Dorothea Wierer Dominates Oestersund Women’s Sprint
Dorothea Wierer of Italy took the first step to defending her World Cup Total Score title form last season by winning the Oestersund women’s sprint in 19:48.5. She was unchallenged after cleaning the prone stage, building on her lead even with one standing penalty, her only error of the day. Marte Olsbu Roeiseland with two penalties, both in prone rallied after that to finish second, 8.6 seconds back. Marketa Davidova of Czech Republic went 10-for-10 but finished third, 11.9 seconds back.
Wierer commented on her win. “I was surprised to wear the Yellow Bib. I thought, ‘Oh my God, pressure’…Still it was quite good. I did not feel so fast on the first loop and then the standing penalty. You normally have to shoot clean; still it was pretty good.”
Fourth went to Franziska Preuss of Germany, also shooting clean, 19.2 seconds back. Linn Persson of Sweden equaled her personal best in fifth place with one penalty, 21.6 seconds back. Preuss’ teammate Denise Herrmann, with one penalty finished sixth, 22.1 seconds back.
By the time the 105 women started, although the wind remained and the temperature had dropped to -3C; good conditions or their first sprint of the season.
Fast First Loops
Wierer, wearing the Yellow Bib and Herrmann started their seasons with fast first loops and clean prone stages that put them initially 1-2. Next up were Preuss and Tiril Eckhoff who both cleaned with the Norwegian taking the prone lead. Her teammate Olsbu Roeiseland missed two prone shots, but was skiing well. Vittozzi, expected to challenge, missed three prone shots, effectively putting her out of contention. Number 47 Davidova looked sharp in prone and left in seventh position, 10 seconds from the top of the group.
Fast Cadence Prevails
Herrmann missed her first standing shot, did a complete reset and hit the last two. Wierer shot fast as usual and missed one. The Italian’s faster cadence gave her a 20 second bulge over the speed German with 2.5 km to go. Then Preuss shot clean to jump into the second spot, just 13 seconds behind the Italian. Olsbu Roeiseland like Johannes in the men’s competition earlier cleaned the standing stage, to put herself in podium contention. Davidova, matched Preuss with a perfect shooting day and moved into second and a potential podium.
Unchallenged in Yellow
The last loop was all Wierer as the Yellow Bib kept a tight grip on the lead. She added a few seconds to her 20 second lead after standing and went into the lead at the finish. Preuss faded in the last loop while Olsbu Roeiseland, with her patented last loop kick closed on Wierer and moved up to the second spot by the finish, but was short of the win.
Davidova although fading in the last loop, finished well enough to jump ahead of Preuss for the last podium spot, the fifth of her career. “I was really happy for the two zeroes because I am not sure I would have made it to the finish with some penalty loops. It was really hard on the tracks today.”
Olsbu Roeiseland was surprised to fight for the podium today after her prone misses. “I do not know what went wrong (in prone), but I think there was a bit of wind today, but I did my best and got two mistakes. I did not think I had any chance. So I was a bit shocked when I left for the last lap and was fighting for a podium place.”