• Italian Nicolas Pettina battled a Swiss and Australian for the race lead on opening day (Crocodile Trophy)Source: Crocodile Trophy
Nicolas Pettina (ITA)claimed the first stage of the Crocodile Trophy at Smithfield MTB Park in Cairns ahead of Urs Huber (SUI) and Australian Brendan Johnston.
Cycling Central

Cycling Central
18 Oct 2015 - 7:24 AM  UPDATED 18 Oct 2015 - 12:31 PM

Pettina credited his cross-country race background for his win against one of the most high-profile elite men’s line-up in the history of the Crocodile Trophy.

“Today was a great start to the race, I love racing these kinds of trails, they suit my cross-country background well”, the Italian said.

He completed the stage, which included five laps of a 6.5 km circuit at the Smithfield MTB Park just outside of Cairns, in a time of 1hr 30min 42.98sec.

In the two-women elite field, North Queenslander Sarah White took full home advantage to hold an almost six-minute lead on German Regina Genser.

“I tried to stay calm today and had a strong race”, said the 35-year-old.

She finished just 23 minutes behind the men’s winner in a time of 1hr 53min 39.92sec.

The second stage will take the riders to Lake Tinaroo on the Atherton Tablelands.