After Christmas, there were some season highlights for our teams with the Tour de Ski in cross-country skiing and the Four Hills Tournament in ski jump. In the Biathlon, the IBU World Cup number 4 took place. These were the highlights:
Tour de Ski: Dario got third (Photo credit: Nordic Focus)
TOUR DE SKI
With its seven stages in nine days, the Tour de Ski has become a tradition in the Cross-Country World Cup. Dario Cologna has a great relationship with the Tour having already won the event three times (2009, 2011 and 2012). This year he ended the Tour de Ski with a good 3rd place behind Sergej Ustjugow (RUS) and Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR). He finished in various positions within the top ten and secured two podiums (3rd in the 9 km Pursuit in Val di Fiemme and also 3rd at the Skiathlon in Oberstdorf) en route to his overall third place finish. "I am happy to be back on a high level. This podium means a lot to me", said Cologna after his rather unassuming start to the season. At the last race in Val di Fiemme, Dario had a tough duel against French athlete Maurice Manificat. Manificat also showed a solid performance at the Tour de Ski with a second place in the 10 km F in Toblach. Elsewhere, Nathalie von Siebenthal convinced with her eighth place finish; with this result she is the first Swiss female athlete to finish within the top ten in the overall ranking at the Tour de Ski - We are super proud!
Cologna's final climb in Val di Fiemme with Manificat in the back (Photo credit: Nordic Focus)
Maurice Manificat on the way to his second position in Toblach (Photo credit: Nordic Focus)
FOUR HILLS TOURNAMENT
With its four competitions around the turn of the year in Germany and Austria, The Four Hills Tournament is one of the most prestigious competitions in ski jumping. The best athlete from our teams was French Vincent Descombes Sevoie. He was placed 15th in the overall rankings and picked up three top ten finishes on his way to it. Swiss Ski jumper Simon Ammann jumped himself put of the top 30 on three occasions and didn't even qualify for the competition in Bischofshofen. Ammann is yet to reach the top 20 this winter; "We continue to work and want to make a change", explains his coach Ronny Hornschuh. The winner of the Four Hills Tournament was the Olympic Champion Kamil Stoch (POL) ahead of Michael Hayboeck (AUT) and Piotr Zyla (POL).
French ski jumper Vincent Descombes Sevoie in the air (Photo credit: Nordic Focus)
IBU WORLD CUP #4
The biathlon World Cup took place in the German "biathlon-mecca" Oberhof. Martin Fourcade is still the dominant name of this season. The French World Cup leader claimed his eighth win of the season by taking the men's pursuit in impressive nature with just one penalty. He also achieved the 3rd place in 15 km mass start and took 8th in 10 km sprint. Marie Dorin Habert can also look back on an successful week; the French athlete moved up from the third position in the sprint to win the women’s 10 km pursuit with two penalties. She said Fourcade's win earlier this day was a great motivation for her, “I watched the race with Martin: he is just so powerful, he is so strong.” Finally, the Swiss team completes the round-up of last week’s good performances. The best results saw Selina Gasparin finish in seventh in the 12,5 km mass start and Benjamin Weger convince with a 10th place in the 15 km mass start.
Martin Fourcade masters the wind and wins pursuit (Photo credit: biathlonworld.com)
Marie Dorin Habert celebrating her victory (Photo credit: biathlonworld.com)
What a strong performance from Gasparin (Photo credit: Facebook Swiss Biathlon Team)