Oslo Mass Start: Triumphant 16th Victory for Johannes Thingnes Boe
Norway’s Johannes Thingnes Boe celebrated a triumphant Oslo win in the closing moments of the men’s mass start this afternoon, wearing a Viking Helmet, waving the Norwegian flag, and bowing repeatedly to the fans, celebrating his 16th victory this season. The Yellow Bib shot clean in his victorious season-closing competition, finishing in 37:25.6. Germany’s Arnd Peiffer matched the Norwegian on the shooting range to finish second, 19.2 seconds back. His teammate Benedikt Doll, with two penalties rounded out the season’s final podium, 38 seconds back.
Johannes’ victory was the icing on the cake in his record-setting season that ended with an Oslo Hat Trick, winning the sprint, pursuit and today the mass start. The final win gave him a sweep of the men’s Globes adding the World Cup Mass Start Score Globe while putting one more exclamation mark on his first-ever big Crystal Globe and the World Cup Total Score title.
A Team Effort
The season’s biggest winner admitted that his success was a team effort. “I do the results but the team works together, the wax team and my coaches; I work really good with them. My teammates push me in the summer and the winter, so it is a great team victory.”
Rookie Award to Johannes Dale
Johannes Dale of Norway won the IBU Men’s Rookie of the Year award. The 21-year-old who won twice in the IBU cup this season also had three top 15 results in BMW IBU World Cup competitions.
Austria’s Julian Eberhard, with three penalties, finished fourth, 42.3 seconds back. Fifth place went to Boe’s teammate Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen, with two penalties, 44.6 seconds back. Italy’s Lukas Hofer, with three penalties and a crash in the last downhill with Simon Desthieux moved up from seventh after the last standing stage to finish sixth.1:07.2 back.
Eberhard in Front
Little changed from the finish of the women’s competition until the men lined up for one last chance to climb on the podium. Cloudy skies prevailed while the Norwegian fans hoped for one more win by Johannes. By the first uphill, the Yellow Bib was in the lead. He cleaned the first prone, but was 2 seconds behind the speedy Guigonnat, Eberhard and teammate Christiansen, with 11 more men also closing all five targets. The Austrian quickly jumped past his French rival, taking the lead and pushing the pace.
Back in Control
By the second prone stage, the man wearing number 1 was back in control. He and Christiansen both shot with a fast cadence, leaving 1-2, with Peiffer on their shoulder. Philip Nawrath was in fourth position, but 6 seconds back. On the next loop, the tall German took over the pacing duties, with the Norwegians following.
The trio came to the first standing stage together. Christiansen set up on lane 1 and missed twice. However, Johannes burned through the targets, closing all five before the others had shot twice. Suddenly, Johannes was 9 seconds ahead of the still clean Peiffer and 16 ahead his surprising teammate Nawrath. It was now Johannes back on another lonely trek around the ever-deepening Holmenkollen tracks; a familiar sight this season.
Setting a blistering pace, the Norwegian moved ever farther in front, extending his lead to 26 seconds by the time he reached the final standing stage of the season. The five targets closed with ease and Coach Siegfried Mazet raised his arms in triumph for his star pupil. Peiffer cleaned again, leaving a distant 27 seconds back, with Christiansen and Doll side-by-side 57 seconds off the pace.
Perfection from @7ohannesbo who seals his record-breaking season with a 20/20 performance in the final competition of the winter! #HOL19 🇳🇴— IBU World Cup (@IBU_WC) March 24, 2019
Watch the last mass start live on https://t.co/bk5aBBso9Q pic.twitter.com/ymocPh9Taj
No Poles, Flag and Helmet Celebration
Johannes lead grew, with Peiffer safely in second. Doll looked back at his Norwegian rival a few times, before pulling away to set the podium. Every step of the way the crowds cheered and clapped for their hero. On the loop behind the shooting range, the Norwegian star slapped hands with wax techs and stopped, taking a Norwegian flag and a horned Viking helmet, leaving his ski poles behind. In the final 100 meters, the now 16-time World Cup winner bowed and waved before virtually walking across the finish line in ultimate triumph.
My Own Race
Peiffer like Johannes was alone in the last loops and had to focus on himself. “Johannes made really fast third shooting so I decided I must push, because maybe he rested in the first three loops. Then he pushed in the fourth loop also and I had no chance, so I knew I had to do my own race and focus on the last shooting.”
Tactical Move to Podium
Doll got on the podium for the third time this season with one tactical move. “I went out with Vetle and thought I could only beat him with a really fast last lap. On the first uphill, he was slower and I saw my chance and pushed hard to the top.”