Simone Niggli and Daniel Hubmann long distance champions at WOC 2009

In the last three WOC long distance finals, at least two of the foursome of Simone Niggli (SUI), Marianne Andersen (NOR), Minna Kauppi (FIN) and Dana Brozkova (CZE) have figured in the medals; given their form at WOC2009, they would each have been at pretty short odds, and any one to win a long odds on bet. Marianne Andersen was a gold medallist in this year’s relays, but she lost time to Niggli on both long legs of the course (1-2 and 4-5), to finish almost two minutes behind. On the crucial 4-5 leg, she missed the right hand option and chose a route that required more climb mid-leg, as did both Hanny Allston (+10:23) and Kathryn Ewels (+12:13), who finished 19th and 22nd respectively.

Although Niggli was almost two minutes ahead of Andersen, only 30 seconds separated Andersen, Kauppi, and Brozkova.

In the men’s race, the winner Daniel Hubmann (SUI) and second-placed Thierry Gueorgiou (FRA) ran very similar routes on both long legs (1-2  and 10-11), although third-placed Mikhail Mamleev (ITA) and 2007 world champion Mathias Merz (SUI) took the wide right hand option on 1-2, with splits suggesting it was almost two minutes slower than the more direct route favoured by most runners. Hubmann led the race almost from the start, surrendering the lead only briefly to Anders Nordberg (NOR) at controls 16 and 17 before taking over and extending his lead in the remainder of the race.

Women

1. Simone Niggli (SUI) 77:26
2. Marianne Andersen (NOR) 79:18
3. Minna Kauppi (FIN) 79:36
19. Hanny Allston (AUS) 87:49
22. Kathryn Ewels (AUS) 89:39

Men

1. Daniel Hubmann (SUI) 96:31
2. Thierry Gueorgiou (FRA) 98:27
3. Mikhail Mamleev (ITA) 100:41
=17. Chris Forne (NZL) 106:32