Winning on Borrowed Skis
The Norwegian admitted to some irony in her victory. “I did feel good on the tracks, but the skis I used were not my own. I lost my skis on the trip to Canada and had to borrow some from a friend…They might be my favorite skis now, so I hope I can keep them!”
Germany’s Juliane Fruehwirt, with five penalties finished fifth, 58.9 seconds back while Austrian Julia Schwaiger, with three penalties finished sixth, 1:02.6 back.
Kalkenberg’s teammate and yesterday’s sprint winner Maren Kirkeeide, with two penalties finished fourth, 52.3 seconds back. Kirkeeide’s fourth place finish gave her 140 points, sealing the IBU Cup Super Sprint Score title and the small crystal globe. The 19-year-old Kirkeeide, the 2022 IBU Junior World Individual Champion, was stunned with her win. “I never expected this. Actually, I never expected to be in the IBU Cup this year!”
Fratzscher, with a single penalty finished second, 5 seconds back and Norwegian Mats Oeverby, who finished tenth today tied for the IBU Cup Super Sprint Score, with each receiving a small Crystal Globe. The German commented, “I never had any thoughts that I would win the globe, but this is great. It is also great that Mats also got this award also because he has had some tough races recently.”
Norway’s Vebjoern Soerum, with four penalties, finished third, rounding out the men's podium,14.2 seconds back. His teammates Aleksandr Fjeld Andersen and Martin Uldal, with two and four penalties, finished fourth and fifth, 16.7 and 27.2 seconds back, respectively. Ukraine’s Artem Tyshchenko, with two penalties finished sixth, 29.9 seconds back.
The long day of super sprints arrived with the nicest weather of the week; +2C, a lighter breeze on the range than yesterday and patches of sunshine peeking through passing clouds. Carrara, with two penalties led the early morning women’s qualifying taking the top spot in 14:06.7 for the 4.5 km distance.
Norway’s Johan-Olav Botn, third in yesterday’s sprint shot clean to win a close battle in the men’s qualifying in 11:45.4, just 1.7 seconds ahead of the also perfect Tyshchenko.
By the time the late afternoon men’s final started, the wind picked up, it snowed and then virtually everything stopped before the first prone stage. Uldal led the field into the first prone, cleaned quickly, leaving in the top spot, with the also-clean Tyshchenko a half second back. The Ukrainian blazed through his five targets in the second prone, leaving with the lead while Uldal went for a single penalty loop. Claude also cleaned, moving up to second, seven seconds in front of Andersen.
Claude, "I gave all I had"
Claude and Tyshchenko went to 15-for-15 in the first standing stage, with Fratzscher going out next, recovering after a penalty in the second prone stage. Claude and his German rival came to the last standing side-by-side. Claude shot a bit faster, cleaned, getting away with a 1.5 second lead. Claude described the last loop and the battle with Fratzscher. ““After the clean shooting, I heard that Lucas was two seconds behind and the Norwegian was hunting. So, I thought, ‘Okay, I will push hard to be on the podium.’ We will see what happens at the finish with the final sprint. In the finish, I gave all I had. I saw Lucas was behind but kept pushing. I really this victory…This is my favorite race. I am so happy.”
Kalkenberg took the lead in the first prone stage after five perfect shots, with Botet and Carrara matching, 6 and 7 seconds back respectively. The top three went to 10-for-10 in the second prone stage.
In the first standing, the Norwegian missed twice while Botet had a single miscue taking a three-second lead, with Carrera 18 seconds back in third. By the time the trio reached the final standing, Kalkenberg was in first position. She aggressively cleaned and skied away from her rivals to for her first IBU Cup podium and victory of the season. Carrara missed just once, moving past her French rival who picked up two penalties. setting the podium.
Photos: IBU/ Harald Deubert