The 2008 MTBO WOC commenced today with a Sprint Distance race in Olstyn, Poland. The event was held on a university campus, in an almost totally urban environment providing some novel challenges for the riders. The race consisted of 2 laps in very technical terrain, starting and finishing at an athletics stadium. There were unusually large time gaps for a sprint event, reflecting the complexity of the terrain.
Adrian Jackson flew the Australian flag high with a 6th place finish in the men’s competition, his time of 20:55 was 1:12 behind the winner, Lasse Brun Pedersen of Denmark. Adrian said he never felt comfortable but came home strongly with a good second loop. Paul Darvodelsky rode a solid race for 48th, Alex Randall suffered a crash with another competitor derailing his chances placing him 50th, David Simpfendorfer had a mixed race and came home in 68th position.
The women’s event was won by Hana Bajtosowa of Slovakia, Thor Egerton was Australia’s best placed in 32nd and was pleased with her ride. Cath Chalmers was close behind in 33rd place after having started well. Newcomers Jen Graham-Taylor and Melanie Simpson got rid of some first big-event nerves to also finish close together in 41st and 42nd places. Jen had a great ride apart from a single large mistake, while Melanie was a little too cautious on a number of controls. They both feel much more confident heading into the middle distance event tomorrow. Of note was a fantastic 4th place by Marquita Gelderman of New Zealand.
1. Lasse Brun Pedersen DEN 19:43
2. Jiri Hradil CZE 20:16
3. Tonis Erm EST 20:19
6. Adrian Jackson AUS 20:55
48. Paul Darvodelsky AUS 26:20
50. Alex Randall AUS 26:37
68. David Simpfendorfer AUS 32:11
1. Hana Bajtosowa SLO 21:04
2. Michaela Gigon AUT 21:08
3. Martina Tichovska CZE 21:43
4. Marquita Gelderman NZ 22:05
32. Thor Egerton AUS 27:00
33. Cath Chalmers AUS 27:12
41. Jen Graham-Taylor AUS 28:49
42. Melanie Simpson AUS 29:30
The first loop of the men’s course can be found here.
Competition continues with a middle distance event tomorrow, stay tuned for more results and check out the team blog for all the latest news.