Victory to Benham and Braendli in the MTBO World Cup opening

Posted on | May 14, 2016 | Category: News

Simon Braendli and Emily Benham started the MTB Orienteering World Cup 2016 with the right foot. In a really tough Long Distance, they’ve shown at the highest level, achieving victories in arguably the most physically and mentally challenging MTBO race to date.

The MTBO Orienteering World Cup 2016 started today at Guebwiller, in Alsace (France). Searching for the best possible result, 62 men and 38 women headed the Throo Stadium earlier in the morning, for a tough and challenging Long Distance through the High-Rhine’s superb terrains. In the Men Elite class, the Swiss Simon Braendli was a surprising winner, finishing with the time of 2:22:34 and achieving his first World Cup victory ever. 25th placed in the IOF MTB Orienteering World Ranking, the 25 y.o. athlete was faster than anyone else, leaving the second place to the IOF World Ranking leader, the Russian Anton Foliforov, with more 2:44. The Czech Vojtech Ludvik was another wonderful surprise, finishing third with more 3:21 than the winner. Fourth-placed Clément Souvray, France, and sixth placed Riccardo Rossetto, Italy, also reached unexpected results.

Although a bit upset when crossing the finish line because some small mistakes in the vineyards that almost ruined his result, Simon Braendli was very happy with his race and mostly with his tyre choice in muddy terrains. ” To the second placed, “it was the muddiest MTBO event of my life”, he says Foliforov with a big smile. But he liked the course and its several long legs with really interesting and complicated route choices. Although his good pace from the start, Anton admits that “the earlier starters had a good advantage, because the bad weather conditions affected mostly the red group. Some troubles with “seeing the map normally, because of map holder fogged up from inside”, small mistakes in some route choices and some mechanical problems didn’t trouble Anton’s mood and he’s clear when he concludes: “I am satisfied with the result”.

Anton Foliforov happy after his finish in the extremely muddy long distance.

Anton Foliforov (RUS) happy after his finish in the extremely muddy long distance.

Also Vojtěch Ludvík left his opinion, showing himself really happy for that result, mainly because “it means a presence in Portugal and Lithuania”. After a first half of the race quite clear and at a comfortable pace, “in the second half was I made mistake after mistake”, Ludvík says. But it’s definitely his best result on the international ground and he couldn’t be happier.

Men's podium

Men’s podium

As for the Women Elite class, the British Emily Benham started the best way as defending World Cup winner overall in the two last years. She reached the finish line after 2:03:45 riding hills and valleys, winning by 1:57 over the French Gäelle Barlet, second, and 4:38 over the Czech Renata Paulickova, third. For Emily, it was almost race over to the fourth control, with a big mistake, ‘I really struggled to find the path I wanted. Everything looked the same! After this mistake I knew I had to do the perfect race, but 5 mins is a massive time loss. Instead of going faster, I was stopping more to be 100% certain I was about to go the correct way and I found some great flow. But I really had no problems with the mud, my bike and tyres were just perfect!’

Emily Benham GBR sprinting from the last control

Emily Benham (GBR) sprinting from the last control

The fight for the bronze was really intense, with the Finnish Ingrid Stengard and the Swiss Maja Rothweiler only 8 seconds and 18 seconds, respectively, behind Paulickova. The Czech Martina Tichovska, the current IOF MTB Orienteering World Ranking leader , finished 8th 8:14 behind Benham.

Women's podium

Women’s podium


Men Elite
1. Simon Braendli (Switzerland) 2:22:34 (+ 00:00)
2. Anton Foliforov (Russia) 2:25:18 (+ 02:44)
3. Vojtech Ludvik (Czech Republic) 2:25:55 (+ 03:21)
4. Clément Souvray (France) 2:26:18 (+ 03:44)
5. Luca Dallavalle (Italy) 2:26:23 (+ 03:49)
6. Riccardo Rossetto (Italy) 2:28:31 (+ 05:57)

Women Elite
1. Emily Benham (Great Britain) 2:03:45 (+ 00:00)
2. Gäelle Barlet (France) 2:05:42 (+ 01:57)
3. Renata Paulickova (Czech Republic) 2:08:23 (+ 04:38)
4. Ingrid Stengard (Finland) 2:08:31 (+ 04:46)
5. Maja Rothweiler (Switzerland) 2:08:41 (+ 04:56)
6. Ursina Jaeggi (Switzerland) 2:09:41 (+ 05:56)

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