France claimed the mixed relay crystal globe after a dramatic final day of World Cup action in Nove Mesto.
A new-look team of Lou Jeanmonnot, Caroline Colombo, Eric Perrot and Fabien Claude took victory in the 4x6km relay, putting France into a 65-point lead at the top of the standings in the race for the World Cup title.
That meant that a finish of seventh or better in the afternoon’s single mixed relay would guarantee them the title.
However, heading into the final shoot, Antonin Guigonnat found himself in eighth spot, with closest rivals Norway on course for the win.
That followed an earlier penalty loop from Anais Chevalier-Bouchet on the first leg, that had left the French playing catch-up.
Guigonnat held his nerve though, missing just once on the stand as a number of biathletes in front of him faltered, with the Frenchman eventually coming home in fourth.
That was enough to take the mixed relay World Cup title by 25 points from Norway, for whom Marte Olsbu Roieseland and Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen had the consolation of the single mixed relay victory on the day, Roieseland’s third win in as many races in Nove Mesto.
“It’s really special, it’s been a great week,” she said.
They were joined on the podium by Switzerland and Latvia, while in the mixed relay earlier in the day, France finished in first ahead of Sweden and Norway.
Roiseland and Christiansen deliver Norway single mixed relay triumph
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