Boe Brothers Bring Norway Relay Victory
Tarjei Boe took the lead after his prone stage in this evening’s men’s relay setting up Norway’s decisive victory, with his brother Johannes Thingnes Boe controlling the anchor leg for a 1:10:30.4 win. The Boes and teammates Johannes Dale and Erlend Bjoentegaard used nine spare rounds in their victory. France, with one penalty and seven spare rounds finished second, 32.3 seconds back. Italy, with eight spare rounds finished third, 1:27.1 back.
“We Got What We Wanted”
After the Norwegians were upstaged by France in the individual competition, today’s winners did a reset for the relay. Johannes commented, “After the individual we asked ourselves what we did wrong; what we needed to show our better side today in the relay. We knew the biggest fight would be with France. We saw that in the end, it was a big fight. We got what we wanted, a victory. It was a good way to finish this World Cup here in Oestersund.”
Russia with one penalty and ten spares finished fourth, 1:41.4 back. Fifth place went to the home team Sweden, with two penalties and twelve spare rounds, 2:00.7 back, while Ukraine finished sixth, with nine spares, 2:32.7 back.
Germany Leads Early
Twenty-six teams kicked first men’s relay of the season under conditions similar to the rest of the week; zero degrees and the pesky old wind on the shooting range.
Germany’s Erik Lesser and France’s Emilien Jacquelin both cleaned the first prone stage very quickly, taking the lead. Then German repeated to take the lead over Italy and France at the first exchange, while Norway sat in fifth, 14 seconds back.
Sweden Takes Over
Philip Horn took over for Germany. With the wind flags blowing in their faces, Italy’s Bormolini was the first man to clean prone to take a 15-second lead over Sweden’s Jesper Nelin and Bjoentegaard. Fillon Maillet picked up a penalty, falling 44 seconds back while Horn picked up two putting the Germans out of contention. Sweden’s Jesper Nelin went 5-for-5 to take the lead after standing as both Bormolini and the Norwegian needed spares to clean.
Tarjei Pulls Away
Nelin tagged Martin Ponsiluoma 10 seconds before Tarjei took over for Norway while Fillon Maillet pushed hard to tag in third position. Tarjei closed the gap on the tracks and then took the lead with a single spare in prone. Norway was never challenged after this point. Desthieux matched the Norwegian to move into second. Ponsiluoma went to the penalty loop, moving the young Italian, Cappellari into third.
Tarjei commented on his crucial leg, “I knew it would be a hard fight with Simon; we followed each other the whole race. Luckily, I got a little gap so Johannes could cruise on the last lap.”
Norway and France
Despite another spare round, the Boe brothers tagged at the last exchange with an 11.3-second lead after Desthieux had clawed his way back into contention and tagged Fourcade. Dominik Windisch took over for Italy a minute back with the hometown favorite Samuelsson and the ever-dangerous Loginov just seconds back. Johannes used a spare round in prone while Fourcade shot fast and clean to close the gap down to 8.4 seconds Windisch and Loginov both used a spare round but the places did not change.
Johannes put his foot on the pedal after the prone stage, adding 6 seconds to his lead but again used a spare while his French rival was perfect; seven seconds separated them with 2.5 km to go. Fourcade was no match today for his younger rival who pulled away easily for the win. Windisch and Loginov both used spares in standing, but the places remained unchanged and Italy took third place.
Photos: Petr Slavik