France Dominates Pyeongchang Men’s Relay
France with Jean Guillaume Beatrix, Simon Fourcade, Simon Desthieux, and Martin Fourcade, with ten spare rounds dominated the men’s relay today in Pyeongchang, finishing in 1:12.09. Austria with World Cup debutant Lorenz Waeger, veteran Simon Eder, Pyeongchang Sprint winner Julian Eberhard and Dominik Landertinger, with nine spares finished second, 33.8 seconds back. The Norwegian team of Vetle Sjastad Christiansen, Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, Vegard Gjermundshaug and Henrik L’Abee-Lund, despite one penalty and eight spare rounds finished third, 45.4 seconds back.
Russia missed the podium, finishing fourth, but secured the Relay Crystal Globe, 1:11.1 back. . Ukraine was fifth, 1:28 back and Germany was sixth, 1:39.3 back..
Good Start for Norway
Russia’s Maxim Tsvetkov struggled in the first leg, using spares in each stage, dropping his team to 16th position. Lukas Hofer of Italy started with the lead, but picked up three penalties in prone. Christiansen’s flawless shooting and powerful skiing put Norway into the lead after the first leg. The 43-year old Bjoerndalen used some spares, but maintained the lead, tagging Gjermundshaug in first. Gjermundshaug had a standing penalty, but Norway stayed in contention with others also struggling. He commented on his penalty. “When I came first in the standing, I was so nervous, my legs were shaking. In fact, I am happy it was just one penalty loop. ”
Desthieux Takes the Lead
In the third leg, Desthieux managed to get his team in the lead, giving Fourcade a 16-second advantage. He commented, “My shooting was not perfect today. It’s difficult for me with Korean time. I didn’t feel very good, but I am satisfied about this.”
Fourcade used two spares to clean, but managed to preserve the lead. He matched in standing, leaving with a win in hand. Both Landertignger and L’Abee-Lund needed spares to clean, but left in second and third.
Fourcade: “Happy But Exhausted”
Fourcade was happy to be on top of the podium with his team this time.“I am happy to finish this week, but we are all exhausted. We are already thinking of our flight back to Europe.”
The Norwegians were as happy with third place, having no Boe brothers or Emil Hegle Svendsen in Pyeongchang. Christiansen commented, “We didn’t have B team here, rather a C team. B and C team tend to have better performances in the relays.”