The German mixed biathlon relay also took the podium in the last World Cup race in Pokljuka. The 4×7.5 kilometer relay only arrived fifth on Sunday (08 January 2023).
Victory for France with Fabien Claude, Quentin Fillon Maillet, Anaïs Chevalier Bouchet and Julia Simon (1 penalty, 7 spares, 1h19’48.9h) ahead of Italy (0/7, +24.6 seconds) and Sweden ( 1/5, +47.2 seconds).
The German quartet of Roman Rees, Benedikt Doll, Sophia Schneider and Denise Herrmann-Wick finished fifth after two penalties and a total of eleven spare laps, 1:09.9 behind France.
Starting runner Rees moves up to third
Things were going well for the German quartet until half-time: Roman Rees, starter, had a solid run. Two spare laps in the prone position temporarily dropped the 29-year-old to 15th place. With only one reserve in the standings and, above all, the second fastest time in his race group, the Black Forester moved up the peloton. When switching to Benedikt Doll, the German squadron was in third place.
“It was such a weird and hectic race, everyone felt they had to cut you off”, Rees said after his posting on ZDF. But he was satisfied with his performance: “I felt good, the skis were fine. And I gave it my all – and it worked.”
Refreshing Wind – The doll avoids the penalty loop
The second group of men had to deal with a chilly wind. Benedikt Doll managed to avoid the penalty loop, but had to reload four times. Doll also set the second fastest lap time and gave up third place within striking distance and just 5.5 seconds behind Italian leader Tommaso Giacomel.
After the race, Doll struggled with her shot: “I also missed a lot with four spares. You don’t know what the wind is going to do. I spun. But I have no idea. I was very confused“, the 32-year-old told ZDF. However, he was able to get something good out of his race performance: “It made me want to get out on the track. I felt really good. I’ll take that with me as a positive.”
Benedikt Doll in the mixed relay
Penalties for France, Norway and Sweden
Unlike Doll and Giacomel, some of the top nations had to enter the penalty loop in the second loop. Frenchman Quentin Fillon Maillet was caught on the first shot, while Norwegian Johannes Dale and Sweden’s Martin Ponsiluoma had to shoot another 150 yards from a standing position.
Fillom Maillet in second (+5.0 seconds) and Dale (+39.9 seconds) and Ponsiluoma (+45.6 seconds) in fifth and sixth remained in contention with podium chances.
Schneider: Two penalties and fifth place
The German season then had it in the third round: Sophia Schneider experienced a prelude to oblivion in the first mixed World Cup of her career. The 25-year-old picked up two penalties while lying down and fell back to seventh place.
She was then able to show all her skills in the standing scene and shot flawlessly. When they switched to German anchor Denise Herrmann-Wick, the German stint was in fifth place – 1:31 minutes behind leader Anais Chvalier-Bouchet and around 45 seconds behind third place.
“Desperate and restless”
“Of course I feel sorry for the others. You never want to be the one taking the penalties in a stint.”Schneider said disappointed after the competition on ZDF and explained her prone position: “Unfortunately, I didn’t shoot at the shooting range. I was also desperate and agitated then. I didn’t know where I was shooting.”
Herrmann-Wick picks up speed from the start and gains a few seconds. However, his flawless prone position didn’t bring much improvement as the competition also remained flawless. The picture is the same for the standing phase: the best nations showed no weakness. Herrmann-Wick returned to the track in fifth place after a jump.
Herrmann-Wick: “Balls like the first person”
There she fought for fourth place with the Swiss Lena Häcki-Groß. The Swiss was able to win this duel, Herrmann-Wick was narrowly beaten to fifth place and got angry after the race: “It gets so icy again on the track, the slopes get hard. I have no luck with my shins, I wobble in the turns and feel like the first person on skis. I tried to do everything But it “It’s extremely difficult from a skiing point of view. I couldn’t take a step there. The ski slips all over the place, so it’s difficult to stabilize it.”the former cross-country skier told ZDF.
With the second fastest overall time on her lap, Herrmann-Wick managed to impress overall. The German was even about 17 seconds faster than the very strong Swede Elvira Öberg, who also remained clear on Sunday and thus achieved the feat of finishing the three races on the Pokljuka without a shooting error.
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