The two big favourites for victory today turned out also to be the clear winners, Alexandersson by 41 seconds and Hubmann by 1.22.
This was Tove Alexandersson’s first international championships gold medal; for Daniel Hubmann it was the fourth in a European Championships and third at Long Distance – the others were in 2010 and 2014.
The women had a classic Long Distance course of 10.3 km with 410 metres of climb in hilly continental-style terrain; one leg was well over 1 km in length. Tove Alexandersson was fastest at all the radio controls, with second place being fought out between the Norwegian Anne Margrethe Hausken Nordberg and the Russian Svetlana Mironova. It was Nordberg who gradually got the upper hand and her finish time was almost 2 minutes faster than that of Mironova. Another Russian, Natalia Vinogradova, was fourth.
Daniel Hubmann was third fastest to the first radio control on the men’s course of 16.1 km with 650 metres climb, his compatriot Matthias Kyburz being quickest at that point. But then Hubmann got fully into his stride and it was clear he was determinedly going for gold. And so it proved, with his lead getting ever longer. Magne Daehli, Norway, who like Hubmann was a heat winner yesterday, took the silver medal, and bronze went to Martin Regborn, Sweden, who is having a very successful championships so far – he was fourth in the Sprint. It was a close thing, however: Norway’s Carl Godager Kaas was just 2 seconds slower.
Tomorrow is a rest day, and competition resumes on Thursday with the Middle Distance qualification heats.
Some feelings of Daniel Hubmann:
How would you comment on your performance in Long Distance today?
It was very tough race with many route choices. I made a small mistake at the second control, maybe 20 second, but as far as I remember it was the biggest one. I had a good feeling, I felt strong. At the fifth control I saw the Swede starting three minutes ahead of me. I knew that my start was fine, it was a nice feedback. So I tried to push it even more after that. I´ve managed to take time to decide the route choices and I´ve never really got into a hurry. I think I had it all the time under control and managed to do a good performance.
Can you identify the key moment of today´s competition?
The long leg was very hard to decide, because there were so many options, of course, you just take one and you are not really sure if its good one. But when I saw Frederik at this fifth control I knew my choice way was pretty good.
What about physical feelings? Have you got strong legs today?
It was hard, sometimes the feeling was not the best but I just told myself that I need to keep fighting. I tried not to make too much of that bad feeling, it was natural - I´ve run two sprints and qualification already. So it´s been pretty demanding programme and then it´s normal that the feeling is not always good after that.
Tove Alexandersson SWE 1:14:20
Anne Margrethe Hausken Nordberg NOR 1:15:01
Svetlana Mironova RUS 1:16:53
Natalia Vinogradova RUS 1:17:17
Sabine Hauswirth SUI 1:18:24
Hollie Orr GBR 1:18:50
Daniel Hubmann SUI 1:36:25
Magne D?hli NOR 1:37:47
Martin Regborn SWE 1:38:33
Carl Godager Kaas NOR 1:38:35
Baptiste Rollier SUI 1:39:23
Fredrik Bakkman SWE 1:39:32
Clive Allen, Interview by Michaela Šrámková