Tag Archives: Martin Fourcade

Ruhpolding 2020: The Pursuits!

Well the pursuits are supposed to be exciting aren’t they? Not if bib number one wins them both!

So it maybe wasn’t such a great race to watch in the women pursuit at the front but behind Tiril Eckhoff it was all to play for.

Miss Eckhoff had a great race missing just 1 target and with a 30 second lead at the start her lead was unassailable. It’s her 6th win this season and she has won every pursuit race so far. Could she win the Overall? If she keeps this form up of course!

Behind her it was a tight race between Hanna Oeberg and Paulina Fialkova. They both hit 18/20 and left the final standing together but Fialkova was the stronger skier today and grabbed second with Oberg third.

Johanna Skottheim was amazing in 4th hitting 19/20 and getting a new PB and her first world cup flowers. Linn Persson was 5th and Denise Herrmann went from 19th to 6th.

Vita Semerenko was the only woman to shoot the perfect score and moved from 34th to 8th.

In the men’s race it was close at the front between Martin Fourcade and Quentin Fillon Maillet who matched each other shot for shot up until the third shoot. Fillon Maillet missed one while Fourcade cleaned to take a decisive lead. He would go on to shoot 20/20 for his 81st win.

The excitement came in the race for third with Simon Desthieux, Vetle Christiansen and Benedikt Doll leaving the final shoot close together. It came down to a ski race which Christiansen won on the line just beating Desthieux.

Doll was 5th, Emilien Jacquelin 6th and Antonin Guigonnat 8th meaning there were 5 Frenchmen in the top 8!

Tarjei Boe went from 28th to 7th, Ondrej Moravec hit 20/20 to go from 30th to 18th and Lars Birkeland was the only other man to hit all 20 moving from 41st to 20th.

The World Cup now moves on to Pokljuka for Individuals, Mass Starts and the Single Mixed and Mixed Relays.

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Ruhpolding 2020: The Sprints!

How can two venues in the same country be so different?! Gales and fog in Obehof, sunny calm conditions in Ruhpolding.

It was the women’s sprint on Wednesday that started this round of the World Cup. It was totally dominated by Tiril Eckhoff. No one could touch her! She hit 10/10 and skied so fast that she finished 30 seconds ahead of her nearest challenger! I don’t know what happened to Eckhoff over the summer but it seems she has finally learned that hitting targets on a regular basis is a good thing in biathlon! She now has 5 wins this season and has moved into the yellow bib!

Second place went to Hanna Oeberg who was also on great form shooting 10/10. Dorothea Wierer was third also hitting the perfect score but it wasn’t good enough to hold on to the yellow bib.

In 4th was a fantastic Hanna Sola who from bib 76 shot clean and smashed her personal best. Her previous best result was 30th! Paulina Fialkova was 5th also hitting 10/10. Marte Roeiseland was 6th and the only one in the top six to miss 1 target.

There were more great performances from Johanna Skottheim with her personal best in 13th, Elena Kruchinkina with hers in 16th, Suvi Minkkinen got her PB in 31st as did newcomer Michela Carrara in 55th.

The men’s sprint was on Thursday and had equally good conditions. That meant that perfect shooting was again required to win and that’s exactly what the top three did today.

Coming out on top for his 80th World Cup win was Martin Fourcade. It was close between him amd teammate Quentin Fillon Maillet in second though. There was only 3.1 seconds between them at the finish. Third place went to Benedikt Doll which was the same position he finished in here last year!

Fourth place went to Vetle Christiansen who might have won today if he hadn’t missed one target! Simon Desthieux was fifth as was Fabien Claude who finished in exactly the same time both with 1 miss. It was Claude’s personal best finish.

Getting another personal best in 7th was Philipp Nawrath who stepped up from the IBU Cup.

It now means that France have the top three positions in the Overall with Fourcade, Fillon Maillet and Desthieux 1,2 and 3! Mon dieu! 😉

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Oberhof 2020: The Mass Starts!

It was very windy in Oberhof for the Mass Starts on Sunday which is good if you are watching biathlon but not if you are doing it! Let’s just say the penalty loop was a busy place!

The women raced first and Tiril Eckhoff took an early lead after some impressive shooting in the prone. It wasn’t so impressive in the first standing however when she missed three! That left Iryna Kryuko and Kaisa Makarainen in the lead.

