Never stop fight­ing

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - CLASSIFIEDS -

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

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