Bailey's Near-Perfect Shooting Leads to 13th in Hochfilzen Pursuit

Photos from the men's and women's pursuit races on Dec. 12, 2015, at the BMW IBU World Cup 2 in Hochfilzen, Austria.

Dec. 12, 2015, 9:54 a.m. (ET)

HOCHFILZEN, Austria (December 12, 2015) - Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.) led five U.S. athletes in Saturday's pursuit races at BMW IBU World Cup 2 in Hochfilzen, Austria. Bailey finished 13th in the men's 12.5-kilometer pursuit for his second top-20 finish in as many days.

With starting positions determined by finishes from Friday's sprint races, Bailey was the 12th skier off the line, starting 40 seconds behind the leader, Simon Schempp of Germany. After shooting clean at the first two shooting stages, Bailey jumped up to eighth out on the course. A miss at the third shooting stage bumped him back to 12th but he rebounded with another clean round at the final shooting and exited the range in 10th. In the sprint to the finish, Bailey was unable to hold off a few other competitors and crossed the line 13th with a time of 32:39.9.

"Today was a great indicator of how strong the current men's World Cup field is," Bailey said. "I feel really good about my race today, but unfortunately I wasn't able to hold or improve my starting place. Some days the field is just that strong and you just have to live with the result. Still, I'm happy with another top-15 and excited for the relay tomorrow." 

Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.) moved up from his 30th start position to finish 27th, with three penalties and a time of 33:58.4. Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.), who began the day 25th, missed six targets but skied strongly to finish 35th in 34:44.7. Moving up three places to finish 52nd was Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.) with five penalties and a time of 36:47.

Martin Fourcade of France won the men's pursuit in 31:19.9, with two penalties. Schempp finished second with one penalty, 8.9 seconds back. Russia's Anton Shipulin was third with two penalties, 19.1 seconds behind.Full men's pursuit results are available here.

The lone U.S. competitor in the women's 10-kilometer pursuit race on Saturday was Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.). Dunklee started the race as the 53rd skier off the line, 1:48 back of the leader, but she turned in the 14th-fastest range time and 17th-quickest course time to move up to 31st place at the finish with three penalties and a time of 30:48.5.

"My season has started disappointingly slowly and my big challenge has been to keep myself focused forward," said Dunklee. "The pursuit race format is a great opportunity to practice that. On skis, I hunted down the people in front of me and in the range I tried to focus only on the things that matter, like building a stable position with my body and having a good follow through.  I'm happy to finally score a few World Cup points."

Laura Dahlmeier of Germany won the women's pursuit in 28:23.3 with one penalty. Her teammate, Maren Hammerschmidt, finished second with two penalties, 13.3 seconds back. Gabriela Soukalova of Czech Republic had one penalty to place third, 18.5 seconds behind Dahlmeier. Full women's pursuit results available here.

The BMW IBU World Cup 2 concludes on Sunday with the men's and women's relays. The women's 4x6km event starts at 5:15 a.m. EST, and the men's 4x7.5km relay follows at 8:30 a.m. Live streaming coverage of the races can be seen here.

Men's 12.5km pursuit results

1. Martin Fourcade (FRA) 31:19.9/+2
2. Simon Schempp (GER) 31:28.8/+1
3. Anton Shipulin (RUS) 31:39.0/+2
Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.)
27.  Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.) 33:58.4/+3
35. Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.) 34:44.7/+6
52. Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.) 36:47.0/+5

Women's 10km pursuit results

1. Laura Dahlmeier (GER) 28:23.3/+1
2. Maren Hammerschmidt (GER) 28:36.6/+2
3. Gabriela Soukalova (CZE) 28:41.8/+1
Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.)