Fourcade Masters the Wind; Wins Pursuit
Yellow Bib Martin Fourcade of France, battling the wind on the shooting range, claimed his eighth win of the season by taking the men's pursuit in 36:45.7 with one penalty. Germany’s Arnd Peiffer finished second, 1:09.9 with three penalties. Dominik Windisch matched his third place from yesterday with a dramatic sprint finish, despite five penalties 1:32.4 back.
Emil Hegle Svendsen of Norway, outsprinted by Windisch finished fourth, 1:32.6 back, Erik Lesser of Germany finished fifth, 1:36.1 back, while Anton Babikov of Russia was sixth, 1:40.7 back. Places 4-6 all had five penalties.
The sold-out DKB Ski Arena, sold out for today's pursuits, was rocking despite the very different weather from yesterday's sunshine and windless conditions. The men faced strong winds both on the shooting range and the tracks, making it an especially tough day on the shooting range.
Sprint’s winner Julian Eberhard took the early lead shooting clean in the first prone, followed by Slesingr, Lesser, Windisch and Fourcade. Despite a penalty, he remained in control until the standing stages, when the wind became an even bigger hindrance for shooting. Fourcade, after a single prone penalty, took control in the first standing, shooting clean and never looked back; Peiffer and Maxim Tsvetkov left behind him in second and third
Dramatic Final Standing Stage
Fourcade approached the final standing stage alone; he hesitated before third target, but after refocusing cleaned. He commented on the hesitation, “It is a very difficult decision I have to make a lot in my career. On some days it’s better wait like it was today; sometimes you just regret not joining the penalty loop as fast as possible.”
All of the chasers were picking up penalties; Peiffer, with two of his own still held on to second. After delighting the hometown crowd with his second place, he commented., “The audience and the crowd was extremely motivated; it’s always fun and special, at the same time you feel the pressure and try to do your best.”
Third Place Battle
The most dramatic battle was for the third place, with Windisch, Svendsen and Lesser all battling for the last spot on the podium. Windisch claimed third with a Furious final sprint over Svendsen. He commented, “During the last loop I was thinking about my strategy, I saw him in the uphill a bit tired, but I think he was faking it. I thought I had made a mistake by trying to attack him early. I think my luck was being behind him before the final sprint, as I didn’t get that wind.”