After Philipp Nawrath surprisingly took the Sprint in Oestersund, German men got a much-needed confidence boost. Beni Doll won back-to-back Sprints in Lenzerheide and Oberhof - the first German athlete to do so after Michi Greis won the Ruhpolding-Antholz double in 2007/2008 - and is the Sprint Score leader. Doll and Johannes Kuehn are the only two men who finished in the Top 10 in all four sprints this season.
Endre Stroemsheim, after spending most of his career in the IBU Cup - and winning a record 14 competitions - clinched his first-ever World Cup win in the Pursuit of Oberhof.
Oberhof again turned out a lucky venue for Italy as Tommaso Giacomel anchored his team to its first Men's Relay podium in three years, taking advantage of Sweden's shooting troubles and building on the great effort of Elia Zeni, Didier Bionaz, and Lukas Hofer.
French women rocked Oberhof, and not just by their Relay triumph. Justine Braisaz-Bouchet stretched her winning streak from Lenzerheide to four with a win in the Sprint.
Spurred by Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold's vivid dreams the night before, Julia Simon dug deep in the Pursuit, storming to the win after finishing 10th in the Sprint.
Sophie Chauveau finished third in the Sprint, and Lou Jeanmonnot bounced back after December's illness with ninth and fifth place. On top of everything, Jeanne Richard, coming to her first-ever World Cup week as the Total Score leader in the IBU Cup, finished eighth in the Sprint and ninth in the Pursuit.
Eligible to compete at the IBU Junior World Championships, 18-year-old Julia Kink of Germany, 20-year-old Maren Kirkeeide of Norway, and her 20-year-old teammate Isak Frey made the headlines at the IBU Cup in Martell-Val Martello. Kink won in the Short Individual, Kirkeeide in the Sprint, and Frey in the Sprint and Pursuit.
Photo: C. Manzoni, J. Svoboda, H. Deubert