Stålnacke and Giovannini the first winners

Posted on | April 27, 2016 | Category: Newsletter

For the first time ever, Portugal hosted a round of the European Cup in Trail Orienteering. The big winners of the first two ECTO stages were Erik Stålnacke (TempO) and Marco Giovannini (PreO). In the overall standings, Stålnacke is the first leader.

IMG_0528The European Cup in Trail Orienteering 2016 started with two stages taking place in the beautiful green area of Monsanto, in Lisbon, Portugal. Organized by the CPOC – Clube Português de Orientação e Corrida – the Municipality of Lisbon and the Portuguese Orienteering Federation, the event attracted 40 competitors from six countries. The Swede Erik Stålnacke, overall winner of ECTO last year, could not have started better, winning the TempO stage on the first day. Stålnacke performed really consistently, achieving a final result of 239 seconds and just two mistakes overall at the six stations (with five tasks at each). Despite an almost clean race – one single mistake! – the Italian Remo Madella (VIVAIO) wasn’t fast enough to achieve top position, finishing a close 25.5 seconds behind the winner. The third place went to the Portuguese Edgar Domingues (COC) with 279 seconds overall and the same number of mistakes as Stålnacke.

To Erik Stålnacke, the victory was anything but expected:
– I didn’t expect to win and it was a great result”, were the winner’s first words. The athlete explains the secret of his success: “It was really important to start with a clear mind after the first event. The PreO race during the morning was a sort of warm-up. It was a long and tough race and it wasn’t easy to ‘reload’ again and be ready for such a demanding TempO race as we had here. But I was able to manage things in the best way and I can’t be more happy, he concludes.

“Lisbon brings me luck”
The second stage of ECTO completed the Portuguese Trail Orienteering journey, with a PreO course with 24 controls and the ‘bonus’ of a timed control station adding three more tasks. This time Stålnacke wasn’t accurate enough to repeat the victory, and the podium places were occupied by three competitors with the same number of correct answers, 21, separated by the time spent at the timed controls. Here, the Italian Marco Giovannini (OK Trzin) had more correct answers and was faster than the Finn Esko Junttila (Muuramen Rasti) and the Swede Martin Fredholm (OK Linné), second and third in the results list respectively.
IMG_0614– Lisbon brings me luck, and I feel happy because I was able to beat some very strong competitors. On the other hand I see every competition as a fight against myself, and I made three mistakes which left me a bit disappointed. I would say that my result was better than my performance”, Giovannini said. Despite seeing this victory as a source of motivation, Giovannini ends with a note of regret: “I’m very happy because I believe in TrailO, but sadly the Italian Federation doesn’t. We have World Champions in TrailO in Italy, and we are continuously getting good results, but nothing changes. I hope these results can help them to see that we also exist and that we deserve the same consideration as Italian MTBO and SkiO athletes.

Text and photo: Joaquim Margarido

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