Desthieux Overpowers Latypov for First Mass Start Win

Desthieux Overpowers Latypov for First Mass Start Win

France’s Simon Desthieux, with two total penalties on the day, left the last standing stage in this evening’s Oestersund men’s 15 km mass start, 6.5 seconds behind Russia’s Eduard Latypov, but found enough power to ski past the Russian with 1500 meters to go and claim the win in 35:43.7. Latypov, also with two penalties finished in a career best second place, 8.9 seconds back. Johannes Thingnes Boe of Norway, with three penalties, finished third, 17.5 seconds back, securing his third consecutive World Cup Total Score title and the big Crystal Globe.

“2021 is my year”

Desthieux had never won a BMW IBU World Cup competition before his sprint victory a few weeks ago in Nove Mesto now added a second title. “I think 2021 is my year. 2020 was not my year but this year is good. So happy because today was not easy with the wind but I took my chance every time…it was hard.…It is fantastic to finish the season with a win like that, for sure. A victory in the mass start is very different than my last victory in the sprint. I could live the moment; that is fantastic to finish like this.”

“I gave everything”

The crucial last loop battle took a lot of effort. “In the beginning of the last loop, I was not confident. But during the lap, I gave more and more to catch Latypov. I was looking back for Johannes, because I know he is fast. I gave everything; it was very fun. I was happy to have time to to enjoy the last meters.”

Boe’s teammate, Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen, with three penalties, finished fourth, 32.2 seconds back. Germany’s Benedikt Doll, with four penalties, finished fifth, 36.9 seconds back.

Desthieux Overpowers Latypov for First Mass Start Win

World Cup Mass Start Score to Tarjei

Boe’s older brother Tarjei, with four penalties, finished sixth, 38.2 seconds back. The sixth place finish was just enough for Tarjei to claim the World Cup Mass Start Score with 184 points to 180 points over his brother.

Desthieux Overpowers Latypov for First Mass Start Win

Total Score Showdown

The continuing winds blew in a mix of sunshine and clouds for the final competition of the season, the big showdown for not only the World Cup Total Score between Johannes and Laegreid, but also a battle for the World Cup Mass Start Score Globe.

Sebastian Samuelsson and Martin Ponsiluoma jumped to the front, setting the pace over the first 3 km loop, with Laegreid shadowing Johannes into the range. Laegreid cleaned the first prone while his teammate missed a shot. Yet Christiansen and Desthieux also were perfect going out a couple of seconds before the Red Bib in third. Despite the gusty winds, eleven men cleaned the first prone stage.

Latypov in the Lead

Desthieux took over the pacing duties in the next loop, with the two Norwegians following closely behind. With the wind coming from the right, Latypov cleaned easily to assume the lead with Weger matching a second slower. Dale after a first stage miss moved into the third spot, 27 seconds back with Scott Gow and Tarjei alongside. Laegreid hit his first four shots and missed the last, dropping back to eighth, 31 seconds back.

Guigonnat Moves Up

The Russian had sixteen seconds on the field coming to the first standing stage, with the wind now from the left. The leader missed twice, while Antonin Guigonnat, 34 seconds back before shooting, Doll and Johannes all cleaned. Latypov came out of the loop just ahead of Johannes in third. Laegreid with one penalty was fifth, seven seconds behind Johannes.

Desthieux Overpowers Latypov for First Mass Start Win

Latypov Out First

Guigonnat remained in the lead with Doll less than a second back, into the last standing stage, while Johannes after pushing hard in the previous loop came to the range in third. The two leaders missed multiple times after shooting fast, falling out of contention. Latypov cleaned again to move back into the lead with the also-clean Desthieux 6.5 seconds back. Johannes after one penalty left in third 12 seconds back, while Laegreid after two penalties fell back to eighth position.

Birthday Boy Latypov

Latypov who turned 27 today, enjoying his podium birthday present, knew the last loop was going to be hard. “I am really happy that I managed to be on the podium and have a present like that, among these really strong guys…I knew that Simon and Johannes were really close to me. I knew it was not going to be really easy especially on some parts of the track. I did not manage to keep the lead but am satisfied that I could keep my second place.”

Desthieux Overpowers Latypov for First Mass Start Win

Desthieux Overpowers Latypov for First Mass Start Win

Desthieux and Johannes both went after the Russian in the last 3 km loop; Desthieux passed him first just before the 13.5 km split. The French star continued to pull away for his first-ever mass start win. Latypov held on for second. Johannes with the World Cup Total Score in hand settled for third place, letting out a yell of joy as he crossed the finish line. As stadium announcer Kjell-Erik Kristiansen said, “I have never seen anyone so happy with a third place!"

Johannes: “Sturla pushed me to my limits”

Regarding that third place and his Crystal Globe victory, a very subdued Johannes said, “I am more relieved than happy. It was such a tough competition with Sturla. He pushed me to my limits so it has been such a pain to win this. It’s been hard…We knew before the race whoever came first would be the Total Score winner. I fell behind from the start; in my third shooting, I was lucky to hit five and that was the game changer.”

Photos: IBU/Christian Manzoni