Johannes Rydzek celebrates first win of the season

Johannes Rydzek (GER, Fischer skis, bindings and boots) secured his first win this winter, which also meant the first victory for a German nordic combined athlete. Second place went to Jørgen Graabak (NOR, Fischer skis, bindings and boots) in front of Mario Seidl (AUT, Fischer skis, bindings and boots).

After a ski jump in changing wind conditions, first two Austrians were in the lead and Mario Seidl said: "We hope that we can work together. On the hill we have shown good jumps and we'll see what happens in the race. If the others catch up we will fight." However, the Austrian cooperation did not work because the disqualification of Franz-Josef Rehrl (AUT) which was communicated immediately after the interview. So Martio Seidl was on his own with 39 seconds ahead of the World Cup leader Jarl Magnus Riiber (NOR, Fischer skis, bindings and boots), followed ten seconds later by other fast skiers. The Norwegian was the fastest to start into the race to catch up with the Austrian soon, so he also extended his lead over the other pursuers and made up 15 seconds on Seidl. In the second lap, however, he had to realize that he would not make it on his own and waited for the group.

The chasing trio was led by Johannes Rydzek on the first two laps, who put in a good pace but this cost a lot of energy. Jørgen Graabak took the lead when his compatriot was overtaken - but only half-heartedly. By slow pace Mario Seidl was able to extend his lead again. Only in the last lap the pace significantly increased, as Seidl became tired. As the Austrian fought his way up Brink ascent, Rydzek and Graabak came closer and closer side by side. After that uphill, the German attacked and Riiber and Akito Watabe (JPN, Fischer skis, bindings and boots) dropped back, only Graabak remained at his heels. In the new top trio Graabak lost the contact to the others in the downhill to omega, and Rydzek took advantage of it attacking after the curve into the Zorzi uphill. With Seidl as a buffer behind him, the crucial gap was opened, which the Norwegian could no longer close. Johannes Rydzek celebrated the first victory of a German athlete this season ahead of Jørgen Graabak and Mario Seidl. "An amazing day. I felt good on the hill already and my starting position was promising. I knew it was going to be an exciting race. I tried to be economical with my power but had to invest quite at lot at the beginning. But I had good skis and felt great. In the last lap, I took my heart into my hands and just tried it. I speculated for the win but that is really worked out in the end is so cool. This pushed me a lot on the last uphill. Just an amazing race." Jarl Magnus Riiber finished fourth ahead of Akito Watabe. Vinzenz Geiger (GER, Fischer skis, bindings and boots) outsprinted Eric Frenzel (GER, Fischer skis, bindings and boots) and finished sixth.

=> HS137/10km Val di Fiemme (ITA)

Jørgen Graabak had to deal with a moment of shock in yesterday's PCR: When the traffic light switched to green and he pushed off the bar, the small crane camera was still too close, because the cameraman reacted too late. Graabak rammed the camera with his left shoulder and the side of his helmet, but he was not deterred and showed a very good jump. Nevertheless, he and his team were hopping mad.