Martin Fourcade Takes Ruhpolding Sprint
|12.01.2013, Ruhpolding / IBU Info JK|
|Back from Shoulder Injury|
|France’s Martin Fourcade confirmed that he was fully recovered from his shoulder injury by winning the men’s sprint at Ruhpolding tonight, with clean shooting and a convincing 23:51.5. Russia’s Evgeny Ustyugov also shot clean, but finished 16.4 seconds back. Another Russian, Andrei Makoveev finished third, also with clean shooting, 33 seconds back.
Fourth went to Emil Hegle Svendsen of Norway, with one penalty, 39.1 seconds back. Dmitry Malyshko of Russia, with one penalty finished just one-tenth-of-a second behind Svendsen in fifth. Sixth went to Norway’s Lars Birkeland, with clean shooting. 44.3 seconds back.
No Snow; Windless Evening
Snow most of the day again, but just as with the women’s sprint last night, the snow stopped early, giving way to clear, windless conditions for the men.
With no wind on the shooting range, clean prone shooting was the order of the day. Early starters Boe, Svendsen, and Schempp all dropped the prone targets with ease.
Fourcade was still waiting to start when the early starters headed for standing. Svendsen had a penalty; Boe was clean as was Schempp. But only Svendsen was fast enough to have a shot at the podium. Ustyugov looked like a winner until Fourcade hit the tracks. The Russian Olympic Gold medalist had two top six results in Oberhof, so there was no question about his fitness. He cleaned both stages with authority, was in the lead after standing and at the finish with a 22.7 second lead over Svendsen.
However, the Yellow/Red Bib-wearing Fourcade would have a reply to Ustyugov’s big lead. He was 3.5 seconds faster than the Russian after cleaning prone. He extended that lead to 13 seconds after an impressive clean standing stage. From that point, it was just a matter of how big his victory would be. He added a few more seconds by the finish line to confirm his return from the shoulder injury. From that point on, no one was able to come close to Fourcade and he had his third victory of the season.
Mine to Win or Lose
Fourcade was pleased with his win tonight, "After shooting clean in prone, I felt that the race was mine to win or lose. It was almost a perfect biathlon race...When my coach told me that I had a 16 second lead, I knew that victory was mine."
When asked about his shoulder, he smiled and said that it was "no problem anymore."
Ustyugov was more than please to be on the podium. "I was always in the top ten for most of the season so far; being here in second place is big weight off my shoulders."
Makoveev also said that today was a big step for him. "Until today I was not happy with my season but I hope the rest of the season goes better now."
Mass start competitions close this World Cup week with the women at 13:00 followed by the men at 15:30.