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dinsdag, december 30, 2014

Sylvester stage 5: Anciaux and Oeyen

Today the Sylvester 5-days came to an end in Ham (Gerhees). The last stage was again a middle distance race with a good coursesetting from Marc Herremans. Also the sun was present today for the decisive stage in both elite classes.

Everyone was curious about the fight for the victory in women's class between Greet Oeyen and Claire Ward. Oeyen was the first to arrive at the finishline. In a first reaction she again expected that her race wasn't good enough for the overall victory, specially because Ward is a faster runner. But again her expectations didn't come true. Oeyen won todays stage with a 43 seconds gap to Ward. Of course this result was good enough to take the 1st spot in the total ranking.

The podim: Claire Ward - Greet Oeyen - Liesbeth van de Velde

Greet Oeyen said that her victory today was a nice way to end her Sylvester-5-days-carreer in elite class and she finally can start competing in D35 next year. But we hope that she wasn't too serious and we will see her again on the startlist in D21E at the next edition. A last fact about Greet Oeyen: when we asked her about her secret for her recent good results, she gave a surprising answer. It's all about the shoes!. Whole her life she had been competing with (bulky) orienteering shoes with a fixed ankle support. After some advice from her teammates Scheir-Anciaux she changed to normal orienteering shoes and active ankle supports. And now she feels more light and flexible and it's resulting in great performances. Congrats!

Mira Scheir finished 3rd today after a stable race ahead of Liesbeth van de Velde. van de Velde took the bronze medal in the overall ranking, 4 minutes ahead of Anna Moilanen.

Both H21E and D21E classes on the podium: Benjamin Anciaux - Claire Ward - Greet Oeyen - Tomas Hendrickx - Liesbeth van de Velde - Desmond Franssen

In men's class Tomas Hendrickx started with a 3 minutes lead at the last stage. His race wasn't perfect. He commented on his facebook that he was a few times insecure when attacking the controls but that his performance was good enough to take the overall victory. The victory at the last stage was for his opponent Benjamin Anciaux. Both athletes took 2 stage victories, but in the end Hendrickx was 2 minutes faster than Anciaux. The 3rd spot today was again for the junior athlete Wouter Hus. He commented: "I did a good performance except one big mistakes at control 10. Also i felt physically strong again because i didn't participate in yesterdays race and did an easy jog instead."

The fight for the 3rd spot in the overall ranking wasn't as exciting as expected. Thomas van der Kleij was the favourit for the podium, but he had to slow down after some controls because of an muscular injury in his upperleg. When he saw Anciaux and Franssen passing during the race, he decided to quit. So it was finally Desmond Franssen who ended up 3rd at the Sylvester 5-days (exactly the same result as in 2013).

Benjamin Anciaux (middle) explaining to his friends how to win 2 stages at Sylvester 5-days

At the end of the competition the Flemish coach announced the selection for the Interland. In class H21E Tomas Hendrickx, Wouter Hus and Pieter Hendrickx will represent VVO. In class D21E Miek Fabre, Greet Oeyen and Liesbeth van de Velde are part of the selection.

In general most people seemed happy about this edition from the Sylvester 5-days. Maybe some terrains weren't the most attractive, but the coursesetters did a good job and made the races as interesting as possible. At every stage there were some interesting routechoices or technical areas to make the race demanding. The factor which made this edition more tough was the weather. Specially during the 2nd stage some athletes suffered from the cold and snow. But on the other hand the beautiful white scenery on sunday at De Weyervlakte was the highlight of the event.

Map H21E (Desmond Franssen)

maandag, december 29, 2014

Sylvester stage 4: Ward and Hendrickx

The 4th stage of the Sylvester 5-days took place in Lanakaen (De Roeler). The map isn't the most interesting or technical, but the coursesetter tried to make it as demanding as possible.

The forest is rather green and many branches on the ground are decreasing the running speed. The athletes often had to choose between running around on the paths or going for the straight routechoice and fighting with the forest.

