The long-distance mass start race of the MTB Orienteering World Cup in Sweden became a challenge for both organizers and competitors.
Just minutes before the start of the race the organizers noticed a problem with the maps. They decided to postpone the men’s start in order to guarantee a fair competition for everyone.
The women’s class was able to start on time and 40 ladies set out on the about 20 km long course in the typical Dala terrain. The course was all about route choices, which at times varied a great deal between the top riders. Still, when the top group of riders approached the finish, heading for the last controls, it was impossible to know who’d win. At the last control, Susanna Laurila, however, had got a gap to the other riders and the Finn finished before Ksenia Chernykh (RUS) and Rikke Kornvig (DEN).
When the men’s class started, 63 competitors went out on a course that measured over 27 km. At a radio control after half of the course, Marek Pospisek (CZE) had got a gap of half a minute down to the chasing group, but when they had ridden some more kilometers, including a forking butterfly, he was caught up by the group. At the final controls near the arena, Erik Skovgaard Knudsen (DEN) made some better route choices combined with a furious speed, which resulted in a victory with 1:14 ahead of Anton Foliforov (RUS) and Tõnis Erm (EST). The World Cup continues with sprint relay on Monday.
For more information, visit the International Orienteering Federation (2011, June 19) MTBO World Cup: Challenging route choices.