Doherty Speeds to Career-Best Sprint at IBU World Cup
by Bill Kellick
Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H./National Guard Biathlon) raced to a career-best sprint finish of 11th place on Thursday’s opening day of the IBU World Cup in Annecy-Le Grand Bornand, France. Doherty had just one penalty in prone and his finishing time was just 22 seconds back of fifth place, setting him up nicely to contend for a top spot in Saturday’s 12.5km pursuit.
"I am very proud of my race today,” Doherty said. “I felt better and better as the race went on and I am very happy to put a great race together. Thanks to the techs for great skis and now it’s full focus on the pursuit. It should be a fun weekend - it's a great atmosphere here.”
Doherty’s time was 1 minute, 21.6 seconds back of sprint winner Johannes Thingnes Boe of Norway who went clean on the range. Doherty’s previous best sprint performance was 13th place during the 2015-16 season at a World Cup event in Presque Isle, Maine.
"It was an unbelievable result for Sean today,” commented US Biathlon Director of High Performance Lowell Bailey. He had amazing skis and great ski times, so that is really encouraging. Our skis were great today - so big props to the tech team. It was just a top-level race for Sean, and that's exactly what we want to see, so it's a great place to be heading into the weekend."
Boe was joined on the podium by teammate Sturla Holm Lagreid and Germany’s Benedikt Doll. Both also shot clean.
Also qualifying for Saturday’s pursuit was Paul Schommer (Appleton, Wis./Crosscut Elite Team) who finished 60th with two prone penalties, 2:54.3 off the lead. Other American finishers in Thursday’s sprint were Jake Brown (St. Paul, Minn./Craftsbury Green Racing Project) in 70th place and Vaclav Cervenka (Grand Rapids, Minn./National Guard Biathlon) in 77th.
The World Cup in Annecy-Le Grand Bornand continues Friday with the women’s 7.5km sprint featuring the U.S. team of Joanne Reid (Grand Junction, Colo.), 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).
Fans can watch the livestream of all races 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