What can you say. GG cruises round to come back fourth. JD decides that isn't good enough and comes back in the lead. Jamie is caught by Thierry and then Novikov. Clive Allen convinces us all that France and Russia are fighting for the Gold with GB settling for Bronze. Jamie suddenly catches Novikov back up despite a longer gaffle. Thierry swallows a bee, gets stung and ends up walking. Jamie's TracTrac route shows him missing control 25 by miles, but somehow he ends up in the lead at the next control and is clearly running much more strongly than Novikov. And that's the race over. JD and GG struggle to keep up with Jamie down the run-in, Dave Peel gets in on the act on the finish line and GBR have a third WOC Gold medal. Just how WOC should always be.
There has been much Nopesport comment about the shorts. You will see from the attached photo that GG was already sporting them at WOC 2008 in the Ukraine when they lined up for this "we'll be World Champions this time next year" photo.
Having now had a chance to watch the Czech TV coverage it strikes me that it was excellently done, especially given that it went out in real time. (The internet streaming from the Czech TV website simply wasn't up to it during the race itself). TracTrac almost proved its worth, but the loss of contact and occasional strange position reports mean that it can't quite be relied on to fill in the gaps between even quite a large number of TV cameras. Clive did a valiant typing job, which I then had to balance with numerous (and in fact too many) on-line radio controls, plus trying to keep up with the Test Match at Headingley and the Open Golf at Royal Birkdale as well. If I was a betting person I might be asking for a steward's enquiry to work out quite what went on in that mad last ten minutes, and I'm sure we'll be hearing a bit more detail from those involved.
But for now we can just celebrate the new records: first British Relay Gold, Jamie becomes a double World Champion, GG becomes the 10th Brit with a WOC medal (and saves himself a BOF membership fee for life I'd expect). And just for me, my ongoing prediction of the emergence of China took a step forward with 7th place in the Women's race, and we had a fourth WOC race where Sweden, Norway and Finland failed to win a medal, and the third of these four where GBR won the Gold. Quite astonishing.