BiathlonBiathlon CanadaNewsRacingUS BiathlonUS Ski TeamWorld CupSaturday Rundown: La Clusaz, Nove Mesto & Rossland (Updated x3)

FasterSkier FasterSkierDecember 17, 2016
Susan Dunklee (US Biathlon) after achieving fourth place on Saturday for a personal-best pursuit result at the IBU World Cup in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic. (Photo: USBA/NordicFocus)
Susan Dunklee (US Biathlon) after achieving fourth place on Saturday for a personal-best pursuit result at the IBU World Cup in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic. (Photo: USBA/NordicFocus)

Welcome to The Rundown, your quick primer of need-to-know information about the day’s racing. We’ll be updating this digest as the day goes on with additional results, photos and quotes. The Rundown is NOT a race report; stay tuned for complete race reports later today with interviews from the day’s top racers.

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IBU World Cup in Nove Mesto: 10/12.5 k pursuits

[UPDATE] Third one day, fourth the next. That’s the streak Susan Dunklee (US Biathlon) is riding after notching her third career podium on Friday in the women’s sprint, followed by a fourth place in the women’s 10-kilometer pursuit on Saturday in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic.

Dunklee posted the fastest range time and third-fastest shooting time overall and shot 18 for 20 (0+1+1+0) en route to fourth (Dunklee’s best pursuit result), 28 seconds behind France’s Anaïs Chevalier, who won in 30:38.1 minutes. Italy’s Dorothea Wierer landed on the podium in second (+9.5) and Friday’s sprint winner, Tatiana Akimova of Russia, placed third (+19.4). Chevalier missed just one in the first prone stage (1+0+0+0) to improve on her second-place sprint finish on Friday, which was her first podium. Wierer rose from seventh at the start to second with two penalties (0+1+1+0) and Akimova had just one miss on the first stage as well (1+0+0+0).

Canada’s Julia Ransom tied her career best by racing to her first top 20 of the season in 19th (+1:48.5) after starting 26th. She cleaned three straight stages (0+0+0+1), and skied into 18th after the third and fourth stages, before losing one place to Norway’s Marte Olsbu (19th, +1:47.2) at the finish.

Also for Biathlon Canada, Rosanna Crawford finished 32nd (+2:51.8), up from 37th at the start, with two penalties (1+0+1+0). Megan Tandy finished 57th (+5:32.7) with five penalties (1+1+0+3), after starting 44th.

American Joanne Reid slipped two spots to 54th (+4:29) with two misses (1+0+1+0).

According to the provisional start list for Sunday’s mass start, Dunklee will be the lone North American woman competing.

US Biathlon’s Lowell Bailey raced from 20th at the start to ninth at the finish, 1:22.1 minutes behind French winner Martin Fourcade, for his best result of the season in the men’s 12.5 k pursuit.

The first starter with a two-second head start, Fourcade hit 19 of 20 targets and cleaned the last two shooting stages (0+1+0+0) to win the second-straight men’s race in Nove Mesto. Russia’s Anton Shipulin, who started second, ended up second again at the finish (+30.2) after a penalty on each of the last two stages (0+0+1+1). France’s Quentin Fillon Maillet and Germany’s Simon Schempp both cleaned all four stages (0+0+0+0) and battled to the very end in a fight for third. Fillon Maillet took third place by one-tenth of a second, 38.3 seconds behind Fourcade, while Schempp finished fourth (+38.4).

Bailey steadily picked off places throughout the race with just two penalties (1+0+1+0), and after leaving the range for the last time in 11th, he moved up two more spots on the final loop to place ninth for his first individual top 10 of the season.

Canada’s Scott Gow finished 40th (+3:31.2) after starting 18th, with a total of three penalties (0+2+1+0). Brendan Green moved up slightly from 54th at the start to 52nd (+5:30.6) with five penalties (1+0+3+1), and American Russell Currier was lapped.

Bailey was listed as the lone North American on the provisional start list for Sunday’s men’s mass start.

Results: WomenMen 

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FIS Cross-Country World Cup in La Clusaz: 10/15 k freestyle mass starts

The men's 15 k freestyle mass start podium on Saturday at the World Cup in La Clusaz, France, with Norway's Finn Hågen Krogh (c) in first, Martin Johnsrud Sundby (l) in second, and Russia's Alexander Legkov (r) in third. (Photo: FIS Cross-Country/Twitter)
The men’s 15 k freestyle mass start podium on Saturday at the World Cup in La Clusaz, France, with Norway’s Finn Hågen Krogh (c) in first, Martin Johnsrud Sundby (l) in second, and Russia’s Alexander Legkov (r) in third. (Photo: FIS Cross-Country/Twitter)

It was a good day for Alex Harvey of the Canadian men’s team as well as Dahria Beatty of Canada’s women’s team, and for the U.S., Erik Bjornsen, Rosie Brennan and Liz Stephen, all of which landed in the top 30 in La Clusaz, France. Two U.S. favorites, Jessie Diggins and Sadie Bjornsen did not start the freestyle mass starts due to illness.

