And the second win in Almaty goes to… Christoph Bieler!
The second competition day in Almaty saw more sun, almost blue skies and a victory of Austria's Christoph Bieler in the last Individual Gundersen race before the World Championships in Val di Fiemme. He took his first victory after five years by finishing 4,4 seconds ahead of Akito Watabe from Japan. The podium was completed by Miroslav Dvorak from the Czech Republic who set a new personal best with this result. He reached the finish line 17,5 seconds after Bieler.
Austria took the intermediate first two places after the ski jumping competition. After his third place in yesterday's race, Christoph Bieler won the ski jumping round by jumping 135 metres (136,4 p.), beating out his young teammate Mario Seidl, who set the longest jump of the day with 136 metres, but only reached 103.4 points which meant a time disadvantage of 24 seconds. Japan's Taihei Kato once again delivered a top jumping result with 132 metres and 126,4 points which meant 40 seconds on the track.
Jumping experts Marjan Jelenko, Wolfgang Bösl and Yoshito Watabe claimed the intermediate ranks four, five and six and Akito Watabe held a promising seventh rank with a time disadvantage of 59 seconds. Yesteday's winner Björn Kircheisen did not have the best jump and went on the track with a time disadvantage of a whopping +01:48.
In the cross-country race, Bieler lead the field from the start to the finish line. While Mario Seidl was caught by the pursuers Akito Watabe and Miroslav Dvorak, Watabe never managed to fully close the gap to the Bieler. The Austrian skied a smart race and always kept his lead although Watabe worked hard on coming closer and closer and ruled supreme in the pursuing group. Miroslav Dvorak improved an eighth rank after the ski jumping to the first podium finish of his career.
The German duo Janis Morweiser and Björn Kircheisen also worked up their way through the ranks and finally finished fourth and fifth, also a personal best for Morweiser who improved from a 16th rank today. Kircheisen impressively made up 16 positions from an intermediate 21st rank.
You can find the full result list here.
The next competitions will be the World Championships in Val di Fiemme. First up for the Nordic Combined athletes is the Individual Gundersen race on the HS 106 hill on Friday, 22nd of February.