Frenchwoman Lou Jeanmonnot surrounded by Germans Franziska Preuss (left) and Vanessa Voigt, in Östersund, December 3, 2023. PONTUS LUNDAHL / AP
Lou Jeanmonnot will remember this weekend for a long time. Two days after winning her first individual victory in the Biathlon World Cup, Friday, in the sprint, the 25-year-old Frenchwoman scored a second success, Sunday December 3 in Östersund (Sweden), during the pursuit event.
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The French biathlete won at the end of a powerful and fast sprint, managing to break the German Franziska Preuss in the last meters of the 10-kilometer course. Another German, Vanessa Voigt (+18 seconds), completes the podium.
In this race format where biathletes start based on their sprint result, Lou Jeanmonnot had a nine-second lead at the start over the first of his pursuers. A little slower on the slope than Preuss and Voigt, without knowing whether this was linked to her form or to waxing (technique used to improve the sliding of skis), the native of Pontarlier (Doubs) was perfect in the shot.
With a 20/20 behind the rifle, she was the only one of the top eighteen in the ranking to achieve a flawless performance. A real performance as the pressure weighed on his shoulders as he set off with bib number one. Since she did not need to take a penalty lap, the energy saved allowed her not to stall when Franziska Preuss caught up with her and then slightly overtook her on the last lap of the circuit. Before, therefore, winning in the sprint.
“I didn’t believe it at firstshe said, smiling at the microphone of the L’Equipe channel. In my head, I wanted to be sure to save my second place. When she accelerated, I told myself that the victory was over. Without very good legs, I focused on a good shot. »
“She sparkles in a group”
Author of two individual podiums last season, Lou Jeanmonnot has already done better in this first round of the World Cup by gleaning her first two career successes. The one who is aiming for a top 6 in the general classification at the end of the season is in second position after three of the twenty-one individual races on the program. She is ahead of Franziska Preuss by only three points.
Eleventh overall last year for his first full season in the World Cup, Lou Jeanmonnot reveals himself and confirms his potential. This one took a little while to hatch. La Doubiste spent four years on the lower level circuit, the IBU Cup, where she won the general classification in 2021-2022.
Paula Botet and Caroline Colombo were often preferred despite a few appearances in the World Cup from 2021. The retirements of Anaïs Bescond then the maternity break of Justine Braisaz-Bouchet allowed her to take her place in the women’s collective and to play there. reveal herself as an important member. “She sparkles in a group », Illustrated, on Friday, the former coach of the French women’s team, Frédéric Jean, on the set of the L’Equipe channel.
She takes over the sporting baton from Julia Simon, who was behind during this first stage of the World Cup. Seventh Sunday, the winner of the last general classification did better than in the opening individual (31st) and than in the sprint (16th). She admitted to being “mentally cooked” after a summer disrupted by the credit card fraud case between her and her teammate Justine Braisaz-Bouchet.
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For Lou Jeanmonnot, the next meeting will be the sprint in Hochfilzen (Austria), next Friday. It will now be expected and targeted by the competition.