Thursday, May 19, 2016

MTB Orienteering World Cup 2016: A different season, the same leaders!

After MTB Orienteering World Cup 2016 Round 1, Emily Benham, Great Britain, and Anton Foliforov, Russia, are already at the head of the standings. Through the forests and vineyards of Guebwiller, France, both athletes performed superbly, which allowed them to extend the sweet taste of victory after winning the MTBO Orienteering World Cup 2015 overall.

After an intense duel with Gäelle Barlet, Benham won an important victory in the Long Distance, and both of them took the gold in the Middle Distance, after finishing with the same time. Two victories to Benham, one victory and one second place to Barlet and the close difference of 10 points between them is the result of a particular fight that promises to last all through the season. About forty points behind the lead is the chasing group, which includes the IOF World Ranking leader Martina Tichovska, Czech Republic, 3rd in the Middle, Ingrid Stengard, Finland, 4th in the Long, and two really nice surprises, Maja Rothweiler, Switzerland, 5th in the Long and 4th in the Middle and Renata Paulickova, Czech Republic, 3rd in the Long. Maja finished the World Cup’s last edition in the 13th place and Renata was 12th, but now they have shown quality and hope to do much better this year. We all miss Marika Hara, Finland, and Cecilia Thomasson, Sweden, in the list. Marika will certainly be there in the future; Cecilia won’t, at least in the current season.

With 110 points, Anton Foliforov, Russia, is the leader of the men standings. His courage, determination and superior technical quality won him a victory and a second place in the individual stages, and a good lead of 25 points on the second, Vojtech Ludvík, Czech Republic. Only 47th placed in the IOF World Ranking before the competition, Ludvík was the French round’s biggest surprise, finishing 3rd in the Long and 4th in the Middle. Another big surprise came from Switzerland, with Simon Braendli reaching an amazing gold at the end of a hard stormy Long Distance, and also taking up a position in the standings’ top 6. Second placed in the IOF World Ranking, Luca Dallavalle, Italy, is fourth in the standings, 15 points behind Lauri Malsroos, Estonia, Middle Distance’s silver medallist. Those who expected to see Jussi Laurila, Finland, Marek Pospisek, Czech Republic or Baptiste Fuchs, France, at the top instead of Ludvík, Braendli or Garde, will have to wait for the World Cup’s second round. Portugal and the World MTBO Championships, at the end of July, will be the epicentre of all emotions, and then everything will be different. Or maybe not!

1. Emily Benham GBR 120 points
2. Gaelle Barlet FRA 110
3. Maja Rothweiler SWI 76
4. Martina Tichovska CZE 73
5. Renata Paulickova CZE 72
6. Ingrid Stengard FIN 70

1. Anton Foliforov RUS 110 points
2. Vojtech Ludvík CZE 85
3. Lauri Malsroos EST 78
4. Luca Dallavalle ITA 63
5. Simon Braendli SWI 60
6. Yoann Garde FRA 54

The Portuguese Davide Machado has 47 points - the same as Baptiste Fuchs - and is in the 12th position in the World Cup standings. Also Ana Filipa Silva got 5 points overall and stands in the 35th place.

Text: Joaquim Margarido

[See the original article at Published with permission from the International Orienteering Federation]

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