PRESQUE ISLE — The winners may have hailed from France and the Czech Republic, but the United States enjoyed another strong performance Friday on Day 2 of the World Cup biathlon at a brisk and blustery Nordic Heritage Center.

Susan Dunklee of Barton, Vermont, finished fifth in the 10-kilometer women’s pursuit after placing second in Thursday’s sprint. Hers are the only two top-five World Cup finishes by a U.S. biathlete this season.

Earlier Friday, Tim Burke of Paul Smiths, New York, moved up from 20th to grab seventh in the 12.5K men’s pursuit.

“This has been a really awesome weekend for us,” said Clare Egan, a Cape Elizabeth native who moved up nine places to finish 23rd in the women’s pursuit. It was the second-best performance of her career.

Martin Fourcade of France and Gabriela Soukalova of the Czech Republic showed a boisterous crowd of 2,100 why they sit atop the World Cup biathlon point standings this season.

Fourcade overcame a 29-second starting deficit and took over the lead on the final lap to win the men’s pursuit, and Soukalova never trailed to win for the second straight day in the women’s pursuit.

With temperatures in the single digits and significant wind gusts, Fourcade took advantage of two missed shots in the final standing stage by Thursday’s sprint winner Johannes Thingnes Boe of Norway.

Trailing by half a minute, Fourcade shot clean on his fourth and final stage after missing once on each of his first two prone stages and surged into the lead while Boe skied his two penalty loops.

“It was not easy because it’s been a long time since we raced in those kind of conditions,” said Fourcade, who hit 18 of 20 shots Friday. “My left hand froze.”

Boe finished second, 24 seconds behind Fourcade. Anton Shipulin of Russia was third, another 47 seconds back.

Soukalova cleaned both prone stages as well as her final standing stage after missing three shots in her first standing bout. Kaisa Makarainen of Finland was second, 34 seconds behind, with Marie Dorin Habert of France another four seconds back in third.

Dunklee hit 16 of 20 targets to take fifth – one week after a rock-bottom performance in Canmore, Alberta, that included a missed-’em-all shooting stage in the midst of a dead-last finish of a mass start race.

“Going into (Friday), I knew I had the best set-up I’ve ever had for a pursuit,” said Dunklee, who started the race 18 seconds behind Soukalova. “It’s a matter of not letting the pressure get to you.”

Needing a clean final shooting stage to compete for a medal, Dunklee hit 4 of 5 and began the final loop in fourth, only to be overtaken by Dorin Habert, who also passed a Polish biathlete who wound up fourth.

“It wasn’t a perfect day for me but it didn’t have to be,” said Dunklee, who turns 30 on Saturday. “There was tricky wind. We saw a lot of penalties out there, especially in that first standing stage.”

Egan hit 17 of 20 targets to match the best four-stage shooting performance of a career that reached the World Cup level one year ago. She finished seven seconds ahead of teammate Hannah Dreissigacker, a native of Morrisville, Vermont, who also hit 17 of 20 and moved up three places to 24th.

“I’m so psyched,” Egan said. “My skiing’s going really well. This is how I should be skiing. I’m back to normal, I’d say, and getting stronger. It’s going to be good timing for the world championships.”

After starting the season with a career-best 16th-place showing in Sweden, Egan, 28, managed no better than 67th before skipping last weekend’s World Cup to do some training.

“She had a great, awesome start to the season and then she’s been struggling to match that since,” said Dunklee, whose silver on Thursday matched the best performance by a U.S. woman in World Cup biathlon history. “I know what that feels like, to put down a good result and then to try to live up to that. You put all this pressure on yourself, too, and that never helps.”

Egan came off the break to finish 32nd Thursday and has one more event left this weekend, the women’s relay. That race was moved to Saturday afternoon because of expected frigid conditions on Sunday, with wind chills of 30 degrees below zero.

“The crux of the sport is figuring out how to be resilient and how to make those comebacks,” Dunklee said. “I think she’s learned a lot this year. She’s been really impressive and she’s coming through at the right time now. I’m excited for her and I’m excited for the world championships coming up.”

The men’s relay is scheduled to begin at 2:20 p.m. Saturday with the women to follow at 4:10. Each of four biathletes will ski three loops interspersed with one prone and one standing shooting stage.

Presque Isle is the eighth of nine stops on the World Cup biathlon tour, which breaks for the final half of February to allow athletes a rest before the world championships in Oslo, Norway, in early March.

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