The under 23 races at the European Cross Country championships on Thursday were the perfect dress rehearsal for tomorrow's elite races taking place in Haifa, Israel. The weather was hot and slightly humid, but that did not stop the young Europeans from showing everyone their talent.
The under 23 women raced in the cooler morning temperatures, but it wasn't too early for a heated battle between riders. Paula Gorycka (Poland) led the pack on the opening lap, and would eventually finish in sixth place.
Local favourite Noga Korem (Israel) had a bit of a slow start, then worked herself into a top 15 spot, much to the delight of the crowds there to support her.
Meanwhile, in the front of the race, Kathrin Stirnemann (Switzerland) was in a good position, with almost half a minute ahead of Alexandra Engen (Sweden). However, after a slow start, Engen set a blistering third lap pace, where she all but made up the deficit.
Stirnemann's batteries ran out near the end of the final lap, yet she hung on to finish a respectful second place behind Engen, who clocked a sub-22 minute final lap on her way to the win.
Slovenia's Tanja Zakelj put in consistent lap times to secure the final spot on the podium.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Alexandra Engen (Sweden)||1:27:45|
|2||Kathrin Stirnemann (Switzerland)||0:00:34|
|3||Tanja Zakelj (Slovenia)||0:02:01|
|4||Annie Last (Great Britain)||0:02:36|
|5||Barbara Benko (Hungary)||0:03:01|
|6||Paula Gorycka (Poland)||0:04:18|
|7||Anne Terpstra (Netherlands)||0:04:31|
|8||Lily Matthews (Great Britain)||0:06:50|
|9||Katarzyna Solus-Miskowicz (Poland)||0:07:33|
|10||Judith Pollinger (Italy)||0:08:01|
|11||Vera Andreeva (Russia)||0:08:13|
|12||Ekaterina Anoshina (Russia)||0:08:28|
|13||Mona Eberweiser (Germany)||0:08:37|
|14||Vivienne Meyer (Switzerland)||0:08:52|
|15||Noga Korem (Israel)||0:09:27|
|16||Serena Calvetti (Italy)||0:11:03|
|17||Joana Barbosa (Portugal)||0:14:35|
|-1lap||Viktoria Sultanova (Ukraine)|
|-1lap||Nadezhda Orlova (Russia)|
|DNF||Kseniya Kirillova (Russia)|