The World Cup Knock-Out Sprint in Borås, Sweden ended up with two nail-biting finals and victories to Tove Alexandersson (SWE) and Matthias Kyburz (SUI).
After the qualification race in the morning, the competition moved to the centre of Borås from the quarter finals and on.
Most of the favourites made it through to the final – and the men were first off, with seven athletes in the starting booth instead of six, due to a complaint in the semifinal.
Here the runners all were within few seconds all the way to the arena passage with Tim Robertson (NZE) in the lead, but on the last loop, the athletes took different route choices to the third last control.
Matthias Kyburz was first there, never looked back and kept a high speed to the finish line to take the win ahead of Robertson. Sweden’s August Mollén had a great day and snatched the third place on his World Cup debut ahead of Norway’s Kasper Fosser.
– It was a tough course with the lead changing all the time. I’m really happy that I had a clear route and an easy execution plan and it worked well, Matthias Kyburz said after the race.
The different route choices on the last loop of the course didn’t scare the reigning European champion in Knock-Out Sprint.
– It’s always a really difficult situation, but I knew I had to focus on my own. I hadn’t checked his route, so I just followed my plan. From the third last control I knew by heart where to go, Kyburz says.
Four Swedes had qualified for the women’s final leaving Andrine Benjaminsen (NOR) and Megan Carter Davies (GBR) with the task of challenging the home court favourites.
And with clever route choices, Megan Carter Davies almost did that. At the arena passage she had a clear lead to the rest of the group but Tove Alexandersson showed her irresistible strength on the last controls and went on to take the victory – just as she did in the Individual Sprint on Thursday.
Megan Carter Davies finished second – the greatest result of her career so far – and Andrine Benjaminsen (NOR) kept the remaining Swedes behind her and was third.
Sunday’s Sprint Relay in Borås will be the final competition of the World Cup Round 1 in Sweden.
It can be followed at IOF LIVE from 13.00 CEST (UTC+2)
TOP 6 Results
- Tove Alexandersson, SWE 8:15
- Megan Carter Davies, GBR 8:19
- Andrine Benjaminsen, NOR 8:26
- Lina Strand, SWE 8:30
- Karolin Ohlsson, SWE 8.31
- Hanna Lundberg, SWE 8:37
- Matthias Kyburz, SUI 7:21
- Tim Robertson, NZE 7:22
- August Mollén, SWE 7:23
- Kasper Fosser, NOR 7:24
- Martin Regborn, SWE 7:25
- Miika Kirmula, FIN 7:26