The Finnish women defended their WMTBOC-title in style winning Saturday’s relay by nearly 10 minutes. At the same time the Czech men continued the streak of great performances and won their relay by six minutes.
After some days in flat terrain, the final day of the championships tested the MTBO-athletes ability to climb. The women’s course was 12,6 kilometers with 370 meters and 16 kilometers with 460 meters waited for the men.
In the women’s class Marika Hara (FIN) created a gap of more than a minute to Constance Devillers (FRA) with the Czech team two minutes further behind in third spot after leg 1.
Ruska Saarela continued to increase the lead on her second leg and paved the way for the big win, which Kaarina Nurminen sealed on the last leg.
Behind them, France’s Lucie Rudkiewich and Lou Garcin held on to second spot all way and yesterday’s winner, Martina Tichovka gained two positions on the last leg and secured the bronze for Czechia.
In the men’s class Vojtech Stransky (CZE) had a great start as well and went into the exchange with a lead of just more than a minute.
After him the double gold winners earlier this week, Vojtech Ludvik and Krystof Bogar kept up the pace and secured the comfortable win of six minutes.
Behind them Czechia 2 had a great second and third leg and came in second position, just before Lithuania and Switzerland, who got the bronze after Simon Hellmüller gained five spots on his third leg.
France was long in contention for a medal, but dropped to fifth spot after the final leg.
On the other hand, the French juniors won the M20 class and Finland could celebrate their W20 gold.
That was all for an exciting week of world class MTBO races in Czechia.
The season continues from September 20 – 23, where the CX80 World Cup in MTB Orienteering and U23 World MTB Orienteering Championships 2023 is decided in Italy.
Photo: Honza Svoboda / WMTBOC 2023