Thousands of fans flooded the streets of Annecy to watch the first edition of the Martin Fourcade Nordic Festival on Saturday. Less than a month after the Blink Festival in Norway, top biathletes and cross-country skiers came together in the French city to battle it out on wheels... An audacious gamble which paid off thanks to the determination of the five times Olympic Champion.
''I wanted to bring the sport in the middle of the city," said Martin Fourcade. "I think bringing people to sport activities is a big challenge for our societies. Sport changed my life and I really want to help people change theirs through sport. I want to show that sport is not only what we saw today with top athletes fighting for prize money and for podiums but it's also enjoying a wonderful atmosphere, being outside, being healthy and being happy to spend time with your friends, your partners and you!''
On a glorious afternoon in Annecy, Martin Fourcade lived up to expectations. The 30-year-old looked in great shape and produced a stunning performance to seal the win ahead of Germany's Benedikt Doll and Italy's Lukas Hofer while Lisa Vittozzi reigned supreme in the women's event.