After three years of planning, Belgium is now the latest country to have its own biathlon venue. The Cross Country and Biathlon Centre in Herzebösch-Elsenborn was opened over the course of the past weekend, with the invitational competitions on Saturday being the heart of the action.
With a total of 15 lanes, the new facilities in the east of Belgium, some 5 km away from neighbouring Germany, provide the Belgian squad around Florent Claude, Lotte Lie and Thierry Langer ample opportunity to roll through summer training. And at 600m altitude, the area does see the occasional bout of snow in winter.
Thierry Langer, who grew up in Elsenborn, was among the first to test his "home tracks" after having been sidelined with a foot surgery in spring - but Florent Claude's brother Fabien and Germany/Belgium's Michael Rösch also joined in on the opening weekend fun in the mass starts. Fabien Claude won on the men's side while Lotte Lie jumped on top of the podium on the women's side.
Take a look at some impressions of the weekend in the gallery below:
Pictures: Romain Keller/Belgium Biathlon