With a trio of Frenchmen in the lead during the second round after the first prone shot, we started dreaming. Was this mass star from Ruhpolding finally going to break the total domination of Johannes Boe and Norway this season? Three shots later, the answer is no. Large leader of the World Cup, winner of 8 of the 11 events this season before the start, Boe was once again imperial.
Three shooting errors (1 lying, 2 standing) did not even allow his opponents to hope. Only his compatriot Vetle Christiansen was able to worry him, briefly. The latter, thanks to a faultless last shot, was in the lead with a six-second lead when approaching the last lap. It would have taken him a lot more to hope to win since Boe won with a 19-second margin at the finish.
Jacquelin first of the “rest of the world”
Christiansen preserved his second place ahead of two other Norwegians Sturla Laegreid and Tarjei Boe. Behind this quadruple, it is the Frenchman Emilien Jacquelin who finishes first for the “rest of the world” 49 seconds from the winner. Author of two shooting errors (in the second and third), he finished strong in the last loop on skis to snatch this top 5. At the finish, he was above all satisfied to have been able to overcome a problem on the second shot where he saw a bullet eject from the magazine when putting it into the rifle. he lost fifteen to twenty seconds on this episode and could have claimed the podium without this incident. A feat when he had just returned from a short break started on January 6 after his 64th place in the sprint in Pokljuka (SLO).
“It does me a lot of good,” he enjoyed explaining about his problem: “There was apprehension to come back on a mass start, on the two lying shots, I felt that my gestures were feverish. On the 2nd I have a bullet that came out putting the magazine on so I knew I should take a pickaxe bullet. Then she escapes me (the pickaxe ball, missed) but I managed to stay calm about the rest. I had come there conquering but telling myself that I especially wanted to take pleasure in the performance, one goes with the other and that’s how I will go to the World Cup. I am happy to have found this naturalness and this motivation. »
Also tearing away at the end, Fabien Claude takes 10th place (+1’18). He was weighed down by two errors on the first standing shot. Quentin Fillon Maillet arrives 16th after four shooting errors (3 standing). Fourth French engaged, Antonin Guillonat is 25th (5 shooting errors).
The Hulk gloves he flaunted on the podium symbolize just how crushing Boe has been this season so far. He now has 959 points in the World Cup standings, 174 better than his runner-up Laegreid. Fillon Maillet is still fourth in the standings with 434 points.
Next weekend, Antholz-Anterselva (ITA) will host a sprint and a pursuit. This will be the last stage of the World Cup before the World Championships from February 10 to 19 in Oberhof (Germany).