Some hard riding in the tough Austrian terrain brought victories to the Czech women and Russian men after significant lead changes in both races.
In the women’s race it was Finland in the lead after the first leg with the eventual winners in sixth place, and then the strong Russian Olga Shipolova Vinogradova took charge, leaving a fight for the gold medals between the Russian Svetlana Poverina and the top Czech rider Martina Tichovska. Here, the Czech Republic scored best with the margin at the finish 2.26. Finland finished third.
Martina Tichovska brings Czech team first to finish Photo: Laszlo Zentai
Russia got a better outcome in the men’s race, but it was close – the final margin was 9 seconds. Sweden were the unexpected leaders after the second leg, but Grigory Medvedev saw the Russians safely home for victory, with Sweden getting the silver medals and the Czech team the bronze.
Tomorrow is a rest day, and the Championships continue on Saturday with the Long Distance race.
Leading Relay results
- CZE (Katerina Novakova, Veronika Kubinova, Martina Tichovska) 1:58:00
- RUS (Anastasiya Svir, Olga Shipolova Vinogradova, Svetlana Poverina) 2:00:26
- FIN (Mervi Pesu, Antonia Haga, Marika Hara) 2:01:00
- LTU 2:01:52
- SWE 2:03:06
- DEN 2:08:44
- RUS (Anton Foliforov, Ruslan Gritsan, Grigory Medvedev) 1:48:29
- SWE (Linus M Karlsson, Marcus Jansson, Viktor Larsson) 1:48:38
- CZE )Jiri Hradil, Vojtech Ludvik, Krystof Bogar) 1:48:59
- ITA 1:51:23
- AUT 1:51:25
- FIN 1:52:59