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8 December 2015

For the 21st time, cyclists from all over the world competed in the Crocodile Trophy in October this year. The legendary nine-day mountain bike stage race took place in Tropical North Queensland and with a stellar elite line-up of some of the best marathon and endurance athletes in the world, the majority of the rider field again was packed with amateur mountain bikers who every year seek an adventure on their bikes. Among them – again – was the Upper Austrian Martin Wisata who made Crocodile Trophy history with a record-breaking sixth participation at this gruelling race.

The Crocodile Trophy was founded and is still run by his fellow Austrian, the ex-Tour de France racer Gerhard Schönbacher and has been known as the oldest and most iconic mountain bike stage race in the world. The stage plan is the most versatile of its kind - the approximately 100 competitors raced for nine days from the jungle in Cairns to the Atherton Tablelands and via bush single tracks to Irvinebank in the unique Australian Outback. The finish after more than 770km and 17,000m of elevation then took them onto the breath-takingly beautiful Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas.

Martin Wisata grew up in Ried/Innkreis in Upper Austria and has called Australia home since 2003. He is a six-time finisher of the event and one of the many riders who come for the challenge of a lifetime.

"You get to ride with cyclists from all over the world and whether you're an elite rider or an amateur rider, everyone is in for the same distance and the same conditions each day", the 38-year old, who owns a mountain bike racing business near Sydney, Rocky Trail Entertainment . Wisata runs the business together with his wife Juliane who has been the Press Officer for the Crocodile Trophy in Australia for the past few years.

What keeps him coming back, adds Wisata, was the cameraderie that developed among the riders. This year he brought a team of four riders from Sydney and Canberra with him.

"Most riders have known this race since their childhood, following it on TV and in the news, just like me", Wisata explains the fascination of the race. "These riders tell me they come for the adventure and to cross the finish line after nine days with a smile - it's an incredible feeling to be a part of this very exclusive group of cyclists from all over the world who can call themselves 'Crocodile Trophy finishers'.