The new World Cup season in biathlon begins on Tuesday. Of course, the fans first ask themselves which ski hunters will dominate this time. Arnd Peiffer and Erik Lesser look into the crystal ball – and also assess the chances of the German team.
Can the Frenchman Quentin Fillon Maillet defend his overall World Cup victory or will the Norwegian Johannes Thingnes Böt once again? “That’s the big question of this season,” said former German biathlete Erik Lesser at “Biathlon world“. The 34-year-old, who hung up his gun last March, still has a favourite: “It will be a close race with the better end for Johannes.”
Ultimately, the Norwegian is more capable of “performing at a slightly higher level,” Lesser said. At the national season opener in Sjusjoen, Bö showed strong form, especially in shooting. A “surprising Norwegian – like every year” finished third behind Bö and Fillon Maillet.
If Peiffer has his way, Bö’s biggest competitor isn’t last season’s winner, but Swede Sebastian Samuelsson. The 2018 Olympic sprint champion bets the Norwegian Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen as third.
Lesser sees Herrmann as the first Öberg hunter
When looking at the supposedly best lady in 2022/23, Lesser and Peiffer agree: the two former DSV biathletes bet Swede Elvira Öberg in first place, and according to Lesser her sister Hanna also came in second.
“I don’t know who can beat her. Marte (Olsbu Röiseland, editor’s note) and Tiril (Eckhoff) will not be able to compete, Doro (Wierer) is good but not that fast. Braisaz is on maternity leave. Only Denise (Herrmann) is capable of taking the yellow jersey but I’m not sure she’s consistent enough,” Lesser said. However, Peiffer does not see the best German biathlete among the top three athletes, but Röiseland will rank between the two Öberg sisters.
How do the DSV stars perform?
According to the two TV experts, just before the start of the season it is not really foreseeable how well the German biathletes will do in principle. “I know the strengths and weaknesses of the German team. We often show more weaknesses than strengths. I believe that with the two new coaches the mental strength will be much better,” said Lesser.
If Arnd Peiffer has his way, Denise Herrmann and Benedikt Doll will achieve the best results. “It will probably be their last season, which could give them an extra dose of energy.”