Biathlon: Justine Braisaz-Bouchet wins the Soldier Hollow sprint, Lou Jeanmonnot finishes third

The top of the podium suits him so well

Biathlon: Justine Braisaz-Bouchet wins the Soldier Hollow sprint, Lou Jeanmonnot finishes third

The top of the podium suits him so well. Three weeks after the world gold won in mass start, Justine Braisaz-Bouchet won, Friday March 7, in the sprint in Soldier Hollow (Utah), in the United States, signing her fifth victory of the season in the Coupe du biathlon world.

This new success allows “JBB” to put itself back in the race for the big crystal globe: now with four individual races remaining at the end of winter, it climbs to second place in the general standings of the World Cup, at 89 points. − the equivalent of a victory − from Tandrevold (845 points against 934) and 29 points ahead of the Italian Lisa Vittozzi.

With a 9 out of 10 in shooting, Braisaz-Bouchet won with a 13 sec 4/10th lead over the Norwegian Ingrid Tandrevold and 19 sec 2/10th over another Frenchwoman, Lou Jeanmonnot, both authors of a without -fault against targets. Like Vittozzi, at the foot of the podium, at 29 1/10 seconds. This is the seventh time since the start of the season that two Blues have shared an individual World Cup podium.

In pole position for the pursuit on Sunday

“It was a very demanding race on spring snow, an obstacle course, it was easy to miss, I managed to do well by having good management. I was full of uncertainty when I arrived at the [standing] shooting range, but [I stayed] in the action,” explained the winner of the day on the Chaîne L’Equipe microphone.

Justine Braisaz-Bouchet will thus take pole position at the start of the pursuit on Sunday, with the gaps inherited from the sprint. In the meantime, the 2022 Olympic mass start champion continues her excellent winter back from maternity. With the sprint dominated on Friday, she compiled her fifth World Cup success of the season, more than throughout her career before this winter (four).

She closed 2023 with a sparkling sprint-pursuit-mass start triple in the Swiss mountains of Lenzerheide (Switzerland), before opening 2024 with a fourth consecutive victory in Oberhof (Germany). She added a first individual world gold medal, in mass start, and two shared world titles, in women's relay and mixed relay, in February in Nove Mesto (Czech Republic).

Julia Simon, a feverish title holder in the shots

Julia Simon, holder of the big crystal globe, was ranked seventh in the sprint, 1 min 15 sec 2/10 behind Braisaz-Bouchet, penalized by three missed targets in the standing shot. A result which drops her to fourth place in the general classification (with 798 points).

“It’s a very bad shot, I don’t have too many explanations,” she wondered. I felt feverish on my treadmill, it's a shame, it was OK in skiing, it could have been a much better race. »

In the battle for the big globe, “Ingrid [Tandrevold] clearly has the cards in hand, she has a fairly comfortable lead and she showed that she is still present today,” said Julia Simon. “I was in ambush until now, if there were ever any mistakes [ahead], but it was me who made them. »

As the epilogue of the season approaches, there are three French women to appear in the top 5 of the general classification: besides Braisaz-Bouchet (2nd) and Simon (4th), Jeanmonnot occupies fifth place, with 738 points.