On a day where the sun, although lightly, visited Gouveia and the Portugal O 'Meeting 2014, Maria Magnusson was the brightest star of the third stage of the event, interrupting a blistering series of triumphs of Simone Niggli. As for the Men Super Elite, here there were no surprises and Thierry Gueorgiou continues to be the “man of the moment”.
Arcozelo da Serra returned to live a lively and different day with the third stage of the Portugal O' Meeting 2014. Organized by CPOC – Clube Português de Orientação e Corrida and the Municipality of Gouveia, the event has put the bulk of attention on today's stage, a Middle Distance counting for the IOF's World Ranking. And what a course! At one of the most technical terrains that we ever have seen in Portugal, many were those who lost their chances in the very early part of the course.
This was not the case of Thierry Gueorgiou (Kalevan Rasti), winning with a time of 34:46, ahead of the Swedish Albin Ridefelt (OK Linné) and the Czech Jan Prochazka (Kalevan Rasti), with more 1:39 and 2:42 than the French, respectively. “To dive into the course was a mind-blowing experience”, so says Thierry Gueorgiou, the big winner today: “It was everything but easy to get in the map. From the beginning, I felt 'attacked' for the terrain, with many short controls very closed in an extremely difficult space, demanding maximum concentration. The idea of running fast had to be relegated the second plan, instead of reading the map. I did no mistakes, I think, but I was not fast in the initial part. After that, in the longest legs, yes, it was possible to push with some speed, but it was a super race in an atypical terrain, I really enjoyed.”
Confessing not be waiting for “such a surprise”, Thierry insisted on noted that "what has been fantastic in all three days of the Portugal O 'Meeting is that in all of them we had different terrains and different challenges have been offered and this is what I think it's great, this diversity of terrains in Portugal, giving me possibility to test my shape at different levels.” Talking of another victory, Gueorgiou stated that “it is something always good, especially in a difficult stage and having the need to recover some disavantadge when I passed through the spectators control. Hence have been forced to 'push' hard in the final part of the race , something very important at this moment of my preparation for the European Championship.” To interrupt this impressive number of of victories at the Portugal O' Meeting is something that the athlete refuses: “I will run seriously the last stage. In this moment of my preparation, my interest goes towards getting the best time. Tomorrow we'll have a very long course with 16 km, the scale of 1:15000, we would certainly visit different types of terrains and will be a beautiful and fun stage, I'm sure.”
“To win was a super-bonus!”
In the Women Elite class, the Sweden placed three athletes on the podium. Maria Magnusson (Sävedalens AIK) was the winner, with the incredible time of 34:50, while Annica Gustafsson (IFK Lidingö) was second, at distant 3:48 and the third placed was for another athlete of the IFK Lidingö, Helena Karlsson, with the record of 39:09. Simone Niggli (OK Tisaren) was far below of what she used to be, not going beyond the 8th place, 6:34 (!) behind the winner. “I didn't expect to win today at all. I was just expecting to do a good technical race, just like I did yesterday. That was my goal, but... I mean, to win was a super-bonus! And also to beat Simone Niggli, as I did for the first time ever and only four months after her retirement. I think it's OK (laughs).” This were the first words of Maria Magnusson, the big winner today, that talked also about to difficult “jump” into the course: “I stayed focused all the time. In a tricky terrain like this, you have to be calm and ignore that feeling that you're running too slowly. The important is to be concentrated all the time. I knew that and I knew that I was doing the right thing, I tried to be concentrated all the time and I gaigned there a lot of time”, Maria says.
There's still the chance to win the Portugal O' Meeting, which is seeing for the athlete “a possibility”. According her words, “the Swedish team had test competitions for the European Championships on day 1 and 3, and this days were very special for me. Tomorrow I expect a lot of fun, another nice competition and then we'll see.” Two final words, the first one to the very young Carolina Delgado (GD4C), the best Portuguese today with a time of 53:06 (62th overall), getting here the first victory of his career in a stage of the Portugal Cup in the Women Elite class. And also for the best Portuguese in Men Super Elite, the “returned” Diogo Miguel (Ori - Estarreja), ranked 58th at 12:39 to the winner.
Men Super Elite
1. Thierry Gueorgiou (Kalevan Rasti) 34:46
2. Albin Ridefelt (OK Linné) 36:25 (+1:39)
3. Jan Prochazka (Kalevan Rasti) 37:28 (+2:42)
4. Hannu Airila (Kalevan Rasti) 38:15 (+3:29)
5. Oskar Sjöberg (OK Linné) 38:17 (+3:31)
6. Anton Östlin (MOKS) 38:21 (+3:35)
7. Lauri Sild (Hiidenkiertäjät) 38:53 (+4:07)
8. Olli-Markus Taivanen (Pellon Ponsi) 39:07 (+4:21)
9. Jonas Viytautas Gvildys (IGTISA) 39:17 (+4:31)
10. Antonio Martinez (Colivenc) 39:23 (+4:37)
1. Maria Magnusson (Sävedalens AIK) 34:50
2. Annica Gustafsson (IFK Lidingö) 38:38 (+3:48)
3. Helena Karlsson (IFK Lidingö) 39:09 (+4:19)
4. Marttiina Joensuu (SK Pohjantähti) 39:56 (+5:06)
5. Jannina Gustafsson (SK Uusi) 40:08 (+5:18)
6. Heini Wenman (SK Pohjantähti) 40:09 (+5:19)
7. Anna Josefine Engström (AOOK) 40:15 (+5:25)
8. Simone Niggli (OK Tisaren) 41:24 (+6:34)
9. Elin Mansson (IFK Göteborg) 41:25 (+6:35)
10. Ulrika Uotila (Koovee) 41:35 (+6:45)
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