Contrary to the idea that «history never repeats», Simone Niggli and Thierry Gueorgiou relapsed the victory in this second day of Portugal O' Meeting 2013. Tighter victories than the day before, but still victories!
A different day, the same winners! After the successful debut in POM 2013, Simone Niggli and Thierry Gueorgiou took another victory, this time by smaller margins than the day before. Sunday’s stage took place on Saturday’s map, revisiting the challenging terrains on nice courses perfectly set for a Middle Distance race. The weather was cold and cloudy, but it did not seem to bother the 1600 participants.
Thierry Gueorgiou was the big winner in the Men Super-Elite Class, covering the 6.5 kilometers of his course in 34:30. Just five seconds slower, on the second position, was his teammate Philippe Adamski, while the Swede Albin Ridefelt repeated the same place of the previous day, ranking in the third position with a time of 35:08. For Thierry Gueorgiou, “it was a beautiful race, in excellent terrains for a Middle Distance, despite two mistakes that made me lose one minute and a half overall. I couldn’t keep focused throughout the race, but I hope to improve tomorrow.” Talking about the “queen-race” of the POM 2013, Thierry Gueorgiou says: “I think the race will be quite difficult, but I’m keen to get a good performance. I love the Portugal O ‘Meeting and this is the ideal event for me, in February, to achieve the result of the winter training in order to prepare the major competitions that will follow. I hope to be well focused in this race and still in the Sprint race, which I am sure will be a very special moment.”
A surprise named Catherine Taylor
Also in the Women Elite, we could see a ‘remake’ regarding to the winner, with the Swiss Simone Niggli winning 38 seconds before Swedish Annika Billstam, after spending 31:59 for 5.3 km of her race . After the 5th place in the opening stage, Britain’s Catherine Taylor reached a third position with a time of 33:02. She is now second in the overall POM rankings, and so far the biggest surprise of this years events. As for the Portuguese, Mariana Moreira was once again the best athlete with the time of 42:05, on the 37th position, while João Mega Figueiredo was today the best portuguese athlete in the Men Super-Elite Class, concluded in the 31st place with a time of 40:40.
Tomorrow is fulfilled the most important stage of POM, a Middle Distance counting for the World Ranking. Simone Niggli and Thierry Gueorgiou are the natural candidates for victory, but there are several athletes that compete seriously with them. A big rival for everyone, including the organisation, will be the weather that seems to be getting worse. The Portuguese Weather Service puts even this whole region on orange alert, the second most severe, due to forecasts of snow and strong winds that can reach 100 kilometers per hour.
1º Thierry Gueorgiou (Kalevan Rasti) 34:30
2º Philippe Adamski (Kalevan Rasti) 34:35
3º Ridefelt Albin (OK Linné) 35:08
4º Hannu Airila (Kalevan Rasti) 35:27
5º Frédéric Tranchand (OK Hallen) 35:40
6º Kalvis Mihailovs (IK Hakarpspojkarn) 36:13
7º Tomas Dlabaja (RR) 36:26
8º Simo-Pekka Fincke (Kalevan Rasti) 36:36
9º Lucas Basset (JOG) 36:37
10º Jakob Enmark (Gavle OK) 37:16
1º Simone Niggli (Swiss Team) 31:59
2º Annika Billstam (OK Linné) 32:37
3º Catherine Taylor (OK Linné) 33:02
4º Brigitta Mathys (Järla) 33:53
5º Chataing Amélie (Kalevan Rasti) 33:53
6º Riina Kuuselo (Individual FIN) 34:45
7º Ausrine Kutkaite (SNO) 34:53
8º Sofia Haajanen (Individual FIN) 35:00
9º Céline Dodin (HVO) 35:16
10º Natalia Vinogradova (AngA) 36:08
Full results and other information in http://www.pom.pt/en/.
[Photo by LUZIR]