The last competition day in Lenzerheide kicked off with the men’s mass start 60. Weather was as perfect as it could be - sun shining and wind barely showing its face. Endre Stroemsheim of Norway took most of these great conditions. He missed once in the standing shooting, but it was enough to secure the 15 km race win in 37:12.9. The women’s competition gave the German team a reason to celebrate with Hanna Kebinger taking the win, after missing once in the first prone, but showing a steady hand after that, taking the win in 34:02.9.
Stroemsheim’s teammate Johannes Dale had two misses in total that resulted in the second place, 50.6 seconds back. Germany’s Philipp Horn missed altogether three times, but still earned another podium by finishing in third, 1:03.1 back.
The Stroemsheim and Dale rivalry
Endre Stroemsheim and Johannes Dale were the duo to keep an eye on from the early stages of the competition. Both men cleaned the first prone round going out first and second respectively with 6.9 seconds in between them. Horn started his competition with a miss that sent him to 11th, 25,9 seconds behind Stroemsheim.
Dale, known for his ski speed, caught up with Stroemsehim by the start of the second prone. They arrived at the range together, both quickly cleaned, and left the range together. Horn managed to correct his previous mistakes and by closing all the five targets in the second shooting round, he was up to third, 26.5 seconds behind the leading Stroemsheim.
The first standing stage made things a bit more interesting. Stroemsheim and Dale both missed once, the others still had the chance to catch up. However, no-one was able to match the mighty duo allowing the Stroemsheim-Dale duel to continue. Stroemsheim was faster completing the penalty loop taking a 6.9 second lead over Dale. Horn, however, added two penalties. That pushed him down to the 7th, 59.8 seconds behind Stroemsheim. Sindre Pettersen cleaned and that allowed him to claim the third position for now.
Dale and Stroemsheim had a great advantage over the others, arriving to the final shooting stage with the whole range to themselves. Side by side they started shooting. Stroemsheim managed a very fast, accurate shooting whereas Dale earned earned a penalty. 28.4 seconds separating the two before the last loop, it was clear that Stroemsheim will take the win. That win also brought him the IBU Cup Mass Start Discipline Globe.
“My strategy was to follow the group on the first loop and then be effective on the range. It worked really well. Johannes Dale was also really strong today so we co-operated nicely. On the last shooting he had one mistake and I shot clean and then I got the win. It is really good to be back and have my first win of the season. It is really fun also to take the Globe,” confirmed Stroemsheim.
German-Norwegian top 6
Knowing that Stroemsheim was impossible to catch, Dale calmly finished the final loop, just in time to claim the second place. Horn recovered from his mistakes of the previous round and by clearing the final shooting, claiming the last spot of the podium.
Germany’s Marco Gross was fourth, with two penalties, 1:19 back. Norway’s Sindre Pettersen, with two penalties finished fifth, 1:22.4 back. Norway’s Erlend Bjoentegaard, with four penalties, finished sixth, 1:32.2 back, completing the flower ceremony.
Jenny Enodd, witrh two penaltiesm finished second, 27.5 seconds behind Kebinger. France’s cleasn-shooting Lou Jeanmonnot added another podium to her collection in third place, 37.1 seconds behind victorious Kebinger
First-ever individual win for Kebinger
Kebinger missed once in the first prone, finding herself in 15th, 28.5 seconds behind Jeanmonnot, who shot clean to take the early lead. Enodd, after also missing once, was 19th. At that moment it was hard to predict that these three women will be on the podium today.
As the race continued and more athletes added penalties, the odds were in favour of good shooters. Lou Jeanmonnot continued her clean series, but being slower on the skis, she placed fourth, 21.1 seconds behind Norway’s Juni Arnekleiv who closed all targets the second consecutive time, took the lead after second prone stage. Enodd managed to close all the targets in this round as well in seventh position, 34.7 seconds behind her teammate. Kebinger climbed to second place.
The first standing round saw a shooting duel between Kebinger and Arnekleiv. The latter, flawless until now, had to take one penalty loop whereas Kebinger kept her focus, after closing all the targets the German took a very safe 27.9 second lead. Jeanmonnot closed all the targets once again, but as she was not able to match the speed of the closest competitors, she found herself in fourth position, 37.7 seconds behind Kebinger.
Kebinger started the final standing stage in solitude. knowing that she has the room to make a mistake. She started shooting fast and confidently but stopped for a moment after hitting the second target. Gathering her focus, she continued to close the last three targets leaving the range with a 33.7 second advantage over Jeanmonnot, who also managed to close all the targets. That gave Kebinger, the winner of the IBU Junior Cup Total Score in the 2018/19 season, her first-ever individual win.
“It’s just amazing! I’m a little bit speechless about it. I couldn’t have imagined that I could win a race this year. Before the competition I just wanted to make a good race, I didn’t expect anything. I just tried to focus on each shooting and on each lap. In the shooting I knew that I had 30 seconds before the next athletes are coming. So I knew that I have a little bit of time and I can take time to shoot clean. After the second shot it was a little bit hard to breathe, so I decided to make a little stop and focus again on the shooting. It was worth doing it,” commented Kebinger.
Enodd climbs to second
France’s Camille Bened, with three penalties was the first to miss out on the podium in fourth place 1:10.5 back. After a great start, Norway’s Juni Arnekleiv, with three penalties finished the fifth, 1:12.9 back. Sweden’s Emma Nilsson with three penalties as well and finished in sixth place, 1:14.7 seconds behind.
The final shooting stage left no question in the air regarding the winner to be, but the fight for the second and third place was still very much alive. Jeanmonnot, after closing all 20 targets, left the shooting range with a 9-second lead over Enodd, who had climbed to third. The Norwegian, being a faster skier, overtook Jeanmonnot by the 10.9 km split, claiming the second place. Jeanmonnot finished in third, 9,6 seconds later than Enodd.
Femsteinevik claims IBU Cup Mass Start Score Globe
Despite finishing ninth in today’s mass start, Norway’s Ragnhild Femsteinevik won the IBU Cup Mass Start Score Globe.