Martin Fourcade won the final race of his career but missed out on the crystal globe ©Getty Images

Martin Fourcade signed off an illustrious career with his 83rd victory in his final race but was pipped to the overall title by Norwegian rival Thingnes Bø at the International Biathlon Union World Cup in Kontiolahti in Finland.

The French five-time Olympic and 13-time world champion was denied a fairytale ending by Bø, who crossed the line in fourth in the 12.5 kilometres pursuit to secure the crystal globe by two points.

Defending champion Bø finished the season, cut short after the cancellation of next weekend's season finale in Oslo, on 913 points, two clear of Fourcade in second.

But Fourcade, who announced his retirement age 31 on the eve of the final race of the campaign, was able to celebrate victory in his last race.

The French star, who had been seeking an eighth overall World Cup title, clocked 31min 25.4sec to end his career in style.

Fourcade led an all-French podium as Quentin Fillon Maillet and Émilien Jacquelin were second and third, respectively.

Bø, absent for part of the season for the birth of his child, was favourite to land the overall crown and retained his title by virtue of coming home in fourth.

But the focus of the event, staged behind closed doors because of the coronavirus pandemic, was on Fourcade, who waves goodbye to the sport as one of its greatest athletes.

"It was special today for me as everybody knows," Fourcade said.

"It has been a dream, doing a bit more than 10 years, I couldn’t dream about finishing another way.

"I didn’t dream about yellow jersey and crystal globe and it’s a good signal Johannes is taking it."

Italy's Dorothea Wierer retained her overall women's title, despite finishing 11th in the 10km pursuit.

Wierer ended the season seven points clear of Norway's Tiril Eckhoff after amassing 793.

Germany's Denise Herrmann, winner of the sprint yesterday, was third, a further 41 points adrift of the triumphant Italian.

France's Julia Simon claimed her first World Cup victory in 30:43.5, 17.3 seconds clear of Selina Gasparin of Switzerland in silver medal position.

Lisa Vitozzi of Italy did enough for third.

Kaisa Mäkäräinen of Finland, who like Fourcade has called time on her career, was fourth.