Unsurprisingly, Finland closed its participation in the opening round of the World Cup MTB orienteering 2014 in the best way. On the last day of competition, Marika Hara, Jussi Laurila and Pekka Niemi won the Mixed Relay, ahead of a sensational French team.
With the dispute of the Mixed Relay, the opening round of the MTB orienteering World Cup 2014 is over. The course took place at Gurre Vang / Krogenberg, in North Zealand (Denmark ), relying on the starting line 33 teams from 13 different countries. Most of the major teams “played” its “female card” in the first leg, leaving the second and third legs to the male athletes. And so it was, that we saw Finland, at the outset, to raise comfortable lead, thanks to Marika Hara's excellent performance.
With Sweden and Russia in the first chasing group and slightly behind, France, Czech Republic and Italy, Finland knew how to control the course, with Jussi Laurila losing just 15 seconds to the French Cédric Beill, who got the fastest time in the intermediate leg. France has been again in focus in the final leg, with Baptiste Fuchs making the second fastest time and earn 1:26 to Pekka Niemi, still insufficient to cancel the disadvantage that, in the end, was by 1:24 to the Finnish team. The third place fell to the Czech Republic, with Jiri Hradil achieving an excellent performance and finishing at 2:21 from the winners.
1 . Finland (M. Hara, J. Laurila, P. Niemi) 2:03:45
2 . France (G. Barlet, C. Beill, B. Fuchs) 2:05:09 (+ 1:24)
3 . Czech Republic (R. Paulickova, J. Svoboda, J. Hradil) 2:06:06 (+ 2:21)
4 . Russia (S. Poverina, R. Gritsan, A. Foliforov) 2:07:10 (+ 3:25)
5 . Italy (L. Scaravonati, G. Origgi, L. Dallavalle) 2:07:30 (+ 3:45)
For more information and full results, please visit the organiser’s website at http://okoest.dk/wc2014/.
[Photo: Suomen Suunnistusliitto / facebook.com/suunnistusliitto]