Double triumph of the Czech MTBO team: Tichovská and Ludvík are world champions in the mass start
A fast and relatively flat terrain in the woods near Jabkenice was chosen for the race mass start race. The organizers promised a contact race with minimal time gaps from the terrain and these expectations were fulfilled without fail. Immediately after the start the track branched off, but the fastest competitors met in plain sight at the radio controls in the terrain practically until the final section.
Women were the first to start today. From the beginning of the first of the two circuits, the main favorites of the race were in the front positions and, to the great joy of the home fans, Martina Tichovská could be seen at the front among them. However, the group of Emily Benham Kvale (GBR), Nikoline Splittorf (DEN), Marika Hara and Kaarina Nurminen (both FIN) was still very close. In addition, the small differences between the branches of the circuits were only equalized at the beginning of the joint roughly ten-minute section, and at that time the three-member group consisting of Tichovská, Benham Kvale, and Splittorf was in the lead. The Danish competitor was not strong enough at the finish and Tichovská had the upper hand in the final fight with Benham Kvale.
"It was really fast, even though at first the roads were worse than I expected. I rode almost the entire race alone, the others had different farsts (different order of branching sections - editor's note). We came together towards the end and it was a fight to the last meters. I'm very happy that it was successful," revealed Martina Tichovská at the finish line.
The men had the course divided into three circuits with further branching between junction controls. Compared to the women's category, it was therefore more difficult to track who is doing the best. In the second half of the last lap, Czech representative Vojtěch Ludvík met Finn Andre Haga at the head of the race. They drove the last section between the radio controls together and the decision was made only in the final part. Ludvík managed to fend off the Finn on the hill and reached the finish line with a safe lead. The Swiss Simon Hellmueller finished in a third place.
"It was an incredibly physically demanding race. At the beginning I fell and lost a bit, but soon I was back on the pace. Andre Haga was ahead of me for almost the entire last lap, I passed him on the last hill. At the top, it felt like my legs were behind me somewhere, but I was quite happy that I didn't have to sprint," summed up the successful race the happy winner.
The junior races were also very fast and close. In the W20 category, the winner was decided just before the finish line, when Sofia Stránská (CZE) was overtaken by Tilda Palm (SWE) after her minor mistake on the last climb, and in the final spurt the Swedish competitor had more power. Silja YliHietanen from Finland finished third. The juniors spent the shortest time on the track of all categories, Armel Berthaud (FRA) won ahead of Eemil Koskinen (FIN) and Flurin Schnyder (SUI).