Thursday, July 28, 2016

WMTBOC 2016: Long Distance preview

Overcoming its first half, the World MTB Orienteering Championships WMTBOC 2016 reaches the final two days of competition. Tomorrow will take place the last individual final, with a Long Distance which is going to demand the best from the athletes.

Crossed by the river with the same name, the city of Águeda extends on a slight slope in a wide valley. It's an important commercial and industrial centre of an extremely fertile agricultural area in the production of corn, fruit, wine and wood. Águeda has been highly developed in terms of engineering, the manufacture of engines for motorcycles and construction materials, and bicycle manufacturing. Because of its economic activity, Águeda deserves the epithet of “bike land”.

The courses of the Long finals will be fun, but at the same time physically exceedingly challenging. The area requires full physical effort from the athletes. Whoever masters combining speed and technique and staying calm in the heat of competition will run into the top positions tomorrow.

Program Overview

Friday, 29th July (Águeda)
Long Distance

08:30 - 20:00 - Opening hours of the Event Office at the Event Centre
09:00 - Start of Long distance course (EYMTBOC, JWMTBOC, WMS, Open, and B Final WMTBOC)
10:00 - Finish quarantine activated
11:25 - Start quarantine activated
11:30 - Finish quarantine finished
11:30 - Start for WMTBOC long distance course
16:00 - 19:00 - Opening hours of the Event Office at Event Centre
16:00 - Deadline for names/start group allocation for Relay competitions at the Event Centre
16:30 - Prize giving ceremony for Long Distance
18:00 - Team Leaders Meeting at Event Centre

Course Details

Length (km)
Climb (m)

Map scale: 1:15.000
Contours: 5 meters
Map size: 35 x 31 cm

The Long Distance will take place in a steep forest area to the South, punctuated with derelict farmsteads, meadows and rolling meadows and scrubland to the north. The forest characteristic features are typical Mediterranean forest, consisting mainly of Eucalyptus plantations, with multiple paths and roads, dense vegetation. The area is a working forest with recent felling. The forest areas sometimes have underbrush that can hamper the shortcuts.

On some of the steepy valley sides, in the Eucalyptus plantations, there are many parallel extraction lanes that could be viewed as tracks. They are too numerous and close together to map accurately in places. Due to a very wet winter some track junctions are difficult to see, however the indistinct track junction symbol has not been used. Efforts have been made to clear track junctions and over grown tracks wherever possible. Thorny vegetation can be found. Therefore, puncture protection is strongly recommended.

The favourites

After the convincing performances in the Sprint and Middle Distance races, the top favourite for the gold in the Men competition is the multiple World Champion Anton Foliforov (Russia). Defending his World title, Anton will try to get the gold for the fourth time in this distance, matching his team mate Ruslan Gritsan's achievement and reaching the impressive amount of three individual gold medals in the same event, which would happen for the first time ever in the Championsips' history. But he has to pay attention to Ruslan, third placed in yesterday's Middle Distance final, and also to the French Baptiste Fuchs, the Czech Krystof Bogar and the Italian Luca Dallavalle.

In the Women Elite class, the fight will be really tight and, once more, the Czech Martina Tichovska is one the big favourites, defending the title achieved last year on home ground. However, the British Emily Benham seems to be ready to thwart Martina's goal, as well as the Russian Olga Shipilova Vinogradova, the French Gaëlle Barlet, the Finnish Marika Hara and the Danish Camilla Soegaard.
Everything to follow at

Joaquim Margarido

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