The Junior European Cup (JEC) took us up a scenic and twisting road to the La Croix de Bauzon, which saw the athletes competing at between 1300 to 1500 metres. Initially chilly, the sun came through for a breath-taking panorama and some very hot and tough courses. The athletes were facing a number of round or straight route choice decisions, with very steep valleys, and a considerable amount of green of various run ability.
As for results, it was a mixed day. Grace Molloy seemed to be in another medal position, being 3rd fastest, only for the entire W20 course to be voided following a protest. The problem was the disappearance of the SI box at control 1 following the passing of the very early starters. It was not replaced until past half way through the race. Several athletes lost time, as there was no visible control number, and so different relocation times were the issue. Whilst Grace was sanguine about the decision, the 'winner' was Elena Pezzati of Switzerland, who lost out on the previous day’s Sprint after a somewhat controversial control placement led to her, and others, mis-punching.
That aside, the other stand-out GB performers were Megan Keith and Eilidh Campbell, 9th and 17th respectively on W18. Late starter, Flurry Grierson, caused some excitement in the arena, as he was called in 5th at the second radio control, but unfortunately lost a lot of time on one control, and after that finished best M18 in 28th place. Alastair Thomas was top M20 finishing 26th.
Full results from the Long distance race at the Junior European Cup this weekend are available here.
Attention then turned to the Relays, where hopes are high given our recent results in junior competitions. The terrain was adjacent to the model area and is very steep, very rough underfoot, with thorny vegetation to add to the fun. That, with temperatures of around 25 degrees, will make it a real challenge that the team is up for.