Only a few days after the last competition in Hochfilzen, it was already on Thursday for the men in the sprint race again for the first places.
As usual, the Norwegian high-flyer Johannes Thingnes Boe showed a strong performance. Boe won with clear shooting and a strong performance in the track ahead of compatriot Sturla Holm Lagereid, who also had a clear shooting. Benedikt Doll finished 38 seconds behind the winner, also the German Doll remained clear.
The women started their sprint race on Friday. In similarly difficult conditions as in the men's race, most of the favorites started in the front starting groups. This promised the supposedly better course conditions and the resulting faster running performances. With one of the last starting numbers, Frenchwoman Sophie Chauveau nevertheless managed to cause a surprise in front of her home crowd and had the spectators on the track and in the stands screaming! She managed to shoot two clear rounds, her running was also strong until the end and she competed for the 3rd place until the finish straight. She only just missed it, but in the end she was overjoyed to finish in 4th place and was able to celebrate properly at the finish line. Other surprises were the two Swedes, Anna Magnusson and Linn Persson, who took first and second place ahead of Denise Hermann - Wick.
On Saturday, in the men's pursuit race, the course was firm this time, but it was also due to the cold snap overnight, icy and frozen over. In the difficult conditions, some of the starters had to fight. Sturla Holm Laegreid was able to adjust best to the course and the shooting range, with him only in the first standing position, a target stopped. Laegreid secured his first victory in the still young season 2022 / 2023 with this great performance. Second was Vetle Christiansen, who only failed in the last shooting and even had to miss twice. Third went to Johannes Thingnes Boe who visibly had to fight with the icy track.
After trying to improve the course over lunch, the ladies started their pursuit race. With 4 spotless shooting and a strong running performance, Elvira Oeberg from Sweden won ahead of Lisa Vittozzi from Italy. Third place went to KinetiXx athlete Julia Simon.
Today, Sunday, the last two mass starts of the year 2022 were scheduled. The start was in much better and visibly faster conditions. So there was nothing standing in the way of an exciting race day.
At noon the starting signal for the men's race sounded. After four Norwegians were able to break away from the field in the meantime, Johannes Dale won ahead of compatriot Laegreid and Boe. Laegreid was the first to start the last lap, but Dale showed an extremely strong final lap and was able to overtake Laegreid shortly before the finish.
A few hours later the start signal sounded for the women's mass start. Austria's Lisa Theresa Hauser won the race with a 12-second advantage over France's Julia Simon and Anais Chevalier-Bouchet and secured the day's victory. Fifth was Sophie Chauveau from France with another strong performance. Chauveau secured, shortly before Christmas, her best placings in the World Cup so far.
After the Christmas holidays and the turn of the year the new biathlon - year starts on the Slovenian Pokljuka.
Pictures K.Voigt Photography