Marte Olsbu Roeiseland and Quentin Fillon Maillet had the season of their dreams. Elvira Oeberg and Sturla Holm Laegreid finished the season in the Blue bib. Erik Lesser had a Hollywood ending to his career as he singled out three favourite moments in his career. Justine Braisaz-Bouchet won in the last mass start of the season and captured her career-first Cup score along the way. And many athletes retired with a farewell slow lap in Holmenkollen.
Quentin and Marte shadowed each other throughout the season
Marte Olsbu Roeiseland and Quentin Fillon Maillet had the season of their dreams as they each won the BMW IBU World Cup Total Score title, five medals at the Olympic Winter Games (two of those were individual golds), the Sprint Cup Score title and the Pursuit Cup Score title. They have built the foundation for their success with the dominance in the pursuit: Olsbu Roeiseland won four time and Fillon Maillet five times Marte has won six times in the world cup and Quentin eight times. Marte is the eighth Norwegian woman and Quentin the fourth French man to win the Total Score.
Elvira’s first and Sturla’s second U25 title
Elvira Oeberg and Sturla Holm Laegreid are the U25 winners for the 2021/2022 season. Elvira was the revelation of the winter. She dominated in skiing and relied on her outstanding standing shooting for the four wins in the BMW IBU World Cup. She won the U25 standings and finished second in the Total Score standings. Elvira also anchored the Swedish relay women to the Olympic gold and won two individual medals at the Beijing 2022 Games. Sturla hit a patch of excellent form at the finals in Oslo. He won in the sprint, was second in the mass start and third in the pursuit, and got the better of Sebastian Samuelsson at last standing shooting in the mass start, with the Swede in the lead. He won the U25 for the second time in a row. Sturla also finished second in the Total Score, the best Norwegian this season.
When nobody is paying attention, Braisaz-Bouchet does the magic.
There was just three points difference between the Cup score leader Dorothea Wierer and Elvira Oeberg before the last mass start of the season. Wierer and Oeberg approached the last shooting among the fastest four athletes after the third shooting, with Braisaz-Bouchet not really in the picture. With all eyes focused on the race leader Lisa Theresa Hauser, Oeberg, and Wierer - who each missed once - Braisaz-Bouchet (11th after the third shooting) peacefully closed all her targets and sped in the last loop, won and collected Cup score along the way. The scenario was like the one in the Beijing 2022 mass start when Justine appeared seemingly out of nowhere after the first standings shooting and started to close the targets when others missed. Mass Start is Justine’s career-first Cup score win.
Lesser’s three favourite biathlon moments
In a Hollywood ending to his colourful career, Erik Lesser won in the pursuit of Oslo-Holmenkollen, his first (and last) win after he was the fastest in the mass start of Ruhpolding, in 2015/2016 winter. He singled out three favourite moments in the career that stretched over more than three Olympic Winter Games cycles:
1. IBU World Championships in Kontiolahti 2015, where he won gold in the pursuit and the relay.
2. Sochi 2014 Games, where he won a silver medal in the individual and silver in the relay.
3. IBU World Championships Antholz-Anterselva 2020, where he partnered with Franziska Preuss to win a silver medal in the Single Mixed Relay and was a member of the bronze-medal winning men relay. It was a mini-comeback for Lesser as he compered in the IBU Cup, looking for his form, in the weeks before Antholz 2020.
List of retirees kept growing by the day in Oslo
Skiing one slow lap to say goodbye in Holmenkollen, many athletes officially retired in Oslo-Holmenkollen: Simon Desthieux (FRA), Anais Bescond (FRA), Erik Lesser (GER), Klemen Bauer (SLO), Benjamin Weger (SWI), Leif Nordgren (USA), Clare Egan (USA), Susan Dunklee (USA), Scott Gow (CAN), Dominik Windisch (ITA), Selina Gasparin (SUI), Maren Hammerschmidt (GER), Eva Puskarcikova (CZE), Amanda Lightfoot (GBR), Kadri Lehtla (EST), Kalev Ermits (EST), Karolin Horchler (GER), Sari Maeda (JPN), Asuka Hachisuka (JPN), Tsukasa Kobonoki (JPN), Kosake Ozaki (JPN). Elisabeth Hoegberg (SWE) retired at the IBU Cup in Ridnaun-Val Ridanna.
Photo: IBU/C. Manzoni