Aristide Begue and Caroline Colombo Win IBU Cup Mass Starts 60
Aristide Begue of France won the first-ever mass start 60 today in the morning at the IBU Cup 8 in Martell. On the way to his final season victory, Begue was the only clean shooter, finishing in 39:35.8. Later in the day, the winner of the yesterday’s sprint Caroline Colombo of France took the victory in the women’s mass start 60 despite three penalties in 41:42.8.
Men’s Mass Start 60
Norway’s Aleksander Fjeld Andersen was fourth with one penalty, 40.1 seconds back, while his teammate Johannes Dale, despite five mistakes, was fifth, 48.4 seconds behind. The last spot in the top 6 went to David Zobel of Germany, who lost the win in the final standing, missing twice and finishing 56.1 seconds behind the winner.
On a clear and windless morning, the athletes lined up to test a brand new discipline, the mass start 60, on the final competition day of the 2018/19 IBU Cup season. Starting all together, 55 athletes split into two groups after the first loop, when bibs 31-55 went to the shooting range, while the start numbers 1-30 headed for a transit loop. After their second lap, a group with bibs 1-30 proceeded for the first prone, while the second group went to the course without shooting. Following that bout, both groups met up again, with Germany’s Lucas Fratzscher leading the pack.
In the second prone Zobel, Lemmerer and Fratzscher were perfect again, leaving the stadium within two seconds; Begue was 14.7 seconds behind. The third shooting stage saw some changes in the standings as Zobel and Begue remained the only athletes hitting all targets. Despite being accurate on the range, the Begue followed the German only in 15 seconds, while Dorfer and Lemmerer, with one penalty each, were just a few seconds behind.
🇫🇷@Aribeguu "At the final shooting my legs were shacking but I knew that my mission today was to shoot clean! So, this win is so special for me because it's a new discipline and it's a final competition day of the season."— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) March 17, 2019
Coming for the final standing in first, Zobel did not take advantage of his lead and went for two penalties, while his rival cleaned, leaving the German off the podium. Now it was Lemmerer, Dorfer and Begue who battled for the win. On the final lap, the Begue Made up the 5 seconds he had after the shooting, taking the lead, leaving the Austrian just behind. Flying on the last uphill, Begue did not leave any chance for Lemmerer, finishing in first while finishing the season with a win.
Total Score Winner
Despite finishing 9th today, Anton Babikov of Russia kept his lead in the IBU Cup Total Score, winning a big Crystal Globe with a 64-point advantage over Fratzscher. Moreover, the Russian team also won the Men’s Nation Cup Score, taking another small globe.
Women’s Mass Start 60
Second place in the women’s competition went to Karoline Offigstad Knotten of Norway with one penalty, 7.5 seconds behind. Germany’s Stefanie Scherer finished third with the same shooting result, 21.7 seconds back.
Fourth place went to Irina Kazakevich of Russia, who missed five times, 33.2 seconds behind. Her teammate Victoria Slivko with three penalties finished fifth, 34.4 seconds back, while another Russian Polina Shevnina with three penalties finished sixth, 39.6 seconds behind.
Started to Miss
Shooting clean in the first prone, Austria’s Dunja Zdouc took the lead with Knotten following 10.6 seconds behind, while Colombo missed once and had a 34.3-seconds gap. In the second prone, the French athlete was accurate, moving up to the seventh position, reducing the time gap to 19 seconds.
While the leaders started to miss in the first standing, Germany’s Marion Deigentesch remained the only athlete to hit 15-of-15, which saw her leaving in the first position. Colombo, despite one more penalty, was already fourth, but still 19 seconds back. Knotten and Scherer, with one miss each, left 21.4 and 37.7 seconds behind respectively.
Coming to the final standing in the lead, Deigentesch did not hit a single target, going for five penalty loops and giving away her win to the rivals. Knotten was fast and accurate, leaving with a 17.2-seconds advantage over Colombo, who missed once more. Scherer also was perfect, taking the third place after the standing.
🇫🇷@Clmb25 "It was a very interesting new format, I really liked it and happy to take my second win here. I knew I left 17 seconds behind Knotten after the final standing but I gave it all to reduce it and finish first!"— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) March 17, 2019
After a tough week, with a lot of power left on the track, seemed that Colombo would not have a chance to overcome the Norwegian, but she did! Reducing the time to 8.9 seconds to the next split point, Colombo was just was pushing hard, coming closer to Knotten with every meter. The Norwegian gave her all on the final uphill but could not hold speedy Colombo, who finished first, bringing the second win of the day for team France.
The win in the IBU Cup Women’s Total Score went to Slivko, who took a Big Globe with a larger advantage over her German rival than her teammate Babikov: 147 points over Nadine Horchler. The Women’s Nation Cup Score also was won by the Russian team.
Photos: IBU/Harald Deubert