The Plzeň MTBO 5 Days, internationally renowned event of MTB Orienteering, came to the end. With a record of participation of 721 athletes from 26 different nations, Vojtěch Stránský and Emily Benham were the big winners in the Elite classes.
Daniel Marques classifies it as “the best MTBO competition in the planet" and he knows well what he is talking about. Organized by Klub Orientačních Sportu Plzeň and the Czech Orienteering Federation, the Plzeň MTBO 5 Days attracted to that popular city in the center west of the country, the absolutely stunning number of 721 athletes from 26 nations, for five days of great competition and fun. Consisting in three stages of Middle Distance, a stage of Long Distance and a stage of Sprint and directed to 19 competition classes and two open classes, the event scored for the World Ranking of this discipline, for the Czech Republic Cup in MTBO and allowed also know the new National Champions of that country in the Sprint distance.
In the Men Elite class, the victories in the five stages were divided between the French Baptiste Fuchs, the Norwegian Hans Jørgen Kvale and the Czech Vojtěch Stránský, Jiří Hradil and František Bogar. With the results in the Long Distance weighing significantly on the overall standings, Stránský took the lead for the decisive stage. Runned in the format of “chasing start”, the course gave to him an advantage over the Czech Hradil of 4:16, 4:55 on the Finnish Jussi Laurila and 5:40 on Fuchs, their most direct adversaries. In the end, Hradil almost would reach Stránský, but he knew to keep jealously the advantage, winning by mere 14 seconds. In the third position, at 1:38 to the winner, was ranked Jussi Laurila.
Benham get a “full”
Unlike the Men Elite class, with the victories in the five stages evenly distributed for as many athletes, in the Women Elite class Emily Benham “cleared” the five stages. With more than eleven minutes to manage and a quiet last stage ahead, the British won also the final course, showing - if there were doubts - why she is the leader of the IOF World Ranking. In the end, the British registered an advantage of 11:13 over the French Gaëlle Barlet. In third position, with more 20:49 than Benham, ranked the Italian Laura Scaravonati.
Five Portuguese also embraced the challenging adventure in the Czech Republic, with a prominent note to Daniel Marques, 13th ranked in the Men Elite class. In the same class, João Ferreira finished in the 27th place, while Guilherme Marques participated only in the first three stages. In the M50 class, Inácio Serralheiro finished in the 10th place, while Pedro Serralheiro would be disqualified in the fourth stage.
1. Vojtěch Stránský (Czech Republic) 4:41:58
2. Jiří Hradil (Czech Republic) 4:42:12 (+ 00:14)
3. Jussi Laurila (Finland) 4:43:36 (+ 01:38)
4. Baptiste Fuchs (France) 4:45:43 (+ 03:45)
5. Luca Dallavalle (Italy) 4:53:01 (+ 11:03)
6. Rasmus Sogaard (Denmark) 4:53:52 (+ 11:54)
7. Hans Jørgen Kvale (Norway) 4:54:08 (+ 12:10)
8. Margus Hallik (Estonia) 4:54:09 (+ 12:11)
9. Kevin Haselsberger (Austria) 4:56:09 (+ 14:11)
10. Radek Laciga (Czech Republic) 4:59:58 (+ 18:00)
1. Emily Benham (Great Britain) 4:22:26
2. Gaëlle Barlet (France) 4:33:39 (+ 11:13)
3. Laura Scaravonati (Italy) 4:43:15 (+ 20:49)
4. Susanna Laurila (Finland) 4:48:01 (+ 25:35)
5. Hana Garde (France) 4:52:22 (+ 29:56)
6. Sonja Zinkl (Austria) 4:52:50 (+ 30:24)
7. Caecilie Christoffersen (Denmark) 4:53:09 (+ 30:43)
8. Marquita Gelderman (New Zealand) 5:08:48 (+ 46:22)
9. Marina Reiner (Austria) 5:13:01 (+ 50:35)
10. Štěpánka Stankova (Czech Republic) 5:17:40 (+ 55:14)
Complete results and other information at http://www.mtbo5days.eu/index_en.php.
[Photo: Zuzka Jedličková / mtbo5days.eu]