Justine and Johannes Lenzerheide 2023

by Alain Chivilò

 

Lenzerheide. Third round of the 2023-24 World Cup in Switzerland.

The third stage, before a two-week break which can help some athletes who are struggling or with unsatisfactory performances, partially shuffles the cards especially in women with some confirmations. In men the dominance of Norway is quite evident with the Boe Family in command.

The concept already expressed is reiterated: balance is still a constant element of this year’s Biathlon. Each race opens a chapter that is almost different from the previous ones. Consistency will be a key factor. Stability in this sport is an important element, consequently each athlete has own connection between shooting and execution, with cross-country skiing and the relative pace to keep.

Specifically, after 8 races out of 21, among the women the French Justine Braisaz-Bouchet stands imperiously with 427 points, followed by: Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold 417, Elvira Oeberg 393, Lisa Vittozzi 386, Franziska Preuss 322, Julia Simon 317. These could be the athletes for the overall crystal globe, waiting for Hanna Oeberg (eleventh with 244 points) to achieve better results. The remaining ones from seventh, eighth place onwards will be able to have some interesting races, but not to compete for the general classification, at least this year. Everything will depend on whether Braisaz-Bouchet continues, even from January, to maintain Switzerland’s rhythm because she has demonstrated top overall management.

Among the men, after 8 races out of 21: Johannes Thingnes Boe 484, Tarjei Boe 411, Johannes Dale-Skjevdal 366, Endre Stroemsheim 317, Sturla Holm Laegreid 301. It might seem like a duel in the Boe family but behind them there are further athletes with performances and results obtained, but without continuity. In the top five places occupied by Norway with Stroemsheim new name, France is missing after years of constant presence among the top. Germany confirms its solidity to be verified, while Sweden is too alternating.

In Switzerland, the Lenzi mascot will go to entertain the children of two athletes for Christmas: in women, the mother of a little girl, Justine Braisaz-Bouchet, three victories in three races, while men, Johannes Thingnes Boe, the father of two little kids, two victories and a second place.

Women 7.5 km Sprint

Justine Braisaz-Bouchet opens her 0/0 hat-trick by combining shooting and cross-country skiing with an amazing condition developed just this weekend. +12.2 Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold 0/0, +17.2 Lisa Vittozzi 0/0. Both slightly less effective despite no misses on the range.

Men, 10 km Sprint

More than Norway always present, the opening belonged to Germany with a double presence on the podium and four athletes in the top six: Benedikt Doll 0/0, +5.4 Johannes Thingnes Boe 1/0, +36.8 Philipp Nawrath 1/0.

Women, 10 km Pursuit

The competition is into 4 shots on the shooting range, prose standing and misses occur for all of them, except Vanessa Voigt, seventh, among the top ten. Double for Justine Braisaz-Bouchet 1/0/1/1, +25.2 Julia Simon 0/0/2/0 still among the top positions, +1.13.6 Marit Ishol Skogan on her first podium 0/2/0/ 0. Among her opponents, Lisa Vittozzi had a bad day on the range, while Preuss was fourth and E. Oeberg was fifth.

Men, 12.5 km Pursuit

Norway immediately returns to the limelight by grabbing the podium. Johannes Thingnes Boe 0/1/2/0, +24.7 Endre Stroemsheim 1/0/0/1, +29.1 Sturla Holm Laegreid 0/0/0/1.

Women, 12.5 km Mass Start

Justine Braisaz-Bouchet 0/0/0/0 completes the exhilarating triumph of her Suisse. The sisters of Sweden return behind: +5.5 Elvira Oeberg 1/1/0/0, +10.6 Hanna Oeberg 1/1/0/0. Followed by Vittozzi, Tandrevold, Simon and Preuss in a very balanced race.

Men, 15 km Mass Start

Johannes Thingnes Boe doesn’t make a miss in the last series from the shooting range and wins in a comeback, highlighting an interesting state of form also in cross-country skiing. The winningest man at the weekend in Switzerland: 1/0/1/0. +14.6 Johannes Dale-Skjevdal 0/0/0/1 fighting until almost the end with Tarjei Boe +21.8,  0/0/0/1. Followed by Ponsiluoma, Christiansen, Soerum.

There will be no shortage of tough races between January and March 2024, in women and men. Season’s greetings.

 

©AC, NDSL, AM, Alain Chivilo

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