Sunday, May 15, 2016

MTBO World Cup 2016 Round 1: Victories to Foliforov, Barlet and Benham in the Middle Distance

After yesterday's stormy journey, the High-Rhine vineyards were quite a promenade for a really technically demanding Middle Distance in the second day of MTBO World Cup 2016 Round 1. Without surprise, Anton Foliforov and both Gäelle Barlet and Emily Benham were the winners.

Second placed in the MTBO World Cup 2016 Round 1's opening stage, the Russian Anton Foliforov was stronger than his opponents, getting a one minute victory on the Estonian Lauri Malsroos. The current leader of the IOF MTB Orienteering World Ranking finished his course in 55:56. “It was a good race, without major mistakes and being able to see properly the map”, said the winner after the race. To Foliforov, “despite yesterday's hard Long Distance, I had good feelings for today's race. Vineyards are very special terrains, with some really interesting details, and I enjoyed running through it today.” His final words: “I'm really happy about my gold medal and being the current World Cup leader. I wish to say thank you to my region Orienteering Federation for giving me the opportunity to compete in France!”. Malsroos also talked about his course: “I did a pretty good race. After a couple of mistakes in the beginning that costs me about one minute, my race was much better in the long legs, with good route choices and no mistakes”, he said. Finding the race “really interesting and quite demanding in the map reading”, Malsroos underscored “more technical orienteering and less physical part” which made the course more suitable for him.

Third placed with 57:03, the Austrian Andreas Waldmann would rate his race as “very good”. He explained why: “It was a pretty fast race and you had to be focused all the time because junctions came too quickly. Also there was lots of route choices, that I could manage quite well, I think.” The course setting through the vineyards seemed to Waldmann “a little bit like a Sprint race, very interesting but also very demanding because of the route choices”, he said, adding that “the course definitely suited me because I like flat terrains and I'm fast, but it was also a good technical race.” The Czech Vojtech Ludvik showed that his bronze in yesterday's Long Distance wasn't a fluke, being fourth with more 1:27 than Foliforov. After his surprising winning in the Long Distance, the Swiss Simon Braendli was today far below the expectations, finishing in the 50th position. The best Portuguese athlete was, once more, Davide Machado, finishing in the 16th position with the time of 1:01:01.

Benham and Barlet on top

The Women Elite class had in the French Gäelle Barlet and the British Emily Benham a winning pair. Both athletes did a really close race, with the final result perfectly showing it. The winners' time was 54:49, against 55:32 from the IOF MTB Orienteering World Ranking first placed, Martina Tichovska, Czech Republic. Regarding yesterday's race, the Swiss Maja Rothweiler upgraded one position in the final standings, being fourth 1:39 after the winners.

To Emily Benham, “it was an unusual race as the course was completely in the vineyards. There were lots of permitted passages between the vines but these were difficult to see. It was easy to make many small mistakes.” Being cautious with her Orienteering and trying to be certain she was going on the correct passages, were keys for success, compensating for the physical part, far from ideal: “After yesterday it was also hard to find any speed in my legs - I felt so slow!”, she confesses. And her final words: “It's great to have two wins at the start of the season but there are still some months left until the World's, so it will be interesting to see how my shape will be then.” Showing natural satisfaction for her victory, Gäelle Barlet left also some words: “I wasn't fast enough in the finish and I don't know if I made the best route choices but I managed to keep focused during my race”. Like Benham, she didn't feel comfortable in the complex mazy of tracks through the vineyards: “I prefer the forest. You can't ride fast here, you lose the fluidity because it's really difficult to distinguish all those tracks in the map”, she said.


Men Elite
1. Anton Foliforov (Russia) 55:56 (+ 00:00)
2. Lauri Malsroos (Estonia) 56:56 (+ 01:00)
3. Andreas Waldmann (Austria) 57:03 (+ 01:07)
4. Vojtech Ludvik (Czech Republic) 57:23 (+ 01:27)
5. Yoann Garde (France) 57:35 (+ 01:39)
6. Jiri Hradil (Czech Republic) 57:53 (+ 01:57)
6. Jonas Maiselis (Lithuania) 57:53 (+ 01:57)
16. Davide Machado (Portugal) 1:01:01 (+ 05:05)
37. João Ferreira (Portugal) 1:06:13 (+ 10:17)
47. Daniel Marques (Portugal) 1:11:18 (+ 15:22)

Women Elite
1. Gäelle Barlet (France) 54:49 (+ 00:00)
1. Emily Benham (Great Britain) 54:49 (+ 00:00)
3. Martina Tichovska (Czech Republic) 55:32 (+ 00:43)
4. Maja Rothweiler (Switzerland) 56:28 (+ 01:39)
5. Svetlana Poverina (Russia) 57:58 (+ 03:09)
6. Laura Scaravonati (Italy) 58:12 (+ 03:23)
32. Ana Filipa Silva (Portugal) 1:10:59 (+ 16:10)

[Foto: Hans Jørgen Kvåle /]

Joaquim Margarido

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