Tim Burke wrapped up a banner season on the World Cup by finishing 16th in Saturday’s 15 k mass start event in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.
He finished 1:14 behind the winner, Austria’s Dominik Landertinger. Arnd Peiffer (GER) and 40-year-old Halvard Hanevold (NOR) were second and third.
Like in yesterday’s sprint, Burke was again one of the strongest on the course, finishing with the fifth-fastest ski time. But he couldn’t overcome four misses.
“My skiing shape was again amazing, but four misses are definitively too much to finish up front,” Burke said.
After struggling with his shooting at the Olympics and in the late-season World Cups, Burke will be spending some quality time with his rifle in the next few months.
“The current level of the men’s field is amazingly high, and you have to show a good shooting to be able to score a podium,” he said.
Despite his struggles in the second half of the season, Burke had the best season ever by a U.S. biathlete, scoring three World Cup podiums. He wore the yellow bib of overall World Cup leader in January, and ended up 14th in the standings, less than 75 points from the top ten.
Nat Herz is an Alaska-based journalist who moonlights for FasterSkier as an occasional reporter and podcast host. He was FasterSkier's full-time reporter in 2010 and 2011.