Exciting end sprint in the women’s mass start in Ruhpolding

“Don’t worry, the others have the same problems,” is what Laura Dahlmeier’s trainer said to motivate her, but in the end, it was not quite enough.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Compared to the strong Finnish skier Kaisa Makarainen there was no chance.

After the last bout at the range, Rosanna Crawford entered the track for the final round with 4 x 0, but Veronika Vitkova, Kaisa Makarainen and Laura Dahlmeier were close behind. At 11.8 km, the point came where the duo Makarainen/Dahlmeier flew by the others. Quickly it became clear that the victory would belong to one of them. Both had excellent equipment so tactical finesse was required on the winding track. In the final spurt, the Finnish athlete was sufficiently ahead to win her first gold of the season and also take the yellow jersey for Antholz.

Veronika Vitkova from the Czech Republic won third place ahead of the Canadian Rosanna Crawford who who came in fourth and had shot flawlessly again. Denise Herrmann placed fifth even though she had to complete four penalty loops.

The winner was overjoyed, “I thought I would lose against Laura again in the end spurt, and that if I was lucky, I could catch the inner curve, and it worked. The protection from the wind at the last bridge also helped me gather more speed in the last incline. But we were pretty much on par.”

Denise Herrmann was also very happy with her top results, but admitted that her legs were tired saying, “The fans here carry you up the incline and I enjoyed every meter on the track.”

According to the national trainer Gerald Hönig, the races in Ruhpolding were once again the best imaginable advertisement for biathlon. We showed that we are in the running and that, in addition to winning a place on the podium, we achieved a top team result”.