Harvey raced to seventh in the men’s 15-kilometer freestyle mass start, finishing 26 seconds behind Norwegian winner Finn Hågen Krogh. The big news of the day was Krogh beating his teammate and reigning overall World Cup champion Martin Johnsrud Sundby by 0.3 seconds in 34:09.3. Sundby won the last two distance races: a 15 k classic pursuit in Lillehammer, Norway, and 30 k freestyle last weekend in Davos Switzerland.

While Sundby had to settle for second on Saturday, he held off Russia’s Alexander Legkov, who placed third, 3.1 seconds behind Krogh.

Russia had two in the top five with Sergey Ustiugov in fifth (+25.3), behind Norway’s Didrik Tønseth in fourth (+12.1). Right behind Ustiugov, Finland’s Matti Heikkinen placed sixth (+25.4), 0.6 seconds ahead of Harvey in seventh.

Erik Bjornsen led the U.S. men with his first top 20 of the season and second-best result of his career, placing 20th (+1:02.3). (He had previously finished 18th in a 15 k classic in February 2014.) Two weekends ago in Lillehammer, Bjornsen placed 24th in the classic sprint.

Noah Hoffman finished 49th (+2:14.6) and Eric Packer was 66th (+4:12.5) for the U.S. Canada’s Knute Johnsgaard placed 63rd (+3:50.1), while Andy Shields was lapped for 70th place, Devon Kershaw did not finish, and Len Valjas didn’t start.

The all-Norwegian women's 10 k freestyle mass start podium at the La Clusaz World Cup in France, with winner Heidi Weng (c), runner-up Marit Bjørgen (l), and Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (r) in third. (Photo: FIS Cross-Country/Twitter)
The all-Norwegian women’s 10 k freestyle mass start podium at the La Clusaz World Cup in France, with winner Heidi Weng (c), runner-up Marit Bjørgen (l), and Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (r) in third. (Photo: FIS Cross-Country/Twitter)

In the women’s 10 k freestyle mass start, Heidi Weng outlasted her Norwegian teammate Marit Bjørgen by 2.1 seconds for first, crossing the finish line in 23:43.5. Bjørgen placed second and it was an all-Norwegian podium with Ingvild Flugstad Østberg in third, 0.8 seconds behind Bjørgen and 2.9 seconds after Weng.

Rosie Brennan was the top U.S. woman in 22nd (+1:31.9) for her first top 30 this season and Liz Stephen was next across the line in 23rd (+1:36.5). Kikkan Randall placed 36th (+2:10.6), and Caitlin Patterson 37th (+2:12.7).

Canada’s Dahria Beatty landed in the points for her second-straight race and notched her best distance result in 26th (+1:38.7), Cendrine Browne was 41st (+2:32.3), Emily Nishikawa 48th (+2:52.4), and Sophie Carrier-Laforte 59th (+5:59.8).

Results: Men | Women

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NorAm Mini Tour in Rossland: Freestyle sprints

Andy Newell and Erika Flowers celebrated their reunion in Rossland with a couples victory in the freestyle technique sprints today. The Stratton Mountain School (SMS) Elite Team couple is racing in the NorAm as a bonus race before their Christmas break in Bozeman, Mont.

Flowers, who was second in the interval start on Friday, won the A-final in 3:15.65, 0.44 seconds ahead of AWCA’s Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt. Nakkertok’s Katherine Stewart-Jones was 7.09 seconds back, just 0.04 seconds ahead of yesterday’s winner, Chelsea Holmes of APU.

On the men’s side, Newell won comfortably in 2:44.81 after winning the qualifier and each heat.  Black Jack’s own Julien Locke was second, 1.05 seconds back.  Yesterday’s winner, NTDC Thunder Bay’s Evan Palmer-Charrette was third, 0.05 seconds behind Locke.

Sunday, the mini tour wraps up with a classic pursuit, where the leader after two days starts first and everyone else chases with the first person at the finish line winning the overall.

“Starting at the front tomorrow,” Palmer-Charrette wrote, “the plan is quite simple, stay there!! I’ll have some nerves on the start line knowing there’s a group of guys hunting me down so the big focus is to ski smooth and stay relaxed.”

On the women’s side with larger gaps, Holmes shared the most interesting race plan.

“My strategy for tomorrow is… no surprise here… I think the expression is to go out ‘like a bat out of hell’ and do my best. It will be a hard race any which way — for sure!”

Results

FasterSkier is seeking photos from this weekend’s NorAm. Submit yours with caption and credit info to info@fasterskier.com.

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