Jonny Crickmore had a long stay in the leader's chair today
The first day's racing of World Cup Round 3 in Laufen, Switzerland was middle distance. The races were won by Tove Alexandersson and Joey Hadorn.
The best placed British runners were Jonny Crickmore and Megan Carter-Davies. There were two minute start intervals starts for the field of 121 men, so the race developed over several hours. Jonny was 50th starter, and held the best time for a long time: he had a long stay in the chair for current leader.
It was a tough steep area with many paths and tracks. Perhaps unlike in Britain there were long route choice legs and a finish in the town, with the last few hundred metres along a public road. As usual there was a lot of noise when a Swiss runner arrived at the finish. And with 1-2 in the men's race as the extremely fast Joey Hadorn pipped Daniel Hubmann by 9 seconds (and two more men in the top 10), and 2-3 in the women's race with Simona Aebersold and Sabine Hauswirth (and three more women in the top 10), the home country did very well.
Being a World Cup race the strongest countries have eight entries each (nine with an individual champion taking a personal place) so positions for most/all British runners will be lower than in a World Championships race where the strongest countries can only have three runners. Start times in the races were set in reverse order of World ranking position. In the women's race all but one of the 17 Swiss and Swedish runners were ranked in the fastest 44 (the field was 99) so the competition was very strong in depth. (Interestingly only two of the eight Norwegian women were ranked in the top half of the field.)
Adam Potter in the forest (photo credit: Fred Haertelt)
24th Megan Carter-Davies 32nd Cat Taylor 58th Jo Shepherd 67th Cecilie Andersen 75th Sarah Jones
22nd Jonny Crickmore 27th Ralph Street 58th Peter Hodkinson 83rd Alex Carcas 88th Ben Mitchell 94th Adam Potter
The last section was in Laufen
Tomorrow it's the sprinters' return. Some were running today from the style and speed shown on the run-in, but several well-known names will be running their first races in national team colours for some time. And it starts early and fiercely with qualification heats determing the 36 quarter-finallists (for each of men and women) and also half the field for Sunday's A final. And the best run first, not last, to have more rest before the next round. It's from 9am Swiss time.
For Britain, Alice Leake, Charlotte Ward, Kris Jones and Chris Smithard will be joining.