Sweden’s Idre Fjäll delivered as promised: Tough, tricky and interesting long distance orienteering in a fantastic area for orienteering just below the tree line. The young couple Kasper Fosser (Norway) and Simona Aebersold (Switzerland) handled the tough conditions best – and both took their first individual World Cup victories.
In the men’s class Magne Dæhli secured a norwegian double victory after a very strong finish, with Daniel Hubmann (Switzerland) in third – back at the podium after a disappointing World Orienteering Championships (WOC) in Czech Republic, and with Gustav Bergman (Sweden) just outside the podium. In the women’s class Andrine Benjaminsen (Norway) finished in second place, only 40 seconds behind Aebersold – with Tove Alexandersson finishing third and the big surprise, Swedish junior Hanna Lundberg in 4th place after a very early start, several hours before the TV-broadcast started.
The swedish favourites Tove Alexandersson and Gustav Bergman struggled in the last part of the course after recent Covid-19 illness – both being in leading position during the race and fading towards the end (read more about the many Covid-19 cases after WOC 2021 here; it has not been announced if Bergman’s and Alexandersson’s Covid-19 illness is a result of the WOC 2021 outbreak – athletes from several nations including Sweden, Norway and Denmark have reported about Covid-19 illness after WOC in social media).
The World Cup in Idre continues with a middle distance race on Saturday after a well deserved rest day on Friday. See all about Saturday’s race here.
Men: Fosser with higher speed – Bergman falls through the field
The below split browser shows the battle for the medals in the men’s class. Fosser and Bergman have similar speed until control 14, with Fosser maybe having slightly higher speed, but doing a 1+ minute mistake at control 6 (see map sample below for Fosser’s mistake). From control 14 and onwards Bergman starts getting tired and the speed goes down a bit, and thus Fosser starts to build up a gap to Bergman. A mistake by Fosser at control 19 lets Bergman get into the battle for victory again (see map sample below for Fosser’s mistake), but then Bergman breaks completely down physically, and loses more than 3 minutes only on running speed on the last controls. In addition Bergman does a mistake at control 23 which probably costs him the 3rd place.
Looking at the battle for second place between Dæhli and Hubmann, Dæhli had his signature finish when he is in shape – faster than anybody else (even 1:30 faster than Fosser on the last 8-10 controls). Hubmann actually run with Bergman large parts of the course after being caught with 3 minutes, but ran away from Bergman with more than those 3 minutes in the last part of the course, securing a third place.
The below splitsbrowser shows the race development for the Top 10. Notably Matthias Kyburz was heading for a third place halfways, but lost a few minutes to control 17, and continued to lose time on the rest of the course. Timo Sild also did a very strong race – one of his strongest races overall, finishing 5th, just outside the podium.
Below are some map samples from some of the interesting legs. In the first two map samples you see the long leg to the second control where the best athletes managed to run straight – clearly the fastest route if you manage to execute it well. Next you see the mistake of Dæhli at control 4 and Fosser at control 9 and 19. See also some of the mistakes to control 19 (in the “Bermuda Triangle” area) and finally Bergman’s mistake to control 23.
Women: Close battle between Aebersold, Benjaminsen and Alexandersson
The race development in the battle for the medals in the women’s race is shown in the below splits browser (note that there is an error in the official split times for Andrine Benjaminsen to control 1 and 2). One of the most notable points in this splits browser is the extremely strong run by Swedish junior Hanna Lundberg. Lundberg is the only one to keep up with Alexandersson’s speed in the first part of the course, leading the race until control 9. Lundberg then does mistakes on the two longer legs, and finishes in fourth place – but this was very close to a Top-3 race on an extremely tough course!
At the arena passage at control 13 Tove Alexandersson has a lead of more than a minute, and everything looks like a normal day where Alexandersson takes a clear win. However, Alexandersson was very tired and lost two minutes to Simona Aebersold to the tricky 14th control – into the “Bermuda Triangle” of Idre Fjäll. This was a TV-control were many athletes struggled, the TV broadcast showed many runners walking around completely lost. Unfortunately Alexandersson’s GPS-unit was not working, and the mistake was also not caught by the TV-cameras. Even with this mistake Alexandersson was still in the lead, but another two minute mistake to control 18 took Alexandersson down from the top of the podium. Still, Alexandersson managed to take a podium place and keep her lead in the overall World Cup – everything still points towards Alexandersson winning the overall World Cup for the 7th time in a row.
Below is a splits browser of the remaining women in Top 10. Note the big gap from Top-4 and down to the rest of the field. Natalia Gemperle was in 5th place at control 9, however, with potential to take up the battle for a place within Top-4 – but a 16(!) minute mistake at control 9 destroyed the race for the Russian athlete.
Maps and GPS-tracking
|1||Kasper Harlem Fosser||Norway||1:39:53||5:48|
|8||Isac von Krusenstierna||Sweden||1:47:55||+8:02||6:16|
|10||Jon Aukrust Osmoen||Norway||1:48:25||+8:32||6:17|
|14||Pavel Kubat||Czech Republic||1:49:35||+9:42||6:21|
|17||Konstantin Serebryanitskiy||Russian Federation||1:51:49||+11:56||6:29|
|7||Victoria Haestad Bjornstad||Norway||1:40:03||+11:32||7:48|
|14||Svetlana Mironova||Russian Federation||1:42:59||+14:28||8:01|
|19||Denisa Kosova||Czech Republic||1:44:03||+15:32||8:06|
|20||Tone Bergerud Lye||Norway||1:44:42||+16:11||8:10|