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World MTBO Championships: Middle Distance wins for Russia and Czech Republic

The Russian Olga Shipilova-Vinogradova (pictured above) and the Czech rider Krystof Bogar are the first gold medal winners in the Championships after a gruelling race in wet and muddy conditions in the hilly forests around Vilnius, Lithuania.

It isn’t an easy challenge in the Sapiegine hills when it is dry, but after a few days of non-stop Lithuanian rain the conditions turned the course into a real battlefield. The expected winning time for Middle distance in Men Elite was 55-60 minutes, but the wet conditions made it even longer. Krystof Bogar from the Czech Republic claimed the Men’s Champion title, having fought the hills for more than 1 hour and 8 minutes.

According to him, a key point in winning in such a place was to avoid mistakes and to take the right route choices: “It was really hard to keep concentrated: it was raining, and there were lots of paths in the forest. It was difficult to understand in which place you would face downhill or find a valley; I was very surprised when I expected a valley but when I came into the place it was totally different”.

The young Czech talent, who has a lot of experience in World MTB Cup marathons, left the 2016 champion in Middle Distance, Russian athlete Anton Foliforov, behind by almost a minute. Russia packed well, taking third place (Valeriy Gluhov) and fourth (Ruslan Gritsan) too.

Men’s podium: Krystof Bogar CZE flanked by Russians Anton Foliforov & Valeriy Gluhov  Photos: Hans Jørgen Kvåle

The women’s race was a triumph for Olga Shipilova-Vinogradova, who won gold at Long Distance in the European Championships just a few weeks ago. Current World Cup leader Martina Tichovska, Czech Republic took the silver medal, 1.32 down, and the bronze went to Emily Benham, Great Britain who was 3.31 slower than the winner.

Women’s podium, l to r: Martina Tichovska CZE, Olga Shipilova-Vinogradova RUS, Emily Benham GBR

In the Junior championships, Veronika Kubinova, Czech Republic won the women’s race by 1.59 over the Australian Lucy Mackie – a fine result also for her. In the men’s race the gold medallist was Samson Deriaz from France; he beat the double gold medallist from the European Championships, Thomas Steinthal (Denmark), by 2.33.

The athletes had to go several times up slalom hills which had been used several decades ago. Lots of rain and mud made some of the hills unrideable, though running up a sloping mountain with a bike was also challenging – very slippery!

The Championships continue tomorrow with the Mass Start race, the first time this format is an official part of WMTBOC.

Leading results, Middle Distance


  1. Olga Shipilova-Vinogradova RUS 1:03:49
  2. Martina Tichovska CZE 1:05:21
  3. Emily Benham GBR 1:07:20
  4. Ingrid Stengard FIN 1:11:35
  5. Marika Hara FIN 1:13:04
  6. Gaelle Barlet FRA 1:13:34


  1. Krystof Bogar CZE 1:08:07
  2. Anton Foliforov RUS 1:09:01
  3. Valeriy Gluhov RUS 1:09:50
  4. Ruslan Gritsan RUS 1:10:31
  5. Jussi Laurila FIN 1:10:58
  6. Vojtech Stransky CZE 1:11:05


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