mtbo :: european champs day 1


Today saw the opening day of the European Mountain Bike Orienteering championships, taking place on the Curonian Spit in Lithuania, which separates the Baltic Sea from the Curonian Lagoon. The terrain is mainly forested sand dunes with numerous paths will test their navigation and leg strength of competitors.

Today's middle distance race encompassing very technical orienteering through both urban streets and a tricky path covered hillside.

Emily Benham once again added to her medal haul, having taken a silver in the sprint last year, and today she took the Bronze medal in the W20 class of the Junior NISSAN MTBO Cup. With a time of 55:11 for the 7.4km course, Emily finished almost six minutes down on runaway winner Gaelle Barlet of France. A great start to the week, but Emily will look forward to tomorrow's Sprint to try and replicate, or better, last year's success.

The men however found going much tougher, finishing over 15 minutes down on Danish winner Brun Lasse Pedersen, but packing together in the mid 50s. Andrew Windrum finished highest in 53rd spot in a time of 71.27, just ahead of Bryan Singleton (54th - 72.07), Jimmy Taylor (56th - 73.13), Mark Stodgell (58th - 74.12) and Andy Conn (60th - 77.37).

Tomorrow will see the sprint competition, which can be followed live on the European MTBO Champs website where you can also find photos, and full results, from all this week's races.

W20 Course - 7.4km
1 Gaelle Barlet FRA 49.34
2 Anastasia Svir RUS 53.23
3 Emily Benham GBR 55.11

Men's Course - 12.8km
1 Brun Lasse Pedersen DEN 54.44
2 Tonis Erm EST 55.34
3 Victor Korchagin RUS 55.53
53 Andrew Windrum GBR 71.27
54 Bryan Singleton GBR 72.07
56 James Taylor GBR 73.13
58 Mark Stodgell GBR 74.12
60 Andy Conn GBR 77.37


The GB team at the opening ceremony

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