Fourcade on track for World Record

The IBU World Cup remained in Germany for the 5th competition of the season. The action took place at the Chiemgau Arena in Ruhpolding, deep in the Bavarian Alps and close to the border with Austria. This venue is famous for fast tracks and a sheltered shooting range, and conditions were ideal with 30cm of fresh snow on the course.

IBU world cup biathlon, relay women, Ruhpolding (GER)

The ELEY sponsored French Biathlon Team have been on the up this season. With eight wins Martin Fourcade has set new standards of endurance, tenacity and skill to lead the field by 284 points. His sights were firmly set on increasing his medal tally, and getting ever closer to the World Record of 12 wins in one season.

The French women were first to stand on the podium. The Relay team took second place with seven spare shots remaining, splitting the difference between Germany in first and Norway in third, who did well to recover from a collision in the second leg. On the final hill France’s Aymonier overtook the Norwegian Olsbu to snatch the Silver medal; Aymonier said: “I was fighting till the end, especially when I saw it was possible to catch Olsbu. I am very happy about our second place”.

IBU world cup biathlon, pursuit men, Ruhpolding (GER)

Fourcade then took to the tracks for the Men’s Sprint. Conditions were ideal with light wind and snow, setting the stage for an exciting match in front of a packed arena. Martin was happy to let others take an early lead, calmly hitting all his targets in both Standing and Prone. He then exploited his renowned ski speed to set an unbeatable pace, accelerating towards the finish line for the Gold medal.

The weather worsened for the Men’s Pursuit match. Heavy snow had fallen on the 12.5km course making progress difficult. Martin took advantage of his 18 second lead and shot clean in Prone to extend it to a full minute. Three misses in the second loop let Svendsen into first place, but Martin stayed close behind, hit all his final targets, and skied away take first place on the podium - his tenth of the season so far.

The Women’s Pursuit match followed soon after. Finland’s Makarainen had an unassailable lead following her earlier win in Sprint, and she only picked up one penalty on the way to victory. The in-form Czech Koukalova took second, and France’s Marie Dorin Habert was third. The German favourite Laura Dahlmeier was only 0.7 seconds behind Marie, but the French biathlete just held on to take the final place on the podium.

With one more World Cup to go before the World Championships in February, the pressure will be on Martin Fourcade to continue his winning streak. With a total score of 730 and his nearest competitor on 446, his dominance this season is beyond question. The ELEY team are looking forward to watching Martin challenge for the Record at the IBU World Cup 6 in Antholz-Anterselva, Italy.