-rounder to win this event, you need sound technical riding skills, but also the endurance strength to race a fast and furious lap race and then seven marathons in a row against some of the fastest mountain bikers on the planet."
New eight-day stage plan for 2017
Over the eight days the MEPT - Crocodile Trophy riders will cover 670km and more than 10,000vm of climbing, racing through the tropical rainforest from Cairns onto the Atherton Tablelands, into the Outback towards Skybury Coffee and via Wetherby Station to Port Douglas.
- Stage 1 – Smithfield – 33 km/900 m
- Stage 2 – Cairns – Lake Tinaroo – 67 (79) km/1900 (2100) m
- Stage 3 – Lake Tinaroo – Tepon Equestrian Park, Kalunga/Herberton - 100 km/2600 m
- Stage 4 – Tepon Equestrian Park – Skybury Coffee – 122 km/1450 m
- Stage 5 – Skybury –Skybury – 125 km/1100 m
- Stage 6 – Skybury – Wetherby Station – 102 km/1000 m
- Stage 7 – Wetherby – Wethervy – 78 km/1050 m
- Stage 8 – Wetherby – Port Douglas – 30 km/300 m
Previous winners and photos:
2016 - Urs Huber SUI (Elite Men) and Alice Pirard BEL (Elite Female)
2015 - Urs Huber SUI (Elite Men) and Sarah White, Cairns AUS (Elite Female)
2014 - Greg Saw AUS (Elite Men) and Imogen Smith, QLD AUS (Elite Female)
Urs Huber (SUI)
Urs Huber (in front) at river crossing.
At Skybury in 2015:
Alice Pirard (BEL)
The top women at the Crocodile Trophy 2016 (l-r): Annemiek van Vleuten (BEL), Alice Pirard (BEL) and Ruth Corset (AUS).
Greg Saw (AUS)
Sarah White (AUS)
Winners in 2015 - Sarah White and Urs Huber.
Imogen Smith (AUS)
Brendan Johnston (AUS) - 2015 fastest Australian and runner-up
Australian National Marathon Champion, runner-up and fastest Australian in 2015.
Daniel Beresford - 2016 fastest Australian rider and at the start again this year.
Martin Wisata - Seven-time Crocodile Trophy finisher, holding the world record, at the start of Croc number eight this year.
For more event information and editorial feature ideas and content, please don't hesitate to contact our Press Officer, Juliane Wisata.
All photos distributed via media releases in 2016 available on our “Media Pictures 2016” portal.
Media resources and links:
>> INFO MEDIA RESOURCES - link to server with daily photos and videos (incl. scripts)