No gifts at the long distance race

Saturday, 15 July 2006

No-one new just what an epic race this was going to turn out.  With the men’s and women’s winning times both more than 20 minutes longer than recommended it turned into a war of attrition for many.  The men’s course, posted as 40.4 km was measured as 50 km by one rider.  And on the women’s course of 29 km, another rider measured nearly 40 km!

Unlike the terrain so far, there were much fewer tracks, but many of the smaller tracks were much rougher than we’d encountered so far.  In many places the short-dash tracks, strewn with rocks and roots, reduced riders to a walk.  Or at best 6 kmh or so.  The large roads were very fast and generally flatter.  Long dash tracks were either forest tracks or ski tracks.  In the case of the latter, these had extremely steep sections which were often difficult to ride down and nearly impossible to ride up.  Combine all that with being allowed to ride through the forest and it all added up to a very tough race!

For Carolyn this was a difficult area to race on.  With her broken ribs still healing, the bumps and precipitous descents would have been daunting.  She was slowed by this, but as usual, rode accurately and finished well in 37th place.  The women’s podium was made up of Christina Schaffner of Switzerland in 1.51.28.  The Russian, Ksenia Tchernykh was only 4 seconds behind in 2nd place with Finland’s Ingrid Stengård another 2 minutes behind in 3rd.

The early pace in the men’s race was set by Remy Jabas of Switzerland.  He posted a time of 2.19 and it was clear from when he picked up the map for the 3rd loop that the course was very long.  Remy is one of the top Swiss riders and said that he’d faded and made mistakes on the last loop.  Shortly after Jeremie Gillman of France reduced the time to 2.16 and this held for a long while until the first surprise of the day.  The Dane’s, in force at their first MTBO WOC posted a 2.06, 10 minutes in front of the best time in the shape of Lasse Brun Pedersen.

Alex came into the first map change about 9 minutes behind the leaders.  He’d had a disaster at the 2nd check point and lost most of this time there.  He continued around the course, but ‘soft-pedalled’ to save himself for the relay and finished 35th in 2.26.

Alex grinds through the soft stuff

Now we were waiting on only the remaining top riders.  There was great excitement in the Aussie camp when AJ came through the first map change in 2nd place.  He made a few small errors on the 2nd loop and lost about 2 minutes, dropping to 8th place at the map change.  He toughed it out and picked up to finish on the podium in a really impressive 6th place, tantalisingly close to the medals.  It was another awesome ride by AJ, not perfect, but no-one was riding these courses in this terrain without mistakes.  In the end it was the home advantage that saw the Finns and Russia dominate the men’s results, with Margus Hallik of neighbouring Estonia taking 4th.


One of the most notable changes in MTBO over the last three years has been the dramatic increase in the speed of the riders and depth of the fields.  This year the competition has really come of age, particularly in the men’s field.  There are “no gifts” at WOC.

Anna Sheldon wins Silver at European Champs! Friday, 1 September 2006 After a long campaign in Europe at the foot orienteering world champs and student world champs, Anna Sheldon swapped her running shoes for bike shoes and has won silver in the first race of the European Champs
Life after WOC Wednesday, 19 July 2006 Most of the team is back in Australia after an intensive campaign in Europe.
Latest World Rankings - Adrian Jackson #1 Tuesday, 18 July 2006 Latest world rankings released.
Relays. Some days are better than otters Saturday, 15 July 2006 In a somewhat increadible turn of events Australia did not finish the relay with all riders in the 4th placed first team disqualified for mis-punching.
No gifts at the long distance race Saturday, 15 July 2006 Riders encountered a very tough long distance race with winning times about 25% longer than the upper limit recommended.
Maps and Routes now available online Thursday, 13 July 2006 Maps and Routes now available online
Adrian's Middle Race Tuesday, 11 July 2006 Read Adrian's report of his middle race
WOC Middle distance - spaghetti on a map Monday, 10 July 2006 The Aussies rode well at the WOC middle distance today in very detailed terrain near Joensuu.
Long Distance Qualification - Report Sunday, 9 July 2006 Comments from PD following the Long Qualification race.
WOC Eve Sunday, 9 July 2006 The final sleep before the racing starts.
Preview - Long Distance Qualification Race Saturday, 8 July 2006 Course stats and terrain notes for Long Qualification race
News and views from the team Friday, 7 July 2006 With regular internet connection the team is now into full blogging mode. Read on for blogs from the team members.
Please don't make me laugh Thursday, 6 July 2006 An update from Carolyn Jackson with less than a week to go before competition starts.
Cottonwool needed? Thursday, 6 July 2006 Relaxing can be, it seems, more dangerous than racing for the team.
Joensuu - final WOC training Thursday, 6 July 2006 The team is now in Joeunsuu the WOC city for final training before the start of races this weekend.
Finland - the team comes together Saturday, 1 July 2006 The team came together on Tuesday this week for the beginning of the final training for WOC.
Initial Impressions of MTBO in Europe Tuesday, 27 June 2006
Mazovia Cup - from the forest Monday, 26 June 2006 Two days of hot racing on sandy and often very indistinct tracks was the theme for the Mazovia cup this weekend
More on storks Monday, 26 June 2006
Results: Czech Champs Monday, 26 June 2006 Results from Czech Champs. Adrian competing.
Mazovia Cup - Poland Sunday, 25 June 2006 Results and brief comments after day 1 of Mazovia Cup
Of storks and stuff Wednesday, 21 June 2006 Poland has 80% of Europe's population of storks
Results: Polish Champs Wednesday, 21 June 2006 Results now available online
Rider Down but Not Out? Tuesday, 20 June 2006 Carolyn Jackson crashes and breaks 2 ribs in training accident
Kiwi speed Monday, 19 June 2006 Marquita Gelderman wins the Polish Champs with a clean sweep of the women's races.
Polish Champs in 2008 World Champs Terrain Sunday, 18 June 2006 This years Polish Champs are only a short distance from the areas which will be used for the 2008 World MTBO Champs in Poland.
Greetings from sunny Finland Monday, 12 June 2006 In the weekends WRE races Adrian finished 8th and 1st, while Alex was 12th and 21st
Fillari Cup, Finland - Preliminary results Sunday, 11 June 2006 Alex and Adrian start their WOC campaign at the Fillari cup in western Finland
The Blog is back!! Thursday, 8 June 2006 The Blog is back!
Final training camp Sunday, 4 June 2006 The team met in Bendigo and Maryborough for a final training camp before the world champs in Finland.
More CABC pictures Tuesday, 30 May 2006 A few more pictures to give a taste of what it's like riding in the CABC at Alice Springs
WOC Team Training Camp Tuesday, 30 May 2006 The OZMTBO WOC team is having a final training camp in Bendigo and Maryborough this weekend.
Finnish Maps Saturday, 27 May 2006 A quick intro to the terrain and maps of MTBO WOC 2006
Australian Team Jerseys Saturday, 27 May 2006 The new team jerseys have been released for 2006, keeping a link with the OZMTBO-Scott jerseys recently produced and previous team wear.
Central Australia Bike Challenge Thursday, 25 May 2006 CABC
MTBO Commission Bulletin - New Rule Thursday, 25 May 2006 MTBO Commission Bulletin
Change to 2006 WRE schedule Thursday, 25 May 2006 Change to 2006 WRE schedule
Training Camp Tuesday, 23 May 2006 WOC Team training camp
Team for Finland 2006 Wednesday, 12 April 2006 team annouced