Julian Dent 13th in Sprint Final and Lizzie Ingham (NZ) takes bronze.

SPRINTfINALw

The World Cup sprint final in Wellington today again saw the cream come to the top with pre-race hot tips Matthias Kyburz (Swiss) and Tove Alexandersson (Sweden) taking gold.

The main surprise was the blow out in the winning times, usually 12-15 minutes, to nearly 18 for the men and mid 19’s for the women.   The hilly terrain and wide route choices accounted for some of this no doubt.  Some runners obviously spent their energy early on, not anticipating that a longer run was in store.

Tove’s success was built on consistency, as she only scored a couple of fastest legs.  After holding the lead midrace she fell behind, only to grab the lead and hold it from the penultimate control, with just a 3 second margin from fellow Swede Annika Billstam.

Kiwi sprint specialist Lizzie Ingham delighted the crowd to race in for 3rd, just 12 seconds behind the winner.  This bronze medal is the best ever result at a major international meet by a female New Zealander.  Now studying for her Phd in Canberra, Lizzie had returned home a month ago to finalise her preparation for a rare World Cup event on home soil.

Lizzie started slowly but then won a decisive route choice leg from 5-6 which saw her remain in either 2nd or 3rdplace for the remainder of the course.

The Aussie girls had mixed results, with Grace Crane doing well for 18th place in a strong field that boasted 11 of the 12 top World ranked females.   Rachel Effeney finished 21st, but rued a loss of some 45 seconds on one control.   She leaves NZ now, to return to her doctor’s internship in Cairns, thus being unable to race in event 3.   Top junior Heather Muir will step up into elites for this race.   Felicity Brown continued her impressive form for 28th.

Many of our lower placed girls lost valuable time on leg 5-6.  Where Lizzie ran 3.14 they took 5- 6 and a half minutes.

The men’s race was dominated by the Swiss, as they had 7 runners in the top 10!  Matthias Kyburz took the honours, 30 seconds clear of Swede Jerker Lysell.  It was almost another “Matthias” trifecta with the other Matthias Swiss boys finishing 3rd and 4th.    Our two male representatives can be well pleased with 13th(Julian) and 17th (Simon).  Given the long winning times they were quite close to the pointy end, with Julian being less than 30 seconds from the podium.

More maps and reports can be found on http://news.worldofo.com/ and winsplits can be found at

www.obasen.nu/winsplits/online/en/

The elite runners have a mini rest now until racing event 3 on January 13.  This event has an unusual format consisting of a Middle distance chasing start in the afternoon with the start times based on a shortened middle distance prologue (20-25 minutes) in the morning. The prologue will have a loop format with 2 athletes starting at a time. The start interval will be 2 minutes

Mace Neve

Mace Neve

Grace Crane

Grace Crane

Men  3.6 km 135 m 19 C

1      17.52   Matthias Kyburz          SUI

2      18.27   Jerker Lysell               SWE

3    18.30   Matthias Merz             SUI

4    18.41   Matthias Müller           SUI

5    18.50   Olav Lundanes            NOR

6    18.56   Tue Lassen                 DEN

13 19.23   Julian Dent               AUS

17 19.54   Simon Uppill             AUS

20 20.02   Tim Robertson           NZL

29 20.45   Ross Morrison            NZL

33 21.04   Matt Ogden                NZL

34 21.19   Matthew Crane           GBR / ACT

Women  3.0 km 135 m 16 C

1          19.32   Tove Alexandersson   SWE

2          19.35   Annika Billstam           SWE

3          19.44   Lizzie Ingham              NZL

4          20.12   Sara Lüscher              SUI

5          20.19   Tone Wigemyr           NOR

6          20.33   Rahel Friederich        SUI

18        21.49   Grace Crane              AUS

21        22.23   Rachel Effeney         AUS

25        23.42   Greta Knarston          NZL

27        23.51   Georgia Whitla           NZL

28        23.54   Felicity Brown          AUS

30        24.10   Imogene Scott           NZL

31        24.32   Laura Robertson        NZL

33        24.53   Amber Morrison         NZL

34        25.00   Anna Sheldon          AUS

35        25.46   Aislinn Prendergast  AUS

36        26.21   Mace Neve                AUS

37        26.52   Jasmine Neve           AUS

38        26.55   Cosette Saville           NZL

39        27.29   Kathryn Preston      AUS