NORT 2011 - stage finale
A chasing start (prolonged middle) concluded the NORT 2011. I was starting on place 34, 7:18 behind the leader Daniel Hubmann. The gaps between the runners were very close, thus group building to be expected. Unfortunately, the two runners in front of me didn’t start. So, I jumped into the role of leading some runners, who were just some seconds behind me, for the first controls. But already to control 3 we took different route choices, which separated our group. After the race I realized that I lost more than 30 seconds to Sirmais on this route. Afterwards, there were rather short legs, including the controls in the forking until control 18. Except of some short hesitation, I had no serious troubles in finding the controls. On the last loop after the finish passage, I could catch two Swedish runners, but was also caught by some guys, whom I had already overtaken earlier. At the second last control we were 5 runners, taking different route choices to the last one. Unfortunately, my choice was not the best one. In the end, I finished on place 23, what was still very satisfying for me, as I gained more places and World Cup points than expected.
I really liked the terrain, especially the part in the forking. Furthermore the course offered several route choices which offered strategic running. Still, more forking could be applied, as it was expected that the gaps between the runners will be very close.