After excellent pursuit race results of the German men’s team in the current world cup season, it was expected to see a German on the podium at the Worlds men’s pursuit race. But unfortunately it became a disaster. Filbrich and Angerer placed only 14th and 17th as the two best Germans. Sommerfeld and Teichman were far behind as 28th and 30th.
Already on the classic leg of the race a small group of 4 skiers with Mikhail Botvinov (Austria), Martin Bajcicak (Slovakia), Frode Estil (Norway) and Anders Soedergren (Sweden) managed to build a lead and reached the change area together. Jens Filbrich was part of the third group chasing the leaders.
On the skate leg it was the Frenchman Vittoz who caught the leading group fairly quick after being 28 seconds behind on the classic leg. He left no doubt that he was the man of the day on the skate leg and set the pace. Other skiers managed to catch up with the leading group as well, then consisting of nine skiers. Vittoz attacted at the last climb. Only the Italien Di Centa and the Norwegian Estil could follow him. Vittoz dominated the sprint to the finish to become new pursuit world champion. Di Centa got silver and Estil bronze.
Jens Filbrich placed 14th as the best German that day. He had to ski at his limits on the classic leg und had no energy left to close the gap to the leading group. Tobias Angerer, known as a strong skater, could pass a couple of skiers on the skate leg, but at the end he placed only 17th. Rene Sommerfeld and Axel Teichman were with 2:40 minutes and 3:28 minutes way behind. They reported that they had really bad kick on the classic lap, but as Filbrich and Angerer were way better on their classic part of the race, the skis might not have been the only reason for the disappointing results.
[Translated from xc-ski.com on 02/21/05]