Burke and Bailey Lead Team USA in Pursuit

By Linda Jager | Jan. 19, 2013, 12 a.m. (ET)

ANTHOLZ-ANTERSELVA, Italy (January 19, 2013) - Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, NY) had an outstanding performance in today's 12.5-kilometer pursuit. With the third best net-time of the day, Burke moved from 45th to 14th finishing with a time of 32:47.6 (0+0+1+1). Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, NY) finished 16th, from a start at 7th, posting 32:50.9 (0+1+1+1). Bailey held on among the top-10 throughout the first half of the race, reaching as high as 4th place, but penalties at the range slowed Bailey down in the latter half of the race.

"After a disappointing performance yesterday, I am very happy with the race today," said Burke. "I finally felt like I had the ski speed that has been missing for much of the season, and I was also in more control on the shooting range today. Biathlon is a crazy sport and you can have big swings from one day to the next, but that is also what makes it so fun! I hope this is a good sign with World Championships only a few weeks away."

“I was happy with the race,” said Bailey. “I had a solid race in both skiing and shooting and was able to stay up in the field. The first couple of loops went really well and I felt really good skiing. Then, after missing a target in the second prone, I lost contact with the lead group and I hit the wall a bit on the third and fourth loops. But, overall I'm happy with the result and psyched for the relay tomorrow!”

Anton Shipulin (RUS) dominated today's pursuit with strong skiing, leading the entire race and winning with a time of 31:24.2, despite two penalties at the range - one each on prone and standing. Jakov Fak (SLO) took second, up from a start with bib 3, posting 31:46.8 and one penalty in standing. Daniel Mesotitsch (AUT), picked up just one penalty in standing to finish third with a time of 31:50, up from a start in 8th. World Cup leader Martin Fourcade (FRA) finished 4th (32:02.7/0+1+0+1)after holding on in second throughout most of today's race. Leif Nordgren (Marine MN) finished 38th, up from a start at 40th, with a time of 34:24.2 and five penalties. Extended results from the men's 12.5-kilometer pursuit are available here.

Following today's pursuit, Burke sits 14th, and Bailey is 27th in the overall men's World Cup standings.

Annelies Cook (Saranac Lake, NY) led Team USA's women with a 37th place finish in today's 10-kilometer pursuit, posting a time of 35:40.5 (1+1+2+3). World Cup Leader Tora Berger (NOR) won with a time of  31:21.8/0+1+1+0, from a start at 14th. Olena Pidhrushna (UKR) took second (31:40.7/0+0+0+1), and Kaisa Mäkäräinen (FIN) finished third (31:47.3/0+0+2+2).  

“That was a really hard effort and I am happy that I still managed to make a few points with all those times around the penalty lap,” said Cook. “I had tough shooting, especially in standing where I missed 2 and then 3. I would say that I just didn't come into the range relaxed enough and I really struggled with the balance between breathing really hard and good timing for the shots. I enjoyed skiing my first lap with some of the best women out there and I felt pretty good and relaxed doing that. But it quickly got very hard and it was a fight the entire race. I’m super pumped for tomorrow's relay because I have a lot of belief in our women's team if we can all put together something solid.”

Sara Studebaker (Boise, ID) finished 39th, up from a start at 46th, with a time of 35:57.3 (1+1+2+0). Susan Dunklee (Barton, VT) finished 44th, up from a start at 49th, posting 36:28.6 (1+2+1+3). Extended results from the women's pursuit are available here.

World Cup racing concludes in Antholz-Anterselva tomorrow with the relay events. Team USA's women (Cook, Dunklee, Studebaker and Hannah Dreissigacker (Morrisville, VT) will race the 4x6-kilometer relay at 4:30am (ET). Team USA's men (Bailey, Burke, Russell Currier (Stockholm, ME), and Nordgren) compete in the 4x7.5-kilometer relay beginning at 8:15am (ET). Both races will be webcast live, and will be available on demand later in the day here. Please click on the following links for the Women's Start List and Men's Start List for tomorrow's relays.