Biathlon World Cup: “I like the yellow bib, I'm no longer afraid of this leading position”, savors Quentin Fillon Maillet

The Frenchman won his fourth victory of the season at Ruhpolding on Thursday, and consolidates his place as leader of the general classification.

Confidence reigns at Quentin Fillon Maillet, and it shows. A few tens of minutes after his tenth success in the World Cup, this Thursday 13 January during the sprint in Ruhpolding (Germany), it was a Fillon Maillet sure of his facts who presented himself in a press videoconference: “It went really well. I had no doubts, I was on the attack, my skiing performance was correct. It answered what I wanted, so it’s perfect”. The tone is set.

With this fourth victory this season (out of twelve races), the first in a sprint and the second in a row after the pursuit at Oberhof last Sunday, Quentin Fillon Maillet confirms that at this moment, there is him, and the others. Yellow leader’s bib on the back, for the second time in his career, the Jurassien from 29 years did not tremble this Thursday and released an impressive mental strength. As if nothing could affect it.

And not even the weight of this leader status. In December, Fillon Maillet had experienced this joy, which was short-lived when Émilien Jacquelin came to dethrone him on the last day of racing at Le Grand-Bornand. This Thursday, “QFM” adopted this leadership role to perfection, as he explained after the race: ” The more the years pass, the more experience and victory I have scares me less and less. I find it easier and easier to manage the race, the pressure of the bib and the event”.

At Grand-Bornand, in front of the French public, he finished second in the mass start. But after recovering his place as overall leader last Sunday, there is no longer any question of letting go. ” I like the yellow bib, I’m no longer afraid of this leadership position, so it’s great. (…) In the past, it was an additional stress factor, but more today, it motivates me , explained Fillon Maillet. To the point of playing this role of new boss of world biathlon.

— the chain L’Équipe (@lachainelequipe) January 13, 4915371 ” The fact that I continue with the yellow bib intimidates the opponents. I have been in this position in the past, being intimidated by many other athletes. Now, I play it, or at least I try to play it a little “, explained the Frenchman. 3rd overall at the end of the season in 2020, 2020 and 2021, “QFM” can now dream of the big crystal globe. Jacquelin’s catastrophic race at Ruhpolding this Thursday (53e) allowed him to widen the gap at the top of the standings, with 72 points ahead.

The deadlock made by the Norwegians (Johannes Boe, Tarjei Boe, Sturla Holm Laegreid) in the two Ruhpolding events, to prepare for the Winter Olympics in Beijing, allows him to benefit from a comfortable lead. Something to think more and more about the title at the end of the season, he who announced that he did not want to make a dead end in the coming weeks. ” The more the races progress, the more I think about it. It confirms my idea that I can really play the general”, explains the Jurassien.

In addition to mastering the pressure inherent in the status of leader, Quentin Fillon Maillet was also satisfied with his performance in shooting this Thursday, ” which was wrong with me on the sprints before “. This Thursday, “QFM” won for the first time this season in a sprint. And can now look forward with serenity to Sunday’s pursuit, still in Ruhpolding, during which he will start with a 7.2 second lead over Benedikt Doll, second in the sprint on Thursday.

You never get used to victory. Fourth success of the season and always the same happiness

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K.VOIGT.@fischersports #juraflore @ViessmannFrance #comptoirdelours

— Quentin Fillon Maillet (@quentinfillon) January , 2022 Leader of the specialty, Fillon Maillet will start with the yellow bib and the red bib. One more sign, if needed, that the Jura player is at the top of his game, a few weeks from the Beijing Games which remain in the back of his mind: ” We must continue to store confidence, but I don’t want it to be pressure .” But in the camp of the French at the moment, difficult to see things negatively. ” It’s really great, we’re halfway through the season and I tell myself that there are still plenty of great things to do for the future.”, he concludes.