Trying to keep pace with Kaisa was difficult for Kryuko and the wind was very difficult in the range for the final shoot. Makarainen was unbelieveable however waiting and waiting and then hitting 5/5! She went on to win the race which is her first victory since Hochfilzen last year. It was her birthday yesterday so it was a nice present!

Kryuko didn’t do as well missing 4 targets. That gave Eckhoff the chance to get back on the podium and also her teammate Marte Roeiseland despite both missing 1 target on the final stand. They had to race each other on the tracks on the final loop but it was Eckhoff who proved stronger taking second place with Roeiseland settling for third.

Dorothea Wierer was 4th with 4 misses, Denise Herrmann 5th with 6 misses and Hanna Oberg was 6th with 5 misses. It just shows how good Kaisa was today as she hit 19/20.

The men raced in the afternoon and in the first prone many of the top names cleaned 5/5 like Fourcade and Tarjei Boe. At the second prone however nearly everyone missed except Arnd Peiffer who went into the lead on his own.

Unfortunately for him he missed 2 in the first stand and lost the lead to the two Frenchmen Fourcade and Desthieux who were neck and neck leaving the range.

It all came down to shoot 4 and despite missing 1 target Martin Fourcade came out in the lead. Mainly because nearly everyone else missed too! He had a comfortable ski to the line to take his 79th win on the World Cup and the yellow bib.

It wasn’t a comfortable ski for Desthieux though. He was second leaving the range but was caught and passed by Arnd Peiffer in the final straight before the finish line. He did look very tired though so did well to get third place.

Johannes Dale was 4th with 4 misses and Jakov Fak was 5th with 3 misses. A special “toot toot beep beep” goes to Philipp Horn for getting his personal best in front of his home fans in 6th place!

We are back racing on Wednesday in Ruhpolding with the Women’s Sprint.

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Oberhof 2020: The Sprints!

It was a beautiful sunny day that greeted the biathletes for the first race of the season! Of course it wasn’t!!! It’s Oberhof! It was foggy and damp! Just the way it’s supposed to be!

The women started off 2020 with the sprint and the Norwegians continued their domination of the World Cup so far. However this time it was Marte Olsbu Roeiseland who won. She shot the perfect 10/10 in difficult conditions on the range and skied very well to win by 33 seconds.

Denise Herrmann finally gave the German women’s team something to cheer about and pleased the home crowd by finishing second. She missed one shot in the stand. Third place went to Julia Simon who missed one in the prone but skied well to finish on the podium ahead of Dorothea Wierer who also missed 1.

Tiril Eckhoff was 5th with 2 misses and Paulina Fialkova was 6th with 1 miss.

Canada’s Emma Lunder got a new personal best in 7th shooting clean.

There were also a number of debuts with her teammate Emily Dickson who was 46th, Austria’s Tamara Steiner 71st, Italy’s Michaela Carrara 76th, Czech Tereza Vobornkova 84th and American Hallie Grossman 80th.

The men’s sprint on Friday had less fog but heavy rain overnight destroyed the tracks and left just the 2.5km loop available for the race. That meant the men had to ski 2.5 km, shoot prone, ski 5km and then shoot stand and then ski the final 2.5km. The man who coped best with this was Martin Fourcade. He hit 10/10 and skied well to take his second win of the season. With Johannes Boe at home awaiting the birth of his first child they were valuable points for the Frenchman.

Second place also went to France with Emilien Jacquelin getting his third podium of the season. He missed 1 shot but if he had hit 10 he would have been very close to the win. Third place went to Johannes Kuehn who also missed 1 target.

Matvey Eliseev was 4th with perfect shooting, Alexander Loginov was 5th and Simon Desthieux 6th both missing 1.

There were personal bests for Raman Yaliotnau in 14th and Vytautas Strolia in 20th. There were also a couple of crashes for Simon Bartko and Kalev Ermits but both were unhurt.

Tarjei Boe managed to forget his penalty loop and had to ski back up the hill to take it! OOPS!

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Oestersund 2019: The Relays!

Norway’s men won the battle in the sprints and the French men won the battle in the individual! Saturday’s men’s relay would decide who won the war of Oestersund!

OK that might be a little dramatic but we love a bit of drama and that’s what we got in the relay! The first leg was won by Germany with a great start from Erik Lesser. He shot well to hand over ahead of Italy’s Lukas Hofer and France’s Emilien Jacquelin. Norway were 5th with Johannes Dale having a solid first leg using just 2 spares.

