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WOC 2017 Relay: Quick Analysis of Decisive Points

The tricky terrain at the WOC 2017 lead to bigger mistakes than we normally see at a WOC relay – also among the top teams. Norway’s winning team in the men’s class and Sweden’s winning team in the women’s class each had three good technical races.

This is a very quick look at some of the decisive moments in the battle for the medals in the relay. See this article for maps and results from the relay.




The above splits graph shows the development throughout the men’s relay, with one point for each common control. Changeover after leg 1 is at common control number 7 and changeover after leg 2 is at common control number 14. When a curve goes steeply down, this means that a team has made a big mistake at a given control – the time lost can be seen on the left axis.

The folllowing are key points on the first leg in the battle for the medals which can be seen clearly from the splits graph:

  • Switzerland loses the relay already after a few minutes running. A 4 minute mistake already to the tricky, forked first control ruined the race for the Swiss medal favourite.

  • Russia does a similar mistake to the first control and loses more than 2 minutes.

  • France had some trouble in the start of the first leg. This could have been decisive but Frederic Tranchand pushed very hard and brought France up into the lead.

This gives the following standings after the first leg. Note that Switzerland is down in 15th place and Russia in 12th place – mostly due to the big mistake at the first control.

1. France France 32:02 (+0:00) Total:
96:06 (2)
2. Norway Norway 32:06 (+0:04) Total:
94:50 (1)
3. Lithuania Lithuania 32:06 (+0:04) Total:
106:09 (13)
4. Czech Republic Czech Republic 32:07 (+0:05) Total:
105:01 (11)
5. Denmark Denmark 32:09 (+0:07) Total:
102:23 (9)
6. Finland Finland 32:10 (+0:08) Total:
101:32 (8)
7. Sweden Sweden 32:12 (+0:10) Total:
96:53 (3)
8. Estonia Estonia 33:44 (+1:42) Total:
98:47 (4)
9. AS-SS-AA Belarus 33:45 (+1:43) Total:
106:32 (14)
10. Poland Poland 33:46 (+1:44) Total:
106:07 (12)
11. Latvia Latvia 33:47 (+1:45) Total:
101:28 (7)
12. Ukraine Ukraine 34:12 (+2:10) Total:
103:20 (10)
13. Russia Russian Federation 35:03 (+3:01) Total:
101:20 (6)
14. SU-HM-MC Australia 35:20 (+3:18) Total:
119:54 (18)
15. Switzerland Switzerland 36:41 (+4:39) Total:
101:11 (5)


Second leg:

  • On the second leg, Czech Republic starts the leg very well and is in the lead at the arena passage. Here the Czech runner forgets to turn the map at the map exchange, and continues to run to the same first control as earlier. This gives a 5 minute mistake, and Czech Republic is out of the relay.


  • Sweden’s William Lind loses one minute to the 5th/6th control, mostly due to uncertainty. This is decisive for Sweden’s Gold chances as they get a gap up to Norway’s Olav Lundanes which Norway never goes away – from here to the finish Norway’s Lundanes and Dæhli on the last leg have close to clean races.


  • France loses a minute at the 12th control on the second leg. This is the decisive moment in the battle for Gold, as Olav Lundanes builds a one minute gap here which he never gives away again.

Standing after two legs:

1. Norway Norway 63:14 (+0:00) Total:
94:50 (1)
2. France France 64:35 (+1:21) Total:
96:06 (2)
3. Lithuania Lithuania 64:36 (+1:22) Total:
106:09 (13)
4. Sweden Sweden 65:28 (+2:14) Total:
96:53 (3)
5. Estonia Estonia 66:17 (+3:03) Total:
98:47 (4)
6. Ukraine Ukraine 66:17 (+3:03) Total:
103:20 (10)
7. Latvia Latvia 66:22 (+3:08) Total:
101:28 (7)
8. Finland Finland 68:29 (+5:15) Total:
101:32 (8)
9. Switzerland Switzerland 69:17 (+6:03) Total:
101:11 (5)
10. Russia Russian Federation 69:17 (+6:03) Total:
101:20 (6)

On the last leg there are only small differences between the top three team – no other teams have a chance for a medal with this strong performance by Norway, France and Sweden on the last leg. Final standings:

1. Norway Norway 94:50 (+0:00)
2. France France 96:06 (+1:16)
3. Sweden Sweden 96:53 (+2:03)
4. Estonia Estonia 98:47 (+3:57)
5. Switzerland Switzerland 101:11 (+6:21)
6. Russia Russian Federation 101:20 (+6:30)
7. Latvia Latvia 101:28 (+6:38)
8. Finland Finland 101:32 (+6:42)
9. Denmark Denmark 102:23 (+7:33)
10. Ukraine Ukraine 103:20 (+8:30)




The above splits graph shows the development throughout the women’s relay, with one point for each common control. As for the men’s class, changeover after leg 1 is at common control number 7 and changeover after leg 2 is at common control number 14.


  • Sweden runs a close to perfect race on the two first legs – this decides the race as Tove Alexandersson on the last leg is a bit “rusty” and loses more time than usually to Russia’s Natalia Gemperle
  • Denmark does big mistakes on the first leg, and is already here out of the medal battle
  • Switzerland does a bad first leg, and then starts with a mistake also at the start of the second leg, and is out of the battle for medals after this
  • Norway is in medal position after the first leg, but Marianne Andersen does several minutes mistake on the second leg, and Norway gets so far behind that they are dependent on a maximum race by last leg runner Hausken Nordberg. Hausken Nordberg does several mistakes on her leg, and Norway has no chance for a medal.


Thus only Finland and Russia is in the fight for the silver and bronze medals after two legs. You can see the fight for silver below. Russia wins this fight after several mistakes by Merja Rantanen for Finland. Note that Gemperle for Russia also does mistakes, but her speed is higher and she does less mistakes.


About Jan Kocbach

Jan Kocbach is the founder of WorldofO.com - taking care of everything from site development to writing articles, photography and analysis.

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