Austrian double victory at last COC in Klingenthal
The weekend in Klingenthal couldn't have ended one a more positive note for the Austrian Continental Cup team. Sepp Schneider who hadn't been able to start on the past two days due to an illness was back and immediately won the competition, ahead of his teammate and part of yesterday's winning team in the Team Sprint, Marco Pichlmayer. The third rank went to Norway's Truls Johansen who beat Frenchman Geoffrey Lafarge and Lukas Greiderer from Austria in a sprint for the finish line.
After the ski jumping part, Tobias Simon had been in the lead with a fantastic jump of 146 metres on Klingenthals HS140 large hill. Mario Seidl ranked second with 135.5 metres and 129.2 points which meant 39 seconds of time disadvantage in regards to Simon.
Sepp Schneider who started into the cross-country race on the third rank with a time behind of 43 seconds immediately went all in and caught up with leader Tobias Simon in the third lap. When he crossed the finish line he had a whopping 24-second lead to teammate Marco Pichlmayer who had to start into the race with a handicap of about one and a half minute after a tenth rank in ski jumping. Pichlmayer lead the group of pursuers for a long stretch of the race before he could leave the other athletes behind on the last lap.
Fast skier Truls Johansen from Norway showed an amazing performance in the race: having started from an intermediate 28th position after the ski jumping part, he made up almost two minutes of time behind and beat out Lafarge and Greiderer on the deciding last metres of the race. With 25:22.0, he set the fastest time of the day.
For the Continental Cup overall this meant a new leader: Marco Pichlmayer got rewarded with the green leader BIB and has now 320 points. Tomaz Druml ranks second with 312 points and Lukas Greiderer third with 290, making the Top Three into a purely Austrian group.