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World Cup Opener 2023 Middle: Maps, Results and Analysis


In a very tight middle distance with less than 20 seconds separating the best runners both in the men’s and women’s classes Sara Hagström (Sweden) took her first World Cup victory ever while Kasper Fosser (Norway) took his second victory in two races. 

In the women’s class Tove Alexandersson looked like she was on the way to her second victory in as many races, but some small mistakes in the last part of the course cost her the victory. In the end Alexandersson was 10 seconds behind Hagström, losing the victory due to bad micro-routechoices in the open area towards the last control. The battle for third place was also decided in this area, where Natalia Gemperle (Switzerland) got lots of TV-time while doing a mistake – in the end she just managed to take the third place, 6 seconds ahead of  Hanna Lundberg (Sweden), but 51 seconds behind Hagström. Simona Aebersold (Switzerland) and Marika Teini (Finland) finished 5th and 6th at 1:31 and 1:45.

In the men’s class three runners where in their own class: Fosser took the victory 16 seconds ahead of Matthias Kyburz (Switzerland) with another 14 seconds down to Gustav Bergman (Sweden). The gap down to Emil Svensk in 4th was 1:42 with Olli Ojanaho (Finland) and Lucas Basset (France) within a few seconds in 5th and 6th.

Maps and GPS-tracking

See below for links to maps and GPS-tracking.

World Cup 2023 Round 1, Middle Men

» See map in omaps.worldofo.com
World Cup 2023 Round 1, Middle Women

» See map in omaps.worldofo.com

Analysis Men

See below for a graphical split time analysis for the Top 10 men. The first three clearly had a higher running speed than the others, with the big time differences starting to build up on the physically demanding long leg to control 11, which included a tough uphill. Notable large timelosses among the Top 10 are the big time loss for Daniel Hubmann on the long leg (Hubmann got help from Fosser in the last part of the course and saved a 10th place through this), Martin Regborn‘s mistake on the 14th control and Lucas Basset‘s mistake on the 17th control.

plot - 2023-04-30T135029.000

Looking at the top 3, Fosser’s only significant timeloss was to the first control where he lost nearly 20 seconds to the fastest split time – and 13 seconds to Kyburz. His long leg to control 11 was exceptionally good, and from the GPS-data it looks like it was the running speed in the uphill which separated him from the others here. Kyburz also had a very good race, but had a timeloss of 28 seconds (and only the 119th best split time) to control 6. Bergman had a very good technical race, but with slightly lower speed.

plot - 2023-04-30T135102.189

Here is the men’s course:map_men_wcmiddle

Here is a leg-by-leg-comparison between Fosser and Kyburz:

leg_01_.png leg_01_.png (1) leg_01_.png (2) leg_02_.png leg_02_.png (1) leg_03_.png leg_06_.png leg_06_.png (2) leg_11_.png leg_11_.png (1) leg_11_.png (2) leg_14_.png leg_17_.png leg_17_.png (1) leg_19_.png leg_19_.png (1) leg_19_.png (2)

Analysis Women

In the women’s race Hagström had the most constant race, losing 20 seconds or less to the leg winner on all legs – that was least of all runners in this race. Tove Alexandersson lost 33 seconds at leg 14, but finished only 10 seconds behind in 2nd, and was only one control away from beating Hagström. Looking at the graphical split times illustration below, it is clear that as for the men, the long leg (to control 8) was the leg where the Top 3 were clearly faster than the rest of the competitors. Also note the big time differences already to control 4, with nearly 1:30 dividing the Top 10 finishers here.

plot - 2023-04-30T142144.439

Looking at the battle for victory, Alexandersson clearly had the best start, and steadily increased her lead to Hagström up to a 30-second lead at control 13. But a mistake of more than half a minute at control 14 let Hagström into the battle for victory – and another mistake towards the last control (running through a  very wet marsh) cost Alexandersson the victory. Gemperle was also in the battle for victory in the last part of the race, being equal with Hagström at control 9. However, Gemperle did several small mistakes towards the end – including a big mistake to the second last control.

plot - 2023-04-30T142220.319

Here is the women’s course:


And here detailed analyses of Alexandersson vs Hagström and Gemperle vs Hagström:

Finally some GPS-data:

leg_01_.png leg_01_.png (1) leg_01_.png (3) leg_02_.png leg_02_.png (1) leg_02_.png (2) leg_03_.png leg_03_.png (1) leg_06_.png leg_06_.png (1) leg_08_.png leg_08_.png (1) leg_08_.png (2) leg_12_.png leg_14_.png leg_14_.png (1) leg_14_.png (2) leg_16_.png leg_16_.png (1) leg_16_.png (2) leg_17_.png



1. Kasper Harlem Fosser Norway 33:55 (+0:00)
2. Matthias Kyburz Switzerland 34:11 (+0:16)
3. Gustav Bergman Sweden 34:25 (+0:30)
4. Emil Svensk Sweden 35:37 (+1:42)
5. Olli Ojanaho Finland 35:41 (+1:46)
6. Lucas Basset France 35:43 (+1:48)
7. Eskil Kinneberg Norway 35:54 (+1:59)
8. Martin Regborn Sweden 35:57 (+2:02)
9. Daniel Hubmann Switzerland 35:58 (+2:03)
10. Eirik Langedal Breivik Norway 36:00 (+2:05)
11. Lukas Liland Norway 36:08 (+2:13)
12. Ruslan Glibov Ukraine 36:13 (+2:18)
13. Miika Kirmula Finland 36:17 (+2:22)
14. Gaute Steiwer Norway 36:19 (+2:24)
15. Anton Johansson Sweden 36:29 (+2:34)
16. Tomas Krivda Czech Republic 36:43 (+2:48)
17. Viktor Svensk Sweden 36:47 (+2:52)
17. Simon Imark Sweden 36:47 (+2:52)
19. Axel Elmblad Sweden 36:53 (+2:58)
20. Lauri Sild Estonia 36:54 (+2:59)


1. Sara Hagstrom Sweden 34:58 (+0:00)
2. Tove Alexandersson Sweden 35:08 (+0:10)
3. Natalia Gemperle Switzerland 35:49 (+0:51)
4. Hanna Lundberg Sweden 35:55 (+0:57)
5. Simona Aebersold Switzerland 36:29 (+1:31)
6. Marika Teini Finland 36:43 (+1:45)
7. Venla Harju Finland 37:01 (+2:03)
8. Karolin Ohlsson Sweden 37:03 (+2:05)
9. Andrea Svensson Sweden 37:23 (+2:25)
10. Elin Mansson Sweden 37:45 (+2:47)
11. Andrine Benjaminsen Norway 37:52 (+2:54)
12. Johanna Ridefelt Sweden 37:54 (+2:56)
13. Evely Kaasiku Estonia 37:55 (+2:57)
14. Lisa Risby Sweden 37:58 (+3:00)
15. Megan Carter Davies Great Britain 38:00 (+3:02)
16. Amy Nymalm Finland 38:59 (+4:01)
17. Tone Bergerud Lye Norway 39:01 (+4:03)
18. Marianne Andersen Norway 39:08 (+4:10)
18. Ane Dyrkorn Norway 39:08 (+4:10)
20. Denisa Kosova Czech Republic 39:11 (+4:13)

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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