Home Stadium Pursuit Victory for Dorothea Wierer
Italy’s Dorothea Wierer picked up her first-ever home stadium victory this afternoon, winning the Antholz women’s 10K pursuit, with two penalties, in 29:20.1. Her sixth career victory was assured only after she headed into the last loop with the lead. Laura Dahlmeier of Germany, with one penalty finished second, 6 seconds back. Wierer’s teammate Lisa Vittozzi, with two penalties finished third, 16.2 seconds back.
For Wierer, it was a day of firsts, also her first pursuit victory. No question in her mind that today was special. “I am really happy because (winning) at home is even more difficult. Last year, I was close, second and third and I was never in first. Today was the first time; I am so happy and it was the first victory in the pursuit. I saw the family on the tracks and the coaches; the whole stadium was cheering. It was just a special moment!
She continued admitting the importance for the team, “I am so happy for Italian biathlon since we are not so many athletes. We showed that our training was good and our team spirit is really great.”
Norway’s Marte Olsbu Røiseland, with three penalties finished fourth, 33.9 seconds back. Fifth place went to Slovakia’s Anastasiya Kuzmina, with four penalties, 46.5 seconds back. Lisa Theresa Hauser of Austria finished sixth, with two penalties, 55.8 seconds back.
Perfect Day Number Three
Perfection day number three is all that can be said for this Saturday in Antholz; again mostly sunny, light winds, sub-freezing temps set the stage for the 60 women once again challenging the new 2K loop.
Dahlmeier and Hauser
The top four from the sprint came to the first prone together, but the light breeze in their faces caused multiple penalties. Dahlmeier and Hauser left with zeroes left 1-2, 8 seconds apart with a chase group of seven including Kaisa Mäkäräinen and Wierer 22 seconds back.
Dahlmeier was alone as she came to the second prone, cleaning just as Hauser fired her first shot. Hauser matched to hold second but Wierer, Vittozzi and Røiseland, also perfect were now just 16 seconds behind the leader.
Italian Duo In Front
The German star looked much stronger than when she collapsed after Thursday’s sprint; she headed to the first standing extending her lead on the group of five pursuers. Everything changed as she shot slowly, missing the last shot; Wierer shooting rapidly cleaned as did Vittozzi. The Italian duo left in the lead, with Dahlmeier now 21.4 seconds back and Hauser, with her first miss, just behind.
Going for Broke
Wierer set the pace over the next 2K with her young teammate on her shoulder. The two Italians went for broke, shooting fast with both ending up on the penalty loop. Still Wierer left with a 7.6 second gap on Vittozzi and Dahlmeier, who had lost ground on the tracks but shot clean.
She's going to like this win! A year before #antholz2020, Dorothea Wierer gets her first ever victory at home. #ANT19 🇮🇹— IBU World Cup (@IBU_WC) January 26, 2019
You can rewatch the entire women's pursuit on https://t.co/bk5aBBso9Q pic.twitter.com/sY6oVke0Vw
On to First Antholz Victory
The Yellow/Red Bib put the hammer down on the last loop, stretching her lead to 13 seconds with 1000 meters to go. She pushed into the stadium; then cruised hands held high to the fans, celebrating her first-ever Antholz victory. Dahlmeier pulled away with 400 meters to go to finish second, with Vittozzi giving Italy two podium spots.
Dahlmeier came used her experience to come back successfully from her collapse in the sprint. “For me it was a good race. I looked to myself for all of the experience in the last years; it was important to stay controlled and focused on the shooting range. The standing took a long time but I am happy with the result.”
First Antholz Podium
Vittozzi, with her first Antholz podium was as happy as Wierer. “It is my first podium here and for me…really happy to be on the podium and be on the podium with Doro. I am very satisfied with my race today.”