Barnes was the last starter on a day that not even ducks would enjoy, as rain mixed with ice pellets mercilessly pelted all 95 women. By the time she left the starting gate, the tracks were deeply rutted and skis in the snow sounded just like a person walking in deep sleet (since the “snow” here is groomed crushed ice). In prone, she had one penalty, putting her in a good position to make the top 60 and Sunday’s 10K Pursuit. However, she missed three standing shots, losing valuable time in the penalty loop. Barnes finished 4:26.5, behind German Magdalena Neuner, who won in 24:18.4. Barnes was only 8.2 seconds behind 60th place and a spot in the Pursuit.
Jill Krause (St. Cloud, MN) in her first World Cup Sprint start of the year finished 81st, 6:24.4 back, with three penalties, all in the standing stage. Totally soaked and shivering at the finish, she commented, “It was really hard out there. We had good skis, as good as anyone did, but I just do not have much speed.” Krause was just one place and 4.8 seconds ahead of Tracy Barnes (Durango, CO) who like Krause, had three penalties today.
Conditions for the Men’s 10K Sprint tomorrow look as bleak as today, with more showers, and warmer temperatures. Warmer temperatures here in Oberhof will mean more fog, which over the years has delayed or cancelled numerous competitions.
Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, NY) leads the US men in the first start group. Burke will be looking to extend his streak of five straight competitions where he has scored World Cup Points. Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, NY), Jay Hakkinen (Kasilof, AK), and Jeremy Teela (Anchorage, AK) will follow him.
The German women, not surprisingly swept the top three podium spots. Following Neuner’s first World Cup victory, in second place was the Overall World Cup leader, Andrea Henkel, 17.3 seconds back with one penalty. Martina Glagow finished third, 19.7 seconds back, despite being the only woman in the top three to shoot clean.
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