Fourcade back to his best in dominant victory
Martin Fourcade put his sputtering early-season form behind him to blaze to victory in the men's 12.5km pursuit in Hochfilzen, Austria.
After winning the season-opening 20km individual race in the Biathlon World Cup at Pokljuka, five-time Olympic gold medallist Fourcade came 24th in the 10km sprint before registering a DNF in the 12.5km pursuit that weekend and was at a loss to explain his poor form.
But he bounced back in the second round of races by taking silver the 10km sprint in Hochfilzen on Friday before leaving the field for dead 24 hours later.
The Frenchman shot clean and was efficient on the skis in the latest 12.5km pursuit to cross the line in 32:33.3 minutes, 13.7 seconds ahead of Arnd Peiffer in second.
"It was a great race and a wonderful day – a controlled race from start to finish," said Fourcade. "I knew how to seize the chance to go for the victory. I am very happy, even if I wasn't the sensation of the century on the skis today!
"My daughter asked me yesterday where my gold medal was? I told her I was going to try to bring her back one today and I did that."
Norway's Vetle Sjastad Christiansen took bronze after also shooting clean for his first-ever World Cup podium finish.