Martin Fourcade won the sprint race just ahead of his teammate Quentin Fillon Maillet. Benedikt Doll took the third spot on the podium. For him, it was the second time on the podium after his gold medal in Le Grand-Bornand. Philipp Nawrath had sensational results: he placed 7th in his first World Cup race this season.
Typically the Norwegians dominate the sprint race at the Chiemgau-Arena. This time it was the French and a German who claimed the competition. Four French biathletes and three Germans were amongst the top nine. Only Vetle Sjastad Christiansen could wave the Norwegian colors by placing fourth. Artem Pryma brought the Ukraine into the mix coming in eighth, and his compatriot Dmytro Pidruchnyi came in tenth.
The third gold in a row for Fourcade
The big winners came from France. Martin Fourcade won for the third time in a row in Germany, which appears to be a good place for him. It seems to be easier for Fourcade to show his potential without the overpowering Johannes Thingnes Boe at his heels, especially psychologically. All of a sudden, he has confidence in himself again, which had been lost especially last season. The yellow jersey which seemed to be his second skin for so many years, and which he can now wear again, seems to give him additional confidence here in Ruhpolding. A third aspect also came into play: the difficult experience of how hard it was to get back on the winning track, the knowledge of how important it was to have familial support during that difficult time, and how nice it is to win. He said, “I could always recharge my batteries at home with my wife and kids.”
Quentin Fillon Maillet just barely beat
He had to fight hard for yesterday’s first place. He only was only three seconds ahead of his teammate Quentin Fillon Maillet. Had he not been constantly informed about his rival’s status - who raced through the final round only a few minutes earlier - who knows, maybe he could have intercepted him? But Fillon Maillet is not complaining, “In the sprint in Ruhpolding everyone fights for themselves and for every second.” This was the 27 year-old’s fourth time on the podium this season after his rather weak performance in Oberhof where he delivered his worst results this season: 19th and 16th place.
Doll hits all targets
Winning third place, Benedikt Doll stood on the podium for the second time this season. This was a repeat performance of the third place he won last year in the Chiemgau-Arena. “I am complaining at high level, because this race was nearly perfect. I probably fell behind at the range. I had to readjust once and maybe I shot too slowly.” But overall, he was fully satisfied. Shooting without an error is not something Benedikt Doll manages every time. I had a funny light feeling on my way to the range. It was so unusual that I had to remind myself to concentrate.”
A solid team performance by the German men’s team
Doll was supported by good performances by his teammates. In his first race this World Cup winter, Philipp Nawrath landed 7th place and thereby instantly met the criteria for World Championship nomination. He was not even three seconds behind the fourth place winner Christiansen. “I knew that I was in a good mood and I was totally motivated on my home track,” summarized Nesselwanger who has been living in Ruhpolding for six years.
Johannes Kühn came in only two places later. One missed target cost the local hero (who comes from nearby Tüßlingen not far from Altötting) a spot on the podium. The second debutant of the season, Roman Rees, delivered a strong race coming in 19th. Like Doll and Nawrath he did not miss a target. Arnd Peiffer missed twice in the standing position, “I was not shooting precisely. I asked myself what could happen, but it was already too late. This will bother me for a while.” Justifiably, because up until that standing postion bout, he was heading for a spot on the podium. For Philipp Horn it will be a small comfort that in 24th place he came in four places ahead of Tarjei Boe (28th). After coming in 6th in Oberhof for his best World Cup result, this was a small setback, “In Ruhpolding every missed shot cost nearly ten spots on the ranking.” Here in Ruhpolding he missed two, which basically explains the results.
With the first place, Martin Fourcade also obtained the red jersey for the discipline ranking. Simon Desthieux and Alexander Loginov are the next highest ranking.