Monday, May 16, 2016

MTB Orienteering World Cup 2016 Round 1: Vive la France!



The MTB Orienteering World Cup 2016 Round 1 finished today with a home winning. In Guebwiller, the “trio” of France was unbeatable, with Russia getting the silver and Finland the bronze.


On Pentecost Monday, national holiday in France, the MTBO's tribe returned to the spectacular Alsatian scenery. Kept for the last act of a program full of strong emotions, the Mixed Relay brought together 29 teams of three elements each - at least one of them female -, for a final journey of good wheeled orienteering. All teams aspiring to the podium places “played” their “female card” at the start and, after a quick look on the splits, its possible to conclude that the first leg was truly decisive. France and Russia formed a separate group fighting for the gold, followed by Finland, Austria, Switzerland and the Czech Republic trying to get the bronze.

After her victory in the Middle and the second place in the Long Distance, the French Gaelle Barlet was once again at the highest level, getting a clear one and a half minute advantage on the Russian Svetlana Poverina and more than four minutes on the next teams in the first leg. France could improve the advantage over the Russian team on the second leg, with Yoann Garde winning another one and half minute on Valeriy Gluhov. On the last leg, Anton Foliforov's brilliant performance wasn't enough to annul the Russian's disadvantage and Baptiste Fuchs could keep a well celebrated victory with the time of 2:44:38 against 2:45:36 of Russia.


What they said

In the end, Gaelle Barlet was really satisfied with her “good race”, while Yoann Garde would talk about “a tough leg after yesterday's race”. He admitted “some mistakes in the beginning”, but he could improve his orienteering after that. “I just did my job, I think”, he concludes. Finally, Baptiste Fuchs talked about knowing he had a three minutes lead, but “some little mistakes in the beginning put lots of pressure on me”. “The last loop was quite difficult but, in the end, we managed to get the victory”, he said. Anton Foliforov also expressed some opinions about the race: “I could see Baptiste in the forest but I lost him after a really bad routechoice on the second loop which costs me one minute”. But one victory and two second places in the French World Cup round are always reason to celebrate: “Yes, I'm really satisfied with my results and I would like to say a big thank you to my team mates, Valeriy and Svetlana. They did a really good job and I'm happy with the team performance overall”, he concludes.

In the fight for the bronze, Finland, Austria and Switzerland left grouped together for the last leg. Pekka Niemi would be faster than Andreas Waldmann and Simon Braendli, getting the bronze to Finland, 1:25 before the Austria team. Niemi's opinion: “We raced together for a couple of controls and then I didn't see Austria team at all. Me and Simon went together after that but I think he did some kind of mistake in a long forking and I didn't see him anymore.” After being disqualified in the Long and “some mistakes” in the Middle, Niemi was “really satisfied with my race today”, having his mind already in the World Championships: “It will be hotter but not as hillier than here, I think, and I'll be well prepared for it”, he guarantees. With Ana Filipa Silva, João Ferreira and Davide Machado, Portugal finished in the 9th place, 29:25 after the winning team.


Results

1. France (Gaelle Barlet, Yoann Garde, Baptiste Fuchs) 2:44:38 (+ 00:00)
2. Russia (Svetlana Poverina, Valeriy Gluhov, Anton Foliforov) 2:45:36 (+ 00:58)
3. Finland (Ingrid Stengard, Jussi Laurila, Pekka Niemi) 2:48:32 (+ 03:54)
4. Austria (Marina Reiner, Kevin Haselsberger, Andreas Waldmann) 2:49:57 (+ 05:19)
5. Switzerland (Maja Rothweiler, Beat Schaffner, Simon Braendli) 2:51:29 (+ 06:51)
6. Czech Republic (Marie Brezinova, Radek Laciga, Marek Pospisek) 2:51:35 (+ 06:57)
(…)
9. Portugal (Ana Filipa Silva, João Ferreira, Davide Machado) 3:14:03 (+ 29:25)

For further information, please visit the event's webpage at http://www.mtbo2016.fr/en/world-cup/

[Foto: Hans Jørgen Kvåle / instagram.com/iof_orienteering]

Joaquim Margarido

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