Team USA Opens World Cup Finale in Chilly Russia
Russia (March 14, 2013) - With temperatures hovering at -15 Celsius this
afternoon in Khanty-Mansiysk, Team USA's women opened the final IBU World Cup
competition of the season with the 7.5-kilometer sprint. Susan Dunklee
(Barton, VT) had the top finish for the team today at 29th place (23:17.9/+2). Annelies
Cook (Saranac Lake, NY) finished 36th (23:40/+2), and Sara Studebaker (Boise,
ID) finished 66th (24:53.7/+2).
Soukalova of the Czech Republic posted her second career win, and second
victory this season with clean shooting and a time of 21:25.6. Andrea
Henkel (GER) took second (21:42.8/+0), and Miriam Gössner (GER) was third
((21:49.2/+1). Extended results from today's sprint are available here.
though it is the final stretch of our season, I am still experimenting with
different ways to pace my race," said Dunklee. "Today I learned a
little more about when and where to push over the tops of the hills. I had a
great ride behind Tora (Berger) during my second loop, and that helped me stay
focused after a disappointing first shooting stage."
"Today was the first really cold race of the
season, but I managed to stay warm so I am glad of that," commented Cook.
"It's always so tricky to try and keep your fingers warm enough to feel
the trigger. This sprint was decent and I am satisfied with how I did. It would
have been fun to have results like in Sochi, but I will try again in the
pursuit. After the course and altitude in Sochi, it was a little hard for me to
tell how fast I should try to ski and I might not have had the best pacing out
there. The end was hard, but I am not feeling totally empty right now either-
so maybe there was more to give earlier in the race. Shooting was about
average, and kind of went my usual way- clean prone and miss in standing. I am
working on that though. It was nice to be on a course where you could just ski
hard and stay relaxed because there is absolutely nothing technical about it
here- so you could just go for it and that was awesome! "
"Today was a tough race for me," said
Studebaker. " I've been struggling a lot the end of this season, and
though I'm bummed to end my season on this note, I am looking forward to making
changes and getting it right so I can come back stronger for the Olympic year
ahead. The cold was especially tough today since our last race it was closer to
+10C and today it was around -12C at race time. That always makes things
more complicated for biathlon - dealing with cold hands and staying warm in
zero. It's been nice not to have to deal with much this year, but we got
a reminder that this is indeed a winter sport today!"
Dunklee and Cook will race for Team USA in Saturday's
10k pursuit, beginning at 6:30am (ET) and webcast live at www.biathlonworld.com.
Team USA's men take to the course
in Khanty-Mansiysk tomorrow for the men's 10k sprint, beginning at 8am
(ET). Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, NY) will start with bib #2, Tim
Burke (Paul Smiths, NY) #32, Leif Nordgren (Marine, MN) #56, and Russell
Currier (Stockholm, ME) #99. Watch the race live at www.biathlonworld.com.