German Women Prevail in Cold Canmore Relay
Denise Herrmann came from 26 seconds back in the third leg, putting Germany in first place that they held until the finish, crossing the line in 1:10:16.3. Herrmann and her teammates, Vanessa Hinz, Franziska Hildebrand and Laura Dahlmeier had one penalty and twelve spare rounds on the day. Norway finished second, with two penalties and seven spares, 30.2 seconds back. France with twelve spares finished third, 41.6 seconds back.
Fourth went to Italy, 1:L40.5 back, with Switzerland in fifth place, 2:24.6 back and Austria rounding out the top six, 2:49.1 back.
More Wind: Italy Leads
The wind continued to blow for the late afternoon women’s relay, making conditions just as hard as it was for the men a couple of hours earlier. Lisa Vittozzi set the tone with perfect shooting in the leadoff leg. At the first exchange, the Italian team had a 23.5 second lead over Germany, with France in third on the shoulder of the Germans. Hinz commented on her leg. “Lisa shoots very fast and she did today.”
France to Second
Nicole Gontier held the lead in leg two, with a solid clean stage while Justin Braisaz moved France up to second. Just a single standing spare was all it took for the Italian to retain the top spot. Braisaz added one spare round to the French total in standing, but was in control of second going to the second exchange. Three teams, Estonia, Germany, and Switzerland were bunched at 48 seconds back in third, fourth, and fifth.
By the exchange, third leg Dorothea Wierer had a 34.3 second lead over France’s Anais Bescond. Estonia and Germany were in together in third and fourth, but over 45 seconds back. Wierer, shooting as fast as normal dropped all five standing targets as did Bescond, keeping them 1-2. Like almost everyone else, Wierer struggled in the wind, using two spares but her rivals did the same. Denise Herrmann used one and Bescond used two, moving the Germans ahead of the French team heading to the last exchange.
Herrmann’s Stunning Last Loop
With a stunning last loop, Herrmann came from 26 seconds back to give Laura Dahlmeier a 3 second gap over Federica Sanfilippo at the tag. France, with Julia Simon was now 56 seconds behind the two leading teams. Dahlmeier used two spares in prone but extended her lead to 48 seconds over Italy. Behind her, Marte Olsbu Røiseland moved ahead of France now locked in the battle for third place. Simon shot fast and got away in second position, but Røiseland blew past her in the last loop to secure second place.
Penalty But a Win
Dahlmeier picked up a penalty in standing, moving her rivals closer, but she still came out of the loop with a 27 second lead and came home with the win for Germany. On that penalty, Dahlmeier said, “I do not know what happened…I do not remember the last time I had a penalty in a relay.” Simon shot fast in standing, using a single spare round and got away in second position. Røiseland with a last loop similar to Herrmann blew past the Simon in the last loop to secure second place.