Matthias Kyburz and Elena Roos won the Long Distance in Grindelwald

The first day of the O World Cup Final in Grindelwald provided a lot of reasons for celebration among the Swiss team: The women’s Long Distance was won by Elena Roos (Cugnasco), while Matthias Kyburz took the victory in the men’s race.

RSTXII 169451 1200px wmTaking the win in the approximately 19 effective kilometres long race, Matthias Kyburz was able to increase his lead in the total standing of the World Cup. Before the last individual race he is leading by 70 points ahead of Norwegian Olav Lundanes and 105 Points ahead of Daniel Hubmann, another Swiss runner. In the finish, Matthias Kyburz reported that his run had been technically clean: „I didn’t have any problems near the control circles. Only on the long legs I felt a bit insecure“, the 27-year-old said. Provided another stable run on Saturday, he has the chance to win the overall World Cup for the fourth time in his career. Daniel Hubmann, however, no longer has chances for the win. With his fifth place on Friday he lost too many points compared to his teammates .

A remarkable achievement was made by Elena Roos, representing the Ticino. In the approximately 12 effective kilometre long race, the 26-year-old was able to celebrate her first ever victory in a World Cup race. After a series of good results including results in the top ten, she now made her first coup: “I can’t really believe it yet”, Roos said. She found no surprises on the course: “The challenging alpine terrain surely suited us Swiss”.
Sabine Hauswirth (Belp), another Swiss, took the second place: „I didn’t make any major mistakes and I made the right route choices for myself“, the 29-year-old reported. Thanks to this good result, Hauswirth advanced from the fifth to the third place in the total standing. The third place was taken by Russian Natalia Gemperle, who lives in Switzerland.
The leader of the total standing, Tove Alexandersson from Sweden, only took a 14th place on the Long Distance. Being on her way to another victory, a big mistake cost her almost five minutes and made her drop in the result list.  

The Long Distance took the 200 runners from 23 different nations through the area of „Nodhalten“, in the First area, situated above Grindelwald. The course was characterised by a lot of climbing: 780 metres of climb for the men, 560 metres for the women. According to Simone Niggli, „the Long Distance was a real endurance test“. The former elite runner is in charge of the course setting management at the World Cup Final in Grindelwald. Typical for a long distance race were also the long route choices between some of the controls : «In some parts, it took the runners up to 20 minutes to get from one control to the next one », Niggli explains.

Despite the challenging topography, leading to the high amount of metres to climb, the terrain was characterised by good runnability and areas of different types of terrain: half-open parts with alpine roses, slopes with marshes and open summer pastures, or even parts with dense forest were passed under way. Not to mention the impressive mountain backdrop including the famous Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. The organisers of the EGK O World Cup Final are the association of Swiss Cup. Having the health insurance company EGK and as a presenting partner and the Jungfraubahnen and BB Biotech as main sponsors, the organisers are lucky to be able to count on great support on part of their partners.