Ondrej Moravec Wins Oslo Mass Start
|03.03.2013, Oslo / IBU Info JK|
|First World Cup Victory of Career|
|Ondrej Moravec of the Czech Republic claimed the first victory of his career today by taking the mass start competition in 39:48.7, with one penalty. Martin Fourcade of France finished second, with three penalties, 13.7 seconds back. Germany’s Erik Lesser was 16.8 seconds back in third place, with one penalty.
Tim Burke of the USA just missed the podium in fourth place, with two penalties, 19.1 seconds back. Fifth went to Russia’s Andrei Makoveev, with one penalty, 23.2 seconds back, while Ukraine’s Andriy Deryzemlya finished sixth, with one penalty, 26 seconds back.
Clean Shooting in First Stage
Conditions remained perfect as 30 men left the stadium this afternoon. The perfect conditions allowed 18 men to shoot clean in the first prone stage and leave in 17 seconds. In 19th position was Fourcade with one penalty. The second prone sorted the group a bit as the clean-shooting group came down to nine men, led by Eder, Boe and Germany’s Erik Lesser. Fourcade was not up to 10th, 8 seconds off the lead. As the next loop progressed, Fourcade moved up to the top position.
Fourcade, then Moravec
In the first standing stage, the Yellow/Red Bib shot clean and took the lead, with Moravec next to him and Deryzemlya in third, 10 seconds back. Seven more men, all with just a single penalty were in the next 20 seconds, within striking distance of the podium. Fourcade put a bit of space between him and the Czech athlete. At the same time, they were moving away from the rest of the field. Deryzemlya was now 20 seconds behind Moravec with the nest big group another 20 seconds farther back.
Fourcade had two penalties, while Moravec had one and left with a 16 second gap on the field. Deryzemlya also had one and fell back into a group of four, led by Fourcade, who immediately moved away from the group into second position. Moravec was now being hunted, as Fourcade closed the gap to four seconds with 1.6K to go. Yet Moravec was gaining few seconds as they headed towards the stadium. Moravec held on for the first victory of his career, just ahead of Fourcade and Lesser in third.
Moravec was at a loss for words to describe his big day but said, "That was perfect for me; my first victory it is like a dream come true. I tried to enjoy it all...This has been a great season for our team and I think it will continue.'
He was confident that he could take the win, once he left the shooting range for the final loop. "I was a little tired at the beginning, but then I found some energy on the last hills...I was confident I could hold Martin off."
Fourcade complimented the winner by saying, "He was really strong on the last loop. I really felt good on my skis, except in the last loop. My mind wanted it but my legs did not want it; it was hard to bring them together." Fourcade admitted that the key to his continued good form is because, "I take a lot of pleasure on my skis in training and the races. It is never hard for me to go out there...I am a happy man."
From Worst Day to Third Place
Lesser was completely surprised by his third place today especially after yesterday's pursuit where he finished 39th with seven penalties. "After the pursuit, I was tired, I was thinking of ending my career. It was the worst day of my career. The first 3 rounds today were very had but I was lucky on the shooting range. In the last round I pushed my legs, I believed in myself, and now I am third."
The E.ON IBU World Cup circuit now moves to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games venue in Sochi, Russia, with the next competitions scheduled for Thursday March 7.