The sole forest race of the World Cup Final Round happened today in the famous bohemian paradise terrain near Turnov. With 4.3km/3.7km courses holding a large amount of climb for the men and women respectfully and winning times of 35mins, it was clear that the terrain would hold something special. Steep gullies containing massive sandstone crags, boulders, and often pillars covered most of the area, and although extremely technical and steep, the groundcover was relatively clean. This produced a difficult challenge for the Brits, most of whom had never experienced anything like it before.
Those who knew the terrain well and had the correct technical approach held a huge advantage today, with the best example being the Men’s winner Milos Nykodym (CZE) who used to live nearby. Karolin Ohlsson (SWE) took an impressive win in the Women’s race, and across both classes the Czech’s performed outright as one of the top nations, if not top.
The best of the Brits were Catherine Taylor (36th) Jonathan Crickmore (38th). Cat wasn’t too satisfied with her performance but put it down to a lack of experience in the spicy terrain. She said “the main difficulty was the route choices, not used to how far you have to run around for the best route! A great and challenging race but some work to do before WOC 2021”.
Jonny was happy to complete his full set of scoring disciplines [top 40s] at World Cups with today’s middle, following on from his recent win at the British Middle Champs. He summarised the race with the following press release.
Also ranking high were Alexander Chepelin (48th) and Charlotte Watson (49th).
For the rest of the team it was more of a day to soak up the international experience in a stacked World Cup field and thoroughly test the epic terrain that will be similar to the World Championships in 2021. Many of the team have been through several days in a row of racing now, which is not easy on the legs and the brain especially so late in the season.
Tomorrow holds the final race of this year’s international orienteering season with an individual sprint race. The top 40 in both classes of the World Cup Standings will race the World Cup Final while the rest of the participants will run a second-tier WRE race. This B race could well be just as competitive since many sprint specialists do not hold many World Cup points in the forest. Running the main World Cup Final for GB we have Alice Leake, Catherine Taylor, and Peter Hodkinson. Ahead of tomorrow’s final, Peter says “looking forward to a spicy final race to end the season. Czech sprint races are usually quite exciting so I think it’ll be a good one.”
Full results available here.