Julia Simon snatched biathlon World Cup victory by the skin of her teeth for the second week running, as the Frenchwoman edged past Hanna Oeberg in a dramatic sprint finish in Antholz-Anterselva.
After three missed attempts with the rifle, Simon looked to have thrown away her opportunity of building on last weekend's victory in Oberhof, but she fought back with a strong skiing performance to emerge victorious from the nail-biting duel.
The 24-year-old missed more shots than anyone else in the top six in Italy, but her power and determination with the skis saw her fight her way back in contention, after being as low as tenth heading into the final visit to the shooting range.
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After finishing with a clear round she could sense the chance of a victory, and produced a sensational effort to claw back her opponents in the home stretch.
Lisa-Theresa Hauser was first to be reeled in, with the Austrian unable to keep up as the race drew nearer to a conclusion, and from there it was just Oeberg to beat.
The duo went ski to ski in the run up to the line, with neither contender giving an inch, leaving the race balancing on a knife-edge.
But a monumental effort from Simon at the line saw her edge out Oberg by just 0.2s, to claim a third World Cup victory of her career, with Hauser finishing 3.5s further back.
A second successive win puts the French star firmly in contention for next month's World Championships in Slovenia, as she looks to be hitting form at exactly the right time.
But Simon admits that she will have to work on her performance with the rifle, and stop relying on her skiing abilities to get her out of trouble.
"I miss the shooting performance, it's something that I will have to find and manage to put in place. Maybe it will be at the Worlds," Simon explained.
After two consecutive weekends sitting atop the podium, Simon now tops the overall standings with 156 points, but she won't be letting that affect her performances in the future.
"As long as I have the red bib, I will fight in each race. But to think only of the jersey, it would be adding pressure," she added.
Oeberg's performance in Italy sees her move up to third in the overall standings with 129 points, while Marte Olsbu Roeiseland is in second with 132 points after a seventh-placed finish on Saturday.
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