Foliforov, Barlet and Benham with victories in the MTBO World Cup Middle Distance

Posted on | May 15, 2016 | Category: News

After yesterday’s storm, the sunny High-Rhine vineyards were quite a promenade for a really well contested Middle Distance in the second day of MTBO World Cup 2016 Round 1. It was not a surprising victory that the 3 times World Cup total winner, Anton Foliforov won the men’s race. The women’s result was slightly more surprising with a shared victory between Gäelle Barlet and Emily Benham.

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. “The nice weather made the map reading so much easier than yesterday and I only made one small mistake”, said the winner after the race. 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.

Anton Foliforov was flying around the course in the nice weather and enjoyed being able to read the map. without the mud.

Anton Foliforov was flying around the course in the nice weather and enjoyed being able to read the map without the mud.

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 felt I managed quite well.” 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 1:27 more 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.

Men's podium

Men’s podium

Benham and Barlet on the top

In the Women Elite class, the two fastest athletes had the same time. The winning pair was also number 1 and 2 in yesterday’s race, the French Gäelle Barlet and the British Emily Benham. 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.

Emily Benham said, “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.”

Emily Benham had a good race in the French vineyards

Emily Benham had a good race in the French vineyards

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 flow because it’s really difficult to distinguish all those tracks in the map”, she said.

Gaelle Barlet sprinting to the finish and managed to equal the time to Emily Benham

Gaelle Barlet being cheered by the French spectators while sprinting into equal time with Emily Benham in the finish

Women's Podium

Women’s Podium

Emily Benham and Anton Foliforov is leading the MTBO World Cup after 2 races.

Emily Benham and Anton Foliforov is leading the MTBO World Cup after 2 races.


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)

 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)

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