Burke 22nd in last World Cup race before Olympics

By Bill Kellick | Jan. 21, 2018, 12:24 p.m. (ET)

ANTHOLZ, Italy (January 21, 2018) – In his final tune-up before the Olympic Games, Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.) placed 22nd in Sunday’s men’s 15-kilometer mass start at the BMW IBU World Cup 6 in Antholz. Burke finished 1 minute, 43.8 seconds off the winning time with four penalties on the shooting range.

On a snowy day that saw none of the 30 competitors clean all 20 targets, and only two hit 19 of 20, Burke was among a group of 11 that cleaned on the opening prone shooting stage. That put him with the initial lead group, just 12.9 seconds off the front. However, two penalties in the second prone stage and one more at each of the standing stages, bumped him back to 22nd position.

“The conditions on the range were pretty tricky today with strong wind gusts,” said Burke. “I made the right adjustments on the first prone stage but underestimated the wind on the second stage and missed accordingly. It snowed a lot overnight but the groomers did a good job with the track and conditions were good for the race.”

Burke has now raced three days in a row at the 5200-foot Antholz course in the sprint, pursuit and mass start races.

“I felt a bit tired during the race today but that was to be expected with three races in three days at altitude,” he added. “Now I am looking forward to a few recovery days and then starting my final preparations for the Olympics.”    

Martin Fourcade, after finishing second in three consecutive competitions, moved back to the top of the podium by winning the Antholz men’s mass start, with two penalties in 40:18.6. Second place went to Norway’s Tarjei Boe, also with two penalties, 2.8 seconds back. Boe’s teammate, Erland Bjoentegaard, with two penalties, had his first-ever world cup podium in third place, 5.1 seconds behind Fourcade.

Next up for Team USA is preparation for the Olympic Games which begin in PyeongChang, Korea, on Feb. 9. Half of the U.S. Olympic Biathlon Team will remain in Italy this week to get in some more race experience in the Open European Championships in Ridnaun.

Men’s 15k mass start results

1.

Martin Fourcade (FRA)

40:18.6/+2

2.

Tarjei Boe (NOR)

+2.8/+2

3.

Erland Bjoentegaard (NOR)

+5.1/+2

22.

Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.)

+1:43.8/+4