Emily Dreissigacker led the way for the U.S. biathlon team in Brezno-Osrblie, Slovakia, last weekend, with a pair of top-30 results on the IBU Cup. The Craftsbury Green Racing Project athlete started with a 27th-place finish in the 7.5 k sprint, missing one shot to finish +2:22.1. She followed that up in the 10 k pursuit by collecting just three penalties and moving up one spot to 26th.
Germany’s Denise Herrmann won the sprint on Friday – her second IBU Cup win. The former cross-country skier failed in her bid to make this year’s biathlon World Championships on a strong German women’s team, but is still a force to be reckoned with. She bested Russia’s Daria Virolaynen by 18.6 seconds despite having one penalty to Virolaynen’s clean shooting. Among other North Americans, Canada’s Leilani Tam von Burg was 41st (+3:37.9) and Erin Yungblut 44th (+4:06.4), each with three penalties. Team USA’s Hallie Grossman finished 48th (+4:40.0) with six missed shots.
In the men’s 10 k sprint on Friday, Russia’s Alexey Volkov took a 4.6-second win over Norway’s Fredrik Gjesbakk. It was a close race with Russia’s Dmitry Malyshko third, +6.2 despite a penalty; Volkov and Gjesbakk had shot clean. Paul Schommer led the U.S. in 38th (+2:27.1) with two missed shots, followed by Jakob Ellingson 54th (+3:26.5), Alex Howe 57th (+3:31.9), and Russell Currier 65th (+4:30.1). For Canada, Carsen Campbell placed 41st with one penalty (+2:37.7), followed by Matt Neumann 44th (+2:49.4), Matt Hudec 49th (+3:07.4), and Aidan Millar 56th (+3:27.9).
On Saturday, Virolaynen had just two penalties to move up and take the 10 k pursuit win by 14.3 seconds over Lea Johanedisova of the Czech Republic, who had started in ninth position and cleaned every target. Herrmann was third, +21.2 with five missed shots (and the fastest course time by 52.5 seconds). Tam von Burg finished 35th for Canada with two penalties (+6:39.0), while Yungblut and Grossman were lapped.
In the men’s 12.5 k pursuit, it was an all-new podium with Kristoffer Skjelvik and Tarjei Bø of Norway going 1-2 with zero and two penalties apiece, moving up from seventh and sixth place. The result was enough to net Bø — a world champion and former World Cup Total Score winner who has been struggling with health problems all season, and had only just begun racing at the international level — a World Championships nomination. Timur Makhambetov of Russia was third, +14.6, after accruing just one penalty and moving from fifth up to third.
Schemer finished 39th with four penalties (+5:36.6) and U.S. teammate Ellingson moved up to 45th with three missed shots (+6:45.7). For Canada, Neumann placed 42nd (+6:13.9) and Hudec 50th (+8:02.5). Howe and Millar were lapped, while Campbell received a two-minute time penalty for missing a penalty loop. That left him 51st (+9:18.9).