Today saw the commencement of the Elite and Junior World Championships for Mountain Bike Orienteering in Veszprem, Hungary.
Conditions were not the best for riding with the temperature reaching approx 36˚ out in the open areas. Riding early would benefit those who wanted extra time to recover but it also had the disadvantage of laying down tracks for the later riders as this year’s maps allowed for off road riding. Foot orienteering skills seemed to be needed for some legs as controls were placed in open land sometimes up to 200m off the track.
Steve Cusworth unfortunately drew a very early start but he worked hard and cleanly to gain an entry into the A final on next Saturday. Oscar Phillips an Ricky Thackray just missed out on the A final as they were both caught out by the intricate nature of the tracks and also the heat which took its toll towards the end of their courses.
In the Junior category Tom Goddard had a great ride in his heat placing second, only 57 secs behind the winner. Chris Firman battled with the heat but managed to place 16th in his heat, approx 11min down on the fast time. Marc Gluskie managed to scrape through to the A final after having a disastrous ride out on the long qualification. Karl Withers, at his first Junior WOC, managed to qualify also for the A final by placing 28th in his heat. Heath Jamieson unfortunately mispunched on his course. With 2 controls in a similar area he punched the wrong one.
Melanie Simpson place third in her heat, just 6min slower than the winner. This puts her in a strong position for the A final.
The team is currently resting up and preparing for the sprint tomorrow which will be held next to today’s map with similar terrain and heat expected.