Snow and Wind
After two spectacular competition days in a row with clear skies, and moderate winds on the shooting range; everything changes for the worse today. Overnight snow added 10-15 cm of fresh powder to the tracks, but as the morning progressed to the women's start, the packed stadium experienced almost whiteout conditions as heavy blowing snow cut across the field of play. The strong winds and continuously building-up snow would make it a very hard day for the women.
Clear Skies, Then Blizzard
Yet by the start the skies had cleared. In the first prone, both Hildebrand and Dahlmeier cleaned to get away from the field. Vitkova held third while Domracheva and Mäkäräinen had two penalties each and fell over a minute back. By the second prone the snow and wind were back with a vengeance, getting harder by the minute. Hildebrand cleaned the second prone to take the lead with Dorin Habert in second 29 seconds back, and Dahlmeier in third.
The snow continued to build up as they came to the first standing; Soukalova managed the wind to take the lead over Bescond who was also clean. They were 3.6 seconds apart with Domracheva 19.3 seconds back after another penalty. Mäkäräinen also had one and was just a few seconds back.
Domracheva Takes Over
Coming to the final standing stage with whiteout blizzard conditions, Soukalova, Domracheva, Bescond and Mäkäräinen came to the range in that order. Soukalova had two penalties, while Domracheva had one and left with the lead. Mäkäräinen matched the Belarusian but was 15.7 seconds back with Soukalova another 3 seconds in arrears.
Changes; Fight to the End
The winner said the difference between yesterday and today was immense. I it was perfect yesterday. Today on the last loops it was so soft that on the last uphills and the poles fell down through the snow and you got no push or no glide with your skis. The changes in zeroing with heavy wind to bright sun and shadows were tough." Then in an understatement she added, "It was a little bit hard race!" Yet in her typical style, Domracheva said that the conditions were no reason to give up. "You have to fight to the end; you still have a chance."
She was surprised to take the lead after the penalty. "I was surprised that I was first I thought Kaisa would shoot clean and be in the lead."
Cleaned then First
Mäkäräinen said, "If I would have cleaned that stage, I would have been first, but I missed."
Dahlmeier admitted, "The early loops are not so important, It is most important to have a good race in the last loop."
Pursuit Women (10 km):