Biathlete Fak starts season with 4th place at Pokljuka
Fak was 34.4 seconds behind the winner as he missed one shot to squander a good chance for a podium finish.
Also finishing ahead of the Olympic runner-up in the discipline were Johannes Kühn of Germany, who was 4.2 seconds behind the winner and the Austrian veteran Simon Eder, who finished 19.7 seconds behind the French.
It was the 75th Biathlon World Cup win for Fourcade, who was perfect at shooting, as were Kühn and Eder.
It was the fifth win in a row for the French. "I like it here. I'm proud of winning race after race," he told reporters.
Fak was meanwhile not happy about the missed shot. "My legs were not in the best shape on the track. I hope that it will be better tomorrow," he said in reference to the men's sprint on Friday.
They will be competing without a day of rest, as today's race had been scheduled to take place yesterday but was moved to today due to thick fog.
"I hope that everybody got tired today. The younger you are, the easier is to recuperate. And I'm not among the youngest any more," said the 31-year-old.
Ukrainian biathlete Yuliia Dzhima won the Thursday's individual 15km event for women, followed by Monika Hojnisz of Poland and Marketa Davidova of the Czech Republic.
The winner did not miss any of her shots and finished the race in 43:06.6, beating Hojnisz by 5.9 seconds and Davidova by 16.5 seconds, both of whom had to run one penalty loop.
Slovenia was represented by Urška Poje, Polona Klemenčič and Lea Einfalt. The best out of the three Slovenians to compete in the race was Lea Einfalt, who finished 77th, more than six minutes behind Dzhima, in her debut appearance in the Biathlon World Cup.