POKLJUKA, Slovenia (March 8, 2014) – Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, NY) raced to a 10th place finish in today’s 12.5-kilometer pursuit at World Cup 7 in Pokljuka. With a time of 32:23.3, and three penalties, Burke finished 1:20.5 back from Anton Shipulin (RUS), who won with a time of 31:02.8/+1. Bjoern Ferry (SWE) was second (31:11.4/+2), and Ole Einar Bjoerndalen finished third (31:30.2/+2).
“It was pretty windy during zero today, so I spent a lot of time at the range trying to get a feel for what the gusts were doing,” said Bailey. “I felt like I had a good handle on things and the first prone went well with all the shots in the center. During the second stage I dropped two shots low, but I'm still not really sure why. The wind was definitely manageable during the stage, so I can't really blame it on that.
“I was happy with standing and the last loop was probably the best last-loop fight I've had all year between Jaroslav Soukup (CZE) and myself. First I tried to drop him, than he fought back and go a little bit of a gap on me until the last few uphills when we were right together. I knew there was a big headwind and a downhill finish, so I stayed behind until the last 50 meters and then made my move. Thankfully, it was just barely good enough for a top-ten. I’m happy with the result and looking forward to tomorrow. The tracks are in great shape and it looks like great weather again tomorrow,” added Bailey.
Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, NY) posted a time of 32:30.3/+3 to finish 13th. “I was very happy with my race today, especially the feeling I had on the track,” said Burke. “This was by far my best skiing since before the Olympics, so it felt great to feel like my normal self again. The wind was once again pretty tricky today for shooting so there were a lot of penalties from the field. Tomorrow's mass start should be a lot of fun and I hope to carry over the good feeling from today.”
Leif Nordgren (Marine, MN) finished 31st (34:57.9/+2). Extended results from today’s pursuit are available here.
Susan Dunklee (Barton, VT) finished 20th (35:28.5/+5) in the women’s 10k pursuit. “I am really happy that I've been able to hold onto my peak fitness from Sochi and continue to post strong ski times,” said Dunklee. “Shooting this week has been disappointing. I had a rifle malfunction on Thursday, and struggled with standing today, but I look forward to some more chances next week in Finland.”
Kaisa Makarainen (FIN) won the pursuit with a time of (32:01/+2). Tora Berger (NOR) finished second (32:20.7/+2), and Dorothea Wierer (ITA) was third (32:55.5/+3). Sara Studebaker (Boise, ID) finished 37th (36:36.7/+3). Extended results from the women’s pursuit can be found here.
World cup racing in Pokljuka concludes tomorrow with the mass start. Bailey and Burke will race for Team USA. The men’s mass start will be webcast live, beginning at 5:15am (ET) here.