Hugo Rivail and Vanessa Voigt take IBU Cup short individuals
The IBU Cup's final stage in Obertilliach, Austria opened with the short individuals. In the men’s 15 km competition Hugo Rivail of France with one penalty proved to be the best, winning 36:49.1. Germany’s Vanessa Voigt continued her IBU Cup domination winning the women’s 12.5 km competition with a perfect 20/20 in 36:21.8.
Italy’s clean-shooting Daniele Cappellari finished second, 11 seconds behind Rivail. Heikki Laitinen of Finland and Justus Strelow of Germany both with one penalty tied for third place, 39.8 seconds back.
First even senior win
Starting with number 20, Hugo Rivail was eighth after the first prone, 11.4 seconds behind clean-shooting Philipp Nawrath of Germany. Entering the first standing stage in sixth, Rivail earned 45 penalty seconds dropping to 13th, 46.1 seconds behind F. F. Andersen who shot clean, taking the lead from Nawrath. While F. F. Andersen cleaned once again in the second prone to retain the lead, Rivail managed to redeem his previous mistake shooting clean and climbing up to fifth. Due to the Norwegian’s 90 penalty seconds in the final standing bout, the door opened for others to take the lead. Cappellari managed a perfect 20/20 moving to first after the last shooting bout. Rivail also cleaned, leaving the range in second, 22.6 seconds behind the Italian. However, by the 13.3 km split, Rivail had taken back 16.2 seconds heading to the finish 6.4 seconds behind Cappellari. With the second-fastest ski speed of the day, Rivail closed the gap to the Italian claiming his first ever senior win leaving Cappellari in second place.
🇫🇷 Hugo Rivail: "On the track I was very fast, faster than the rest of the season. I was trying to shoot clean, I missed one, but I’m so happy for the race. It is my first win, it is incredible, I have no words. I'm so happy." #IBUCup— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBUCUP) March 10, 2021
📸 Deubert/IBU pic.twitter.com/vjWcJoqQFs
Third place tie
Shooting clean in the first three bouts, Laitinen placed fourth by the end of the second prone, 14 seconds behind F. F. Andersen. Meanwhile Strelow missed once in the same stage in seventh, 31.9 seconds behind the clean-shooting Laitinen. Correcting the the mistake from the previous shooting bout, Strelow cleaned the last standing while Laitinen surrendered to the pressure with a penalty. Strelow left the range in third, Laitinen fourth with eight seconds separating the two. The Finn, being clearly better on skis, closed the gap to match Strelow's time resulting in a tie for the last spot of the podium.
Although Endre Stroemsheim of Norway is not competing in the IBU Cup final stage, his previous performances were enough to secure the IBU Cup Individual Score Crystal Globe.
The only one to shoot 20/20
Voigt, the leader in the Women's IBU Cup Individual Score was definitely the favourite to keep the eye on. Without very good ski speed today, the German was after the first prone ninth despite cleaning the first prone stage. Faster on skis by far, Ekaterina Noskova of Russia also cleaned, taking the lead. Climbing seven positions after cleaning standing, Voigt left the range in second, 26.3 seconds behind the also clean-shooting Skrede. While Skrede had a 45-second penalty in the second prone, Voigt again was perfect, closing all five targets; that was not enough to claim the lead as fast-skiing Susanna Meinen of Switzerland went out first, 2.7 seconds ahead the German. With such a small gap, nothing was decided until the very last standing stage. Meinen crumbled under pressure with three penalties while Voigt closed all her targets to take the lead. Voigt crossed the finish line in first place as the only penalty-free athlete. Russia’s Anastasiia Goreeva, with the best ski time of the day, but three penalties claimed second place.
🇩🇪 Vanessa Voigt: "I knew that the conditions are not very easy here. The sun is always shining and the wind changes all the time so you have to be focused. I felt confident on the range because I knew that I can and I must hit all targets. It was great!" #IBUCup— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBUCUP) March 10, 2021
📸 Deubert/IBU pic.twitter.com/PZlD0yMvSe
Chauveau pushes to third
With the first and second steps of the podium occupied, the fight for the last spot of the podium started. Third after the last standing stage, Juni Arnekleiv of Norway was definitely hoping for the podium today. With Gandler, Auchentaller and Chauveau all quite close, the final verdict was decided on the last loop. Chauveau had second best ski time of the final loop managing to close the gap on her main rivals claiming the last podium spot. Arnekleiv, unable to keep up with the others lost time in the final loop, dropping to eighth.
Anna Gandler of Austria, with two penalties finished fourth, 55 seconds behind. Italy’s Hannah Auchentaller, with two penalties finished in fifth place, 55.2 seconds back. Aasne Skrede of Norway, with three penalties, 1:08.7 back completed the top six.
The Individual Crystal Globe to Voigt
Already in the lead before the competition, today’s win secured the Individual Crystal Globe for Voigt.
The Individual Crystal 🏆 went to 🇩🇪 Vanessa Voigt!— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBUCUP) March 10, 2021
💥"The Globe is very special for me because the season was great. After every race I saw the results and thought “Oh, okay, I’m in the first place!”. So it is perfect for me." 💥#IBUCup
📸 Deubert/IBU pic.twitter.com/F4UwtzafmJ
Photos: Harald Deubert / IBU