OBERHOF, Germany â€” Marie Dorin Habert won the women’s 10-kilometre pursuit for a French double and Gabriela Koukalova seized the overall lead in the biathlon World Cup on Saturday.
In windy and difficult conditions with snow falling, Dorin Habert missed just two targets, in prone and standing, and finished 38.8 seconds ahead of Koukalova, who started first after winning the sprint on Friday.
The Czech biathlete missed three targets but took advantage of former leader Laura Dahlmeier’s absence to move to first in the standings.
Kaisa Makarainen of Finland also benefited, moving to second overall after finishing third in Oberhof, 1:19.1 back with four penalties.
Koukalova leads with 419 points from 10 events, followed by Makarainen on 414 and Dahlmeier on 410. The German decided to skip the racing in Oberhof after saying she needed a rest.
Rosanna Crawford of Canmore, Alta., held on for 22nd place with a time of 38:21.2.
“I am happy to have stayed in the top-25 but the skiing was rough,” said Crawford. “The girls were crushing me on the first climb. Luckily I had some really great skis from the techs again today, and was able to catch some time back on the downhills and flats. The potential was there for a really great race even with four misses, but my ski speed has been holding me back.”
Earlier, Martin Fourcade of France won the men’s 12.5-kilometre pursuit to stretch his comfortable lead in the standings with his eighth victory of the season.
Dorin Habert said later she was inspired by her compatriot’s win.
“I watched the race with Martin, he is just so powerful,” Dorin Habert said.
Fourcade, the five-time defending champion, missed just one target and beat Arnd Peiffer by 1:09.9. The German missed three targets.
Dominik Windisch of Italy was third, 1:32.4 back with five missed targets, ahead of Norway’s Emil Hegle Svendsen and Germany’s Erik Lesser, both also penalized three times.
Fourcade leads with 562 points, then Anton Shipulin on 352. The Russian finished 16th in Oberhof with five missed targets.
Calgary’s Scott Gow was the lone Canadian to start in the men’s 12.5-kilometre pursuit. Starting in 43rd place, Gow dropped two spots to 45th at 42:31.4 (1+1+2+3).
The mass start races are scheduled for Sunday.
The Associated Press