French biathletes are used to first places. At the end of a race dominated from start to finish by the French, Julia Simon won the mass start in Anterselva (Italy), Sunday January 21, in the Biathlon World Cup. The Savoyard finished ahead of her compatriot Lou Jeanmonnot. Swiss Lena Häcki-Gross completes the podium. This is the tenth victory for French biathletes this season.

The Blues started the race very well, four were in the top 10 at the start of the first prone shot. Julia Simon, overall winner of the 2022-2023 World Cup, started with a flawless performance which allowed her to quickly take the lead in the race.

Alone in the lead in front of a peloton of around ten runners, the Savoyarde did not weaken. In the second lap, she was joined by Lou Jeanmonnot, who made the difference on skis over all her opponents, to join Simon. They will never leave each other until the finish line.

A Franco-French duel

The two biathletes started the second prone shoot with a large lead over the rest of the race. Lou Jeanmonnot made a perfect score, 20/20 in total. Julia Simon made only one mistake, but chained shots at an impressive speed, taking a definitive advantage over the Franc-Comtoise. She won her tenth career World Cup victory.

“I pulled slowly, because that was what was needed for me today. I did 100%. It’s frustrating that she [Julia Simon] shoots so quickly, but I knew that. It’s a margin of progress for me,” declared Lou Jeanmonnot on the L’Equipe channel, after the race. “I think the speed of the shot made the difference. I was starting to have a little physical difficulty, but when the victory is decided, you have to go and get it,” replied Julia Simon.

At the same time, Justine Braisaz-Bouchet, second in the overall World Cup standings, was impressive on skis. But four shooting errors condemned her. She finished the race in ninth place, behind Frenchwoman Gilonne Guigonnat.

In the general classification, Justine Braisaz-Bouchet remains second, despite the seventeenth place of the Norwegian Ingrid Tandrevold, still in the lead. Julia Simon climbs to fourth place, Lou Jeanmonnot is sixth. A final rehearsal full of success for the French women before the world championships, in Nove Mesto (Czech Republic), from February 7 to 18.