Clean Shooting Keys Elvira Oeberg’s Pursuit Win

Sweden’s Elvira Oeberg’s first clean-shooting day of the season keyed her first win of the season, taking the Annecy Le Grand Bornand women’s 10 km pursuit this afternoon in 29:42.4. Elvira’s win was just one day short of her first-ever BMW IBU World Cup victory last year at this same venue, also in the pursuit, which she then followed up with a mass start victory.


In addition to her first clean-shooting day of the season, the four times zero was also a career-best for the 23-year-old winner. “It is amazing, first time zero-zero-zero-zero in a World Cup. That I did it in front of the race all the time, I am just so happy and proud.”

“An incredibly good day”

She found it hard to explain how she has had so many first-time moments at this venue. “I do not know. It is exactly this race when I won for the first time and now I did it again. I just had an incredibly good day today. It was difficult conditions out there and I really kept my focus. I am so, so proud about how I kept the focus on the shooting range today to stand there on lane number one and just hit.”

Italy’s Lisa Vittozzi, with two penalties, finished second, 20.4 seconds back. France’s Julia Simon with three penalties finished third, 46.9 seconds back.

Header iconBMW IBU World Cup 3 Women's Pursuit

"Podium at home is special”

Although she missed the victory, Simon’s day was special, “Wearing this Yellow Bib at home is crazy. Everyone is here for us, but wearing the bib is more special… It was a joy today. It as an amazing atmosphere here. The crowd was crazy. Everyone was cheering. My family and friends were here, so it was a perfect day; a podium at home is something really special.”

Norway’s Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold also with three penalties, finished fourth, 1:19.9 back. Vittozzi’s teammate Dorothea Wierer, also with three penalties finished fifth, 1:51.9 back, while Sweden’s Linn Persson finished sixth, with one penalty, 1:56.1 back.

Simon and Elvira in Front

Conditions remained the same for the women’s pursuit, with icy tracks causing the shortening of the loop for safety purposes. Denise Herrmann-Wick led the field into the first prone stage but picked up a penalty. Led by Vittozzi, Persson and Anna Magnusson, seven women cleaned, all within 17 seconds.

Simon and Elvira cleaned the second prone simultaneously to take over the lead as Vittozzi had a penalty. Tandrevold, Sophie Chauveau, and Magnusson continued to be perfect at 12.2. 29.5 and 42.2 seconds back.

Handling the Conditions

The winner knew how to handle the difficult track conditions that everyone faced. “I knew it would be a difficult race today with the conditions on the track and you have to shift focus. You have to be really smart out on the track. You cannot get stressed, because then you have no grip and you will be basically standing still and getting frustrated. Then you just need to keep calm and switch the focus to the shooting range after struggling in the track. It was a challenge but I was well-prepared.”

Side-by-side Battle

The French/Swedish duo skied almost side-by-side, with Simon always a half-step ahead over the loop into the first standing stage. The Yellow Bib ended up with a tour of the penalty loop, dropping 15 seconds behind the clean-shooting Elvira. Tandrevold had a penalty but left int third, 34.5 seconds back with Vittozzi and Wierer trailing 42.2 and 59.1 seconds back respectively.

Vittozzi’s track strength put her in a good position heading into the last standing stage. “I felt very good. I tried to attack from the first loop. I am very satisfied.”

Elvira put the hammer down on the loop into the final standing stage and went 5-for-5 while Simon visibly pushing the envelope, added two more penalties, ceding the victory to her Swedish rival who commented on that last stage. “I came into standing with Julia a few seconds behind like last year so I knew what to expect (from the crowd noise). I knew she would shoot fast. The key for me was just to focus on myself…I think I managed it well especially from the experience here last year.”

Vittozzi cleaned to leave second 14.6 seconds ahead of Simon, setting the podium.

Shooting, Crowd Noise: “You need to live it to understand”

As for shooting and dealing with the roar of the crowds, the World Cup Total Score leader added, “I wanted to be better on the shooting range. The prone was good but the standing maybe too many mistakes but it was a good battle with Elvira and Lisa. Today feels like a really good day for me. …On the shooting range is something really strange because when you come there, everyone is cheering. When you are just behind the rifle nobody talks and it is so calm. After the first bullet hits the target, it is all screams. You need to live it to understand.”

Photos: IBU/Christian Manzoni, Vianney Thibaut

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