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Bailey shoots his way into 10th place

January 20, 2017
By staff , Lake Placid News

Lowell Bailey turned in a strong shooting performance on the way to a 10th-place finish in the 20-kilometer individual World Cup biathlon race Friday on a sunny day in Antholz, Italy.

Bailey, a Lake Placid native, hit 19 of 20 targets as all five Americans in the race earned World Cup points by finishing in the top 40. Tim Burke, of Paul Smiths, placed 34th, while Leif Nordgren, of Minnesota, took 29th, Paul Schommer, of Wisconsin, was 33rd and Sean Doherty, of New Hampshire, was 36th.

Quick shooting was the key for Bailey as he posted the fourth-fastest shooting time and eighth-best range time among the 105 competitors. Bailey's only miss came on his third shot in the final standing stage, and he finished 1:39.1 back of winner Anton Shipulin of Russia.

Article Photos

Lowell Bailey, of Lake Placid, shoots during the 20-kilometer individual World Cup biathlon race Friday in Antholz, Italy. He placed 10th in the race.
(Photo — U.S. Biathlon/Nordic Focus)

"The conditions were great here today: sunny skies, cold and fast snow and little wind," Bailey said. "This is a brutal 20-kilometer, with each 4-kilometer loop starting with nearly 1 kilometer of climb out of the stadium. I tried to maintain a good pace but with the intention to stay consistent in my splits throughout the race. Towards the end, I wasn't quite able to stay on my same pace, but I fought to the line and stayed just ahead of Bene Doll."

Bailey was pleased with the entire team's effort.

"It was a great day for the U.S. men as well, with all five guys in the top 36," Bailey said. "I'm excited to see how this strong team performance will play out in (Saturday's) relay."

Nordgren's 29th place was one of the best performances of his career. He missed only two targets and finished four minutes back of the leader.

"I started the race pretty conservatively," Nordgren said. "The altitude combined with the length of the race made for a pretty tough day and I didn't want to start off too strong. Missing two shots today was one too many to have a really good result, but I'm happy with 29th."

Nordgren is still on the comeback trail after suffering an early-season training injury that required surgery on his toe.

"Considering the start to the season that I've had, I'll take it," Nordgren said. "I can still tell that my ski shape is lacking a little bit, but with more races it is coming around. I had a chance to follow some good skiers, and it was a good checkup to know I'm on the right track. I died a little bit on the last loop, maybe I paid the price for following faster guys on earlier loops. Overall, I'm happy with the race."

Burke had four misses at the range and finished4:36.5 behind the leader.

For Schommer, it was a remarkable performance in his first career World Cup event. He had three clean stages and hit 18 of 20 targets.

Shipulin claimed his first victory of the season with just a single penalty, finishing in 50:38.1. Martin Fourcade of France picked up two penalties and finished second, 41 seconds back. Ukraine's Sergey Semenov, with two penalties, had his first podium of the season, finishing third, 56.8 seconds behind Shipulin.

The BMW IBU World Cup continues today with the women's mass start beginning at 7:30 a.m. EST, followed by the men's 4x7.5k relay at 9:15 a.m. EST. Susan Dunklee, of Barton, Vermont, will compete for Team USA in the women's mass start. Teaming up for the men's relay will be Bailey, Nordgren, Burke and Doherty.



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