Skiing Keyed Victory
Braisaz-Bouchet’s strong skiing keyed her win today. “I felt really good, powerful on the track. It helped a lot today because my race started really badly with prone but still it is part of the game. It is still a good result and a good position for tomorrow.”
The French star left Lenzerheide very tired, but used the Christmas break to recover. “I was (really tired). The Christmas break was a lot of recovery time, quality recovery. I had a good training camp in my hometown of Les Saises and it paid off.”
“Simple biathlete who tries to do her best”
As for winning with the Yellow Bib on her back she added, “It is great, despite the pressure and expectation I have with it, I felt the same, just a simple biathlete who tries to do her best.”
Germany’s Franziska Preuss shot clean finishing second for the third time this season, 4.4 seconds back. Braisaz-Bouchet’s teammate Sophie Chauveau, with one prone penalty finished in a career-best third place, 4.6 seconds back, topping her previous best 4th place in the 2022 Annecy Le Grand Bornand sprint.
Sweden’s Anna Magnusson shot clean in a season-best fourth place, 17.6 seconds back. Preuss’ teammate Janina Hettich-Walz also shot clean, equaling her career-best in fifth place, 23.8 seconds back. Norway’s Karoline Offigstad Knotten with one penalty finished sixth, 28.2 seconds back.
The wind persisted, blowing away the fog and a warm +4C kept the tracks very soft for the first women’s competition of 2024. Knotten cleaned prone and Preuss matched, taking the early lead. Tandrevold then cleaned faster than Preuss, but Magnusson picked up the fastest prone stage of the day, 10 seconds up on the field.
After Hettich-Walz closed her five standing targets, Preuss did the same moving into the top spot, 19.4 seconds up on her teammate. Braisaz-Bouchet’s negated the two prone penalties when she bounced back with a perfect standing stage, moving from 22nd after prone to third. Tandrevold’s three penalties ended her podium hopes. Magnusson lost time on the tracks, but cleaned standing, leaving second, 5.7 seconds back, while Chauveau cleaned standing after a prone miss, moving into third.
Braisaz-Bouchet flew over the last loop, closing the gap with each stride, claiming the victory by 4 seconds over Preuss. Chauveau caught Magnusson midway through the last loop, speeding to her first-ever BMW IBU World Cup podium.
Photos: IBU/Svoboda, Nordic Focus