Burke climbs to fourth place

Tim Burke of Paul Smiths posted a fourth-place finish in Sunday’s 15-kilometer mass start at the World Cup event in Oslo, Norway.

Burke turned up the heat in the second half of the race, climbing from 16th to fourth and posting the fastest skiing time of the day. He finished in 40 minutes, 7.8 seconds with two shooting penalties.

Ondrej Moravec of the Czech Republic captured his first World Cup win in the race with a time of 39:48.7 and one penalty. World Cup leader Martin Fourcade of France was second in 40:02.4 with three penalties. Erik Lesser of Germany took third in 40:05.5 and one penalty.

“I am very happy with my fourth place, but of course it was a little painful to miss out on the podium by a few seconds,” Burke said. “Our technicians did a fantastic job of getting me on some fast skis today, and I also felt very good right from the start.

“Going into the last loop, I was not really thinking about the podium because I thought that group was too far away. After the big climb, I noticed that I had gained a lot on that group, so I attacked with everything I had to catch up. Unfortunately, I did not have much of a sprint left in my legs after I caught the group but I am still happy with fourth.

“Most importantly, I have felt great on the skis in my last few starts so I am really looking forward to these last two weeks of racing.”

Lowell Bailey of Lake Placid had strong performance in the first half of Sunday’s race, cleaning his first two stages and reaching fifth place going into stage three. Bailey picked up three penalties at each of his last two stages and dropped to finish 27th in 42:53.7 (six penalties).

Following Sunday’s mass start, Burke ranks 15th in overall World Cup standings and Bailey sits 29th overall.

Team USA now travels to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games venue in Sochi, Russia, for IBU World Cup 8 starting with the men’s and women’s individual events on Thursday.