Roman Reis (Germany), Johannes Cohn (Germany), Philipp Norath (Germany), Benedict Doll (Ger), (lr)
Norway follows the men’s Biathlon World Cup wins in Östersund ahead of the French team. After a great fight, Benedict Doll prevailed in the final round and took third place in the German men’s relay. The little crystal ball goes unchallenged to Norway after five wins in five competitions.
Norway is convincing even without the Bo brothers
The men’s team from Norway satisfied with Andre Stromsheim, Vibjoern Sorum, Johannes Dale and Vittel Segastad Christiansen in the final relay competition of the season even without the absence of the Bo brothers due to illness. FAI Cup winners Andre Stromsheim and Verbbjorn Sorum joined the squad to feature Johannes Thingens-Boy and Tarje Boy. The two led the Norwegian squadron to the summit. The lead was never in danger, and last runner Vettel Sgastad Christiansen brought home the win safely. After seven pit stops, Christiansen crossed the finish line, leading France by 22.5 seconds. Oscar Lombardo, Antonin Gigonat, Eric Pirro and Fabien Claude remained at close range until the decisive attack. After a penalty loop from the last position, the gap between the leading Norwegians became too great and the French had to be content with silver. The German team, with Roman Reis, Johannes Kuhn, Philipp Norath and Benedict Doll, has had its ups and downs. After a temporary lead, the train appeared to have left after a penalty loop. Philip Norath did not give up and once again brought the relay back into battle for the podium, also because other relays lost their feathers. With great fighting spirit, strong nerves in the shooting range and a strong final loop, Benedict Dol brought the German men’s relay (1 penalty loop / 10 spare rounds) to third place. The Swedish team did not succeed in climbing to the podium in the men’s relay competitions at the World Cup on its land. After 10 pits, Jesper Nelin, Malte Stefansson, Martin Ponsiluoma and Peppe Femling are fourth behind Germany, ahead of Ukraine (4 pits) and Austria (10 pits) with Dominic Unterweger, Simon Eder, David Komatz and Patrick Jakob .
Roman Reis leads a German squadron to the summit
In the prone position, the first ten finishers were cleaned up and Roman Reis was among them. Michel Krkmar of the Czech Republic was ahead of Sweden’s Jesper Nlin and Canadian Christian Gao. Nine riders stood at the same time and the Czech remained in front, ahead of Andre Stromsheim and Italy’s Daniele Cappellari. Roman Reis fired the first shot late, but after five clean strokes he dropped five seconds back in fifth place on the final loop. The three-man team with the Czech Republic, Norway and Germany came to the first exchange just short of chasers from Italy. Switzerland’s Sebastian Stalder handed fourth place to Niklas Hartwig.
Johannes Kuhn’s penalty ring
On the first loop, young Norwegian Vibjorn Sorum took the lead, Johannes Kuhn quickly caught up to him and eventually went down first, but missed two shots and used his three spares. Meanwhile, Niklas Hartwig cleared his discs and took the lead ahead of Canada and Norway. Johannes Kuhn got back on track in seventh place, 27.7 seconds behind. With Stalder and Hartweg, Switzerland put the most successful runners of the moment in the first positions and Hartweg maintained his lead with a solid lap. Niklas Hartwig, Adam Ranulls, Vibbjorn Sorum and Didier Bionaz were among the top four on the standing shooting range and Hartwig and Sorum were back on top on the final loop. The three spares for Johannes Kuhn weren’t enough for two missed goals and he had to make a penalty kick loop. Over a minute later, he was back on the trail in twelfth. At the front, the Norwegian was really starting to go and push him away from Niklas Hartwig.
Philip Norat is catching up
Johannes Dale took the lead, 13.3 seconds ahead of Swiss Seraphine Westner. Canada was still in third place, ahead of Italy and France. Philippe Nourat came into the race in tenth place, 1:02 minutes behind, and was initially able to act defensively. With absolutely no wind, Johannes Dale entered the mat and put the final shots beside the targets. The Swiss Wiestner needed a spare and went with Dale to the next round. Philippe Nourat performed flawlessly on the shooting range to move up to seventh place, but the gap was reduced from over a minute to just 25.6 seconds. Norway, Switzerland and France took the first place in the standing podium. Eric Biro cleaned him up quickly, followed by Swede Martin Boncelloma and behind them the Norwegian Dale and the Swiss Vestner. Nawrath also had to reload twice while standing and was seventh at the start of the last lap with a time of 37.8 seconds.
Powerful performance from Benedict Doll
Changing direction, the Swede took the lead and the last two runners started the race at the same time as Norway. Switzerland and France were still within 13 seconds of the race. Austria came in fifth, followed by Germany. Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen quickly took the lead and cleared Swede Femling. France and Switzerland followed in a two-pack, and Benedict Doll teamed up with Austrian Patrick Jacob, however, Doll lost out to Norway’s leading change-up to split first. Despite the spare parts, Christiansen stayed ahead. Fabien Claude was also unhurt in the prone position and reduced the difference to only 2.2 seconds, followed by Swede Wemling in third place. Benedikt Doll put together a safe five-man streak to move into fourth place, 44.3 seconds back. Switzerland’s Dagan Danuser invested valuable time on the shooting range, but he avoided the impending penalty loop and stayed on the edges of the skiing in Benedict Doll. In the encounter, Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen celebrated the equaliser, but alongside Fabien Claude had major problems and had to run a penalty loop. However, he was the first chaser of the speeding Norwegian. Meanwhile, Benedikt Doll was also on the shooting range and realized that Swede Peppe Femling had also stumbled. With the last reserve, he avoided the imminent punishment loop while wasting valuable time. Benedikt Doll could have made it easier for himself in the penalty ring, but his goals didn’t fall either. After two spares, he finally left the shooting range, just 2.4 seconds behind the Swede. Doll still had enough reserves, launched a powerful attack and overtook the Swede, who could no longer pursue him. Switzerland’s Djan Danuser kept the lead on the run, but then had to pay tribute at his standing position and conceded two penalties. In the end, the Swiss team finished seventh.
Ultimate mass start prospects
Dennis Hermann-Wicke, Vanessa Voigt, and Hannah Kippinger are also heavily qualified for the final collegiate start. Anna Weidel is currently the first reserve and Felix Peterling, sports director of biathlon at the German Ski Federation, hopes that Anna Weidel will continue to slide into the starting field. All six Germans are eligible to join the men’s. “Setting goals is definitely the same as the last few days. We want to continue the positive trend and definitely attack the podium,” says Felix Petterling.
Men’s relay result
The rest of the contest program is here
© Photos 1-43: Manzoni / NordicFocus;
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