Tim Burke made history this morning as the first American to lead the overall IBU World Cup points list. Burke started in 8th place in today’s pursuit ranked second, but skiied with fire to end the race in 6th - enough to bump Christoph Suman (AUT) off the top of the leaders list and take the coveted yellow leaders jersey.
Today’s 12.5 km pursuit was the third of three races in Pokluka, Slovenia
Burke had three penalties in a race which saw some very inconsistent shooting results from the top of the field. He shot clean in the first two stages and then collected two penalties in the third and one in the fourth stage to finish 25 seconds behind the leading pack of five racers.
The lead pack of 5 racers finished within 12.6 seconds of each other. Evgeny Ustyugov (RUS), with two penalties, took the days race by 9 seconds over Roland Lessing (EST) who started in 16th and shot cleanly in all four stages. Simon Eder (AUT) had two penalties to place 3rd. In 4th and 5th were Dominik Landertinger (AUT) and Arnd Peiffer (GEF) with a photo finish. Landertinger had a whopping six penalties but still managed to hang on to 4th place after starting in 2nd and Peiffer moved up from his 9th place start with just one penalty.
U.S. racers Jeremy Teela, starting in 26th, and Lowell Bailey, starting in 38th, finished in 31st and 50th respectively.
Canada’s Jean Phillipe Leguellec had a smoking race, pulling himself from 35th to 13th with two penalties and finishing just over a minute from the top of the field.
In the women’s race, Russia’s Svetlana Sleptsova kept her first place spot and won with a 36 second cushion over the rest of the field. over Magdalena Neuner of Germany took second, swapping starting places with Anna Bogliy-Titovets (RUS) by shooting one less penalty.
Zina Kocher of Canada, who started in 10th place this morning, had an amazing race and a perfect shooting record to finish just 23.2 seconds off the podium in 4th place.