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maandag, december 26, 2011

Sylvester D1: Hendrickx and Omová

Tomas Hendrickx spent one week in the hospital just 4 weeks ago, but was already strong during today's first day of the Sylvester 5-days. In his typical style, he already explained his approach to the course before the race: "Last week during the race in Pijnven I already felt strong, but had no energy left the day afterwards. The course distance won't be a problem today and I never start a race without pushing myself to the limit." Truer words couldn't be spoken.

Swiss runner Daniel Zwiker was the fastest starter today. Hendrickx was right there with him, comfortably leading during the next few controls. A mistake in the open area at control 5 however, lead to the competition taking the lead. It was the only weakness in Hendrickx' course though and the half-minute gap was closed by control 12. Secure orienteering until the finish earned him the stage victory today.

at the left Dries van der Kleij and at the right todays winner Tomas Hendrickx

Next up was OMM runner Thomas van der Kleij, but the competition is still tough for these places. Van der Kleij, less than one minute behind, only had a few hesitations during the race, but could not match Hendrickx' pace. In third place, another hamok runner, Benjamin Anciaux. Anciaux was at least as fast as Hendrickx, but did not manage a flawless race, already losing 1:30 during the first few controls. A fast finish secured the third place, right in front of your reporter, who was in turn just a few seconds ahead of Trol runner Ken Peeters.

Several other runners, including D. Franssen, Zwiker, Genar, Lubina, Talloen are still in the running for the top spots overall. Next up is amongst others Czech runner Oma, losing 3 minutes during the last few controls.

It will be exciting to see who can win the WRE tomorrow in Tessenderlo, with Pieter Hendrickx, Yannick Michiels and Michel Bastin joining the pack.

Flemish runners Miek Fabré and Greet Oeyen pretty much matched each others pace. Oeyen already commented: "I did not feel strong at all during the race, but technically my race was OK. After the last weeks of pretty bad orienteering but strong running this was a strange feeling." Oeyen's feelings were quite right, as Czech runner Michaela Gomzyk Omová had a four-minute lead at the finish.

Omová is for sure a strong contender for the overall victory, as reported by DLP in our preview. We'll see if tomorrow's race will confirm this start, with also Kim Geypen starting in the WRE.

Map H21 (Desmond Franssen)


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