First Mass Starts of Season on Tap for Annecy-Le Grand Bornand World Cup
by Bill Kellick
The US Biathlon Team heads to Annecy-Le Grand Bornand, France, for the third IBU World Cup of the 2022-23 campaign and coming off another solid week of racing in Hochfilzen, Austria. Last week’s performances featured a clean sprint race from Joanne Reid (Grand Junction, Colo.) who finished 26th in the field of 99 women for her first top-30 finish of the young season. In the men’s pursuit, Olympic teammates Paul Schommer (Appleton, Wis./Crosscut Elite Team) and Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H./National Guard Biathlon) both skied up 19 places to earn World Cup points, as Schommer placed 39th and Doherty finished in 40th.
Jake Brown (St. Paul, Minn./Craftsbury Green Racing Project) enters this week’s event in 46th place in the World Cup ranking and knows each race poses a stern test, while also allowing the opportunity for U.S. biathletes to prove they can compete alongside the world’s best.
“With so many fans in France, it can really feel like the eyes of the world are upon us,” said Brown. “The task to compete here, then, is not an easy one. Additionally, our competitors are well-trained, well-equipped, and, with two weekends down, race-hardened. But I have full confidence in our courage on the range, devotion to training, and skill in skiing. We will accept nothing less than our best.”
Brown, Schommer and Doherty will team up with Vaclav Cervenka(Grand Rapids, Minn./National Guard Biathlon) on the U.S. men’s team for this week’s sprint, pursuit and mass start.
The U.S. women’s team, which has earned five start positions for the 2022-23 season, will consist of Reid, Chloe Levins (Rutland, Vt.), Deedra Irwin (Pulaski, Wis./National Guard Biathlon Team), Kelsey Dickinson (Winthrop, Wash./Craftsbury Green Racing Project) and Tara Geraghty-Moats (West Fairlee, Vt./Craftsbury Green Racing Project).
Competition at the Annecy-Le Grand Bornand World Cup begins Thursday, Dec. 15, and will be live-streamed via Eurovision.
BMW IBU World Cup #3 – Annecy-Le Grand Bornand, France (all times EST)
Thursday, Dec. 15
8:10 am – Men’s 10km sprint
Friday, Dec. 16
8:15 am – Women’s 7.5km sprint
Saturday, Dec. 17
6:10 am – Men’s 12.5km pursuit
8:15 am – Women’s 10km pursuit
Sunday, Dec. 18
6:10 am – Men’s 15km mass start
8:15 am – Women’s 12.5km mass start