Riders at the start of the 2014 Crocodile Trophy (Photo: Crocodile Trophy/Facebook)

Riders at the start of the 2014 Crocodile Trophy (Photo: Crocodile Trophy/Facebook)

The 20th edition of the Crocodile Trophy starts Saturday, in Cairns, Australia. The nine-day, 900-km race has a reputation as the hardest mountain bike stage race in the world, drawing in top professional and aspiring amateur riders alike.

The first day of the race is a time trial stage on the Cairns World Cup XC course. The next eight days of racing take competitors through the dry and dusty Outback, into lush green rain forests and up over 3000-m passes. Making use of all sorts of roads and trails – and sometimes virtually nothing at all – the course offers a variety of environments and associated challenges to entrants.

After each day’s stage, riders can avail themselves of included mechanical and medical support. Accommodations of different kinds can be booked for the race, but most riders camp in the cool night-time air.

Canadian Cory Wallace is among the favourites for the 2014 Crocodile Trophy. Last year, the Kona-sponsored rider finished second overall, just 12 minutes back of first place. In 2012, Wallace finished just off the podium in fourth place.

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Wallace won the Canadian Marathon MTB title earlier this season, and has arrived in Australia after winning the Hero MTB Himalaya seven-day race earlier this month.

Wallace may find the field even more competitive this year. The UCI has granted official status to the race and will award coveted UCI points to finishers.

Garrett Sherman of Il Pastaio/Rocky Trail Racing is another Canadian competing in the event.


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