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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)

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