ANTHOLZ, Italy (January 24, 2015) - A day after posting a season-best eighth place in the sprint, Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.) topped that effort with a sixth-place finish in Saturday's 10-kilometer women's pursuit at the IBU World Cup in Antholz, Italy.
With starting position based on her sprint finish, Dunklee was the eighth skier out of the gate in the pursuit, starting 1 minute 10 seconds behind leader Darya Domracheva of Belarus. Dunklee was ninth after cleaning the first prone stage and dropped to 13th after a penalty at the second prone position. After cleaning both standing stages, Dunklee left the range in sixth place, less than two seconds behind fourth-place Kaisa Makarainen of Finland and Marie Dorin Habert of France, with one more loop of the course before the finish.
"I tried the same plan as yesterday -- focus on putting together the best biathlon performance I could, and trusting that it would turn out well on the results sheet," said Dunklee. "Hitting all the standing targets is an accomplishment I feel proud of. In the final stage, it is very easy to play the 'what if I clean?' game in my head and forget to focus on the process of shooting well, but today the process was front and center."
Dunklee was unable to move up over the final loop and held on for sixth place with a time of 32:39.3/+1. Domracheva won pulling away in a time of 30:58.5/+1. Russia's Daria Virolaynen took second (32:19.5/+1) and Makarainen made up 15 seconds over the final stretch to steal away third place (32:27.5/+5) despite five penalties.
"Kaisa was a great ride to have on that last loop because she pushes the pace," added Dunklee. "Tactically, it would have been smart to get in directly behind her early and hope the pace would be too hard for Marie Dorin, but I was feeling a little tired today and fell off the back instead. By the time Kaisa dropped Marie Dorin at the end of the loop, I was too far back to capitalize."
Hannah Dreissigacker (Morrisville, Vt.), who started in the final pursuit position, passed 10 other competitors on the course to finish 42nd (36:08.4/+4). Full women's pursuit results are available here.
Earlier in the day, the men's 12.5km pursuit was held. Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.) was the 32nd skier out of the gate, starting 1:31 back of the leader, and Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.) started in 48th position, 2:02 back.
Baily moved up to 25th after just one penalty in the prone stages, but fell back to 32nd after three missed targets in standing, eventually crossing the line in 31st place with a time of 34:17.4/+5. Burke moved up to 44th place after the prone stages where he had two penalties, momentarily dropped to 46th after two misses at the first standing stage, but recovered for a 40th-place finish (35:09.8/+5) with just one penalty at the final standing stage.
"I'm happy that my skiing recovered from Thursday's race, but I was definitely disappointed that I couldn't put it together in the range," Bailey said. "I'm looking forward to another chance in the relay tomorrow."
Germany's Simon Schempp (31:27.9/+2) posted his third straight World Cup win by nipping Austria's Simon Eder at the line by 0.1 seconds. Russia's Evgeniy Garanichev took third (31:29.0/+1). Full men's pursuit results are available here.
The World Cup in Antholz concludes with the men's and women's relays on Sunday. The men's 4x7.5km race starts at 4:45 a.m. EST, with the women's 4x6km race following at 9:00 a.m. EST. Live streaming coverage of both races can be seen here.
Women's 10km pursuit
|1.||Darya Domracheva (BLR)||30:58.5/+1|
|2.||Daria Virolaynen (RUS)||32:19.5/+1|
|3.||Kaisa Makarainen (FIN)||32:27.5/+5|
|6.||Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.)||32:39.3/+1|
|42.||Hannah Dreissigacker (Morrisville, Vt.)||36:08.4/+4|
Men's 12.5km pursuit
|1.||Simon Schempp (GER)||31:27.9/+2|
|2.||Simon Eder (AUT)||31:28.0/+1|
|3.||Evgeniy Garanichev (RUS)||31:29.0/+1|
|31.||Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.)||34:17.4/+5|
|40.||Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.)||35:09.8/+5|