An exciting Mixed Relay on the final day resulted in a 4-second victory by the Czech Republic over keen rivals Russia.
The race was for teams of three including at least one woman, and both the Czech Republic and Russia decided to place their woman rider on leg 1. This was very closely contested between Martina Tichovska (CZE) and Olga Shipolova Vinogradova (RUS) with the Russian coming to the changeover just a second ahead.
On the second leg the Czech rider Vojtech Ludvik, Long Distance champion earlier in the week, got ahead of the Russian Valeriy Gluhov by 38 seconds, but this trend was reversed on the final leg where Anton Foliforov brought the Russian team back into contention. The final stages were very close but the Czech Krystof Bogar, winner of the Middle race the day before, held on to take the win.
Fastest riders of individual legs were Pekka Niemi, Finland and Vojtech Ludvik, both posting a time of 44:42. Mention should be made of the triple Junior individual champion Thomas Steinthal, Denmark, who was ‘promoted’ to run the senior Relay and was ninth fastest overall with a leg time of 46:05. The best women were the two leaders on the first leg.
So ends a European Championships – and also World Masters Championships – which saw riders tackling a big variety of terrain types and underfoot conditions in a big variety of types of weather – from heavy rain to bright sunshine. A big challenge for the organisers, who coped well with the changing conditions, as well as for the competitors.
Seniors – Mixed Relay
- Czech Republic (Martina Tichovska, Vojtech Ludvik, Krystof Bogar) 2:20:06
- Russia (Olga Shipilova Vinogradova, Valeriy Gluhov, Anton Foliforov) 2:20:10
- Finland 2 (Marika Hara, Andre Haga, Kare Kaskinen) 2:28:27
- Switzerland 2:31:20, 5. Denmark 2:33:02, 6. Austria 2:35:04.
- Czech Republic by 0:42, 2. Russia, 3. Finland
- Finland by 1:27, 2. Russia, 3. Czech Republic