Masterful Martin in Wire-to-Wire Pursuit Victory
Martin Fourcade of France put on a master class in a wire-to-wire Tyumen pursuit win this afternoon, missing just one standing shot on his way to a 32:09.7 win. The Yellow Bib was never threatened, leading by more than 1:22 before slowing his pace in the final loop. Johannes Thingnes Boe of Norway, with a single penalty, moved from14th to finish second, 47.9 seconds back. Third place went to clean-shooting Lukas Hofer of Italy, 1:08.4 back.
Seventh Consecutive Pursuit Crystal Globe
Today’s win secured the French star's seventh consecutive pursuit Crystal Globe. This triumph marked Fourcade’s 27th career pursuit victory, and his 74th World Cup victory. It also continued his streak of consecutive podium finishes.
Concerning winning the Globes, he commented, “It is an internal journey; it is hard to describe. It is like a great feeling of satisfaction. When I won the Crystal Globe two days ago, it was like I can die today.”
Fredrik Lindström of Sweden finished fourth, with one penalty, 1:28.6 back. Fifth place went to Erik Lesser of Germany, with three penalties, 1:48.5 back, while his teammate Arnd Peiffer, with one penalty was sixth, 1:55.7 back.
Clear Sunny Afternoon
After two cold snowy evening competitions, the men were greeted with clear blue skies and the temperature just above freezing. However, the clearing weather did bring in some light wind to the shooting range. Fourcade starting with a 33-second bulge on the field extended his safety margin on the first loop to well over 40 seconds. In the first prone, he shot calmly, cleaned and was gone before anyone else was on the shooting range. Lindström was the only man in the leading group to match Fourcade, leaving 44.1 seconds back followed by Lesser and Rastorgujevs, both with single penalties, and Loginov who cleaned, but all were more than 1:03 back.
Fourcade’s Lead Grows
The second prone was a repeat performance for Fourcade, steady and clean. Lindström matched again as did Lesser, who was now on just off Lindström’s shoulder, both just over 50 seconds back. Hofer and Johannes, both going 10-for-10 and skiing hard now were up to 4th and 5th, but 1:06 back. The field headed to the first standing with the he Italian and Norwegian closing in on the top three.
Penalties for the Chasers
Fourcade continued his shooting demonstration with another 5-for-5, even though the wind picked up, stretching his lead to 1:11. Lindström and Lesser went to the penalty loop, as did Johannes. Hofer shot deliberately and cleaned to leave in second, with Johannes 8 seconds later and Lesser in close pursuit.
One Penalty for Fourcade; Johannes and Hofer Secure Podium
No final standing stage would determine the winner today, but it did decide second and third places. With a margin of more than 1:22 as he approached the shooting range, Fourcade eased off the pace slightly. The Yellow bib missed the first shot, but was unfazed, leaving with a 56.2 second lead over Johannes who shot fast and clean. Hofer, again taking his time, also closed the five targets, putting him comfortably in third, 10 seconds behind Johannes but 22 ahead of Lindström.
Fourcade skied comfortably to the finish for his 27th pursuit win to the cheers of the crowd with Johannes and Hofer well behind but on the podium.
The Norwegian team was awarded their Crystal Globe for winning the men’s relay title, with Tarjei Boe leading the celebration.
Johannes, “Best Skis of Season”
Johannes was pretty happy with his day. ”It was a great race today. I had maybe the best skis of the season so it as easy on the tracks; hard on the shooting range, but I managed with one mistake. I am happy to be on the podium because it did not look like I could do that before the race.”
20-for-20 for Hofer
Hofer had a rare 20-for-20 day. “I am happy about today’s race, especially since I shot clean. But now since it is the end of the season, I have to find more energy for th last race tomorrow.”