Tove Alexandersson (Sweden) won the women’s class and Kasper Fosser (Norway) won the men’s class in today’s World Cup Long distance in very challenging sandstone terrain in Korce, Czechia – featuring lots of interesting route choice legs along with tricky orienteering between the sandstones in the steep slopes.
Simona Aebersold (Switzerland) and Sara Hagström (Sweden) took the second and third place in the women’s class, while Matthias Kyburz (Switzerland) and Gustav Bergman (Sweden) finished off the podium in the men’s class.
Women: Alexandersson with higher speed
Alexandersson had the highest speed in the women’s field, and caught up with Aebersold who started 3 minutes earlier at the 12th control – mainly due to higher running speed compared to the Swiss runner. The gap down to the other runners was several minutes already at this point. Alexandersson then lost nearly 2 minutes to the 13th control, and it looked like it could get exciting again – but Alexandersson continued running faster than everybody else, and nearly caught up with Aebersold again towards the end of the course.
The battle for the third place – 9 minutes behind Alexandersson – was a lot tighter. Four runners finished within 90 seconds – Hagström in third, Natalia Gemperle (Switzerland) in 4th, Lisa Risby (Sweden) in her last international race in 5th and Marie Olaussen in 6th. See below for a race development graph based on the split times.
Men: Fosser with another international long distance win
Tomas Krivda (Czech Republic) started early and ran a very good first part of the race, catching yesterday’s winner Jannis Bonek (Austria) with 3 minutes early on the course and taking the lead at all TV controls. Also the two last starters, Kyburz and Fosser did not manage to keep Krivda’s speed in the early part of the course, but the two experienced long distance runners kept up the speed and from the 9th control they were both ahead of Krivda, and the battle for victory was between them. Kyburz had a slightly higher speed than Fosser in the middle part of the course, but Kyburz did a route choice mistake to the 13th control which cost him one and a half minute – and Fosser never gave that advantage back.
Gustav Bergman (Sweden) started 3 minutes ahead of Kyburz, and was caught with 3 minutes at the 11th control. The Swede kept up with Kyburz until control 25 – and got later caught by Fosser with 6 minutes towards the end of the course. In the end it was still enough for the 3rd place. Krivda finished in shared 4th place with Daniel Hubmann (Switzerland) while Daniel’s younger brother Martin Hubmann finished 6th.
See below for a race development graph based on the split times. The lower graph shows the grouping around Matthias Kyburz. Note that both Gustav Bergman and Daniel Hubmann took at least one different routechoice in the period they were together.
Leg analysis women
Here we take a look at some of the most interesting legs on the women’s course. Note that the leg analysis below is based on GPS-data only, i.e. there may be differences of up to +/- 10 seconds compared to the official split times. See the full map and GPS-tracking in the section “Maps and GPS-tracking below”. Big thanks to the organizers for providing some premade leg length and climb calculations for selected legs.
An interesting long leg already at the start of the course. Alexandersson runs more than a minute faster than everybody else on a straight route. Alexandersson’s speed is so much higher than the others, but in addition it looks like the Swede managed to find the best route. Going straight does not give much extra climb, but is significantly shorter than going to the right (Gemperle’s route) and also shorter than going to the left (Aebersold’s route).
A relatively short leg where it was clearly fastest running down and up again – either to the left on the road (Alexandersson’s route) or straight (Aebersold’s route) – in both cases you get approximately the same climb. Running to the left has more road running and less technical orienteering, and is probably fastest for most. Running to the right is significantly slower – much too long.
Leg 8 had three main routechoice options, and many micro-routechoices among these main routechoices. The two fastest times were run to the right by Alexandersson and Aebersold – the two women with highest running speed. The third and fourth best time were run on the straight and left option, so there were probably not very big time differences between the main routechoice alternatives – the main differentiator being micro-routechoices and execution of the chosen route.
This leg is mostly included due to the big timeloss by Hagström here – running slightly to the right, losing nearly two minutes here.
This short routechoice leg was (somewhat surprisingly?) one of the most decisive legs, both for the women and for the men. Based on the GPS-data it is clearly fastest to run quite straight – down the hill and then taking the climb up to the control. It does however look like many of the runners started getting tired and wanted to save some climb, i.e. going to the right (and actually taking quite some extra climb). It seems like it was very difficult to round the valley in a good way as many continued too far – including Tove Alexandersson who lost two minutes here and even more extremely Natalia Gemperle who lost 5 minutes here, probably also orienteering to the wrong control point.
The leg to control 17 has the option of either going straight or around to the right. Alexandersson wins the leg by going to the right, but Risby is only 15-20 seconds behind by going straight. Many runners lose time here by going various straight options, so it seems like microroutechoices and execution was more important than the main routechoice here.
The long leg to control 18 towards the end of the course was maybe one of the most interesting legs. Going relatively straight (with a curve to the right, crossing in the sadle, see the blue 1590 meter route below) is probably the best option, as it is much closer than running around and only has 120 meters climb. Going around either to the left or right is nearly half a kilometer longer, but does not save you much climb. Alexandersson and Aebersold going all the way around to the right were fastest on the leg, but also had the highest speed (Alexandersson seeing Aebersold in front of her at this point, pushing hard to catch her). However, Nittynen and Hauswirth were only half a minute slower on the straighter route. Also notable is the very good execution of Ane Dyrkorn going nearly straight under the line (with some S-curves).
Leg analysis men
Maps and GPS-tracking
See maps for the men and women below. GPS-tracking is available here:
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