Today, Bailey who has shot well in all of the final six competitions in March, started strong again with two clean prone stages, pushing him up to 28th place. Burke missed three in the same two stages, dropping him top 42nd position. Bailey missed two shots in the first standing stage, while Burke cleaned. For the next 2.5K, they were virtually side-by-side. In the final standing stage, they both missed one shot and left the penalty loop, 2 seconds apart, but both in contention for a top 30 finish. Burke gained time, but no places, while Bailey slowed down but lost no places.
At the finish, Burke, said with disappointment, “I did not feel very good skiing today. It was a big effort out there. I just could not go.” Bailey added, “The conditions were not too good (light snow and temperatures near freezing). I felt good for the first three loops. After missing those two standing shots, I just lost it. I wanted to get some points today. Still, my shooting has been very good recently and my results have been better than most of the season. I think the competition is much tougher at this time of the year. In light of that, the last few weeks have been good for me.”
Jay Hakkinen (Kasilof, AK) finished 57th, with six penalties, 5:41.8 back.
The World Cup Final Mass Start tomorrow is the final competition of the season. Tim Burke is the sole US entrant and will have bib number 21 in the 30-man field.
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