Sweden came out on top in the second leg thanks to Jesper Nelin. He coped best in the conditions to give Martin Ponsiluoma a 10 second lead. Behind Nelin came Norway and Italy after good legs from Erlend Bjoentegaard and Thomas Bormolini. Quentin Fillon Maillet went on the penalty loop but skied very fast to make it into third at the exchange ahead of Bormolini.

Tarjei Boe took over for Norway and caught Ponsiluoma before the first prone. Boe needed just one spare which put him into the lead. Simon Desthieux was chasing after Sweden went on the penalty loop and 22-year-old Daniele Cappellari had a great leg for Italy putting them in third.

Tarjei handed over an 11 second lead to his brother Johannes and it was all he needed to take the win for Norway. Fourcade did his best to chase him down with a faultless shoot to Boe’s 2 spares but it wasn’t enough. Dominik Windisch held on to third place for Italy after a fight with Russia.

Russia were 4th, Sweden 5th and Ukraine 6th.

So Norway won the war then? No of course not the wind always wins in Oestersund!

On Sunday it was the women’s turn to race and it was another great relay.

The first leg was once again dominated by Lisa Vittozzi. She cleaned the prone and used 1 spare in the stand to give Italy a 15 second lead at the first exchange. Behind her were Norway with Karoline Kntten and Sweden’s Linn Persson.

Nicole Gontier took the second leg for Italy but she incurred a penalty loop on the prone and put them out of contention. Elvira Oeberg took over the lead for Sweden and held it to the second exchange despite the close attention of Justine Braisaz. Norway came next with Ingrid Tandrevold and then Selina Gasparin for Switzerland and Germany’s Denise Herrmann.

Mona Brorsson took the third leg for the home team but was caught by Tiril Eckhoff and they came into the range together. They both shot 5/5 as did Aita Gasparin. In the stand the Swede cleaned while Eckhoff needed 2 spares. Gasparin cleaned again for the perfect leg.

By the exchange Brorsson had a three second lead to hand to Hanna Oeberg who was closely followed by Marte Olsbu Roeiseland. Next came Franziska Preuss and Lena Haecki. The three chasers all cleaned the prone but Oeberg needed all 3 of her spares.

Roeiseland took the lead on the track but had to use 2 spares in the final stand. However it was enough to secure the lead and take Norway to victory again matching the men’s relay team.

The battle was on for second with Oeberg storming back with a clean stand and Haecki using a single spare. They were neck and neck until Haecki made a decisive break and Oeberg just couldn’t catch her. It was an historic second place for the Swiss women’s team with the three Gasparin sisters and Haecki getting their country’s first podium in the women’s relay needing just 4 spare rounds to do it!

Sweden were third with another good result. Germany were 4th, Russia 5th and France 6th.

The action now moves to Hochfilzen for round 2 of the World Cup.

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Oestersund 2019: The Individuals!

Mon Dieu, Zut alors, tres bien, restaurant and other French words!!! What a race in the Oestersund Individual for the French Men’s team! They took the top four places in one race which hasn’t been done since 2009.

Leading them was Martin Fourcade who took his first win of the season shooting 19/20. He looks in much better shape than last year thank goodness! Second place went to Simon Desthieux who also shot 19/20 but was 12.7 seconds behind Fourcade. Skiing like the wind in third was Quentin Fillon Maillet who missed 3 targets!

Fourth went to Emilien Jacquelin which is also his personal best with 2 misses. In fact 5 of the the top 7 were French with Fabien Claude coming home in 7th place with 18/20. We won’t mention the 6th member of the team though! We will mention the wax team however who prepared some excellent skis which worked really well in warming conditions.

Benjamin Weger had an excellent race in 5th and Tarjei Boe was 6th. Johannes Boe looked tired today but still finished 10th shooting 18/20. I hope he hasn’t got what Martin had last season!

There were only two men who shot clean and they were Anton Babikov in 14th and Krasimir Anev in 15th. China’s Fangmeng Cheng got a huge personal best in 22nd improving by around 60 places!!! I wonder if it has anything to do with his new coach! 😉

Jakub Stvrtecky was 32nd getting a personal best with 3 misses. Junior Champion Alex Cisar from Slovenia made his World Cup debut at 19 years old and was 92nd.

Unluckily for me I used up all my french words for the men but I should have saved some as the Women’s Individual also went to France. Justine Braisaz who had an awful sprint race on Sunday was fantastic missing 2 shots but still winning by just over 11 seconds. She came from nowhere to take her second World Cup win.

