Preuss talks about the end of his career: Herrmann-Wick wins on his "horror route"

Actually there is nothing to win for Denise Herrmann-Wick in Hochfilzen.

Preuss talks about the end of his career: Herrmann-Wick wins on his "horror route"

Actually there is nothing to win for Denise Herrmann-Wick in Hochfilzen. For years she has been in despair at biathlon races in Austria - now the liberation succeeds. In the sprint, she surpasses the competition and celebrates winning the World Cup. Meanwhile, Franziska Preuss gives an insight into her inner life.

Denise Herrmann-Wick has defeated her feared opponent. The name: Hochfilzen. "Of course, I'm particularly happy that I got over my drama today. Now Hochfilzen is way up on my favorites list," said the 33-year-old after her sprint victory at the start of the second Biathlon World Cup season in Austria. So far, the 2017 World Championship routes have been more of a problem for the Beijing individual Olympic champion. Never in the top ten, once 60th, in 2019 as 41st, she was the best German in the worst women's result in history. And now the 33-year-old conjured up two perfect shooting bouts and, with her ninth World Cup success, brought the German team their first win this winter.

"Zero, zero in shooting is almost like an Olympic victory, because Hochfilzen has been the horror track, the horror shooting range for me in recent years," said the Saxon on ZDF. She hesitated only a millisecond before the last shot, then pulled through and went full steam into the final round. After 7.5 kilometers, Herrmann-Wick relegated the Czech Marketa Davidova, who had a penalty, to second place with a lead of 18.1 seconds. Third was Julia Simon from France (1 penalty/ 20.1 seconds). The ex-world champion thus creates a perfect starting position for the pursuit on Saturday. The other five German starters Anna Weidel (22nd), Sophia Schneider (23rd), Franziska Preuss (25th), Vanessa Voigt (30th) and Juliane Frühwirt (40th) did not make it into the top 20.

With good wind conditions, many of the top athletes did not get through without making mistakes. Herrmann-Wick - like all Germans euphorically cheered on by many fans - but yes. And that too with fast times. She was able to deliver a top result in the Pillerseetal for the first time, even though she was 49.6 seconds behind the former cross-country skier Anamarija Lampic. The Slovenian, trained by the former German women's coach Ricco Groß, blocked the podium in her first World Cup race with three standing errors - but she still finished fifth. She was only 35.8 seconds behind Herrmann-Wick.

The route, which is not so difficult in itself, was not easy to run. "My husband will definitely go through a few technique corrections with me on the descent, so today wasn't my most brilliant day," joked the ex-cross-country skier. Her husband Thomas Wick used to be a cross-country skier in the World Cup.

Because there isn't that much snow in Hochfilzen, there were a few sheets of ice on the route, which quickly became very slippery. "Yesterday in training I was really scared because I always get shin problems in such conditions. But I had good skis," said Herrmann-Wick.

Franziska Preuss had a good start in her first race of the season, but then missed the last two targets while standing. "I'm glad I was able to start at all. It was tough on the track, but the competitive strength comes from race to race," said Preuss, who missed the start of the season in Kontiolahti last week due to a respiratory illness. Many injuries and forced breaks due to illness had triggered great self-doubt and motivation problems in the Olympic relay team in Beijing. "I said to my friend at the time: I just don't know if the whole thing is still worth it," said the 28-year-old on Sky TV.