IBU Cup 3 in Obertilliach
IBU Cup 3 kicks off tomorrow in Obertilliach, Austria, with 42 federations, including 150 men and 122 women competing in this last IBU Cup in December.
Despite the heavy rain that lasted from Monday noon until Tuesday morning, the organizing committee did everything in their power to prepare good tracks for the athletes. IBU Cup Race Director Felix Bitterling commented: “We had a real trouble with the rain; it was very wet and the track has a mix of the natural and artificial snow, so it was quite tricky to prepare the track with those kinds of conditions. Still, we found a right time for grooming and now the track is ok, so the worst part is over.” Regarding the schedule for this Cup, he added, “We have the most important competitions on Thursday and Saturday because those are the qualification races for the World Cup and Olympic Games.”
As usual, in December, there are many changes between three leagues and exchanges between IBU Cup and World Cup. France’s Emilien Jacquelin who won sprint in Sjusjoen and a few days ago stood at the podium in Hochfilzen with a men’s relay team will compete in Obertilliach this week, “After Sjusjoen I was at the first two World Cup stages and it was awesome because it was my first WC experience. It was great to compete with strong athletes and to have such teammates as Martin Fourcade. Here at the IBU Cup I want to show my best and my goal is to go back to the World Cup in January, so this week I have to be competitive.”
World Cup Regulars
Some of the athletes, who showed good results at the first two IBU Cups, now have their chance to perform at the World Cup in Annecy-Le Grand Bornand: France’s Antonin Guigonnat, who won the men’s sprint and pursuit, was second in the single mixed relay in Lenzerheide. He is currently in second position of the IBU Cup Total Score, as well as his teammate Chloe Chevalier. At the same time, IBU Cup 3 will see some WC regulars and familiar names: Austria’s Dominik Landertinger and Daniel Mesotitsch, Michael Roesch of Belgium, Belarus' Darya Yurkevich and Ukrainian men’s national team with Sergii Semenov, Artem Pryma and Dmytro Pidruchnyi.
This Cup in Obertilliach will become a place of the comeback for Italy’s Karin Oberhofer, who gave birth to a baby this year. That will be also a chance for a young Myrtille Begue with a Junior IBU Cup win last week to try herself at the higher level. Besides that, as usual, there are very strong Norway and Russian teams, which will definitely be in a contention in every competition.
The upcoming competitions, with the first individuals in the season, are going to be not just interesting, but also final in 2017 before the Christmas break, so many athletes will try to make a good present for themselves before the holidays.
The following competitions are scheduled for Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday:
10:00 Individual Men
13:30 Individual Women
10:00 Sprint Men
13:00 Sprint Women
10:00 Single Mixed Relay
12:30 Mixed Relay