Of course, the Boe brothers, on early leave, weren't there, any more than the Russians and Belarusians, for reasons that don't need to be developed.
But these defections, voluntary or not, should not tarnish the new demonstration of Quentin Fillon Maillet, this weekend in Kontiolahti, in Finland.
After easily winning the sprint on Saturday, the five-time Olympic medalist in Beijing dominated the pursuit on Sunday.
Quentin Fillon Maillet wins the pursuit of Kontiolathi and consolidates his lead in the general classification!
— L'Équipe channel (@lachainelequipe) March 6, 2022
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At 29, QFM is already guaranteed to win his first small globe of the specialty.
The big crystal globe should not escape him either, after this seventh success in the World Cup this season, and before the last two stages of the World Cup in Otepaa in Estonia (March 10 to 13) and Oslo (17 to March 20).
A very large lead over Jacquelin
The Frenchman is now 174 points ahead of his runner-up Emilien Jacquelin, fourth in pursuit.
If we subtract the two worst results of the biathletes, as required by the regulations to determine the final general classification of the World Cup, Fillon Maillet's advantage is 144 lengths over Jacquelin.
This Sunday, QFM led the event from start to finish, helped by its formidable shooting efficiency (19/20).
Starting 18 seconds ahead of his first pursuer, the Jura player was certainly joined by Emilien Jacquelin halfway through the race but his rival cracked from the first standing shot (a fault).
Fillon Maillet finally beat German Erik Lesser by 8.2 seconds and Italian Lukas Hofer by 8.8 seconds.
He is ideally placed to become the fourth Frenchman to win the big crystal globe after Patrice Bailly-Salins (1994), Raphaël Poirée (2000, 2001, 2002, 2004) and Martin Fourcade (from 2012 to 2018).
Biathlon: Fillon Maillet on his way to the Olympics, the big globe is almost in his pocket
Olympic Games 2022: Quentin Fillon Maillet celebrated as a hero in his family stronghold in the Jura
Quentin Fillon Maillet
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A fault ?