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MTBO World Cup: birthday success for Emily Benham

Emily Benham, Great Britain celebrated her birthday in the best possible way today by winning the Middle Distance race by a big margin, her second victory in two days. Baptiste Fuchs, France was also dominant in the men’s race, more than a minute ahead of yesterday’s winner Jussi Laurila.

Benham has made a great start to the new World Cup season having prepared herself well over the winter, and the nearest to her today was Antonia Haga, Finland who took 2.05 longer on the 10.7 km course in the forests around Várgesztes in Hungary.  Benham started off well and was almost half a minute quicker than any other rider on the long second leg, but Haga had a good spell from controls 2 to 6 with fastest times on all the legs, bringing her into the lead. Thereafter Benham, who was fastest on 7 legs in all on the 15-control course, was fastest overall through to the end. It was a good result for Haga, however, who lies 21st in the IOF World Rankings. Third place today was taken by fellow Finn Ingrid Stengard, 4.59 down on the winner. The Finns packed well with three in the top four.

In the men’s race Jussi Laurila, Finland was fastest overall at the 6th control of the 18 on the 12.0 km course, but then lost more than one and a half minutes to Baptiste Fuchs on the next quite short leg, and Fuchs led from control 7 onwards. Lithuania will be delighted with the third place achieved by Jonas Maišelis, World-Ranked number 21, who was just 1 second slower than Laurila at the finish.

Baptiste Fuchs is the IOF’s Athlete of May; you can read all about his life, his outlook and his sporting ambitions in the article to be published on this website on Monday.

The final race in this World Cup round, a mixed relay, takes place tomorrow.

Leading results, Middle Distance


  1. Emily Benham GBR 56:44
  2. Antonia Haga FIN 58:49
  3. Ingrid Stengard FIN 1:01:43
  4. Marika Hara FIN 1:01:50
  5. Gaelle Barlet FRA 1:02:11
  6. Cecilia Thomasson SWE 1:02:52


  1. Baptiste Fuchs FSA 52:09
  2. Jussi Laurila FIN 53:30
  3. Jonas Maišelis LTU 53:31
  4. Jan Svoboda CZE 53:54
  5. Anton Foliforov RUS 54:03
  6. Valeriy Gluhov RUS 54:07


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