Never stop fighting
MOSSMAN’S Steve Rankine proved to be a real contender in the elite field of the annual Crocodile Trophy mountain bike trail, finishing seventh overall, and first with his team.
Last week saw a lot of blood, sweat and tears as more than 170 athletes battled it out in one of the hardest mountain bike trails in the world.
The Crocodile Trophy is a nineday, 900km race that sees many spills along the way, and tears and smiles at the welcome finish.
‘‘ Another really tough and gruelling race done and dusted,’’ he said.
‘‘This year’s Croc Trophy was a race to reflect on and an awesome result for our team and individually as well.
‘‘After placing in the top five elite for the first half of the race, a bit of bad luck with flat tyres and bike problems put me out of contention for overall top five but at the same time my team mate Paul Mashford had great form and rode himself into fourth place overall and was getting stronger everyday with outstanding results.
‘‘My role in the team changed from a team leader to being a support rider for Paul and keeping him out of any possible cra- shes and chasing any breaks in the lead group.
‘‘It was a pleasure as he is a really humble guy and has done the same for me in the past.
‘‘Myself, Paul Mashford and Bart Dujak won the best threeman team overall by a long margin.
‘‘In the evenings after each stage we have the day’s winners presentations and all tuck into as much food as possible to refuel for the next tough stage ahead and it doesn’t matter where you come from or what language you speak it’s like one big happy family on and off the track.
‘‘My personal highlight for the race was the 2nd place in elite on stage eight where I was, at one stage of the race off the back of the lead group and almost out of sight and just kept my head down and pushed those pedals as hard as I could and just didn’t give up until I caught them.
‘‘The leader was a few minutes up the road and so I was racing for second. Came down to a bunch sprint and I timed it perfectly and got the gap and held it with my teammate Paul right behind me.’’
Australian Mark Frendo won the event overall.
TRIALS ON THE TRAIL: Steve Rankine slug it out despite repeated set backs