03 October, 2013

MTBO World Cup / WMMTBOC'2013: Portugal, the stage of all emotions

MTBO World Cup / WMMTBOC'2013: Portugal, the stage of all emotions
Three years after the World Championships, at Montalegre, the MTB orienteering at the highest level is back to Portugal. From 9th to 13th October, the municipalities of Sines, Santiago do Cacém and Grândola receive the World Cup 2013's final round and also the World Masters Championships' fourth edition. Await three days of hard and exciting competition, with the unknown as the winners remaining until the last second.

Portugal welcomes the more than two hundred athletes from 22 countries that, from 9 th to 13th October, will bring the MTB orienteering' on its highest level to the 
Alentejo Coast. In dispute will be the Masters World titles in the distances of Sprint, Middle and Long and still the winners of the World Cup 2013.

Seeking to answer to such intense challenges, the Portuguese Orienteering Federation, with the support of the municipalities of Sines, Santiago do Cacém and Grândola, the Alentejo Coast Tourism and the Portuguese Institute of Sport and Youth, kept the best that the region has, promising interesting terrains, breathtaking scenery and the most intense challenges for MTB orienteering lovers. The competition starts on Friday, October 11th, with the Middle Distance race, both scoring for the World Cup and the World Masters Championship. The next day will be time to witness the Long Distance race and everything will end on Sunday with the World Cup's Mixed Relay and the World Masters titles in Sprint.

“Good competition in beautiful terrain and nice sunshine weather”

The entries on the World Cup's final round shows that we'll have 83 athletes (49 men and 34 women)  in competition. The World Cup's current leader, the Estonian Tõnis Erm, talked to the Portuguese Orienteering Blog about his purpose of fighting with all the strength to keep the lead, even knowing that “the races in Portugal will come to show if this wish is fulfilled or not”. With his preparation somewhat disturbed by “a virus and the first snowflakes falling in Estonia”, the Sprint and Middle Distance's World Champion in title looks forward to the competition: “We shall see whether I am fit enough to properly defend this position or will it be up for the rivals to grab.” With the Sprint's silver medal at the World Championships, in Montalegre, still fresh in his memory, Tõnis Erm adds that “the sample maps from Portugal look very interesting and very strange at the same time. It will be quite the opposite of what was the WMTBOC in Estonia – well defined tracks, long climbs and route choices, where you can loose (or win) a lot of time.”

The Portuguese Orienteering Blog also heard the World Rankings' current leaders, the Russian Valeriy Glukhov and the Finnish Marika Hara. Glukhov's looks anxiously on the Portuguese event, partly because “the last September was very cold and rainy in Moscow.” So, he waits “warmer weather, mountainous terrains and interesting technically distances”. Glukhov knows that “the organization will be at a high level” and he wants “to enjoy the races.” What will the results be? “Let's see...”, he says. Marika Hara's words aren't far from this tone. In Portugal, the athlete would like to make “some good races, enjoy the driving and minimize the mistakes”. Getting to victory in the World Cup seems to be away of her concerns since, as she says, “you need good success during the whole seasonand I've had some bad luck this summer.” Finally, the wish of “good competition in beautiful terrain and nice sunshine weather.”

Sponsorized by Orientovar EDP renewals.

Joaquim Margarido

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