The only woman in the whole field to shoot 20/20 was Yuliia Dzhima and it was good enough for second place. Julia Simon got another podium for France and a personal best for herself in third with 2 misses.

Ingrid Tandrevold was 4th, Larisa Kuklina 5th with her personal best and Lena Haecki was 6th despite 3 misses.

Dorothea Wierer finished 7th, two places ahead of teammate and rival Lisa Vittozzi who was 9th.

There were also personal bests for Tamara Voronina in 14th, Grete Gaim in 27th and Anastassiya Kondratyeva in 34th.

Next races in Oestersund are the men’s relay on Saturday and the women’s relay on Sunday. Man the Swedes must really love a relay as they are getting 4 this week! 🙂


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Season Preview 2019/20: The Men!

The light bulbs in the floodlights have all been replaced in Oestersund, the fog machines have been serviced in Oberhof (you didn’t think that was real fog ,did you?) and the Kontiolahti Wall has been made a little bit steeper. All of which can only mean one thing – the biathlon season is about to start!

The schedule is a little different this year with Oestersund, Hochfilzen and Annecy before Christmas. Then comes Oberhof, Ruhpolding and Pokljuka. The World Championships are in Antholz and then we have three more World Cup rounds in Nove Mesto, Kontiolahti and Oslo.

The big question on everyone’s mind on the men’s World Cup is which Martin Fourcade is going to show up in Sweden? Will it be 7 times champion Martin Fourcade or 2018/19 Martin Fourcade? Fingers crossed it’s the former. It’s about time we had a proper head to head clash on the men’s World Cup.

Last season was fantastic for Johannes Boe. He won the big crystal globe with 1262 points which was 408 points ahead of his closest challenger Alexander Loginov and almost double the tally of Fourcade. Fourcade had many issues last year but he still had a great season by “normal biathlete” standards. However he is not a normal biathlete as we know and if he comes back with his old form we could have a battle between himself and Boe the likes of which we haven’t seen since Troy.

Of course there is an “Achillies Heel”! Johannes Boe is set to become a father for the first time in January. Obviously baby Boe has priority so it could mean him missing some races which could impact a close title fight. And there is Trojan Horse of injury and illness that could sneak up unexpectedly!

Won’t there be any other challengers for the title I hear you ask? No, probably not! There are many biathletes who ski as fast as Boe and Fourcade and many who shoot as well as them too. However there are none who can do both on such a consistent basis as our two favourites.

It is shaping up to be a fight between Norway and France not just via Boe and Fourcade but also with the rest of the guys too. Last season Quentin Fillon Maillet was excellent and finished third overall and Simon Desthieux was fourth. Tarjei Boe was sixth and Vetle Christiansen took a big step forward winning his first World Cup race. Antonin Guigonnat had a great season and Erlend Bjoentegaard will be looking to impress. So the relays could get very exciting as well as the individual races.

Who else should we be looking out for to do well this season? Who could taste victory for the first time and who could make the jump up onto the podium?

There is always a lot of attention on Sebastian Samuelsson after his Olympic successes but he is yet to win a race. I think people forget that he is still a biathlon “baby” aged just 22. He got his first World Cup podium last season and it would be great to see him make the jump up to the top step.

Johannes Keuhn had a great start last season getting a second place in the first race. However he faded a bit after the initial glory but it could be his chance this time to take a maiden victory.

Remember Michal Krcmar? He disappeared last season along with the rest of the Czech men’s team. The year before though he excelled so if he can get that old form back a win could be his for the first time. And let’s face it his rifle deserves a victory!

A surprise winner at the World Championships, it would be good to see Dmytro Pidruchnyi bring that confidence and attitude with him on to the World Cup this season and hopefully gets some more wins under his belt.

Johannes Dale is one to watch for possible podiums this season. He did really well debuting on the World Cup last year and has the ski speed to get among the top finishers. It would also be good to see Sean Doherty live up to the potential he showed as a Junior. 10th is his personal best so far but after joining the army this summer maybe a bit if discipline and a good haircut can propel him up the field! Attention!

Tero Seppala didn’t have the best season in 2018/19 but he had good results the year before so hopefully he can also take a step forward. Christian Gow had a fantastic season with two Top 10 finishes and he could be a good bet to grab Canada a podium this time round.

The men’s season for the Overall Title begins with the Sprint race in Oestersund on the 1st of December. The World Cup opens on the 30th of November with the single and mixed relays.

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