NOVE MESTO, CZE (January 15, 2012) - Team USA closed the E.ON IBU World Cup 5 today with the men's squad all finishing in the Top-35 in the 12.5K Pursuit.
Starting today’s Pursuit in 11th, Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, NY) posted the top finish for Team USA in 16th with a time of 36:40.0 (0+0+2+3), 1:49.2 minutes back from today’s winner Anton Shipulin (RUS) racing to an exciting victory, his second career win, at 34:50.8 (0+0+1+0). Martin Fourcade (FRA) and Arnd Peiffer (GER) finished in a tie for 2nd, posting 35.01.9 with three penalties each.
"I was very happy with my skiing today but just could not quite pull it together for the last two shooting stages," said Burke. "I felt like I was taking good shots, but the targets just would not fall. This is the way biathlon is sometimes."
Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, NY) finished 18th, from a starting position of 21, with a time of 36:47.3 (0+0+2+1). Jay Hakkinen (Kasilof, AK) finished 27th, up from a start today in position 31, with a time of 37.39.1 (0+0+2+2). Russell Currier (Stockholm, ME) posted a time of 37:56.4 (1+1+2+4) to finish 35th from a starting position of 6, following his breakout race in yesterday’s Sprint.
"Three quarters of the race went well for me," said Currier. "Ski speed was great, skis were perfect and prone wasn't too bad. The wind gusts were not as fun to deal with today as they were yesterday. I may have moved down a lot, but it was still my second best result yet."
“It was another day with rough conditions, but we had all of our men in good start positions and we are happy with their performances,” said U.S. Biathlon Head Coach Per Nilsson. “All men shot well in prone, but we had some issues in standing that took us down a little bit. Today we also had really good skis, which is really important when it’s so tight in these races. It was a good ending in Nove Mesto and we are confident for next week’s World Cup in Antholz-Anterselva.”
For an extended list of today’s 12.5K Pursuit, please click here.
Sara Studebaker (Boise, ID) finished 42nd in today’s 10K Pursuit, up from a start position of 54, with a time of 36:21.7 (0+0+2+1), 5:21.4 minutes back from Norway’s Tora Berger winning today’s Pursuit with a time of 31:00.3 (0+1+2+1). Helena Ekholm (SWE) finished 2nd at 31:18.2 with clean shooting, and Marie Laure Brunet took 3rd with a time of 31:25.4, also with clean shooting.
“Today felt like a step in the right direction for me,” said Studebaker following today’s race. “I felt stronger on the skis and the shooting was solid. It was a tough race, especially starting so far back, but I'm happy with how I handled it and that I was able to move up. It's a bummer to be so close to the points, but moving up in a pursuit is always the goal and I'm happy with how things went today.”
Annalies Cook (Saranac Lake, NY) finished 55th today (39:08.0/0+3+2+3), while Susan Dunklee (Barton, VT) did not start in today’s Pursuit due to illness. Extended results from today’s 10K Pursuit are available here.
Team USA now travels to Antholz-Anterselva, Italy for World Cup 6. For a schedule of World Cup 6 events, please click here.