Thirteenth Win of Season For Martin Fourcade in Kontiolahti Sprint
France’s Martin Fourcade broke another of Ole Einar Björndalen's records, for victories in a season; winning the Kontiolahti men's 10K sprint, for his 13th win, despite a single standing penalty in 22:17. Clean-shooting Ondřej Moravec of Czech Republic almost had his second career victory, but finished second, just 0.6 seconds back. Third went to Norway’s clean-shooting Emil Hegle Svendsen, 9.4 seconds back.
Svendsen's teammate Johannes Thingnes Boe led early in the competition, but finished fourth, 12.1 seconds back. Germany’s Arnd Peiffer hit 10-for-10 to finish fifth, 22.3 seconds back. Austria’s Simon Eder, with one penalty, was sixth, 23 seconds back.
Perfect Prone for Moravec
The first prone saw both Boe brothers' names atop the leader board, but their lead did not last long, when both Moravec and Garanichev beat their time. Moravec continued his perfect shooting in standing to take the lead, while Garanichev, with two penalties saw his podium chance disappear .
As the competition progressed, Fourcade and Andrejs Rastorgujevs of Latvia challenged challenge Moravec's time. In standing, both Fourcade and the Latvian picked up penalties. Rastorgujev’s missed shot cost him his first World Cup podium, while Fourcade left the stadium 5.8 seconds behind Moravec. A typical fast last loop by the Yellow Bib secured the victory.
Fourcade: “Perfect Scandinavian Conditions”
Fourcade commented on the Kontiolahti track.“I love this track, this is where I had my first win. Today was just perfect Scandinavian conditions.”
Moravec was satisfied with his second place, “Battling with Martin is always so hard. When I saw him in the last hill with 2.6-seconds split, I thought it was risky.” Asked whether skipping the Pyeongchang World Cup was an advantage, Moravec said, “I think it was a big advantage for me. I did a great preparation at home. My result today is a good answer to your question.“
Svendsen was of the same opinion. “Of course I thought about going to Korea but, I think I would have done all medium races. I think it is better to do some good races. I think it was good for me to stay at home after a not-so-good World Championships. I hope my shape can stay good during the next two weeks; then it is over.”