Braisaz-Bouchet Sprints to Soldier Hollow Win

France’s Justine Braisaz-Bouchet, despite a prone penalty, skied impeccably once again pulling away on the tracks to win the Soldier Hollow Women’s 7.5 km Sprint in 20:42.7. Braisaz-Bouchet led the field into the prone stage, but missed a shot, dropping 17 seconds off the lead. She closed the gap to 7 seconds by standing, cleaned in five fast shots with the wind blowing hard, taking the lead. She powered through the last loop, pulling away from her rivals for her third sprint win and seventh overall victory of the season.

“It was Hell”

The winner who moved back into second behind Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold in the World Cup Total Score admitted today’s late season win “meant a lot. I am satisfied of course. It was like hell out there today, truly; spring snow, high altitude. All the strong girls are here in the top seven or eight. It was wonderful to get that victory. The snow suited the ones in front so we are really happy; sharing the podium with Lou is also great.”

Expounding on the tough conditions (altitude), “It was like hell! It was tough for every girl and the men when we watched the relay. I was prepared to fight.”

Yellow/Red Bib Ingrid landmark Tandrevold of Norway shot clean in second place, 13.4 seconds back. Braisaz-Bouchet’s teammate Lou Jeanmonnot also shot clean in third place, 19.2 seconds back.

The next three finishers shot clean with Italy’s Lisa Vittozzi in fourth, 29.1 seconds back. Tandrevold’s teammate Karoline Offigstad Knotten finished fifth, 48.2 seconds back. Austria’s Anna Gandler finished in a career-best sixth place, 1:02 back. The 23-year-old improved on her previous best 7th place in the IBU WCH Mass Start last month.

Challenging Afternoon

The soft and +4C conditions remained for the late afternoon women’s start, eventually dominated by the first start group was a challenging competition adding the altitude to the mix. The wind picked up early, but Vittozzi, Jeanmonnot and then Julia Simon taking the lead in the prone stage. Tandrevold stayed in the mix, with a clean stage, but trailed Simon by 13 seconds while Braisaz-Bouchet was 17 seconds back.

Braisaz-Bouchet’s Standing Stage

Knotten, the second starter was the first of the contenders to go to 10-for-10, battling through her standing stage as the wind whipped. Gandler did the same moving to the top spot followed by Vittozzi. Jeanmonnot, shooting in an erratic order; her rifle battered by the wind still managed a perfect stage. Braisaz-Bouchet after the prone miss, blew away the five standing targets for the lead. Tandrevold cleaned her second stage but was seven seconds slower than the French star.

Header icon2024 BMW IBU World Cup 7 Soldier Hollow Women's 7.5 km Sprint

The 2024 Mass Start World Champion lengthened her lead in the last loop, going unchallenged to the victory. Tandrevold unable to gain any ground in the deepening snow finished second ahead of Jeanmonnot, setting the podium.

Photos: IBU/Christian Manzoni

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