75th BMW IBU World Cup Win
JT’s 75th victory and fourth Hochfilzen pursuit title was quite satisfying, especially after finishing 11th in yesterday’s sprint, 47 second behind his brother. “You need to celebrate the wins and take the downfalls as well. So, it is good to be back there. I was sad and frustrated after seeing the Flower Ceremony without me yesterday. I did not know why it happened (3 penalties in the sprint). To win today, I did not believe that (it could happen). I pushed from the start and it was a good finish.”
“I never stopped believing”
He acknowledged that his three consecutive clean stages keyed the win. “For sure, it was the key. I started with one (penalty). It is like you take two steps forward and two steps back again. I never stopped believing. There was a lot of misses in the field today so there was a chance for the people coming from behind.”
Second place Dale-Skjevdal finished 22.6 seconds back with three penalties. Tarjei, in third place, finished 28.4 seconds back with two penalties. Tarjei’s third place vaulted him into the Yellow Bib for the first time in many years, heading into Lenzerheide next week.
Sunny, spring-like +4C conditions dominated the pursuit; the top three from the sprint came to the first prone together. Only Laegreid cleaned Samuelsson and Tarjei had a penalty, coming off 28 seconds back. Laegreid shot fast in the second prone, missing once. Tarjei and Samuelsson cleaned, closing the gap to 6 and 10 seconds back. 10-for-10 Jacquelin moved into fourth with JT closing to fifth, 21 seconds back.
Samuelsson caught and passed Laegreid before the first standing, then missing two shots and Laegreid missed one. JT took advantage with a quick clean stage, taking the lead with Laegreid 7.9 seconds back and Jacquelin third. A group of four leaving seconds behind Jacquelin.
After his sterling standing stage, JT opened a huge gap, shooting alone, cleaning the final standing stage quickly, sealing victory. Laegreid matched, trailing by 23 seconds. Tarjei and Dale-Skjevdal followed, 36 seconds back.
Last season’s World Cup Total Score titlist, cruised unchallenged to victory. Behind him Dale-Skjevdal and Tarjei passed the fading Laegreid for second and third places.
Laegreid with two penalties finished fourth 39.2 seconds back, followed by Sweden’s Sebastian Samuelsson and France’s Emilien Jacquelin, with three and two penalties, 48.5 and 52.8 seconds back respectively.
Photos: IBU/Jasmin Walter