- by Rowena Scott
- Published: 11 August 2010
It’s not straight and it’s definitely not an easy ride, there will be ups and downs, sharp turns and outback roads barely visited by car. There’s dirt and lots of it. The tyre’s are thick and chunky, the bikes are heavier and more high tech than you would believe. It is the Crocodile Trophy; the world’s longest, hottest and most adventurous race in the world.
Over 10 days, 1200km and 13000m of climbing, this is survival; this is racing in Australia’s Top End.
With no more than 99 competitors allowed the race takes the riders from Cairns to Cape Tribulation, starting on the 19th of October. Joining this challenging adventure for the first time will be an all woman team. If you dig deep into the history of the Crocodile Trophy, you’ll find that like any event where there are two wheels, female participation is particularly low and although there are more women getting into mountain biking, the truth is, the Crocodile Trophy is in a league of its own.
The women riding in the SheSpoke Cycle Wear team, are lining up for an adventure of a life time, and includes Maree Roberts (40), Lauretta Howarth (37) and Sharmee Parr (56). The team sponsor fits perfectly, SheSpoke is specialise in cycling clothing for women. This Toowoomba based company has an eye for colour and style. They believe in encouraging women to participate in cycling by providing fashionable, functional, innovative and comfortable cycle wear.
Lauretta Howarth, Maree Roberts and Sharman Parr of SheSpoke
Another first for the Crocodile Trophy is the final stage which is a time trial from Ayton to Cape Tribulation. This is the final 38km of this brutal torture trip, though assuming the competitors even make it to stage 10.
Past competitor of 2007, Italian, Michela Benzoni, finished high up with the men and as the women’s champion commented that the “Crocodile Trophy is very, very hard… impossible.” When asked if she would return the following year to compete Benzoni replied, “Impossible, never never never? no no no no.”
From the SheSpoke Cycle Wear Team, Lauretta is aiming to finish with minimal road rash and her limbs attached, Maree just wants to cross the line and Sharmee is in it to beat some of the boys.
Bicycle Network Australia will be getting to know Maree, Lauretta and Sharmee in the lead up to the Croc Trophy this October. You can also keep up to date with news about the Crocodile Trophy on their website www.crocodile-trophy.com.
Check out SheSpoke online: www.shespoke.com.au
Photos @ Wayne Harris Photography