Thierry Gueorgiou is back on the start line today for the WOC middle distance qualification. That will give both him and everybody else a first answer as to wether he can get yet another middle distance title. The middle distance is the most open race – and the middle distance is also the race where the chances are biggest for favourites missing the Top 15 which is required to go to the finals.
The middle distance terrain is very difficult from the long and relay terrain. This Jura terrain can be considered as a “light edition” of the terrain in France last year – the tricky parts being nearly up to the level from last year’s Savoie terrain although with somewhat better runnability, but with open, fast areas which should make speed adaptment very important.
The qualification terrain is at lower altitude than the final terrain – featuring less open fields. The forest is dense with large depressions, stony areas and rocks. The visibility is often limited, and the speed is not very high – although significantly higher than in the extreme areas in France last year.
|Maps||Sex||Courses||Length (km)||Climb (m)||Controls
|Bois Rond||Men||A,B,C||4.8/4.9||160-170||15||26||1:10’000||5 m|
|Bois Rond||Women||A,B,C||4.1/4.2||120-130||17||26||1:10’000||5 m|
Course planners: Pierre-Alain Matthey and Luc Béguin
- Middle Qual: Women from 13:01 CET – Men from 14:11 CET- 2 minutes start interval
Live services and other useful links:
- Live results and startlists in the WOC 2012 Live Centre
- Media Startlist men and Media Startlist women
- There will be a LiveBlog organized by the WOC 2012 organizers in cooperation with World of O
- WOC 2012 Team overview: Results and pictures for all races so far sorted by country
- WOC 2012 Pictures on Facebook – with name & place on each pictures: Tag yourself and your team mates
- WOC 2012 Team pictures: Picture slideshow of all pictures for each country
- WOC 2012 Long qualification: Analysis and routes of Heat Winners
- Historical WOC results sorted by year
- WOC 2012 webpage
- WOC 2012 Bulletin 4
With this terrain description, it is difficult to get around Thierry Gueorgiou as the big favourite. Gueorgiou has struggled with an injury which has set the French “King of Middle” on the sideline since the European Championships in the middle of May. Even with nearly no running for close to two months, Gueorgiou will be the biggest gold favourite if he decides that he is on the start line. With uncertainty around the French technical mastermind, the fight for gold opens up. Olav Lundanes of Norway, reigning European Champion middle distance from Sweden, is probably the biggest runner up along with Swiss Baptiste Rollier who has prepared extremely well for this race, Swedish Peter Öberg who surprises year after year by coming from an outsider position and taking a medal, Valentin Novikov – the “EOC middle specialist” and Carl Waaler Kaas – the champion from Trondheim in 2010. But the list of potential gold medalists is even longer: Fabian Hertner, Tue Lassen, Francois Gonon, Marc Lauenstein, Oleksandr Kratov and several others have the potential to be up there on the WOC middle distance if they hit the jackpot.
In the women’s class, this is probably where Simone Niggli is the least favourite – but after 5 World Cup victories of 5 possible this season she is still the gold favourite. The middle distance is the best opportunity for gold for Swedish Helena Jansson. The third big favourite is Minna Kauppi of Finland – showing very impressive running on parts of the Swiss and Finnish WOC tests middle distance. Probably one of these three will take the title – with EOC medalist Tatiana Riabkina as an outsider – but behind these three we have several runners who might get to the top on a top day: Swedish Tove Alexandersson can either win a clear victory with a perfect race – or miss the finals if she has one of the races like she had a JWOC this week. Ida Bobach from Denmark – last year’s silver medalist is also one who can take it home. Also count in the other Swiss women.