Long Distance winners on a fantastic course in the sunny Swiss Alps today were Simona Aebersold and Daniel Hubmann, the latter at 39 years old still able to tackle the steep slopes and long legs better than anyone else.
Home athlete Simona Aebersold enjoyed a superb win over 10.4 km of demanding terrain today, setting out her stall for next year’s World Championships on similar terrain. At the finish she had a 1.34 lead over Norwegian Andrine Benjaminsen, herself getting ever stronger and surely with a World Cup win to her name before too long. Switzerland’s very consistent Elena Roos was third, 4.32 down on the winning time.
On a sunny day with light winds, the athletes were treated to first-class long-distance terrain with several legs where the right route choice was critical for success. It was in this respect that the judgement of the top three was better than that of Tove Alexandersson, who finished fifth today. Alexandersson lost time on a couple of legs through poor route choice, and also made a mistake at control 24 that cost her the chance of the bronze medal.
Marie Olaussen, Norway ran well to finish fourth, and two other top-10 placings of note were Tereza Janosikova, Czechia (seventh), now getting good forest results to match her sprint successes, and Hanna Lundberg, Sweden (eighth) who is showing great promise whilst still a junior; her season continues with the Junior World Championship races in Portugal next month.
Kasper Fosser, like Alexandersson already confirmed yesterday as World Cup winner overall, was favourite again today. He had some difficulties on the mainly downhill first half of the course including small mistakes at controls 10 and 12, and was 1.24 down on Hubmann’s time at the first TV control. Thereafter Fosser was the faster on several sections, but his best long-leg route, controls 28-29, was also Hubmann’s best. Hubmann, crowning a very good three days for him with this win, used his vast experience to outclass the rest of the field in technical excellence. This is his 33rd World Cup win!
Towards the end it became clear that Max Peter Bejmer, Sweden would also be faster than Fosser, who had to settle for third place, 0.48 down on the winner. Finland’s Olli Ojanaho again had a good run to finish fourth, same placing as in the Middle race, and Simon Imark, Sweden, as on the relay first leg leading for ages, and here from an early start time, impressed with a final fifth place.
Sweden’s outstanding strength in depth throughout the season surfaced again today, with five of the top ten being Swedish in both the women’s and men’s races.
Leading results, Long Distance
- Simona Aebersold SUI 1:19:22
- Andrine Benjaminsen NOR 1:20:56
- Elena Roos SUI 1:23:54
- Marie Olaussen NOR 1:24:52
- Tove Alexandersson SWE 1:25:36
- Sabine Hauswirth SUI 1:27:37
- Daniel Hubmann SUI 1:36:24
- Max Peter Bejmer SWE 1:36:55
- Kasper Harlem Fosser NOR 1:37:12
- Olli Ojanaho FIN 1:38:04
- Simon Imark SWE 1:38:19
- Isac von Krusenstierna SWE 1:38:29