Claire Ward in action (Photo: Claire Ward twitter)

In women's class Claire Ward took her first victory at this event by winning with more than 5 minutes. She won all splittimes except 3. With her speed she would have finished in the middle of the H21E class. By winning today with such a big margin she makes the fight for the overall victory very exciting again. Greet Oeyen (3rd today) is leading by 1'06 and we are curious who of them will take the victory home tomorrow. Liesbeth van de Velde (3rd in total) did a better race today and finished in 2nd position.

Tomas Hendrickx celebrating his victory at the bar today (Photo: Olomega)

In class H21E Tomas Hendrickx took his 2nd victory in a row. Thomas van der Kleij and Benjamin Anciaux were in a tight fight with Hendrickx untill the 12th control. But towards the 13th control Hendrickx showed his higher running speed and finally won the race with 1'26 ahead of van der Kleij. Anciaux finished in 3rd position. In the overall ranking Hendrickx is leading more than 3 minutes ahead of Anciaux. van der Kleij is 3rd less than 45 seconds ahead of Desmond Franssen.

Results stage 4
Splits stage 4
Official overall ranking (after 4 stages)
Hoekx' overall ranking (after 4 stages)
Map H21E (Desmond Franssen)

zondag, december 28, 2014

Sylvester stage 3: Oeyen and Hendrickx

The 3rd stage of Sylvester 5-days took place in a beautiful white scenery at De Weyervlakte. This map was also used for JEC some months ago and a challenge for every orienteer.

In women's class Greet Oeyen won her 2nd stage in a row. When she arrived she explained that she didn't expect a victory today. She wasn't feeling as strong as yesterday. But her performance was technically the most stable and that's why she again took the victory. Claire Ward had the best splittimes, but 2 big mistakes made her finish 2nd. Kim Geypen is working at her comeback and showed that she's going into the good direction with a 3rd spot today.

The beautiful white scenery at De Weyervlakte today (Photo: Marieke Addiers)

In men's class Tomas Hendrickx didn't suffer from the cold today and succeeded to take his first win. He also overtakes Benjamin Anciaux (2nd today) in the overall ranking after 3 stages. Anciaux was performing as good as Hendrickx, but made some mistakes in the south part of the map. Jeroen Hoekx became 3rd today ahead of his teammate Thomas van der Kleij. van der Kleij had some problems with keeping direction because his compass was frozen and didn't point to the north anymore. He's definitely not the most lucky one this edition of the Syvester 5-days.

Thomas van der Kleij, Desmond Franssen and Benjamin Anciaux analysing todays race (Photo: Larissa Rand)

Thanks to Jeroen Hoekx we can also show you the unofficial overall ranking. Tomorrow the 4th stage will take place at De Roeler.

Results stage 3
Splits stage 3
Overall ranking
Map H21E (Desmond Franssen)

zaterdag, december 27, 2014

Sylvester stage 2: Oeyen and Anciaux

The 2nd stage of the Sylvester 5-days took place in Lichtaart (Witte Bergen). This terrain and coursesetting created an opposite result as the day before. Yesterday the focus was on orienteering at high running speed, while today was more a fight with a tough forest.

In women's class Greet Oeyen did a surprising performance today. She stopped representing the national team one year ago and decided to train less, but today she looks stronger than ever. Often choosing for a straight routechoice resulted in a victory in D21E. She was more than 7 minutes faster than Claire Ward (2nd) and Anna Moilanen (3rd). Miek Fabre (2nd yesterday) even lost more than 16 minutes compared to Oeyen. The winner from yesterday (Ausrine Kutkaite) didn't finish the whole course, but again liked the terrain and map. Liesbeth van de Velde is still missing in the unofficial results. Her emit got broken, so they will check her time manually. This is the reason why the official results are not online yet.

Unofficial results D21E

Of course Greet Oeyen takes the lead in the overall ranking now, ahead of Claire Ward (2nd) and Anna Moilanen (3rd).

