This season, Swedish ski-orienteering introduced a new concept for national ski-orienteering races: Swedish Cup, a national circuit of ski-orienteering competitions, consisting of 13 individual races. Similarly to the World Cup, points are awarded for athletes after each race, and the best ski-orienteers will be awarded at the end of the season.
According to the Swedish Orienteering Federation, the main goal of the Swedish Cup is to raise the overall level and quality of the national ski-o competitions.
Until today, six stages have taken place:
- prologue and chasing start at Swedish championships in Boden on December 19th-20th (results prologue, chasing start)
- sprint and middle distance in Älvsbyn on January 9th-10th (results sprint, middle)
- long distance and middle distance in Orsa Grönklitt on January 16th-17th, which will be covered in this post.
Let’s take a closer look at the long distance race which offered a technical course with many tricky route choices.
In the women’s category, Evelina Wickbom won the race with the time 1:14:09, followed by Magdalena Olsson (+0:22) and Klara Yngvesson (+2:00).
– I am happy that I won the race even if I did some small mistakes. I think I won because I took many good route choices and had a good speed under my skis, commented Evelina
The race offered, indeed, many long route choice legs, e.g. control 4-5 and 12-13 (leg 13-14 on the map above as map changes are considered as separate controls on the maps presented in this post). Evelina mentioned that her strategy for deciding route choices was to ski as much as possible on the wider tracks as they were hard and fast, whereas small tracks were softer and slower. Link to GPS-tracking.
Looking at the graphics which show the performances of the four fastest women, we can see that Evelina (red line on the first graphic) had a stable race with fast speed, except for three shorter controls in the middle of the race.
–I took slower route choices to the 8th and 10th control. I also did a stupid mistake to the 12th control while trying to decide the route choice to control 13. I did a loop while I was unsure where I was.
The performance graphic of Magdalena shows a technically more stable race than the other girls in the top 4. The biggest “peak” of her line is to 5th control which was a long route choice leg – this cost her nearly 1 minute. In the second part of the course, Evelina performed at a higher physical speed than Magdalena.
Let’s also take a quick look at Lisa Larsen’s performance graphic. Lisa finished 4th, 2:51 behind the winner. Several fastest split times, especially on the second half of the course, show her physical potential. However, several mistakes kept her this time far from the victory.
In men’s class, Linus Rapp (time 1:17:17) took a close victory in front of Markus Lundholm (+0:18) and Martin Hammarberg (+0:34).
The performance graphic of the four fastest men show that there seem to be no big differences in the physical aspect of ski-orienteering between the athletes – the winner is the one who can minimize the technical errors.
With fast and stable races, Erik Blomgren and Lisa Larsen were the winners of the middle distance, which took place on Sunday in the same terrain.
After six stages, Linus Rapp and Evelina Wickbom are the current leaders of the overall Swedish Cup.
–I like the concept and think it is fun to fight for the points and try to win overall, concludes Evelina.