French Go 1-2 at Biathlon World Cup

Saturday, January 12th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OBERHOF, Germany (AP) _ Frenchmen Ralph Poiree and Vincent Defrasne finished first and second Saturday at a biathlon World Cup event with a mass start.

Poiree had just one miss and completed the 15-kilometer event in 42 minutes, 42.4 seconds, with Defrasne 1.1 seconds behind.

Russia's Viktor Maigurov overcame two penalty rounds from misses to finish third at 9.0 seconds back.

That prevented the German team from a top-three finish in its best discipline on its home course. Ricco Gross was fifth while last year's winner, Sven Fischer, was 10th.

``That tells you how little difference there is between the world's best,'' German coach Frank Ulrich said. ``We expected a top three finish, but I'm not disappointed.''

Pavel Rostovtsev of Russia retained his lead in the overall standings despite finishing eighth after four misses.

Rostovtsev has 360 points after 10 of 24 events, followed by Finland's Vesa Hietalahti at 294 and Germany's Frank Luck with 293. Poiree moved up to fourth at 276.