peter-hodkinson-Genoa2024_KristinaLindgrenPeter Hodkinson checks for the best route to the next control, photo: IOF / Kristina Lindgren

Genoa provided more technical and physical challenge than the previous week's World Cup sprint races in Olten, and the result was very entertaining races. Saturday was an individual sprint. Sunday was a Sprint Relay.

Twelve GB runners took part. On Saturday top-40 places were taken by Megan Carter-Davies (29th), Grace Molloy (40th), Peter Hodkinson (27th) and Nathan Lawson (35th). Ralph Street, wearing bib number 1 went through the start but had an ankle problem so did not do the course.


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World Cup Round 2

The courses included hilly and intricate orienteering. As World of O reports:

> The Italian terrain really challenged the athletes – making the races very spectator-friendly!

Genoa World Cup Round - World Of O Report, with Maps and Analysis

IOF Eventor with Bulletins and Official Results

Women Individual

  1. Simona Aebersold
  2. Natalia Gemperle
  3. Ane Dyrkorn
  4. Tove Alexandersson
  5. Victoria Hæstad Bjørnstad
  6. Venla Harju

Simona Aebersold's margin over Natalia Gemperle was large - 28 seconds - mostly gained on the leg to control 16.

  • Megan Carter-Davies was 29th (a 4-way tie!)
  • Grace Molloy was 40th
  • Rachel Brown was 48th
  • Fiona Bunn was 57th
  • Cecilie Andesen was 59th
  • Charlotte Ward was 74th.
  • Mairi Eades was 97th.

Men Individual

  1. Kasper Fosser
  2. Martin Regborn
  3. Tomáš Křivda
  4. Florian Attinger
  5. Tino Polsini
  6. Miika Kirmula

Kasper Fosser's margin of victory was also large - 21 seconds.

Well-known athletes Yannick Michiels (Belgium) and Daniel Hubmann (Switzerland) were 8th and 9th and both used the adjective "cool" to describe the course. Hubmann wrote it was his 139th top ten placement in his 169th individual World Cup race!

  • Peter Hodkinson was 27th.
  • Nathan Lawson was 35th.
  • Freddie Carcas was 50th.
  • Peter Molloy was 59th.
  • Jonathan Crickmore was 66th.
  • Ralph Street did not finish.

Sprint Relay

There was a big surprise in the relay results with Sweden not in the top-3 for the first time in umpteen years. GB had the best result of the season so far with a team fifth, just a few seconds behind the Sweden first team, and ahead of Norway.

This was particulary thanks to strong runs from Grace Molloy and Megan Carter-Davies, who were both second fastest on their legs. They were the second fastest women's pair behind the Swiss - who were one and two in the individual sprint and lead the World Cup.

An uncommon feature of the relay was gaffling between men and women legs. There was a 4-way gaffle to the first control, and on three further two-way gaffles (all just single control) men and women were gaffled against each other. It seemed to work well as all the gaffles were nearly identical in length.

If that were accepted practice in future it could be that legs 1,2 and 3 had a 3-way gaffle later on than is currently customary, because of the need for leg 4 to not be gaffled near the end.

The race began in parkland and only later began to climb. A key feature of the courses was an excellent long route choice to the seventh control. It split up the fields (it began at the second gaffling point) and created the opportunity for significant time differences.

Genoa Sprint Relay - Leg 1 - Map and Tracking

GenoaRelayStart2024_MiriamRosenGrace Molloy at the front at the start, photo: Miriam Rosen

On leg 1 Natalia Gemperle (Switzerland) took the lead early and held it to the end. After five minutes when Gemperle punched control 7 in the lead she was followed closely by Josefin LInd of Denmark and then a string of runners at about one per second. Grace Molloy (GBR1) was 17th, Charlotte Ward (GBR2) was 19th. There was then an uphill section including the arena passage, and a long leg (to control 11.) There Gemperle had a 10 second gap to a chasing pack led by Pia Young Vik and including Grace - at that point 14 secs down on the leader. Charlotte was 8th, 5 seconds behind Grace. There was then more climb including the last gaffled control, where Eef Van Dongen (NED) ran fast and took the lead of the chase. A decision point came at control 15, again a big route choice. Van Dongen turned back uphill for the left hand route, and all of the others from the lead group except Molloy carried on down for the right hand route. Both routes included narrow sections where passing needed care and overtaking was about as easy as in the Monaco Grand Prix.

