WOW! What can I say about the Ruhpolding mass starts! It was a fantastic reminder (not that we need it) that biathlon is by far the greatest sport in the world! 🙂
The men raced first and what a race it was going right down to the wire! It was Johannes Boe who came out on top but he had to work very, very hard for this win.
It was tight from the start with Boe, Martin Fourcade and Tarjei Boe clearing the first 15 shots and staying together on the track. Julian Eberhard was there too skiing hard to make up for an earlier miss.
These four came to the final shoot together and the pressure was huge. Tarjei missed two and was out of it, then Eberhard missed 1, Fourcade missed 1 and then Johannes missed 1!!!
That gave the following athletes the chance to take the lead with Benjamin Weger, Quentin Fillon Maillet and Vetle Christiansen all on the range while the others were on the penalty loop. They all cleaned the last shoot to head out in the lead. The only problem was they only had 8 seconds on the chasers. With Boe and Eberhard and Fourcade behind them it wasn’t enough.
They were soon caught and then it came down to three men with Fourcade not being able to keep the pace. In the final straight there was a small incident with Eberhard and Fillon Maillet but Boe was already in front and couldn’t be stopped. It was another great race from Johannes extending his lead in the overall. Eberhard took second and Fillon Maillet third.
Fourcade was 4th, Christiansen 5th and Simon Desthieux 6th.
The women’s race was even closer! It was decided by just 0.2 seconds on the line in a sprint finish between Franziska Preuss and Ingrid Tandrevold. It was Preuss who had more energy at the end and sent the massive home crowd wild taking her first ever World Cup win. Tandrevold put up a great fight and got her first podium as a reward.
It was a close race all the way with 18/30 women going clean on the first shoot. Dorothea Wierer was fastest on shoot 1 and 2 but Lena Haecki was with her all the way at the front.
At the first stand Wierer missed 2 and Haecki 1 to let Preuss, Tandrevold and Linn Persson go ahead all three hitting 15/15. Vittozzi was also there after an early miss in the first prone as was Denise Herrmann.
The final shoot was decisive with Preuss and Tandrevold going clear. Vittozzi and Herrmann missed and so it was a ski race to the finish. Home girl Preuss took it on the line with a strong skiing performance. Paulina Fialkova leapt up to third after a clean final shoot and a great ski on the final lap.
Hanna Oberg was 4th, Lena Haecki 5th and Iryna Kryuko 6th. Linn Persson shot clean and was 7th getting her personal best result.
The action moves to Antholz now with the women’s sprint on Thursday.
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