Pursuit Victory: Fourth Consecutive Win for Johannes Thingnes Boe
Norway’s Johannes Thingnes Boe claimed his fourth consecutive win this season by shooting clean to take the top spot in the men’s 12.5K pursuit this afternoon at le Grand Bornand in 32:52.7. This matched his 2013 performance when he also won the sprint /pursuit double at this French venue. Johannes outdistanced his French rival Martin Fourcade by 1:01.4, with the Yellow Bib recording two penalties. Third place went to Russia’s Anton Shipulin for with one penalty his first podium of the season, 1:10.5 back.
Shipulin out sprinted his teammate Alexander Loginov by .2 seconds down the finish stretch, leaving Loginov, also with one penalty in fourth. Germany’s Simon Schempp started fourth but finished fifth, with two penalties, 1:32.3 back, while France’s Simon Desthieux, with two penalties finished sixth, 1:41.9 back. The biggest jump of the day went to Italy’s Lukas Hofer, who finished eighth, but started wearing bib number 40.
There was little change in conditions for the men’s afternoon pursuit: just above freezing with light winds and a bit of light snow falling. The huge crowds hung around, hoping for more podiums by the home team.
Pushing From the Start
Johannes went out hard on the first loop, adding to his lead over Fourcade. Both shot clean, with no change in the gap; the Norwegian ahead by 27 seconds. Guigonnat and Schempp matched in third and fourth with Shipulin close to them, but more than 20 seconds behind the top two. That gap increased over the next 2.5K to the second prone. The men at the front matched with another clean stage, but Johannes shot faster, pushing his lead out to 36.8 seconds. Shipulin moved into third, just ahead of Schempp, these two now locked in a battle for the podium.
Total Control for Johannes; Victory Lap
The Norwegian had a lead equal to two penalty loops as he came to the range for the first standing, shooting confidently and very fast as the five targets closed. Fourcade tried to match but missed the fourth shot. Shipulin cleaned for the third time to go into podium position, just 10 seconds behind Fourcade as Schempp missed two shots. With Fourcade over a minute back, Boe was in total control as he came to the final standing stage. Nothing was left to doubt by Johannes as he again shot aggressively with all five targets going white. Fourcade shot fast, but missed the fourth shot; Shipulin responded with single penalty, leaving no changes in the top three. The last loop for the young Norwegian was a mere formality; a victory lap of sorts.
Surprised with Success
Despite the overwhelming victory, Johannes seemed surprised about his success. “I am really surprised about my own shape; that I have my fourth win in a row is very untypical me, because often when I do a good race, I do a bad race after. It looks like I am more regular now. I am really happy and enjoying the moment.”
Mixed Feelings for Fourcade
Fourcade had mixed feelings about his day. “I am actually quite satisfied about my performance despite the slow prone and my two mistakes in standing. On the other hand, I am struggling to catch my wind because (Johannes) is simply too good now. So I am really satisfied and disappointed.”
Wait Over for Russian Team
Shipulin admitted the team had been waiting for this result. “We have been waiting to get on the podium for a long time and finally at the third World Cup, we have one."