Sean Doherty competes in the men's 20k in Oestersund on Dec. 4 (photo by NordicFocus)
Oestersund, Sweden (Dec. 4, 2019) – The longest race on the biathlon docket is always a test of fitness, especially during the opening stop on the world cup circuit. That was the case on Wednesday at the BMW IBU World Cup opener as the men raced the 20-kilometer individual event under the lights in Oestersund.
Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.) was the top U.S. finisher in 63rd place, 7 minutes, 41.7 seconds off the winning pace with three penalties.
"The hardest race of the season is done. Now it's full focus forward," said Doherty after the race.
The French team appeared in mid-season form as Martin Fourcade led a French sweep of the top four places in the 20k individual. Fourcade took the lead after the first standing stage and was never challenged, finishing with a single penalty in 53:11.9. Second place Simon Desthieux matched Fourcade on the shooting range, but finished 12.7 seconds back. Quentin Fillon Maillet, with three penalties, finished third, 1:50.8 back. Emilien Jacquelin was fourth with two penalties, 2:17.8 behind Fourcade.
Other American finishers were Leif Nordgren (Hinesburg, Vt.) in 73rd, Alex Howe (Gilford, N.H.) in 81st, and Travis Cooper (Kenai, Alaska) in 96th place.
Thursday will feature the women's 15k individual event with four U.S. Olympians in the mix: Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.), Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine), Joanne Reid (Grand Junction, Colo.) and Emily Dreissigacker (Morrisville, Vt.).
Men's 20k individual results
1. Martin Fourcade (FRA) 53:11.9/+1
2. Simon Desthieux (FRA) +12.7/+1
3. Quentin Fillon Maillet (FRA) +1:50.8/+3
63. Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.) +7:41.7/+3
73. Leif Nordgren (Hinesburg, Vt.) +8:52.8/+5
81. Alex Howe (Gilford, N.H.) +9:33.7/+5
96. Travis Cooper (Kenai, Alaska) +13:16.2/+5