On Johannes Thingnes Boe’s Planet
While Johannes Thingnes Boe of Norway just kept getting more and more dominant in Trimester 2, the women's field gotten wider. Dorothea Wierer of Italy kept her lead in the BMW IBU World Cup Overall Standings but her compatriot Lisa Vittozzi started to get closer and closer and also Marte Olsbu Roeiseland of Norway and Anastasiya Kuzmina of Slovakia performed at a very high level.
Is Boe Shooting And Skiing Towards Record Breaking Season?
Johannes Thingnes Boe was winning 53,5 points per competition in Trimester 1 in the BMW IBU World Cup 2018/2019 season and he very much dominated the men’s field. In Trimester 2 he pushed up his ante and started winning 58,2 points per competition. He has thus on average been winning 55,85 points per competitions so far. The yellow bib's data set gets even more impressive if one - quite reasonably - thinks that his 7th place in the 20 km Individual in Pokljuka and 9th in the 12,5 km Pursuit in Hochfilzen were and will stay his only "slip-ups" this season: if they ended up being his two worst results of the season, they would not count into his Overall Standings. Removing those two races, Boe has been winning 59,07 BMW IBU World Cup points per competition. If he is to continue collecting BMW IBU World Cup points in his ‘blitzscaling’ mould he could finish the season with 1.417 points.
From purely technical perspective has Boe’s skiing speed gone down a notch in Trimester 2 compared to Trimester 1 - from -5,36% to -5,0% - but his shooting percentage went up from 84,6% percentage in Trimester 1 to 86,6% in Trimester 2. These numbers alone tell how consistent the Norwegian has been this season so far. Equally important he started to choose his battles within every race with greater wisdom than for example last season.
Far behind Boe in the BMW IBU World Cup Overall Standing are Martin Fourcade and Alexander Loginov of Russia. Fourcade has been more stable shooter than JTB; his average in Trimester 1 was at super high 94,3% and in Trimester 2 at still very high 91,6% . Fourcade’s skiing speed improved in Trimester 2 - it went up 0,66% compared to Trimester 1 - and although he started to win 41,5 BMW IBU World Cup points per competition or 4 more than in Trimester 1, he lacked the final push and never ended up on the podium in Trimester 2. He has also missed some very important shots, like at the last standing shooting at the 12,5 km Pursuit in Oberhof where he skied the fastest this season and even overtook JT before the last shot. That is where it seems momentum finally swung Boe's way. Despite winning his career’s first competition of the new year in the 10 km Sprint in Oberhof and keeping his average shooting percentage and skiing speed stable has Loginov started to lose steam in Trimester 2. He has hit the wall in Antholz - Anterselva where he managed to finish in Top 10 once only.
*A Fantastically Exciting Women's Field
Lisa Vittozzi of Italy has finally had a breakthrough winning the first and second race of her career at the BMW IBU World Cup 4 in Oberhof, Germany and started to be the closest challenger for the overall title to the leader and her great friend Dorothea Wierer, also of Italy. This comes as no surprise for Vittozzi’s shooting percentage went from already high 90,3% in Trimester 1 to 91% in Trimester 2 and her skiing speed went up from -2,16% in Trimester 1 to -3,83% in Trimester 2. Had she not missed at the last standing shooting in 12,5 Mass Start competition at the BMW IBU World Cup 5 in Ruhpolding, Germany she could have won another race. Instead she finished 11th and gave Wierer - who finished a mere 19th in that same race - room for breathing. To further illustrate how much Vittozzi has improved one needs to consider the fact that Wierer was winning 47,6 points per competition in Trimester 1 and 35,8 in Trimester 2 and Vittozzi 34,5 points per competition in Trimester 1 and 46 points per competition in Trimester 2.
Considering just Trimester 2 Vittozzi won 322 points and Wierer, who had very strong training regime during Christmas break and was consequently not in top form for most part of Trimester 2 won 251 points. Marte Olsbu or Norway also performed better than Wierer, collecting 271 BMW IBU World Cup points in Trimester 2 and climbing to third in BMW IBU World Cup Overall Standings while Anastasiya Kuzmina collected 269 BMW IBU World Cup points in Trimester 2. Hanna Oeberg of Sweden was also very close to the best in Trimester 2 earning 240 BMW IBU World Cup points.