Benjamin Anciaux in action at Silva league in april 2014

In class H21E Benjamin Anciaux had a good race with almost no mistakes. So he ended up on the 1st position, 1 minute faster than Joost Talloen (2nd) and Desmond Franssen (3rd). Joost Talloen felt physically better than yesterday and was satisfied about the result. Wouter Hus and Tomas Hendrickx both finished 2 minutes behind and became 4th and 5th.

Unofficial results H21E

In the overall ranking we see a close and exciting fight for the victory up to now. Benjamin Anciaux takes the lead 30 seconds ahead of Tomas Hendrickx. Wouter Hus is 3rd at the moment at 1'26 behind the leader and only 9 seconds ahead of Desmond Franssen (4th).

Map D21E (routechoices Ausrine Kutkaite)

All participants were very positive about the coursesetting (Jeremy Genar and Winston Franssen) and the map (Peter Bleyens and Fons Bosch) today. The only factor which made the race today extremely tough was the weather. In the early morning the organisation even thought about cancelling the race, because big branches were coming down from the trees. We can't ullistrate the circumstances better by the words of Michael van Baelen who checked the controls this morning:
"First snow of the year and checking the controls before the race on the map "White mountains". First 6-7 controls it was still dark and I had to stand still often to check. From control 4,5 and 6 I got really cold because it was quite green and I constantly got branches against me full of snow/water. Also the paths were sometimes completely blank with ice cold water. Never got warm again and even skipped the last 4 controls because I couldn't feel my feet and hands anymore. Running as fast as possible back to the event centre."

Results (coming soon)
Splits (coming soon)
Map H21E (Desmond Franssen)
Map D21E (Ausrine Kutkaite)

vrijdag, december 26, 2014

Sylvester WRE: Kutkaite and Bloemen

Todays first stage at Sylvester 5-days took place in the Netherlands. It was a world ranking middle distance event at Brouwhuisseheide.

Podium D21E (Miek Fabre - Ausrine Kutkaite and missing: Claire Ward) 

In men's class junior Tristan Bloemen took the victory. He was only 8 seconds faster than Tomas Hendrickx. The 28th control was decisive in the race. Many runners made a mistake here and lost time (like Hendrickx). Tristan Bloemen saw Benjamin Anciaux (started 2min in front of him) coming out of the pit and lost no time here. This was enough to take the victory after a solid performance from Bloemen. Pieter Hendrickx finally took the 3rd spot.

Podium H21E (Pieter Hendrickx - Tristan Bloemen - Tomas Hendrickx)

In women's class Ausrine Kutkaite took the victory. She only made 3 small mistakes and was satisfied about her performance. She really enjoyed the terrain, course and map. Claire Ward finally became 2nd, almost 2 minutes behind. Miek Fabre was fighting for the victory most of the race. But a big mistake (lost 2min40) at the 15th control made her finish on the 3rd position.

Map D21E with routechoices from Ausrine Kutkaite

Remarkable is that some athletes got disqualified after the race because they arrived too late at the quarantaine zone. The jury was very strict and these runners can't fight for the overall victory anymore. Also remarkable was the use of this zone. This was not very clear to the runners. All women could enter the zone again after their race (while men were still waiting), the runners got maximum 15 minutes warming up (they were not allowed to leave the waiting room earlier) and on the way to the start you could meet all runners who had already finished their race.

Map D21E (Ausrine Kutkaite)
Map H21E (Desmond Franssen)

donderdag, december 25, 2014

Sylvester 5-days: let the games begin

Tomorrow the Sylvester 5-days 2014 will finally begin. The competition will start with a world ranking event in the Netherlands.

Map fragment from WRE Brouwhuisseheide

With more than 500 registered athletes, this edition will be even bigger than last year (400 participants in 2013). Tomorrow we can already expect a big fight for the last world ranking event in 2014. Specially in womens class many strong athletes will show up at the startline. The three best Belgian women (Miek Fabre, Liesbeth van de Velde and Kim Geypen) will have to fight against Claire Ward (GBR) and Ausrine Kutkaite (LTU) for the victory (startlist).

