Tove Alexandersson, Sweden, and Kasper Fosser, Norway, both showed their superior class today with clear victories in the World Cup Final Middle Distance race. Alexandersson’s margin was 30 seconds and Fosser’s an outstanding 50 seconds.
Alexandersson, now confirmed as World Cup winner overall, was particularly impressive on the longer legs where she was clearly the fastest over the terrain, as well as navigating accurately on good route choices – not always the same routes as her closest challengers. She made a small mistake at control 15 but recovered quickly. Swiss star Simona Aebersold, next fastest up to that point, made a bigger mistake which cost her a medal today. Andrine Benjaminsen, Norway ran strongly and consistently to take the silver medal, and Lisa Risby, Sweden took the bronze – her best ever World Cup result. Sweden impressed with 6 athletes amongst the best 11 finishers.
Whilst the last group of starters were in a class apart from the rest, one early runner who impressed was home athlete Marion Aebi, who held the leader’s chair for a very long time after finishing in 35.05, 2.28 down on the eventual winning time, a fine sixth place in the full results list.
Early leader in the men’s race was the Norwegian Eirik Langedal Breivik, and here too it was some time before his time was beaten. Gustav Bergman, Sweden was the fastest overall to the first TV control, but later made errors and dropped back. At that point, home athlete Daniel Hubmann was second and Kasper Fosser third, 13 seconds down on the lead.
From this point Fosser was clearly best, getting ahead by 18 seconds at the second TV control. Albin Ridefelt did well to rise from fourth at this point (35 seconds down) to finish second, with Hubmann ending up third. The 100 points for Kasper Fosser mean, that he can’t be caught in the overall World Cup standings – and retains his title from last year.
Again here it was an impressive day for Sweden: 5 athletes in the top 10. Combined with the women’s performance, the Team World Cup is clearly won overall by Sweden.
The sun was shining for much of the time today, and the terrain was expected to favour the Swiss less than that provided for the relay – and so it proved. Visibility was often quite limited, and there was a mix of terrain, some with diffuse but interesting contour detail and other steeper, more stony areas with some scree slopes.
Tomorrow the final race, the Long Distance, takes place starting at 9.15, with live-stream coverage from 13.00.
- Tove Alexandersson SWE 32:37
- Andrine Benjaminsen NOR 33:07
- Lisa Risby SWE 34:15
- Sara Hagstrom SWE 34:29
- Simona Aebersold SUI 34:36
- Marion Aebi SUI 35:05
- Kasper Harlem Fosser NOR 34:07
- Albin Ridefelt SWE 34:57
- Daniel Hubmann SUI 34:58
- Olli Ojanaho FIN 35:04
- Emil Svensk SWE 35:34
- Viktor Svensk SWE 35:36