POKLJUKA, Slovenia (December 15, 2012) - Pouring rain presented an added challenge in today's World Cup Pursuit races in Pokljuka. Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, NY) finished today's 12.5k Pursuit in 7th place with a time of 33:34.3 and three penalties. Burke, starting fourth today, was +45.1 seconds back from Norway's Emil Hegle Svendsen, winning with a time of 32:49.2 and one penalty in his final stage. Ondrej Moravec (CZE) took second with a time of 32:53.0/ 0+0+0+1, for his career-first podium. World Cup leader Martin Fourcade (FRA) was third, posting 33:06.3/0+0+0+2.
"Today was a challenging day with heavy rain throughout the race, said Burke. "Although this made the skiing a little challenging the shooting conditions were actually quite good with almost no wind. I was satisfied with my shooting today but it would have been really nice to have one less penalty. This was probably the best that I have felt skiing this season. I was finally able to pick it up a little on the last loop so I am really happy that my shape seems to be headed in the right direction. I feel pretty good after the race today so I am hopeful for my chances in the Mass Start tomorrow."
Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, NY) finished 28th today with a time of 35:39.2 and three penalties. Bailey started with bib 36 today. "Today was messy but I'm happy with my result, said Bailey. "I had to spend too much time in the range today and this cost me a bit. I'm not sure why, but I just didn't feel totally comfortable in my shooting position and because of this I had to take a few extra breaths here and there throughout the last three stages. Unfortunately, I think I'm just out of qualification for the Mass Start tomorrow which was my goal this weekend, so now it's time to head back to the States, heal this broken toe, and refocus on Oberhof."
"Today was another really good performance from Tim, and a solid one from Lowell as well," said Bernd Eisenbichler, US Biathlon high performance director. "We are very satisfied with Tim's 7th place. He stayed up there in brutal, pouring rain conditions. Our wax technicians did an awesome job again today facing changing conditions, from snowfall to pouring rain, they did a great job on the skis."
Extended results from today's 12.5k Pursuit are available here. Burke will race for Team USA in tomorrow's Mass Start with bib 10. Tomorrow's start list and race results will be available here. The 15k Mass Start starts at 7am (EST) and will be webcast live at BiathlonWorld.com.
Cook Takes Top Finish For Team USA Women, 33rd in Today's 10k Pursuit
Annelies Cook (Saranac, Lake, NY) finished 33rd in today's 10K Pursuit, up from a start with bib 40, posting 35:55.0 and three penalties, 4:07.2 back from Miriam Gössner (GER), with a career-first World Cup victory, posting a time of 31:47.8 and five penalties. Gabriela Soukalova (CZE) took second (31:48.5 and clean shooting), Marie Dorin Habert (FRA) finished third (32:14.3/one penalty).
Sara Studebaker (Boise, ID) finished 35th (36:03.4/two penalties), and Susan Dunklee (Barton, VT) was 38th with a time of 36:11.1 and eight penalties. "Today's race was really tough," said Studebaker. "I was definitely feeling the last couple weeks in my legs, and racing in the pouring rain is always a mental struggle. I was happy with the performance, though, and was able to pull it together on skis enough in the last loop to move up one position overall. It was a good race to end the 2012 year on, and I'm looking forward to some rest over the break and then picking up where I left off in January!"
"Today was a tough one for me for sure," said Dunklee. "Our techs did an amazing job with our skis, but it was a mental challenge to stay focused in the cold rain, especially on the range. On the bright side, we had three women scoring points again!"
Extended results from today's 10k Pursuit are available here.