Kuusamo is a city in Northern Finland with about 16.000 inhabitants.The nearest large towns are Rovaniemi (about 192 kilometres to the northwest) and Oulu (215 kilometres southwest). Kuusamo is the northernmost Nordic Combined World Cup being located close to the Artic cirlce. The competitions are held at Ruka, one of the biggest ski resorts of the country. Traditionally a location where Nordic Combined athletes, ski jumpers and cross country skiers meet for their first competitions of the winter, Ruka is known among the spectators for the arctic climate, icy temperatures and often also changing winds.
Ruka offers excellent sporting facilities. The HS 142 "Rukatunturi" jumping hill is located very closely to the village of Ruka and the cross-country tracks lead right through the ski stadium at the foot of the jumping hill.
Haavard Klemetsen, Magnus Krog, Mikko Kokslien and Joergen Graabak won today's Nordic Combined team event at the Nordic Opening in Ruka. The Norwegian squad crossed the finish line a clear 30,7 seconds earlier than the team from Germany (Björn Kircheisen, Manuel Faisst, Johannes Rydzek and Eric Frenzel). The podium was completed by Team Japan, consisting of Taihei Kato, Yoshito Watabe, Hideaki Nagai and Akito Watabe.
World Champion and overall World Cup winner Eric Frenzel has stared where he left off last season and won the first race of the winter 2013/14. He finished 3,5 seconds ahead of Joergen Graabak, the third rank went to Graabak's teammate Magnus Krog (+6,9).
After the Summer Grand Prix introduced Russia's Evgeniy Klimov as Nordic Combined's new jumping senstation, it looks as if the 19-year-old is there to stay. Klimov won today's first PCR of the season quite clearly ahead of Norway's jumping specialist Haavard Klemetsen and Austria's Wilhelm Denifl.
The wait is over! From this weekend on it will be all about races, results, points and podiums again for the elite of the Nordic Combined athletes when their season starts in Kuusamo, Finland again.
As one of the last teams, the German Ski Federation has named their starters for the upcoming World Cup in Kuusamo.
After a lot of other teams already named their competitors for the first World Cup weekend in Kuusamo, the head coach Petter Kukkonen now also published his team for the upcoming days.