Proving the reason why they are in the lead of the IOF MTB Orienteering World Rankings, Anton Foliforov and Emily Benham were the winners of the “queen race” of the European MTB Orienteering Championships 2015, held at Termas de Monfortinho, Portugal. In a demanding Long Distance, they signed the best performances, against particularly strong and fierce concurrence.
Termas de Monfortinho, in the far northeast of the municipality of Idanha-a-Nova, staged the most desired race of the European MTB Orienteering Championships 2015. In a terrain with huge slope, where the route choices demanded maximum attention, this was a Long Distance with everything to please everyone. Well, not everyone, since the number of athletes who didn't have reached the finish, mainly due to unexpected “mechanical problems”, was really high.
In the Men class, Anton Foliforov was faultless, showing all his superior technical quality and physical capacity, completing the course in 1:44:18. With more 1:29 and 2:30, ended, respectively, Jussi Laurila (Finland) and Baptiste Fuchs (France). Running with a bike borrowed by the Portuguese João Ferreira - after the podium ceremony, still on stage, Foliforov made sure to leave a public thanks to Ferreira, in a well acclaimed “fair play” gesture - the Russian couldn't be more happy with this medal, which represents “one of my best performances ever”, he said. A note, also, to the excellent 13th place of the Portuguese Davide Machado, demonstrating once again his extraordinary grab, in a course that fitted him.
France has been again in a high plan in the Women class, placing two athletes on the podium. After the European title of Middle Distance, Gäelle Barlet was now the second ranked, with a time of 1:42:31, which made of her the “queen” of these European Championships. With 39 seconds more than her compatriot, Hana Garde ranked third, while the winner was the British Emily Benham, by the narrow margin of 20 seconds over Barlet. Benham was in the end a particularly happy athlete, mainly because she embraced this race “without a plan” and, after loose precious seconds in the first half of the course, with a huge mistake on her to the 5th control, she got a tasty victory.
In the other classes, highlighting the triumphs of the Finnish Sauli Pietikäinen and the French Lou Denaix, repeating the gold in the European Junior MTB Orienteering Championships. It also took place the Long Distance race of the European Youth MTB Orienteering Championhips, in which the Russians Fedor Schepelev and Daria Mykriukova were the strongest. Russia did the “full” in the Women's podium, as has already happened in the Sprint and Middle Distance courses.
1. Anton Foliforov (Russia) 1:44:18
2. Jussi Laurila (Finland) 1:45:47
3. Baptiste Fuchs (France) 1:46:48
4. Laca Dallavalle (Italy) 1:48:31
5. Jiri Hradil (Czech Republic) 1:48:49
6. Marek Pospisek (Czech Republic) 1:49:32
1. Emily Benham (Great Britain) 1:42:11
2. Gäelle Barlet (France) 1:42:31
3. Hana Garde (France) 1:43:10
4. Camilla Søgaard (Denmark) 1:43:33
5. Ingrid Stengard (Finland) 1:47:04
6. Marie Brezinova (Czech Republic) 1:49:32
1. Sauli Pietikainen (Finland) 1:28:56
2. Vaclav Snuparek (Czech Republic) 1:30:47
3. Florian Pinsard (France) 1:31:54
1. Lou Denaix (France) 1:13:28
2. Veronika Kubinova (Czech Republic) 1:14:12
3. Olga Mikhailova (Russia) 1:18:46
1. Fedor Schepelev (Russia) 47:44
2. Anathsel Dott (France) 47:59
3. Jeremi Pourre (France) 49:32
1. Daria Mikryukova (Russia) 59:34
2. Alena Fedoseeva (Russia) 1:03:51
3. Uliana Sukholovskaya (Russia) 1:09:07
Full results and further information at http://mtbo15.fpo.pt/.