Dominating Wire-to-Wire Pursuit Win for Johannes Thingnes Boe
Norway’s Johannes Thingnes Boe shot clean and was unchallenged in a wire-to-wire win in this afternoon’s men’s pursuit at Antholz. His 31:14.4 was 1:00.5 ahead of second place Marin Fourcade of France with one penalty. Third place Anton Shipulin of Russia also with one penalty was 1:18.4 back at the finish.
Arnd Peiffer of Germany after third in yesterday’s sprint was fourth today, with one penalty, 1:47.5 back. Johannes’ teammate Emil Hegle Svendsen shot clean jumping from 32nd at the start to finish in fifth place, 1:57.1 back. Sixth went to France’s Emilien Jaquelin, with two penalties, 2:00.8 back.
Clean and Gone before Fourcade Fires
The conditions were just as good for the men as for the women, but with the sun disappearing behind the incoming clouds. Johannes skied comfortably over the first loop. He shot slowly and cleaned the first prone before Fourcade fired a shot. The Yellow bib missed the first shot, but stayed in second place, with Peiffer cleaning to stay in third, but 51 seconds back. The second prone went just as well for Johannes, with another steady 5-for-5. Fourcade seemed more in control and matched to hold second, but the gap to the Norwegian was now up to 46 seconds. Peiffer missed his last shot while Shipulin cleaned to move into third, but 22 seconds behind Fourcade. Heading to the standing stages, Jaquelin and Eder were fifth and sixth.
Johannes Pulls Away; Shipulin Moves Up
Johannes continued to pull away as the field approached the first standing stage. He fired five times, closed five targets and was gone before Fourcade reached the range. The French star and Shipulin both matched to hold their positions. However, Shipulin was had the gap on Fourcade now down to just over 16 seconds.
It's utter domination from @7ohannesbo and he's celebrating. A perfect 20/20, a fantastic performance on the tracks and the @NSSF_Biathlon star will fly to yet another win this season. #ANT18— IBU World Cup (@IBU_WC) January 20, 2018
Follow the entire men's pursuit on https://t.co/Z1cUg23KzH pic.twitter.com/dOZwEatNxB
There was no doubt that this was Johannes’ day when he dropped the final five shots with ease, heading out for the last 2.5K with an insurmountable lead of more than a minute. Both Fourcade and Shipulin matched again, holding their spots, with the Yellow Bib now a safe 21 seconds ahead of his Russian rival.
Johannes admitted that his effort today was just about as good as it gets. “I could not have done much better today. It is not often you get a perfect race, but today was one of them…It was very nice to feel the energy from the people.”
Regarding his plan, he added, “Before the race, I was only thinking about getting 10-of-10 in prone. I was not thinking about the race so much because I thought it would be tight with Martin. But after he missed on the first prone, I was in my own lane, by myself and that made the race easier.”
Hoping for Mistakes
Fourcade knew after his penalty that his best chance would come with penalties by Johannes. “After the first shoot, I had to hope for Johannes’ mistakes to be back in the competition. Today he was perfect; nothing more to add…Johannes was really stronger than I was.”
Shipulin is looking forward to the next starts in February. “I am very happy with my shape since very soon we have the most important stat of the season (in Pyeongchang).”