Vittozzi and Laegreid’s Shooting Bring City Biathlon Wins

Shooting carried the day as City Biathlon returned to Wiesbaden after a two-year hiatus. Lisa Vittozzi, putting on a dazzling display at the shooting range won the first final of the day, burying the field in 27:18.2. The men’s final likewise, saw Sturla Holm Laegreid’s fast, accurate shooting carry him to the win in 25:19.7.

Vittozzi’s Standing Perfection seals Victory

Vittozzi, sealed her victory by cleaning the two standing stages while many of her rivals struggled with a shifting wind on a warm 25C afternoon. After cleaning the first standing with ease, the Italian’s lead was up to 30 seconds and with five more perfect shots, she cruised to a 45-second win.

With her second Wiesbaden victory after taking the title in 2019, she commented, “I really like this place. I remember the last time I was here. It was really amazing with all the people watching. It was a good day for me. I enjoyed the race, despite the warm weather.”

“Alone there is less pressure”

Regarding the solo last loop, she added, “Being alone there is less pressure. I enjoyed myself right to the finish. I am really happy about my race.”

Laegreid, “I know what it is like to be Johannes Boe”

Laegreid like Vittozzi won with great shooting, dominating the elite field. Leaving the last standing stage, he also had a 45-second margin on the field. However, the Norwegian enjoyed the last loop, high-fived fans along the way, dissipating his lead to less than ten seconds at the finish.

Elated with the win, “Now I know what it is like to be Johannes Boe: be in the front and wait for anyone to catch me. I shot clean and did very good biathlon today. I am super, super happy. We are just in August; it is 100 days to the season’s start and I still have a lot to work on, but the level is really high.”

“Under pressure I become even more focused”

Evaluating his summer training, Laegreid added, “I see myself where I want to be. I was a bit unsure after some sickness in the summer. The training diary does not have the most hours as I would like. I had some good sessions at our Blink camp. Now here in Wiesbaden the shape seems to be there and also the shooting. Under pressure I become even more focused.”

Continuing, “It is different from what we do in the winter, but it is still really good training for what is to come…I am so happy to have raced here but also to do so well. It really builds my confidence for the winter.”

Header icon2023 City Biathlon Wiesbaden

Beyond the winners… Anna Weidel “in the Red zone”

Behind Vittozzi, Anna Weidel thrilled the German crowd with her second place, 1:00.8 back. Weidel admitted that shooting as not easy. “This was incredibly tough. I feel like I was in the red (zone) for 30 minutes. Shooting is not easy at that pace. It did not work so well in the qualifications but did in the final.”

Third place went to Lou Jeanmonnot, third in the Blinkfestivalen mass start last Saturday added another podium in third place today, 1:05.8 back. Like Vittozzi, the rising French star concurred with Vittozzi. “It was really hot, but I’s so much fun racing with all these people in the crowd!”

Rees’ Shaky Spare Shots

Germany’s Roman Rees, like his teammate Weidel finished second, a mere 7.2 seconds behind Laegreid. Rees. Looking strong and shooting well throughout the competition, struggled a bit in the last standing stage.. “Not nervous but more focused on hitting five shots. (After missing the last shot), I took down my rifle and realised it wasn’t a hit. Taking the spares then makes you kind of shaky; I lost my focus and it is hard to get back. I struggled to hit that last shot. (Still) It was really good training, because I had to do a last loop like in a World Cup race…It is like a show, but you want to do as well as possible. I am really satisfied with second place.”

Past Wiesbaden winner Tarjei Boe finished third, 19.1 seconds back.

Farewell Race Fun

A highly anticipated part of the City Biathlon program was the Farewell Race, that featured Denise Herrmann-Wick, Marte Olsbu Roeiseland, Tiril Eckhoff, Vanessa Hinz, Maren Hammerschmidt, and Karolin Horchler. was all for fun.

Eckhoff’s Five Prone Shots

The heavily pregnant Olsbu Roeiseland did not shoot prone so former teammate shot for her in prone, missing all five shots. Eckhoff cracked with her typically on-target humour at the finish, “I am really happy; I took a plane to Germany to miss five targets in prone!” Beyond that, the crowd loved it. A fitting farewell for some the last decade’s biggest stars.

Photos: IBU/Nordic Focus

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