World MTB Orienteering Championships: Czech Republic’s first-ever relay victory

Posted on | August 30, 2013 | Category: News

Krystof Bogar on the last leg. Photo: Ludomir Parfianowicz

The always-strong Czech Republic team at last achieved a first-ever World Championship relay victory today, taking the men’s title ahead of Finland and Estonia with Russia in 4th place. The strong favourites for the women’s title, Finland, won comfortably in the end but got into the lead only on the last leg.

Racing in the Estonian Event Centre town Rakvare and the surrounding forest, the lead in both races changed after each leg. In the men’s race the support of the home crowd helped Lauri Malsroos, silver medallist in the sprint, to lead the field at the end of the first leg. The less experienced Margus Hallik dropped a place on the second leg, where Samuli Saaarela pulled the Finnish team up from third to first, but on the final leg it was Krystof Bogar of the Czech Republic who demonstrated the greatest speed and skill to bring his team to victory by 1 minute and 31 seconds. Finland took silver and Estonia bronze. Russia and Lithuania held fourth and fifth places throughout the race, whilst France came through to take the last podium place, albeit behind Finland’s second team.

The Czech Republic started best in the women’s race, with Ingrid Stengård for Finland finishing fifth, but the Czech second-leg rider was overtaken by Switzerland, Finland and Denmark. Finland’s Marika Hara, buoyed no doubt by her Middle distance win on Wednesday, produced a very fast final leg to win at the end by almost 3 minutes. Denmark comfortably took silver medal position and the bronze medals went to Switzerland. The Czech team finished fourth, followed by Lithuania and Slovakia.

marika hara_small

Marika Hara secured victory for the Finnish team with an impressive performance. Photo: Ludomir Parfianowicz

The favourites France led throughout to take the junior men’s title. The junior women’s race was won by Russia, after Lithuania led at the end of the first leg.

The final race of the Championships is the Long distance, to be held tomorrow (Saturday) at Valgehobusemäe. The senior women ride 26.0 km direct (estimated shortest riding distance 34.6 km) with a planned winning time of 90 minutes, whilst the men have 34.9 km (shortest actual 46.5 km) in a planned 110 minutes winning time.

Leading results – Relay

Women

  1. Finland (Ingrid Stengård, Susanna Laurila, Marika Hara)  2:12:17
  2. Denmark (Ann-Dorthe Lisbygd, Nina Hoffmann, Camilla Søgaard)  2:15:16
  3. Switzerland (Maja Rothweiler, Claudia Huenig, Ursina Jaeggi)  2:18.06
  4. Czech Republic  2:21:31
  5. Lithuania  2:23:59
  6. Slovakia  2:26:10

Men

  1. Czech Republic (František Bogar, Jan Svoboda, Kryštof Bogar)  2:21:14
  2. Finland (Pekka Niemi, Samuli Saarela, Jussi Laurila)  2:22:45
  3. Estonia (Lauri Malsroos, Margus Hallik, Tõnis Erm)  2:23:09
  4. Russia  2:27:15
  5. Lithuania  2:30:29
  6. France  2:31:09

Junior medallists

Women

Gold – Russia, silver – Czech Republic, bronze – Lithuania

Men

Gold – France, silver – Estonia, bronze – Sweden

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