Martin Fourcade claims victorious double in Pokjulka with Pursuit triumph

Martin Fourcade claims victorious double in Pokjulka with Pursuit triumph

Martin Fourcade made it two wins from two in Pokjulka after shooting four clear rounds to win Saturday's Pursuit ahead of Anton Shipulin

Tom Hiscott

Martin Fourcade claimed his 53rd Biathlon World Cup win on Saturday morning with victory in the 12.5km Pursuit in Pokjulka

Having never won at the Slovenian venue ahead of the weekend, the Frenchman followed up his 10km Sprint success on Friday with a six second victory thanks to four clear rounds on the range. 

Emil Hegle Svendsen of Norway finished second, out-sprinting Russia's Anton Shipulin who dropped down to third after a miss at the final shoot. 

Fourcade fires on all cylinders to maintain excellent start to the season

After just five races so far this season, Fourcade has been on top of the podium on four occassions, only missing out in the Oestersund Pursuit last weekend. 

The 28-year-old carries the favourite tag into every race, and his first victory in this format this season came thanks to four immaculate rounds at the range.

Carrying a 14-second lead over from the Sprint, Fourcade was soon joined by Shipulin at the head of the race following the staggered start, and he must have been fearing the worst having seeing his 41-second lead toppled by two Russians in the form of Anton Babikov and Maxim Tsvetkov last week. 

Impressive speed on the range helped Shipulin cut into the lead, and although he was up against the greatest biathlete of this generation, Russia's number one was more than holding his own on the course.

Shipulin slips up at the last to hand Fourcade the win

The leading pair traded blows up until the final shoot of the race. The Russian's third target did not go down leading to a costly penalty loop, and after Fourcade shot clear for the fourth time of the day there was no doubt over who would cross the line first. 

Svendsen came out on top against Shipulin over the last lap, winning by 0.2 seconds to claim second, with his Norwegian compatriot Johannes Thingnes Bø and Germany's Simon Schempp rounding out the top five. 

The men are back in action on Sunday morning with the first relay of the season which sees four members of each nation take on 7.5km's, with a Sprint, Pursuit and Mass Start scheduled for the meeting in Nove Mesto beginning next week.