The European SkiO Long distance race brought the first win of the championships for Tove Alexandersson, Sweden. The Sprint champion Lars Moholdt, Norway, won his second individual gold in a close race with Sergey Gorlanov, Russia. After mass starts, the leads changed several times, giving plenty of excitement for both competitors and spectators.
Alexandersson won the women’s race in the end by 2.52, skiing the final part of the race strongly and, it seems, with far fewer mistakes than her challengers. At the two-thirds point of the 14.4 km course this could never have been foreseen, because at that point she was 9 minutes down on the Russian Mariya Kechkina! Different control order was part of the key here, but the situation created a lot of interest as the race unfolded towards the end.
Kechkina finished in silver medal position, and Finland won a bronze medal courtesy of Middle silver medallist Salla Koskela, who was 1.20 slower than Kechkina. The women’s race proved very tough for many of the competitors, and 11 failed to complete the course.
The veteran Russian Eduard Khrennikov was fastest away from the start in the men’s race, but after control 3 Moholdt was dominant overall. Gorlanov, Khrennikov and the young Norwegian Jørgen Baklid all posted fast times on specific legs. Gorlanov and Middle champion Erik Rost, Sweden kept in touch with Moholdt’s time on the 18.1 km course with 39 controls, but Moholdt held on to win by 34 seconds over Gorlanov, with Rost a further 5 seconds down.
One race remains in the Championships, being held at Sarikamiş ski resort in Turkey – the Relay tomorrow. The men’s race starts at 9.00 and the women’s at 9.10, local time. The races can be followed live on www.esoc2019.net.
Leading results – Long distance
- Tove Alexandersson SWE 1:21:39
- Mariya Kechkina RUS 1:24:31
- Salla Koskela FIN 1:25:51
- Magdalena Olsson SWE 1:27:53
- Hanna Eriksson SWE 1:28:53
- Anastasia Kravchenko RUS 1:29:01
- Lars Moholdt NOR 1:31:54
- Sergey Gorlanov RUS 1:32:28
- Erik Rost SWE 1:32:33
- Eduard Khrennikov RUS 1:34:16
- Jørgen Baklid NOR 1:34:32
- Vladislav Kiselev RUS 1:35:59