Following Friday’s victory in the sprint, he was also unbeatable in the pursuit - Although not everything went according to plan for the Norwegian.
Johannes Thingnes Bø only had one faultless shooting session on Saturday, but his undisputed supremacy remained unchallenged. The 25-year-old, who has been living and training in the Norwegian winter sports Mecca of Lillehammer for many years, simply made all fellow competitors in the cross-country ski track look ancient. Despite three shooting errors Bø crossed the finish with a clear 34.8 seconds lead. Like last year, the Scandinavian has already won two races in the Südtirol Arena - and on Sunday, he will even start in the mass start as the favourite. Five times he already stood on the podium in Anterselva.
With this success - the eleventh in the 14 races of the season - Bø further extended his lead in the overall World Cup. His closest challengers today were the biathletes from France. A total of four of them came in in second to fifth place. “The best of the rest” was Antonin Guigonnat, who had already achieved a third place in the sprint. Behind him, Quentin Fillon Maillet also made it into the top 3. Their team mates Simon Desthieux and Martin Fourcade were relegated to fourth and fifth place.
Lukas Hofer again in the top ten
The best skier in the Italian team was once again Lukas Hofer. The athlete from Montal, who has delivered such a constant performance this winter, scored his sixth place in the top ten in the current season. After eighth place on Friday, Hofer, who recently developed to be a very strong runner, impressed with ninth place. He scored three misses in the shooting range. The same fate befell his team mate Dominik Windisch, who confirmed his improving form coming in in eleventh place. The third Italian in the team, Thomas Bormolini, collected numerous points in 19th place.
On Sunday the Anterselva World Cup week concludes with the women’s mass start (12:45 pm) and the men’s mass start (3:30 pm).
Comments on the race:
Johannes Thingnes Bø (NOR), 1st place: “I went at a high pace over the full distance, had no periods of weakness. In the end I could even slow down a little and conserve some energy. This will be necessary for tomorrow, because with each victory, the pressure grows. I want to extend this successful series further - and for that, I have to improve tomorrow in the shooting range.”
Antonin Guigonnat (FRA), 2nd place: “Two podium places in two races? This is a fantastic week for me. I feel really good in this track. In the shooting range I had some luck during several attempts, and you need that in some situations.”
Quentin Fillon Maillet (FRA), 3rd place: “It simply was the most incredible finish. At first we were four French biathletes, in the finish we were only two, and in the end I managed to just scrape into third place in the final battle. In that moment, you don’t recognise any friends anymore, you just keep your eyes focused on the goal.”
Biathlon World Cup in Alterselva (ITA): Men, Pursuit race 12.5 km
1. Johannes Thingnes Bø (NOR) 31:33,7 minutes (3 errors)
2. Antonin Guigonnat (FRA) +34,8 (1)
3. Quentin Fillon Maillet (FRA) +40,6 (2)
4. Simon Desthieux (FRA) +40,6 (2)
5. Martin Fourcade (FRA) +50,9 (3)
6. Arnd Peiffer (GER) +56,7 (2)
7. Alexander Loginov (RUS) +57,5 (1)
8. Simon Eder (AUT) +1.29,9 (2)
9. Lukas Hofer (ITA/Montal) +1.40,5 (3)
10. Lars Helge Birkeland (NOR) +1.49,4 (3)
11. Dominik Windisch (ITA/Rasen) +1.52,3 (3)
19. Thomas Bormolini (ITA) +2.33,0 (1)