Oberstdorf, the southernmost muncipality of Germany, is located in the Allgäu region of the Bavarian Alps and about 130 km away from Munich. It is framed by the mountains of Fellhorn and Nebelhorn which can also be reached by cable car fromt the city center. Oberstdorf has about 10.000 inhabitants and is famous as a touristic region and for its excellent winter sports facilities. Next to the famous four hills tournament and the ski flying competition on the ski flying hill, Oberstdorf has also served as a host city for the Nordic Combined World Cup and Summer Grand Prix frequently.
The ski jumping part takes place on the HS 137 large hill of the Erdinger Arena, which also features an newly restored HS 106 normal hill and three smaller practice hills. In summer, the cross-country part is conducted on a rollerski city course which starts and ends in the landing area of the Erdinger Arena. In winter, the cross-country race takes place in the stadium "Ried".
Eric Frenzel claimed the victory in the last Individual Gundersen competition before the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. He beat Norway's Jan Schmid after a sprint for the finish line by 0.5 seconds. They were joined on the podium by Akito Watabe (JPN) who was back on top after an influenza and finished 4.6 seconds afte Frenzel.
Team Germany has handed in a very good application for a Sochi team medal by winning the last team event before the season highlight in front of their home crowd in Oberstdorf today. Eric Frenzel skied the victory into the finish on the last leg of the race, crossing the finish line 1.3 seconds before Jason Lamy Chappuis from the second-placed team of France. Team Austria claimed the third and remaining podium rank.
The last competition weekend before the Olympic Games in Sochi is now officially opened and the first to write down his name in the winner's list is Japan's Yoshito Watabe. With a strong jump of 132.5 metres he accumulated 135 points and took the win ahead of Austria's Wilhelm Denilf (130 m; 133 p.). The third rank went to Christoph Bieler who jumped 130.5 metres (132.4 m).
When the Nordic Combined World Cup will hit the German venue of Oberstdorf for one more Individual Gundersen and a Team Event, it will not be only a regular World Cup weekend. For many of the participants, high stakes are riding on these competitions, as the last tickets to Sochi are battled out.
Right after the Nordic Combined Triple, the next highlight will follow suit: the Olympic Games in Sochi. Part II of the extended season preview will take you to all stops of the later part of the winter!