First Career Victory for Franziska Preuss in Ruhpolding Mass Start
Germany’s clean-shooting Franziska Preuss claimed her first-ever World Cup victory this afternoon taking the women’s 12.5K mass start in 32:34. Her first victory, Germany’s only win this week was made even sweeter; it happened in Ruhpolding, where she resides. Norway’s Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold also had a personal best, career first World Cup podium in second place, .2 seconds back. Slovakia’s Paulina Fialkova finished third, 15.1 seconds back. Both Tandrevold and Preuss shot clean.
Last Loop and Pride
The first time winner did a lot of self-talking in the last loop and was quite proud of her effort. “The last loop was really amazing for me. I was first out of the shooting range; I did not know who was behind me or how many…I looked at the video boards because I did not understand what the trainers told me. It was really a hard battle; yesterday with Tiril, now Ingrid…On the last downhill, I realized that no, I can do it today. I just gave everything on the finish line. I am very proud of myself that I did it. It is such a great feeling to get this first victory in Ruhpolding, my home stadium. It was an amazing day for me…I am really thankful for everything.”
Sweden’s Hanna Oeberg, with two penalties was fourth, 18.8 seconds back. Fifth place went to Switzerland’s Lena Haecki, with one penalty, 19.4 seconds back, while Belarusian Iryna Kryuko, with one penalty was sixth, 20 seconds back.
Overcast; Good Prone Shooting
The skies turned overcast for the women, but otherwise they had the same calm, fast conditions as the men had just two hours earlier. The first prone was filled with zeroes just as it was with the men. Eighteen women went 5-for-5, with Dorothea Wierer shooting very rapidly with Haecki at her side as they led the train out of the stadium. The group held together over the next 2.5K loop with the Yellow Bib again shooting on lane 1.
Preuss, Tandrevold, Fialkova in the Mix
The second prone was another Wierer rapid-fire lesson; once again Haecki matched but the Italian was at the front. Now there were nine clean shooters including Fialkova, Preuss, and Tandrevold, trailing within 10 seconds. Wierer settled in and followed, just off the front, letting the others do the work as they headed to the first standing stage.
Preuss In Control
Coming back into the stadium, Wierer again moved into lane 1, but picked p two penalties. Preuss cleaned to take the lead, while Vittozzi who had an earlier miss also cleaned to move into the second spot with Tandrevold and Persson, the only two women going 15-for-15, third and fourth seven seconds back.
She wanted that last target to go down so often but today Franziska Preuss knocks them all down! But Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold is right behind her! #RUH19— IBU World Cup (@IBU_WC) January 20, 2019
Watch the women's mass start live on https://t.co/bk5aBBso9Q pic.twitter.com/Vy5XhdCG2W
Two in Front
The 22-year-old Tandrevold took up the pacing duties, leading the now group of five after Hermann moved up into the range for the last standing stage. Preuss quickly closed the five targets as did the lefty Tandrevold. The German had a slim 4 second lead; Persson also clean, left in a precarious third, with Haecki, Fialkova and Oeberg in hot pursuit.
Preuss: “Second Place is Very Good”
Preuss set the pace; the young Norwegian attacked on the last big climb, but Preuss held her off. She told German television, “I thought, ‘Second place is also very good for me.” Tandrevold made a mad dash in the last 100 meters but failed to overtake the Ruhpolding resident. Preuss had her first World Cup victory.
Need to Catch Them
Behind them, Fialkova moved into third with 900 meters to go, holding on for the last podium spot. She explained her move to the podium. “I felt really good on the tracks… After the last shooting I saw two girls in front of me and said I needed to catch them. There was no chance to catch the other two.”
Tandrevold in her second-ever mass start just wanted initially to be on the podium. “Just like Franzi, I could not hear the coaches. I just saw her in front of me; I did not know who it was. I just focused on Franzi but I just wanted to be on the podium, but on the last uphill, I thought I could take Franzi too. In the sprint, if you could call it that, I was second; disappointed for one second and then so happy to be on the podium!