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MTBO World Cup: Benham and Laurila take first wins

Emily Benham (Great Britain) and Jussi Laurila (Finland) were the two winners in the mass start Long Distance race that opened the first round of the 2015 MTBO World Cup in Hungary today.

The women’s race resulted in a comfortable victory for Benham, who finished 27 seconds ahead of Ingrid Stengård, Finland, having led more or less throughout the 18.2 km course with 440 m climb and 20 controls. Third was the Russian rider Svetlana Poverina, 1.54 down on the winner at the finish.

The men’s race (23.6 km with 530 m climb and 20 controls) ended in an exciting sprint finish between Laurila and Anton Foliforov. The Russian was timed 1 second ahead of Laurila at the last control, but the Finn was the stronger on the run-in and won by 4 seconds. Kevin Haselsberger (Austria), until today 14th in the IOF World Rankings, finished a very creditable third, 1.02 behind Laurila. Both Austria and France will be delighted with getting 2 finishers in the top 6; fourth-placed Yoann Garde, France is currently ranked number 31.

This first round has three competitions and is taking place at Várgesztes, Hungary, a village about 75 km west of Budapest. 75 men and 36 women from 20 nations in all are registered for these World Cup races, which are being held in mainly deciduous forest terrain with some deep valleys, noticeable climbs with some tricky steep sections, and areas of flat plateau. The round continues tomorrow with a Middle Distance race and on Sunday there is a Mixed Relay for teams of 3 with at least one woman.

This is the first round of three; the others are the European Championships in Portugal in mid- June and the World Championships in the Czech Republic in mid-August.

Leading results, Long Distance 


  1. Emily Benham GBR 1:17:47
  2. Ingrid Stengård FIN 1:18:14
  3. Svetlana Poverina RUS 1:19:41
  4. Martina Tichovska CZE 1:21:13
  5. Gaelle Barlet FRA 1:22:20
  6. Maria Brezinova CZE 1:22:58


  1. Jussi Laurila FIN 1:26:29
  2. Anton Foliforov RUS 1:26:33
  3. Kevin Haselsberger AUT 1:27:31
  4. Yoann Garde FRA 1:27:33
  5. Andreas Waldmann AUT 1:28:40
  6. Clément Souvray FRA 1:28:51


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