Schonach is located in the Black Forest region in Germany's south east. The town with about 4.000 inhabitants is well-known as a health resort and as a winter sports centre. Schonach is also a very traditional venue for Nordic Combined competitions. The "Black Forest Cup" has been held for over 40 years now and Schonach is a regular sight in the Nordic Combined calendars. It has also been the appointed venue of the Junior World Championships in 1981 and 2002.
The "Langenwald-Hill" in Schonach was built as early as 1924 and reconstructed several times over the years. It was modernized for 2.25 million Euro and, after a construction time of about half a year, was officially opened in 2011 right before the World Cup. Eric Frenzel likes the development: "There was a lot of progress over the last years, especially in jumping concerning the technique. So the hills should be adjusted and the organizers in Schonach did a great job." The HS 106 facility is now called the "normal hill with the most modern profile in Europe" and should meet the current requirements of the jumpers due to a longer table and a lower flying curve. "We often have competitions on normal hills, and that's less spectacular than on the large or flying hill. So it's good for us that Schonach now has a "large normal hill"." said Tino Edelmann. Eric Frenzel is of the same opinion: "We already had the chance to test the hill and I really like it a lot."
There were also changes made concerning the cross country track. The course in Wittenbachtal was modified and "it should be even tougher", said the chairman of the organizing ski club SC Schonach, Gunter Schuster.
The second Individual win of the Schonach weekend went to Jason Lamy Chappuis. After a strong race in stormy, rainy weather, he crossed the finish line 0.7 seconds ahead of local hero Johannes Rydzek. Third place went to Japan's Akito Watabe again who finished 1,1 seconds after the winner Lamy Chappuis.
Magnus Moan is back. The 30 year-old Norwegian won today's prestigious competition crossing the finish line 4,3 seconds ahead of teammate Haavard Klemetsen who claimed the third second-place in a row. They were joined on the podium by Akito Watabe (JPN) who beat out third Jan Schmid (NOR) in a sprint for the finish line and finished 5,1 seconds after Moan.
Schonach is gearing up for the most magical period of the year and this time, the cosy little town in Germany's picturesque Black Forest landscape will have the added excitement of the World's best Nordic Combined athletes stopping added to the glittering Christmas period.
The wait is almost over! The season 2013/14 is about to explode into action and we can almost see the hustle and bustle of officials, service people, physiotherapists, journalists, coaches and athletes again who just have one question they would like to answer: who is this year's ultimate winter athlete? But let's take the time, lean back and have a look at every single venue of this extended season preview 2013/14.