GenoaNarrowPassages_IOFbroadcastTuomas Heikkila and Jannis Bonek pass on leg 3, screengrab from drone footage in the IOF Broadcast

The left hand route would be preferred by the top runners in the later legs and was surely better if a little harder to execute. Grace Molloy executed it well. Van Dongen (not wearing a GPS tracker) probably less well. And then Molloy was running into the changeover second, 26 seconds down on Gemperle. Five seconds later Maelle Beauvir was in for France, and then they came thick and fast, eight runners in the next ten seconds, followed by five more before a bit of a gap.

On Leg2 Fraddie Carcas ran for GBR1. He dropped some places to eighth but the gap to the lead, still held by Switzerland, was not much longer at 35 seconds, and the gap to 3rd was 15 seconds.

freddie-carcas-GenoaRelayt2024_MiriamRosen Freddie Carcas on the arena passage, photo: Miriam Rosen

On Leg3 Nathan Lawson ran for GBR1. He dropped a couple of places and the gaps were larger. He was running against the top men in the World. Martin Regborn took the lead for SWE1, Tuomas Heikkila took second, both passing Switzerland's Joey Hadorn. And Tomáš Křivda was in fourth. By this time the changeover was gettig a bit slippy.

tomas-krivda-handover_GenoaSprintRelay_KristinaLindgrenTomáš Křivda hands over to Teresa Janosikova, photo: IOF / Kristina Lindgren

nathan-lawson-GenoaRelayt2024_MiriamRosenNatha Lawson, photo: Miriam Rosen


megan-carter-davies_GenoaSprintRelay_KristinaLindgrenMegan Carter-Davies waits in the changeover area, photo: IOF / Kristina Lindgren

Megan's run on the final leg began fast. She started tenth and within a couple of minutes had overtaken five teams (three of them Norwegian) to be fifth. Ahead was a 30 second gap to fourth. Could the World Champion close on the leaders: Venla Harju (FIN), Simona Aebersold (SUI) Tove Alexandersson (SWE), and Teresa Janosikova (CZE)?

Genoa Sprint Relay Leg 4 - Map and Tracking

The answer was yes. Alexandersson made a big mistake on the leg to control 7, Harju erred on that leg too, but not by as much, and a few minutes from the end of the race and with the gaffling complete Megan punched control 13 ahead of Alexandersson, two seconds off 3rd, and four seconds off 2nd (Aebersold was clear in the lead by then.) But that was the highpoint. The others had reserves of energy. Even Alexandersson couldn't overtake Harju and Janosikova at the end.

The Swiss win was thanks to excellent runs by Natalia Gemperle and Simona Aebersold, and sound runs by the men Riccardo Rancan and Joey Hadorn. Notably neither |Rancan nor Hadorn was in the previous day's top-10, which did include three other Swiss men. Swiss Team Selection for the World Champs in Scotland.

Other Teams

There were 60 teams in all.

GBR2 (Charlotte Ward, Peter Hodkinson, Jonathan Crickmore, Fiona Bunn) were 18th.

Rachel Brown, Peter Molloy and Cecilie Andersen ran with Isak Jonsson of Norway to come 25th.

Mairi Eades ran final leg for the "Commonwealth" team (which finished ahead of Australia 1).

In another mixed nations team two Japanese runners were joined by Eline Gemperle and Daniel Hubmann - they came 33rd. Hubmann was 8th fastest on leg 2.


switzerland_GenoaSprintRelay_KristinaLindgrenThe Winning Swiss Team, Photo: IOF / Kristina Lindgren

finland_GenoaSprintRelay_KristinaLindgrenSecond, Finland, Photo: IOF / Kristina Lindgren

czechia_GenoaSprintRelay_KristinaLindgrenThird, Czechia, Photo: IOF / Kristina Lindgren


Results - Genoa Sprint Relay


gbplus_GenoaSprintRelay_KristinaLindgrenJonathan Crickmore and Ralph Street celebrate with GBR1, photo: IOF / Kristina Lindgren

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