Denise herrmann crossed the finish line with a satisfied smile. The final runner led the german biathletes to a strong third place in the first relay race of the winter in kontiolahti, finland.
In partly very difficult wind conditions, however, a total of twelve additional rounds was too much for the quartet consisting of vanessa hinz, franziska preub, maren hammerschmidt and herrmann to make it further to the front.
43.9 seconds behind the victorious swedish team around the once again sovereign olympic champion hanna oberg. The second place over 4×6 kilometers was secured by france. Herrmann had a chance to move up one place in the final lap. But french justine braisaz-bouchet defended herself energetically and in the end was a good 34 seconds ahead of the 31-year-old saxonian.
"I was very shaky again. It was hard not to be influenced by the conditions," said franziska preub. The 26-year-old just managed to avoid the penalty loop in her standing push. All in all a lot of mistakes were made. Norway, which had won all the women’s relays in the previous season, finished only eighth after three penalty rounds.
The team of the german ski federation could not attack at the top, but nevertheless provided a very good start into the relay season. The fourth placed russians had almost two minutes gap behind them. In the last meters herrmann was able to save his strength and took the tempo out of the race.
Previously, former world champion benedikt doll had finished fifth in the first pursuit race as the best german. After two penalty laps, the 30-year-old from the black forest was 27.9 seconds behind sweden’s sebastian samuelsson, who managed his first world cup victory despite a sliding fault. After 12.5 kilometers, fabien claude from france came in second ahead of johannes thingnes bo from norway (3). "I’m really happy that i could still run in the top 6," said doll.
Olympic champion arnd peiffer, who had started in second place with good prospects, missed out on a possible podium finish in the final push. In equally complicated conditions, the 33-year-old from the harz region of germany had three penalty laps and finished in 18th place after a total of five mistakes. Into the finish. "I’m pretty mad at myself that i didn’t do better," said peiffer.
At the end of the world cup in the east of finland there is a lot to do for the manner on sunday (12.45 o’clock/ARD and eurosport) the relay on the program. The women compete in the pursuit, with herrmann in fifth place again with good prospects of a podium finish.