Martin Fourcade crosses the line to win his 10th race of the season ©IBU

France's Martin Fourcade survived heavy snow and three shooting penalties to claim a 10th International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup win of the season today in Ruhpolding.

The two-time Olympic champion started fastest to open up an 18 second advantage during the first skiing section of the 12.5 kilometres pursuit.

He extended his lead to more than a minute after shooting clear in the first prone at the German resort. 

But two misses in the second prone and one in the standing section kept the rest of the field in contention, as Norway's Emil Hegle Svendsen briefly took the lead.

Fourcade remained unruffled, however, and a late burst on the final hill saw him eventually finish 18.3 seconds in front of the pack, in 30min 30.70sec. 

"I am very happy about this victory, I love to compete in Ruhpolding," Fourcade said.

"My wife and my daughter are with me here now. 

"Without my team and people around me I would not have been on the podium today."

Martin Fourcade, centre, poses alongside his fellow podium finishers ©IBU
Martin Fourcade, centre, poses alongside his fellow podium finishers ©IBU

The Frenchman is closing in on Norwegian rival Ole Einar Bjørndalen's record 12 World Cup wins in a season, set in 2004/05.

"I know I already won so much this season," he added. 

"But if I were not fighting for these statistics I would not have stayed that focused."

Svendsen finished second after a perfect shooting performance.

Michael Krcmar of the Czech Republic also shot clear to overtake Russia's Anton Shipulin in the final sprint, a further 1.2 seconds behind.

It marked the first World Cup podium of his career.

Finland's Kaisa Mäkäräinen claimed a second victory in as many days in the 10km women's pursuit.

She suffered just one shooting penalty en-route to a winning time of 30:58.0.

Czech Republic's Gabriela Koukalová was second, 1:00.9 behind, with France's Marie Dorin Habert a further 22.8 seconds back in third.