Biathlon Wednesday Social Wrap
It almost felt like the summer season concluded with the Martin Fourcade Nordic Festival during the last weekend of August. Situated right by the lake in stunning Annecy, the inaugural edition proved to be a big success with fans and athletes in hot and sunny late summer conditions. But there hasn't been much time to rest since: several countries hosted their National Championships and more than a couple of teams were surprised by the first snow showers in early September.
Schempp's Arber double
IBU Cup regular venue Arber featured the first part of the German Championships this past weekend and the competitions saw the returns of some familiar faces who had been struggling with injuries last winter. Maren Hammerschmidt returned to action for the first time in a while after recovering from ankle surgery. But it was Simon Schempp who really left his mark on the grey weekend, winning both the sprint and pursuit. Denise Herrmann and Karolin Horchler took the first two titles on the women's side, respectively.
Innerhofer speeds through the rain
Conditions were similarly wet and cold for the Austrian team in Hochfilzen and Katharina Innerhofer doubled up with sprint and pursuit victories at the test races. Dominik Landertinger (sprint) and Felix Leitner (pursuit) also jumped on top of the podium.
Snow stops women's pursuit in Martell
A little further south, however, it wasn't just the rain that made for an uncomfortable weekend. Temperatures in Val Martello dropped close to 0°C and the first snow of the season surprised the athletes on Sunday. Lisa Vittozzi and Lukas Hofer won the sprints but only the men's pursuit race took place on Sunday, again going to Hofer. The snow conditions had made the tracks too dangerous for the women's pursuit. Talk about "Biathlon Up-Side Down" but roller-skis and snow are not a match in heaven, quite the opposite -- but you will find out more about the weekend in Martell on Friday.
Hard work up high
The Swedish team embarked on a high altitude training camp in France last weekend. At 1800m elevation, they also felt the first forerunners of winter during one of their rollerskis trainings -- but maybe they'll also see the sunny side of the Pyrenees during the next 2 weeks.
".... so, did anyone bring the winter tyres?"
However, no one got hit by the full nine yards of winter the way the Polish team did in Bormio on Sunday, with their Team Bus covered in snow. If this picture won't make you think of the World Cup winter, nothing will!
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Tymczasem w Bormio... tęskniliście za zimą❓my tak❗️tylko ciekawe czy zawodnicy mają ze sobą ciepłe kurtki❓@4f_official chyba będziemy szybciej potrzebować zimowej odzieży w tym roku 🤣 @grupapietrzak o oponach zimowych już nie wspominamy 😳 #bormio #italy #winterishere #realwinter #biathlon #renault #grupapietrzak #biathlon #snow #traininghard #kadranarodowa #nationalteam #biathlonnationalteam #polishteam #polishbiathlonteam
Keep on keepin' on
After an exciting and intense weekend at his festival, Martin Fourcade is rolling into the next phase of his season preparation. "Winter is around the corner" -- and for some of us it can't come quickly enough!
Nothing like the World Championships air
For Lucie Charvatova and the Czech team training continues in Antholz-Anterselva. The Czech Championships took place during the final weekend of August, with Charvatova winning the sprint gold -- just like at the Summer Biathlon World Championships.
Photo: Harald Deubert