Ski Orienteering World Cup: Tough fight in the men’s race

Posted on | January 31, 2012 | Category: News

Reigning long distance World Champion Andrey Grigoriev started the new season with a victory.
Photo: Markku Vauhkonen

Men’s long distance mass start race at Lake Tahoe was tight from the start to the very end. The top 10-15 competitors were close to each other during the entire race.

Russia’s Andrey Grigoriev was leading the group after the first and second loops, but coming into the spectator control only 2 kilometers before the finish, he had lost his lead to Norwegian Hans-Jörgen Kvåle. “I got a clear tactic from my coach. Firstly, to make sure that I do not fall and break equipment in the very fast downhills, as the snow was hard and the tracks a bit icy. Secondly, to take it easy and do not make any mistakes. I however lost time on the last loop on a route choice and Hans-Jörgen got past me to the last kilometres. I saw him try a short cut through a thick forest to the second last control, and I decided to choose a safer route on the right, and passed him when he had difficulties to come back to the track.”, said the happy winner.

Kvåle, who grabbed the second place, was disappointed: “I had physically a very good day. As I had passed Andrey, I was sure I was going to win. However, when going to the second last control, I took a shortcut, got stuck in the bushes and my ski binding opened. When I was trying to get it  back on, I saw Andrey just swooshing by. I had no chance to catch him.”

The fight for bronze was spectacular. Three men: Staffan Tunis, Finland, Lars Hol Moholdt, Norway and Erik Rost, Sweden, came all at the same time to the last control. Tunis and Moholdt were skiing side by side from last control to the finish line, and only after a video finish check up it was evident that Moholdt had managed to stretch across the finish line half a shoe length ahead of Tunis, thus taking bronze. Reigning middle distance World Champion Tunis finished fourth and Rost fifth.

Photo: Markku Vauhkonen

The weather conditions and the terrain for ski orienteering in Truckee were spectacular. Blue sky and shining white snowy mountains of Sierra Nevada with fast snow and few minus degrees were truly welcoming the international ski orienteering family to the new continent. World Cup continues on Wednesday with sprint races.


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