mtbo :: long tough middle

Conned for the Winskill family Double!

Helen and Phil Winskill nearly became the darlings of British MTBO as Helen claimed 20th in the Middle race at the World Mountain Bike Orienteering Championships in Slovakia. Team comic Andy Conn with 26th his best WOC result, narrowly prevented the Winskill family from claiming all the plaudits on the first day. Andy edged in front of Phil who claimed 33rd with a very good early ride on his MTBO debut.

Helen Winskills result of 20th is the best GB Womens result in the 3 World Championship history. Congratulations to Helen. Previous best was Janet Prier with 24th in the Long Distance in France in 2002. Helen was reportedly humoured by the fact that she had achieved her equal best result in what she considers her weaker discipline! This all despite having some problems with her front brake on the steep and technical course.

The courses originally planned for winning times of 50-60 minutes proved to be a little over-planned particularly at the start with a tough 300+m climb to the first control on the womens course. Generally it was steep and technical, with some field routes proving the optimum routes on the longer legs. Karen Heppenstall after a good early start, lost time between controls 6 & 7 as she forgot the crossing fields ruling in the heat of the race. But she was reasonably satisfied with her International debut.

Janine Hensman survived a fall early on her previously injured collarbone and was understandably shaky for a few controls and relieved to finish in one piece and claim 25th. She is looking forward to the Long qualifier where it is expected the courses will offer long legs and hard riding rather than the technical steep hills of today.

The men were all pretty happy with their results apart from Andy Simpson who had been troubled by mechanical problems at the model. But all the team know that there is room for improvement during the week and in the future as they all gain more World level MTBO experience.

You can follow tomorrow's Long Qualifier online here.

If you want to send the team your wishes email gbrmtbo.woc05@ntlworld.com

Women
1 Michaela Gigon AUT 69.42
2 Christine Schaffner-Rber SUI 70.17
3 Ramune Arlauskiene LTU 71.05
20 Helen Winskill GBR 80.27
23 Ninna Philips IRE 81.07
25 Janine Hensman GBR 81.52
37 Karen Heppenstall GBR 88.13
47 Toni O'Donovan IRE 96.42

Men
1 Ruslan Gritsan RUS 67.02
2 Jaroslav Rygl CZE 68.02
3 Mika Tervala FIN 68.51
26 Andy Conn GBR 77.10
33 Phil Winskill GBR 79.08
35 Killian Lomas GBR 79.20
38 Liam Corner GBR 79.57
42 Steve Heading GBR 80.36
85 Andy Simpson GBR 96.02
119 Tom McNally IRE 147.40

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