From the rifle to mind ..... What Johannes Boe has changed to disgust the competition

Johannes Boe - JOE KLAMAR / AFP

The scene is symbolic. Johannes Boe and Martin Fourcade enter the shooting range to win the last stand
the pursuit of Oberhof, with a ball in front of the pursuers Hofer and Peiffer. A war of nerves like the French has won a thousand others, including against an opponent he knows at the end of the rifle, and he thinks he can destabilize with the first shot. Pan. White. The second ball comes out immediately. It's fast too. The yellow jersey has just dropped the first goal that his opponent has already failed twice. He will hold his shoulders to fly to victory with a mistake in his wallet.

Definitely symbolic: Last year, Fourcade would have beaten a 5/5 and Boe the Shake would be with a 2/5 stamped Scandinavian federation to lose, Only that a lot of snow has fallen under the bridges in one year.

The gadget on his rifle that changed everything (or not)

Back a handful of months back. At the beginning of November, Johannes Boe will be invited to the set of the Norwegian channel NRK at the beginning of the season. An uninteresting discussion begins, until the Norwegian conjures up a modification to his rifle that should free him from a chronic shoulder injury that led to discomfort at the firing point: "We reworked the rifle and my manufacturer has installed a small innovation." It was enough The almost extinguished hope to awaken the national star Martin Fourcade would perform best in 2019. "It's the bustle," laughed the Norwegian team Siegfried Mazet's shooting coach before the first race of the year in Pokljuka. He developes:

Several years ago he had surgery on the collarbone, and the rifle part attached to the shoulder was not always sufficiently adapted and sometimes caused injuries, discomfort. This year we have dealt with this topic and adjusted his rifle. However, this is just one element; it is part of the athlete's everyday life to customize the material. It was taken over there by the media, it's the Arabic phone, it seems it would solve all its shooting problems. This adjustment affects the lying shot, and the NRK made the connection to improve the shot on the assumption that he would have let Martin beat last year. If it were enough biomechanics to break the records, that would be known. "

In fact, there is more. To summarize the 86% of the success and serenity of Boe, who were not shot at the single hook that was grafted onto his rifle, would be reducing. The French coach does not forget to pay tribute to the merits of planning a long-term, regular shooting exercise that began with his arrival in the Norwegian squad two years ago and is finally bearing fruit.

Alexis Boeuf, a consultant to Chaîne L & # 39; Equipe, adds to the physical dimension of a biathlete whose foundational qualities do not affect those of the top 10 in the world rink, "When we're strongest on skis, we're calmer - he had no time at the focal point last year, so maybe he's rushing in. Today he knows he has more scope for the shooting range, so he needs more time to compete "

"Nobody can beat him in a perfect race"

I had to realize it. If Fourcade's lead was lower compared to this season's start, the Norwegian was already the strongest skier on the skis last year, without being able to exploit his speed. A story of mind and experience. The last Olympic Games, in which he had to fight against the status of favorites despite the wondrous gold of the individual, was crucial, according to Mazet:

Last season has helped him to develop and take the lead. What Martin has done so far is something superhuman. So if you find that you are doing something similar, change your skin and you have to live with it. There is a maturation. "

All this is very annoying for the competition. The guy is not only able to put skis in the nose for 20 seconds, but also his chokes Rarer he was, who was previously able to commit an Olympic sprint by three fouls in the first shot. "Nobody can beat him today in a perfect race, that is, 10/10 with excellent skis and a quick shot," reassures us at all, Alexis Boeuf. And the worst, the worst, the worst, the worst is that it's still better. "His goal will be to keep that level on the skis by honing other parameters - Martin, where he was strong [à son apogée]is that he was able to combine physical race management and management of his forces during the season ... "

Manage. It will be one of the big problems for Boe at the end of winter. Alexander Loginov is only 130 points behind the general and is gaining strength, Martin Fourcade has so much under control that he can accept a handicap of 200 lengths ... Provided, of course, that the Scandinavian stumbles - which in turn would not be ubiquitous, if you know the character. Mazet concludes: "John's first opponent today is himself." Only he has his fate in his hand. He still has to take care of himself. "