Martin Fourcade on the 1st step of the podium by winning the 10 km sprint of Oberhof (Germany), January 5, 2018
He could not start the year better: Martin Fourcade won Friday the first race of 2018, a sprint in Oberhof, distancing himself from his great Norwegian rival Johannes Boe in the overall standings of the World Cup.
Already winner of the mass start Grand-Bornand just before the holidays, the French continued its momentum, marking valuable points in his psychological war with Boe just over a month of the Winter Olympics (9-25 February in Peyongchang).
The six-time holding of the Big Crystal Globe had said before the race not to be in optimal shape after a break of 15 days mainly devoted to physical work and shooting. But with a clear rifle, it was almost impossible for his opponents to get him, even at „80%“.
„I had really bad sensations on the skis, I could not stand up, it was average, and in spite of that, it’s a great race“, reacted on the Channel Team Martin Fourcade, which goes up for the 9th in 9 outings on the podium, proof of exceptional regularity.
– Ascending –
One man and only one could have challenged the success of the double Olympic champion. But Johannes Boe, already winner of 5 events this season and on a hellish pace since the beginning of winter, has compromised all his chances with two errors in the shooting, leaving Fourcade to sign the 66th victory of his career, the 3rd of the season. Despite this rifle failure, the Norwegian, finally 3rd, was once again very impressive on the skis, failing only 10 seconds from the first place and two seconds from the 2nd occupied by his compatriot Emil Svendsen .
The Fourcade-Boe duel is therefore far from over but the French has taken some control over the Norwegian, whose rate of supersonic fire this time played tricks. Fourcade’s ability to dominate the plateau despite a physical level far from being at the top is enough to reassure him for the rest of his season and especially the big Olympic rendezvous, his main goal in 2018.
„It was a race of recovery and I think it will come back from here Ruhpolding (next stage of the World Cup January 10 to 14, ed.) I hope to go faster end of January.But I play in front despite that, „rejoiced the Frenchman. What more can you ask to start the year?