Martin Fourcade won the final competition of the season, with a dominating performance on the tracks in the final two loops today. He had only one penalty today, really better than yesterday. Fourcade secures the seasonal mass start title and all of this year’s crystal globes. Second went to Austria’s Dominik Landertinger while Emil Hegle Svendsen finished third.
The heavy snow continued throughout the afternoon, setting the stage for the final competition of the season. Seventeen men shot clean in the first prone stage, all leaving within 25 seconds, with Fourcade at the head of the pack. Just behind him were Shipulin and Slesingr. In the second prone, Fourcade arrived first, hit the first four shots and then missed the final one. Shipulin cleaned and took the lead followed by Svendsen and Burke. Fourcade fell 18 seconds off the pace, in seventh position. Halfway through the next loop, Fourcade was back with the leading pack of seven men.
The first standing stage broke up the top group. Shipulin and Fourcade both cleaned and left within two seconds, now 12 seconds ahead of Moravec, Eder and Garanichev. Only Shipulin had cleaned all three stages. Still, there were 10 men including Shipulin and Fourcade within 31 seconds as they headed for the final standing stage. Fourcade pushed hard to get a gap on Shipulin before the final standing stage; he had three targets down before the Russian fired his first shot. Fourcade cleaned and was away with a comfortable 32 second lead. Shipulin remained in second but was shadowed by Eder and Landertinger, with Svendsen and Burke a couple seconds behind them.
The battle was now for second and third place. After a huge battle that changed several times, Eder grabbed second with Svendsen in third, after Fourcade had leisurely done a tour of the finish area, slapping hands and grabbing a flag before crossing the finish line.
Fourcade, called this, “my best race of the season. We all knew it was the last race of the season and wanted to do well…I am very happy to join this great champion Raphael Poiree, my idol as a youth as the only person to win all of the globes.”
Landertinger attributed his team’s success to, “Perfect skis this week.” He was the best of the Austrian team this season, ending up third in the World Cup Total Score. “For me it is perfect after two bad seasons; I had a lot of good results—I am very happy to go home with this result” then he jokingly added, “I hope that next year I can run like Martin Fourcade!”
Svendsen who missed the Oslo and Sochi World Cup said he rested the last three weeks. “I wanted to have a good result in the last race. For sure my shape is the worst ever in a World Cup, I was racing with my head and not my body.”