September 28, 2021

Johannes Thingnes Boe dominates on the skis to win the first race of 2021

The current World Cup leader and winner of the last two editions won as our model’s, and likely everyone else’s, clear favourite.

That Johannes won was not the least bit surprising, our model gave him about a 29 percent chance of doing so. What was surprising was his sheer dominance on the course. His course time, was about half a minutes quicker than the second fastest athlete, Johannes Dale.

With such skiing supremacy hitting nine of ten will almost always be good enough to win. Thingnes Boe hit all in the prone and missed one standing target. He was in second place about three seconds behind big brother, Tarjei, when leaving the range after the standing shooting.

Johannes was much faster than Tarjei on the last lap and won with more than ten seconds to spare, even if he skied the last few hundred meters with a broken ski pole. This was Johannes Thingnes Boe 50th victory at the top level, 49 World Cup victories as well as one Olympic gold.

Tarjei Boe finished in second place beaten by about ten seconds. He hit all the targets and had the fourth fastest skiing time of the day.

The rising star Sturla Holm Laegreid did very well again and ensured a Norwegian clean sweep of the podium. He hit ten out of ten and put down the sixth fastest course time of the day. Even if he cleared one target more than the winner, he was beaten by more than 20 seconds, as he was 48 seconds slower on the skis.

Johannes Dale was fifth. He missed his last prone shot and indicated in an interview with NRK after the race that he was annoyed that his prone shooting let him down on a day that his standing shooting was very good with several hits even on the prone targets. Dale ensured another very good day for the Norwegian team with four among the top five finishers.

Lukas Hofer was the best non-Norwegian. The Italian finished fourth after having missed one standing shot.

Martin Ponsiluoma skied fast. He had the third best course time of the day, but his two misses from the standing shooting meant that he was unable to place better than sixth.

Simon Desthieux was the best of the French, he finished in seventh narrowly relegating Fabien Claude to eights. Both the French athletes missed one standing shot.

Benjamin Weger did not miss a single target and was in 6th when leaving the range for the final time. He lost more than 25 seconds to Johannes Thingnes Boe on the last lap and dropped three places to finish in the ninth. Even so this was a very good race by the Swiss.

Quentin Fillon Maillet will want to forget about this race quickly. He missed four targets, but only skied three penalty loops. As a consequence he got a two minute penalty and dropped to 84th.

The Belarussians impressed. Raman Yaliotnau finished tenth after clearing all the targets and Sergey Bochnarikov hit nine of ten and ended in 13th.

The best Russian athlete today, Eduard Latypov who finished eleventh, was born in Grodno, Belarus. So it is almost like the Belarussians had three athletes among the top 13.

Benedikt Doll was the best placed German in 15th.

Mathis Brorstad

Mathis Brorstad

Mathis Brorstad is a Norwegian freelance writer. He is mainly covering Athletics, Biathlon and other Winter Sports. In the past he has done work on odds and probabilities.

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