U.S. Men Match Season-Best 6th in Antholz Relay

Photos from the men's and women's relay races on Jan. 24, 2016, at the BMW IBU World Cup 6 in Antholz, Italy.

Jan. 24, 2016, 8:04 a.m. (ET)

ANTHOLZ-ANTERSELMA, Italy (January 24, 2016) - The American men's relay team of Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.), Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.), Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.) and Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.) equaled last week's season-best finish of sixth place in today's 4x7.5-kilometer relay as BMW IBU World Cup 6 came to a close in sunny Antholz-Anterselma, Italy.

"Another solid performance from our team," said Bailey. "We were right in it until the end, and that's where you need to be to get on the podium."

Even though the U.S. team ended in the same sixth-place position in which they started the event, it was far from smooth sailing as they fluctuated from as high as first to as low as 16th during the race. Bailey kicked off the race with a strong first lap, even taking the lead at one point near the top of the course. After using two spares in prone and another in standing, he tagged off to Burke in seventh place, just eight seconds out of third place.

Burke needed two spares in prone and three in standing during the second leg but kept the U.S. close as he handed off the reins to Nordgren in ninth place, less than a second behind the team from the Czech Republic.

"Today proved that last week was not a fluke," Burke commented. "We are happy to be right in the mix with the 'big' biathlon nations but we still know that we are capable of more."

Nordgren took over eighth place on course heading into prone and ended up tied for fifth after a clean round. Needing two spares in standing, he made the exchange with Doherty in sixth place, only five seconds back of fifth.

"Good race again today, but far from perfect," Nordgren added. "We have more potential still so we're looking forward to the next relays."

Doherty cleaned prone and arrived for the final shooting stage in fifth place, but hit only three of five from the clip in standing and needed a penalty loop before bringing it home in sixth place, just 4.4 seconds behind fifth-place France. Doherty made up 10 seconds on the final lap with his strong skiing and crossed the line in a time of one hour, 14 minutes and 26.5 seconds.

"I am happy with another strong result," Doherty said. "We were in the mix the whole time and even though I did not shoot my best the team did well. We are all looking forward to the next relay."

The Russian team of Maxim Tsvetkov, Evgeniy Garanichev, Dmitry Malyshko and Anton Shipulin won the men's relay with seven spare rounds in 1:12:24.8. Shipulin pulled away from Germany's Simon Schempp in the last loop for a one-second win. Germany (Erik Lesser, Benedikt Doll, Arnd Peiffer and Schempp) had a penalty and four spares to finish second. Norway (Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, Lars Helge Birkeland, Johannes Thingnes Boe and Erlend Bjoentegaard) finished third, with seven spares, 22.9 seconds back of Russia. Full men's relay results are available here.

Earlier in the day, the U.S. women's team of Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine), Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.), Annelies Cook (Saranac Lake, N.Y.) and Joanne Reid (Boulder, Colo.) placed 17th in the 4x6km relay. 

Egan started the race for the U.S. team and needed one spare in prone and another in standing. Out on the course she passed several teams, including Germany and Norway, to pass off to Dunklee in 12th place, just seven seconds out of 10th.

"Today I got my first mass start experience at the World Cup level," said Egan. "It reminded me of how much I thrive on head-to-head racing. I had super fast skis and put them to good use passing people on course, but then despite using only one spare round per stage, I still lost places on the range to faster shooters. The highlight for me was on the last lap when I passed team Germany.

Dunklee began to close the gap to 10th place with the fastest lap of her leg, but had two misses from the clip and needed three extra rounds to clean, bumping her back to 15th -- 10 seconds down to Germany and 15 seconds behind Norway. In standing, Dunklee hit four of five from the clip but had trouble loading her extra rounds, needing one spare to clean which put her in 13th on course. She tagged off to Cook in 14th, less than a second behind Germany.

Cook used two spares in prone and another three spares plus a penalty in standing which bumped the team down to 18th at the final exchange with Reid. The rookie Reid cleaned prone and moved briefly up to 14th place but had a penalty and three spares in standing as the team was lapped to finish 17th.

