Photos from the Middle distance race at the World Cup Final Round in Italy. Photo credits: William Hollowell (IOF).
The Middle distance race was in fast and open forest, with complex contour detail and a lot of crags and rock which meant that high concentration was necessary as well as strength and speed. Tove Alexandersson (SWE) and Kaspar Harlem Fosser (NOR) were worthy winners, with Megan Carter-Davies (GB) and Ralph Street (GB) putting in excellent performances to finish 10th and 22nd respectively.
The women’s race developed in a quite fascinating way, with fastest times at intermediate controls being regularly bettered as the later starters came through.
In the men’s race a strong time was recorded early on by home athlete Riccardo Scalet; he set some impressive Leg times that very few of the later runners managed to beat, and his time ended good enough for the bronze medal.
Sunday saw the final day of competition, ending the event with an exciting Sprint Relay in which the lead changed several times, and eventually won by Norway in a sprint finish, with Sweden finishing just 5 seconds behind.
Agility, speed and good navigation was needed as Sweden dominated the race early on, their teams taking the first three places after the first Leg, however thanks to a fine run by Ralph Street, Great Britain moved up to 3rd place on Leg 3. Leg 4 saw Andrine Benjaminsen for Norway trying to hold off Sara Hagstrom for Sweden, Megan Carter Davies for Great Britain and Simona Aebersold for Switzerland. A great race on the streets, steps and hills of Cortina ended with Benjaminsen holding off Hagstrom in the sprint to the finish. Aebersold and Carter Davies lost 45 seconds on the course and finished third and fourth, with Sweden’s second team sandwiched between them.
After the race Megan commented: “The team did an awesome job and as soon as I heard Ralph was up at the front on 3rd Leg I was getting nervous!
I was sent out in 2nd place just behind Norway, with Sweden and Switzerland very close behind too. I was feeling very tired and flat so while I knew speed was not on my side today, I tried to focus on taking good routes and staying ahead of my navigation. Unfortunately I let myself down a couple of times, changing my mind last minute as I saw some of the girls ahead of me take the wrong decision and going with them, so in the end I was disappointed with my run and can’t help but think about what could have been when we finished so close to 3rd place.
Anyway it was exciting to be on the podium again and this kind of result, with space for improvement, is great motivation for us towards next year’s Sprint World Champs.”
Photos from the Sprint Relay. Photo credits: William Hollowell (IOF).
Well done to all the Team Members in Italy, and thank you to Team Managers Andy Kitchin and Mark Hayman for supporting the team throughout the competition.