Will Fourcade keep the lead in the overall World Cup standings? Wirrer, Eckhoff or Oeberg? – who will take the Crystal Globe from women? What are the long-term bets to look out for before the last two stages of the season?
Only two stages remain to be held in the Biathlon World Cup. The eighth stage will take place in Kontiolahti from 12 to 15 March. Following in the Norwegian Holmenkollen from 20 to 23 March, the owners of all trophies of the current season will be finally determined.
In the 2019/2020 season, intrigues remain for men and women two stages before the end. There are no prominent leaders. For men, the top 3 with Martin Fourcade, Johannes Tinguez Boe and Quentin Fillon Maillet is in the 53 point range. In the women’s competition for the Crystal Globe, Dorothea Wierer leads with 776 points, followed by Tiril Eckhoff (707 points) and Hannah Eberg (705 points). As a reminder, the worst races in each discipline will not be taken into account when determining the final positions.
Johannes Boe came close to Martin Fourcade
Back in the fall, it was known that Johannes Boe will miss two stages of the World Cup due to the birth of a child in his family. Martin Fourcade had excellent chances to break away in the overall World Cup. And the French biathlete performed excellently in Oberhof and Ruhpolding, winning four personal races. There is already a gap in the overall World Cup.
The seventh stage in Czech Nove Mesto again returned the intrigue to the opposition of biathletes. Boe won the sprint and mass start. Fourcade finished in sixth position in the sprint, and was only 14th in the mass start. As a result, before the eighth stage in Kontiolahti, the gap between the French biathlete and Bo is only 43 points. Under certain circumstances, after this stage, Johannes can regain his leadership.
The preconditions that Fourcade would not be able to hold on to the first position were noticeable during the stage in Nove Mesto. In the sprint, Bo shot back to zero, Fkrkad had one penalty loop. The lag was more than a minute. In the mass start, both biathletes made three misses. However, this did not stop Boe from finishing in first place, and Fourcade only in 14th. Martin flinched again at the last shooting range, with two penalties.
Everything was not so with Martin in Nove Mesto: a broken stick in the sprint, terrible work of skis in the mass start. After the races, one should pay tribute to Fourcade, who bluntly stated that he would not throw a stone in the direction of the servicemen. The biathlete himself is already setting himself up to fight for the Crystal Globe:
“I am disappointed and prefer to think about the future. I’m not going to cry, at the wrong age. It’s part of the sport. It happens that success is on our side, but this weekend it was not so for me. I hope everything will be different in a week. ”
I would like to believe, of course, but in general, at the moment, Beo has seized the initiative in this duel in all respects, from the work of the same servicers to self-confidence and self-confidence.
In the 2018/2019 season, the Kontiolahti stage was not held, and at the home stage in Holmenkollen, Boe won all three personal races: sprint, pursuit and mass start. Fourcade finished that season ahead of schedule and did not run in Norway.
Separately, we would like to point out the third in the overall standings of the World Cup Quentin Fillon Maillet . The biathlete is 53 points behind his compatriot in the overall standings. Kanten finished last season in third place in the fight for the Crystal Globe. Judging by the results in Nove Mesto, Fillon Maillet still has strength at the end of the season. Don’t write off his accounts. In the sprint, it was Kanten who was second after Boe and kept the intrigue, not allowing the Norwegian to relax.
Trio of leaders among women: the fun is just beginning
For the second season in a row, with a high degree of probability, the fate of the Crystal Globe for women will be decided in the final races. Before the stage in Kontiolahti, there were three contenders for victory:
Dorothea Wierer – 776 points
Tiril Eckhoff – 707 points
Hannah Eberg – 705 points
Last year’s owner of the Crystal Globe, Dorothea Wierer, has a certain supply. However, Tiril Eckhoff, with her excellent track speed, is capable of a lot. The main thing is not to completely fail in shooting. In the last race in Nove Mesto, the Norwegian biathlete won the mass start with one penalty and significantly surpassed Wirrer and Oeberg on the track. Potentially in each of the races, one extra miss in comparison with rivals is not an obstacle for Tiril.
Separately, we note the statistics of the performances of Wierer, Eckhoff and Eberg at the final stages of the World Cup in the previous two seasons.
Dorothea Wierer – not a single hit in personal races, even in the top 5
Tiril Eckhoff – twice in the top 10 in five personal races
Hannah Eberg – never finished in the top 10
Season 2018/2019 (excluding the World Cup in Ostersund, only the final stage in Holmenkollen)
Dorothea Wierer – did not rise above 11th position in three races
Tiril Eckhoff finished all three home races in the top 10
Hannah Oeberg wins mass start and third place in pursuit
Interestingly, last season Hannah Oeberg performed more successfully than current rivals at the home world championship, which was held in March. Perhaps we will see exactly Eberg at the end of the season as the owner of the Crystal Globe. Last season I was fifth overall. Hannah’s tangible progress, the reserve of strength still remains at the end of the season. Of the three favorites, Oeberg has a balanced performance both in shooting and speed on the track.
Undoubtedly, the outcome of the 2019/2020 Biathlon World Cup is expected to be interesting and unpredictable. The main thing is that the notorious coronavirus does not interfere. In Nove Mesto the races were held without fans. It is already known that no press conferences will be held in Kontiolahti. In our special section, the latest biathlon forecasts are regularly published for each race.