While Bart Wellens was training in Lichtaart, Winston was putting out the controls for stage 2

In men's class most of the Belgian strongest athletes will be present at the 1st stage. Yannick Michiels and some athletes from the south of Belgium are missing. For the victory tomorrow we expect a fight between the Hendrickx brothers, Olle Karner (EST), Maxim Simakov (RUS) or one of the outsiders (startlist).

Will everyone spike this control on saturday?

zaterdag, december 20, 2014

Belgian national team: physical testrun (2)

Today there was a 2nd opportunity for the Belgian national team to pass the physical testrun. Below you can see some photos and results.

Today a lot of young athletes were present (H/D16) and we saw an excellent performance from Sverre Buytaert. He almost ran as fast as the best juniors (in H20). In elite class 5 men and 1 woman showed up.

Results junior men

Almost all trol elite runners (except Koen Wilssens) were present at the startline today. Three of them had to push to the limit to pass the test, but finally they made it together. Genar, Van Baelen and Franssen finished in 36'13. Frank Buytaert performed strong today and finished in the best time at the moment: 35'18. Aftewards he commented: "Not yet too old. I easily passed the physical test run today and i'm happy about the result. It looks like the extra trainings had some positive effect, since i ran 1 minute faster than last year."

Results senior men

In women's class Anna Serrallonga (Spanish national team and 37th at WOC middle in Italy this year) also ran the test run. She completed the race in 34'26. It's 2min40 slower than Liesbeth van de Velde last week. Still she was satisfied about the result because she ran 17 seconds faster than last year (in january).

Results junior and senior women

The surprise today was that Clement Demeuse didn't pass the test. Last year he represented Belgium at JWOC and JEC and he's known as a fast runner. Even last month he had some good results at the city race in Barcelona by beating some Spanish and Estonian national team runners (results TIC Barcelona).

Frank Buytaert leading the group

Some history:
There is no subject which caused as many discussions and frustrations in the Belgian national team than the physical testrun. But this history overview is about the test and results itself instead of the discussions around it.
The physical testrun is already for several years taking place in Brussels. The first time was in 2009. The athletes had to pass this running test to be allowed to participate in the WOC orienteering selection races later on. In 2009 men had to complete 6 rounds (12km) and women 5 rounds (10km). In 2010 the federation made the test for men 1 round longer and the limit even more strict. During this edition, it was very tough to complete the 14km (with 210m climb) in 51'30 for several athletes. It was average 7'20/round, the same as the athletes now run on 5 rounds (10km). Since 2011 men have to run 5 rounds (10km - 36'40) and women 4 rounds (8km - 35'00) (results 2011 (1) - results 2011 (2)).

Jeremy Genar and Desmond Franssen

The next opportunity to run the physical test run again will be the 10th of january 2015.

zondag, december 14, 2014

Belgian national team: physical testrun (1)

On saturday the athletes (both seniors and juniors) had their first opportunity to run the physical testrun. It's compulsory to pass this test if you want to participate in the JWOC or WOC selection races later on. That's why this physical testrun caused many discussions in the past.

The Belgian junior boys finishing together

The men elite have to run 5 rounds from each 2 kilomter. Each round includes 2 barriers/obstacles and a steep climb in the end (30m uphill each round). The elite women have to run 4 rounds in total.

Below you can see all the results. Most of the athletes were able to pass the test (among them in senior class: Wouter Hus, Tomas Hendrickx and Liesbeth van de velde). The biggest surprises who failed the test were Francois van der Ouderaa (bronze medal at the Belgian long champs in 2014) and Eleonore Robinson (Belgian champion sprint and long in D18).

Results girls and women

Results boys and men

Next week there will be another opportunity to run this test. In senior class we can expect the athletes from the same club Frank Buytaert, Jeremy Genar and Michael van Baelen at the startline.