Putting the disappointment of yesterday's mechanical dramas behind him, Mountain Bike World Cup Champion Mauro Bettin responded in the best way possible today by winning stage six of the 2005 Crocodile Trophy.
At the end of a 98 kilometre stage linking the World Heritage Rainforest of the Great Dividing Range to the dusty dry Outback Savannah of Lower Cape York, it came down to two riders, Bettin and Australia's Adam Hansen in a frantic dash which the Italian won, right on the line.
If ever there was an incentive to complete a stage, today was the day, with the classic outback 'watering hole' the Irvinebank Tavern sitting adjacent to the Red Bull finishing archway.
And there was many a thirst to be quenched as cyclists endured another steamy day in the saddle, on a stage where the pace was high throughout for the riders contesting the General Classification of the World's Toughest Off-Road Cycle Race.
For Bettin, the leader of the Felt-Shimano Dream Team the result was small consolation for yesterday's agony, when he suffered a flat tyre and lost valuable minutes in the fight for the overall race lead.
"Yesterday is many many problems because of the flat, I didn't have nothing, only water." Bettin Recalled.
"Because of yesterday it is possible that we never come back time." The breakaway
Photo ©: Mark Watson
But the Italian isn't giving up on securing more stage victories, or making another all out assault on the General Classification as the Crocodile Trophy heads seriously outback.
"Okay it's the Crocodile Trophy, I look at another stage, the race is long long," Bettin said. www.cyclingnews.com/mtb.php?id=mtb/2005/oct05/croctrophy05/croctrophy056