World Cup Relays

Speake

Matt Speake - 2nd place on the 1st Leg for GBR today

Today saw the final event of the World Cup 2004, the relay. In the Men's relay Great Britain were sent off to a flying start with Matt Speake passing on to Dan Marston in 2nd place with Switzerland a few seconds ahead, and France a second behind. Dan and the French 2nd leg runner, Nicolas Girsch, however couldn't hold their top 3 positions on the 2nd leg. World Cup winner Holger Hott Johansen ran the fastest time of the day to give Norway the lead, over a minute clear of the 2 Swiss teams, Sweden and Italy. It was on the final leg however that it would all be thrown up in the air. The Italian team was dropped from the leading pack as Mats Troeng overtook the Swiss and Norweigans with ystein Kvaal sterb struggling. Troeng took the Swedes to Gold by 19 seconds with Switzerland 1 & 2 taking the Silver and Bronze. The battle for the final podium positions behind Norway in 4th was tight, Mats Haldin of Finland holding off a strong late challenge from the Italians and Danes for 5th place. Michele Tavernaro overtook Carsten Jrgensen on the run in to take an impressive 6th place for the Italians. Great Britain had to settle for 10th place, with Jamie Stevenson overhauling the German, Ingo Horst, over the final few controls having lost a few minutes early on in the course.

In the Women's relay it was tough work from the start for the GB team with Sarah Rollins coming in a few minutes down on the leading teams. Sweden 1 & Finland 2 couldn't be seperated but did stretch their lead on the 2nd leg as Jenny Johansson and Heli Jukkola came back together. Swedens third leg runner Karolina A-Hjsgaard was racing head to head with Maria Rantala on the same gaffle and it wasn't till halfway through the leg that the Swede opened up a 30 second gap over the Finn. However her biggest threat was quickly moving through the field behind her. Simone Niggli-Luder soon caught and passed Sweden 2's Gunilla Svrd and almost caught Hjsgaard, the swedish team winning by less than half a minute as Simone posted the fastest time of the day. Sweden 2 took 3rd spot with two Finnish teams and Denmark making up the rest of the podium. Helen Winskill on 2nd leg for GB made up 3 minutes to catch the German team in front of her to send Heather Monro out on the final leg in 9th place. A fantastic run from Heather saw her make up a large amount of time on the Norwegian team ahead of her but it was too much in the end as she finished 34 seconds behind them in 8th place.

Men's Relay:
1 SWE-1 130:54
2 SUI-1 131:13
3 SUI-2 132:08
...
10 GBR-1 142:14 (Speake,Marston,Stevenson)

Women's Relay:
1 SWE-1 121:31
2 SUI-1 121:58
3 SWE-2 122:41
...
8 GBR-1 131:38 (Rollins,Winskill,Monro)

So Sweden take both Men's and Women's relay titles, and with it the overall World Cup relay titles. Great Britain finished in 8th place in the Men's and 6th in the Women's, a drop of 2 places for the Men and 1 for the women from the 2002 series.

Relay Series:

Men:
1 35 Sweden
2 35 Norway
3 33 Finland
4 27 Denmark
5 24 Switzerland
6 19 France
7 18 Italy
8 18 Great Britain
9 17 Czech Republic
10 17 Russia

Women:
1 40 Sweden
2 32 Finland
3 30 Switzerland
4 28 Norway
5 21 Denmark
6 20 Great Britain
7 15 Germany
8 15 Russia
9 11 Poland
10= 9 Czech Republic
10= 9 Estonia

Full details of the World Cup can be found here while results from this weeks races are to be found here

Simone

Simone Niggli-Luder - not victorious today

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