Hungary hosts World Mountain Bike Orienteering Championships

Posted on | August 20, 2012 | Category: News

Mountain bike orienteers from 30 nations have gathered in Veszprém, a town 12 km NW of Lake Balaton in Hungary, for the World Mountain Bike Orienteering Championships (WMTBOC), with the first competition, the Long qualification, taking place today. 100 men and 72 women riders have taken part in today’s races.

Veszprém has an abundance of karst terrain nearby with many paths and tracks, together with rideable open areas as well as dense forest – ideal for MTBO. The Middle, Long and Relay races will all use this kind of terrain, which has some tricky steep sections and a lot of surface stones and thorns, requiring top-class riding skills as well as a good sense for navigation and route choice.

The Sprint races tomorrow will be on a largely open area with a dense path and track network.

Motocross tracks are a feature of some parts of the competition areas, and also old military diggings and other structures. Riders are expected to be off-road for 15-20% of their courses, dependent on route choice.

In the finals, riders are divided into 4 start groups of which the last, the Red Start Group, consists of the current World Champion in the format and the ten best participants in the IOF World Rankings. These riders, and some others, will carry GPS tracking equipment, and the tracking will be shown live in the arenas and in specially edited programmes at the Event Centre each evening.

The programme for the week is:
Monday 20 August: Long qualification

Tuesday 21 August: Sprint final, Welcome Ceremony

Wednesday 22 August: Middle distance final

Thursday 23 August: rest day

Friday 24 August: Relay

Saturday 25 August: Long distance final

The Junior and Masters World Championships are also being held this week at the same venue.

Today’s Long distance qualification competition had courses for the women of length 14.9 km with170 m climb by the optimum route, and for the men 20.8 km + 280 m. Actual riding distance in MTBO is typically 25-30% longer than the direct distance. There were 2 heats for women, with the best 30 from each heat qualifying for the final on Saturday, and 3 heats for men, with the best 20 from each heat qualifying. Surprise heat winners were Cecilia Thomasson, Sweden, world-ranked no. 18 and Lauri Malsroos, Estonia, world-ranked no. 35. Second-ranked Marika Hara, Finland dominated her heat, winning by more than 5½ minutes.

 Full results and more event information can be found on

 Heat winners, Long qualification

Women 1: Marika Hara FIN 55:45, (5.35 lead over no. 2)

Women 2: Cecilia Thomasson SWE 55:15 (1.37 lead)

Men 1: Lauri Malsroos EST 72:00 (0.04 lead)

Men 2: Samuli Saarela FIN 71:50 (2.16 lead)

Men 3: Ruslan Gritsan RUS 63:51 (1.30 lead)

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