Fourcade Doubles Up with Pursuit Victory
France’s Martin Fourcade made it two victories in a row as he shot clean, to win the men's 12.5K pursuit today at Pokljuka in 30:27. 4. Norway’s clean-shooting Emil Hegle Svensen outsprinted Russia's Anton Shipulin to claim second, 6 seconds back. Shipulin matched his third place form yeterday's sprint, 6.2 seconds back with one penalty.
On another brilliant, almost windless day, the top four men from yesterday (Fourcade, Boe, Shipulin and Svendsen) dominated the competition, controlling the three first shooting stages. After the first prone, Shipulin moved up with Fourcade; from that point, they shot side-by-side, almost in lockstep, while the two Norwegians worked together behind them.
The last standing stage was the break point, Fourcade cleaned, assuring his victory while Shipulin went to the penalty loop. Svendsen cleaned left the stadium alongside Shipulin; the two battling for second,skiing together for the whole last loop. Boe lost his podium chance with two penalties.
Svendsen had a slight advantage coming into the stadium and held off Shipulin for second place.
Svendsen commented on his battle with Shipulin, “Anton is the best sprinter. I knew that I had 50/50 chance to beat him. I managed to stay in front. I felt very strong on the last loop.”
Regarding tactics, he added, “We had good collaboration with Boe, just like Fourcade and Shipulin. I am happy I managed to shoot clean at the last stage. It feels very good to be in the podium.”
Fourcade and Shipulin cooperated once they were together. “It was a great fight against Anton. When he chased me down, he asked me to help him. It was a good collaboration, as Emil was not that far behind...This was a really great competition. Everyone had the same conditions, equal chances.”
Belgium’s Michael Roesch provided the biggest surprise of the day in 6th,moving up form 16th at the start with strong skiing and clean shooting. It was his first top six in an individual competition in almost 8 years. “For some people sixth place is just a silly sixth place. For me it means a lot; I had a perfect competition.”