After two days of competition, here you are the reviews of some of the main protagonists so far in the European MTB orienteering Championships 2013.
Davide Machado (Portugal): "The second race of these Championships is done. Today was Middle Distance's day and the result was an amazing 7th place. After the less good race yesterday, today a very technical race but more to my liking (more physical), managed to make a good performance, above the expected in this kind of terrains. Main goal achieved, now it's time to try to do better, but let's say that, at least, it has relieved some pressure. Tomorrow we'll have the relay and now it's time to relax a bit. Thanks for your support .... is crucial!"
Pekka Niemi (Finland): "Today course was difficult to orienteer and also difficult to ride. I am pretty good rider in difficult terrain, so the course was good for me. I did´nt do any big mistakes today. Just some thirty seconds mistake and some smaller. The course was really difficult and many competitors did lots of mistakes. So I had a really good race today."
Ksenia Chernikh (Russia): "I am a little sad because I didn't get a medal. I didn't like the terrain - very slow riding. I like high speed MTBO."
Cecilia Thomasson (Sweden): "It was a good race today. Good route choices and quite fast biking in the mud. I like the hilly terrain and when its some difficulty in biking. On the three long routes I took the strait on choice. In the end I didn't want to miss any control so it was really low-speed biking. I think I lost a lot of time there on Emily. But I'm really happy, anyway."
Juuso Jutila (Finland): "I have to tell that the Sprint bronze medal was a little bit surprise for myself. A top 10 position was my goal. I pushed very hard all the time and I didn't any mistakes. I think that the different times to the gold medal came from different route choices. Tomorrow Finland has two good relay teams so I really expect what will happen tomorrow."
Luca Dallavalle (Italia): "For me, [the Sprint] was a great race, only three mistakes of ten seconds. Anyway, I liked a lot the course. I've trained a lot on urban areas and so for me was not so difficult to keep the concentration. Maybe I could be faster but I didn't want to take any risk."
Tõnis Erm (Estonia): "Middle distance today consisted of two parts. First part was open beech forest with good visibility, but relatively simple orienteering challenges. I was just waiting for the first part to end. Then, in the second part, the terrain was amazing - about one square km of extremely dense track network in dense forest. And all the tracks with similar size, so everything looks the same. It is comparable of what I have experienced in some of the most technical international ski-O races. I managed to get through the second part with two short stops and no mistakes. This was the place where I made my result today."
João Ferreira (Portugal): "No coments... too many errors... bad day... tomorrow relay day..."
Emily Benham (Great Britain): "I had a really great race. It was almost perfect. I lost 30 seconds in the muddy section in the middle of the long route to the 4th control, and I stopped twice in the technical section to confirm my place. But these stops only lost 2 seconds. I knew to have a good race I had to be really accurate in the last part I the course. Not try anything special, just plan ahead, know where to go at the next junction and find the controls. I caught Scaravonati early in the course, and it was reassuring to know she was behind, hopefully also knowing where we were going! When I later caught Kaminska and Barlet I knew it was a great race, but I couldn't let it distract me. Instead I spent more time looking at the map to make sure I maintained focus. I had a small miss on the path to the last control, but I straight away knew the direction was wrong, so cut back to path I needed. I must have taken the long shortcut as I came out at the last control. To be honest I can't believe its the gold today. I had a great race and kept focused all the way, but there's usually someone faster! It's been a long time to wait for a gold, so I'm really pleased with the result. To be 2 mins 19 clear of 2nd and more than 3 mins ahead of 3rd is an added bonus!!"
[Photo: embenham1.blogspot.pt / Emily Benham]