Hard MTBO decision in Oberwiesenthal
The organisers of the Deutsche Ski-Orientierungslauf Gemeinschaft were aware that a mountain bike competition around Germany's highest city in October would be a risk. Even the locals had probably not expected such adverse conditions. Quite a few participants of the open races and the Senior World Championships decided against a start. Also the organisation team had to struggle with the conditions.
Already at the entrance to the central cross-country ski run parking directly in front of the ski arena Oberwiesenthal all participants were aware that this competition day will only be something for hardcore mountain bikers. At temperatures below 5 degrees the participants from all over the world parked their cars in the middle of a wall of fog. Depending on the time of arrival, there was also a different amount of damp greeting. Many starters went to their limits or even beyond on this day.
The seniors as well as open classes started in the mass start first into the coniferous forest of the middle Erzgebirge not far from the Czech border. Due to the intensive use for cross-country skiing and the summer counterpart, parts of the track were asphalted. In all other areas man and material got really dirty. Some starters disappeared up to their knees in the mud.
In the senior classes there was a mix of a Score-OL and butterflies.
The young riders of the age groups M/W 17 and 20 started at noon on their relay tracks. The elite class completed the competition as a 3-man mixed relay. The teams consisted of at least one lady. The position of the formation of these was left to each team.
Especially the offspring had to fight with the ever worsening conditions. Despite intensive warming attempts in the transition zone, some riders took up the race in a rather suboptimal condition. But there were also the very tough mountain bikers who completely ignored the weather conditions and started the race in the best summer gear.
Almost every participant was marked after entering the finish area. One or the other starter had a smile on his face. Heavily soiled material, heavily soiled clothing and visible exhaustion were the rule.
Beside the hard competition conditions there were also technical problems in this environment to carry out the evaluations correctly.
The World Cup victory in the mixed relay went to Austria ahead of Russia and the Czech Republic. The European Champion titles of the junior team in the relay were secured by Finland (W17), France (M17) and Denmark (W20 & M20).
Ingrid Stengard (OK Trian / W40), Martin Stenha (Czech MTBO master / M40), Mia Eronn (Linkopings OK / W45), Beat Schaffner (OLG Bern / M45), Helena Svensson (FK Herkules / W50), Kilian Lomas (GB MTBO / M50), Charlie Somers Cocks (GB MTBO / W55), Per Gustavsson (Goteborg Majorna OK / 55), Tove Andersen (OK Oest Birkeroed / W60), Juhani Jetsonen (OC DUBHE / M60), Monika Bonafini (SLOW / W65), Joergen Nielsen (Alleroed OK / M65), Kirsten Brunstedt (OK Oest Birkeroed / W70), Niels Duedahl (OK Oest Birkeroed / M70), Ellis Byrgiel Sommer (OK Oest Bireroed / W75) and Ole Hoffmann (OK FROS / M75) won the seniors' decisions at the mass start.
At the end of the MTB-O competitions in the Erzgebirge the sprint decisions in Johanngeorgenstadt will follow on Sunday.