"As a team, we will get it together one of these relays," Egan added. "We have a very wide range of experience levels on our team so we all have different things to work on-- and believe me, we are."

The French team of Justine Braisaz, Anais Bescond, Anais Chevalier and Marie Dorin Habert won the women's relay with eight spare rounds in 1:07:53.5 seconds. The Czech Republic (Eva Puskarcikova, Lucie Charvatova, Gabriela Soukalova and Veronika Vitkova) finished second with two penalties and seven spares, 17.2 seconds back. Third place went to Russia (Ekaterina Shumilova, Anastasia Zagoruiko, Ekaterina Yurlova and Olga Podchufarova) with 10 spares, 21.1 seconds behind France. Full women's relay results are available here.

World Cup teams will enjoy a week off before the World Cup competition travels to North American for back-to-back events in Canmore, Alberta, Canada, Feb. 3-7, and Presque Isle, Maine, Feb. 10-14.

Meanwhile, the IBU Youth/Junior World Championships take center stage this week with competition being held Jan. 27-Feb. 2 in Cheile Gradistei, Romania.

Men's 4x7.5km relay results

1. Russia (Tsvetkov, Garanichev, Malyshko, Shipulin) 1:12:42.8/0+7
2. Germany (Lesser, Doll, Peiffer, Schempp) 1:12:43.8/1+4
3. Norway (Bjoerndalen, Birkeland, J. Boe, Bjoentegaard) 1:13:05.7/0+7
6.
USA (Bailey, Burke, Nordgren, Doherty)
1:14:26.5/1+13

Women's 4x6km relay results

1. France (Braisaz, Bescond, Chevalier, Dorin Habert) 1:07:53.5/0+8
2. Czech Republic (Puskarcikova, Charvatova, Soukalova, Vitkova) 1:08:10.7/2+7
3. Russia (Shumilova, Zagoruiko, Yurlova, Podchufarova) 1:08:14.6/0+10
17.
USA (Egan, Dunklee, Cook, Reid)
LPD/2+14


Rosters Named For World Cups 7 & 8

The U.S. Biathlon International Competition Committee (ICC) is pleased to name the rosters for World Cup 7 in Canmore, Alberta, Canada and World Cup 8 in Presque Isle, Maine. The group considered staff recommendations, reviewed competitions results, and followed the Association's publicly-available selection criteria in reaching its decisions.

World Cup 7 in Canmore, Alberta (February 4-7, 2016)

Women

Annelies Cook (Saranac Lake, N.Y.), Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.) and Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) are selected based upon their World Cup rankings, while Hannah Dreissigacker (Morrisville, Vt.) and Joanne Reid (Boulder, Colo.) are named based upon their top-20 performances on the IBU Cup in January. Although Egan is named to the team, she has opted to forego World Cup 7 in favor of more intense preparation for World Championships later this season.

Men
Lowell Bailey
 (Lake Placid, N.Y.), Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.) and Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.) are selected based upon their World Cup ranking, whileMax Durtschi (Sun Valley, Idaho) and Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.) are named based upon their impressive results on the IBU Cup in January. Although Doherty is named to the team, he will not compete in Canmore, instead representing the United States at the Junior World Championships in Romania starting on January 27.

World Cup 8 in Presque Isle, Maine (February 11-14, 2016)

Women
Annelies Cook
Hannah Dreissigacker, Susan Dunklee, and Clare Egan will continue on the World Cup when it moves to Maine, joined by Maddie Phaneuf(Old Forge, N.Y.), who is named to World Cup 8 following her double top-20 results earlier this week on the IBU Cup in Germany. Joanne Reid will move off of the World Cup, training for races later this season while remaining in contention for additional international teams.

Men
Lowell Bailey, Tim Burke, Max Durtschi
, and Leif Nordgren will similarly continue on the World Cup in Presque Isle, joined by Sean Doherty, who will be returning to the team following the Junior World Championships.

The ICC wishes all of the athletes continued success as they represent the United States with honor, both on the World Cup and at the upcoming Youth & Junior World Championships. Fans can watch live and on-demand action from World Cups 7 and 8 at http://www.eurovisionsports.tv/ibu/.

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