Anton Shipulin Cruises to Oslo Pursuit Win
Russia's Anton Shipulin, with just a single penalty moved from third at the start to win the final BMW IBU World Cup pursuit of the season this afternoon, comfortably crossing the finish line in 32:11.9. Martin Fourcade of France and Norwegian Johannes Thingnes Boe, of Norway, both with two penalties battled with for much of the last loop until Fourcade pulled away on the last big uphill to finish second, 5.7 seconds back. Boe, in third, was 21.1 seconds back.
Sweden's Fredrik Lindstroem, the only clean shooter today, climbed eleven places from 15th to fourth, 44.7 back. Italy's Lukas Hofer, with two penalties finished 55.5 seconds back Julian Eberhard of Austria, with three penalties, finished sixth 55.6 seconds back.
Three Man Battle
Boe, Fourcade, and Shipulin, the top three men in the sport left the first standing stage three seconds apart, setting the stage for the podium battle in the last standing.
Shipulin quickly cleaned the last standing stage and was safely in first, while Boe and Fourcade each had a penalty. With the victory safely in Shipulin's hands; it was Fourcade and Boe, fighting for the second and third place. They stayed together for much of the last loop. Fourcade then powered past Boe on the penultimate uphill, and steadily pulled away from his rival who had to settle for third.
Boe commented on the battle with Fourcade. "I expected to get an attack from Martin exactly where he did it, but I had no energy to fight with him. I hope I can go to bed now and keep my legs high to be ready for tomorrow."
Shipulin was worried that Fourcade might catch him on the last loop. "It was a crazy competition but I am happy to finish first. It was difficult in the shooting range and I really had to fight hard. I was scared Martin could catch me in the end, but I am happy I managed to keep him behind."
Regarding his shooting this season, the winner added, " I will have to work harder during the summer to keep improving my shooting, so I can be better next season."
Fourcade admitted Shipulin was the best man today. "It was a really exciting competition. I expected to fight with them until the end, but Anton was just better than me and Johannes in the last standing. I wanted to stay focused on my skills and not on the results. Lately I was thinking too much about records and not so much about what I had to do."
Boe agreed with Fourcade. "I am happy I shot 18 out of 20, but surely it is sad we did not find the zero in the last standing to fight with Anton."
For Fourcade today's pursuit was bit of revenge for last year when Boe topped him in the last loop of the WCH mass start.
"I train a lot, so I don't think there is a secret to being strong in the last lap. It was my revenge from last year when Johannes did the same to me in the World Champs," Fourcade commented with a smile . "But all the guys are so strong and I know Johannes is very talented and tomorrow he could do the same attack as I did today."