When the DSV men wrote German winter sports history

On December 18, 2005, the German men wrote biathlon history in Brezno-Osrblie, Slovakia. With a furious result in the pursuit race, the DSV hunters even topped their historic sprint result two days earlier.

Five German starters in the top six! It’s unbelievable how impressive the ski hunters of national coach Frank Ullrich were in the run-up to Christmas in 2005. On Friday evening, the spectators in snow-covered Osrblie witnessed an outstanding ten-kilometer sprint race by the DSV team.

Thanks to his outstanding running form, Alexander Wolff celebrated his second World Cup victory and was flanked on the podium by then youngster Michael Rösch and veteran Sven Fischer. And fourth place also went to a DSV biathlete, Michael Greis.

This unprecedented quadruple triumph even knocked the socks off the otherwise calm national coach Frank Ullrich: “I can’t remember a coup like that. And I’ve been there for a long time. I can only pay my respects to the boys.”

Less than two days later, the German biathlon men set the next record race. The persecution in the morning turned into a demonstration of power by Sven Fischer. The then 34-year-old only made one shooting error in four attempts and also had the fastest running time in the field.

Rösch: “I’m the absolute loser in our room”

Behind Fischer, Wolf and Rösch, who moved to the Belgian Biathlon Association later in his career, also defended their podium positions with extremely strong running times; Wolf narrowly retained the upper hand in the finish sprint. Curious: Fischer, Wolf and Rösch, of all people, shared accommodation during their stay in Slovakia and made headlines as the most successful biathlon shared apartment in World Cup history. “With third place, I’m the absolute idiot in our room,” laughed Rösch after the pursuit race.

Greis also held off the Swede Carl-Johan Bergman thanks to a strong finish and completed the DSV’s next quadruple victory.

Quite unnoticed in the shadow of the podium finishers, veteran Ricco Groß delivered a furious pursuit race. Starting from 20th place, Groß only made one mistake in the first standing stage, but otherwise held up perfectly. Since he was also in strong running form and inspired by the great performance of his teammates, the multiple Olympic champion overtook one competitor after the other on the cross-country ski trail.

Fischer thrilled: “Simply unbelievable”

Ricco Groß made it to sixth place, rounding off the best result in German World Cup history and, at the same time, getting his Olympic ticket for Turin. To this day, German biathletes dream of this historic weekend in Slovakia, where the dominance of the Norwegian Ole Einar Björndalen and the Frenchman Raphael Poirée was once forgotten.

Sven Fischer summed up the black-red-gold weekend aptly: “It’s simply unbelievable what we achieved here! From my feeling, we were all equally strong today.”

Mats Yannick Roth