Thierry Gueorgiou and Simone Niggli were the stars

Posted on | October 12, 2007 | Category: News

In the last two competitions of World Cup 2007, Thierry Gueorgiou (FRA) and Simone Niggli (SUI) were the big stars, as they have been the whole season. They won the last two races in great manner and won the total World Cup with a big lead.

The first race was organised in a typical Swiss continental terrain with flat and steep parts. The winning time was a bit longer than normally in a middle distance, because the last one and a half kilometres were run through the little town Stein am Rhein. The reason for this: the finish area should be in the middle of the 1000 years old town, where the spectators could follow the races on a big screen. Also the start and finish area from the Sprint race the following day were in the town. There were a lot of spectators – especially on Sunday after the public race – who cheered enthusiastically on the athletes. The atmosphere was great.

In the middle distance, Thierry Gueorgiou won due to a strong finish. At the twelfth control Matthias Merz (SUI) was still in the lead, but in the last third of the race, Thierry was 45 seconds faster. “After the long season I was mentally empty, but I have enough routine and experience to run well also in this competition”, Thierry said after the race. Daniel Hubmann (SUI) came third in the race, François Gonon (FRA) was fourth, Tero Föhr (FIN) fifth and Michal Smola (CZE) sixth.

In the women’s class, Simone Niggli and Minna Kauppi (FIN) had an exciting fight. First Minna was faster, then Simone, again Minna, but in the end, it was Simone who was 22 seconds faster. “She always does it”, was the comment from Minna, “but I am still happy”. Simone did not find a good rhythm from the start and took a bad route, but then she found the flow and got faster and faster. The third woman on the podium was the 27-year-old Angela Wild (SUI), who reached her best result ever. In the places 4 to 6 were Anne Margrethe Hausken (NOR), Helena Jansson (SWE) and Dana Brožkova (CZE).

In the sprint, Thierry Gueorgiou was the fastest again. As a result, he won all the World Cup races in which he participated (in Sweden he did not start in the ultralong). But the gap between him and Matthias Müller (SUI) was only 2,5 seconds. For Matthias it was the best result after the fifth place in the WOC sprint in Denmark in 2006. Daniel Hubmann was the unlucky third man. He was leading at the fifth last control with nearly half a minute, but then he missed the fourth last control, which was a bit hidden. Tero Föhr (FIN) was fourth, Mikkel Lund (DEN) fifth and Matthias Merz (SUI) came in sixth place.

In the women’s class, Simone Niggli was running in class by herself. She was in the lead from the first control and nobody has a chance. In the finish, she was 22 seconds faster than the sprint specialist Lena Eliasson (SWE). Anne Margrethe Hausken (NOR) came after a weak beginning stronger in the end, and finished in third place. In the places 4 to 6 were Seline Stalder (SUI), Helena Jansson (SWE) and Minna Kauppi (FIN).

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Text and pictures: Brigitte Wolf

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