TUESDAY TALK: Fabian Rießle (GER)
Before diving head-first into the new adventure that is the Nordic Combined TRIPLE on this upcoming weekend, it's time to do a little wrap-up of a great Nordic Combined weekend in Chaux-Neuve, France. With 17.000 spectators (a new record for the organisers) more popular than ever, the tiny French village with about 150 inhabitants saw two thrilling competitions. For this week's TUESDAY TALK, Team Sprint winner Fabian Rießle from Germany gives us the inside perspective on the action-packed finish of Sunday's race, the strong Norwegian team and his view on the upcoming TRIPLE in Seefeld.
Fabian, after you and Tino did not have great results to show for so far this season, how did you approach this new chance in the Team Sprint in Chaux-Neuve?
Fabian Rießle: Actually pretty normally (laughs). But I was very much looking forward to starting in Chaux-Neuve because it is always tremendous fun to jump and ski in front of these many spectators.
The last metres of the race were pretty exciting with this little collision between Magnus Moan and Jason Lamy Chappuis. How did you experience these last minute of the race before crossing the finish line first?
Rießle: I already had the thought "this is going to be tight" during the last lap. It was my plan to go into the last downhill in second position because I knew I had very good skis. And for a change, one of my plans actually worked! (laughs).
When we went through the last curve, I had a little more speed so I was able to slip by Magnus and go into this last short uphill first. At this point I thought "now or never!". So actually, I haven't really seen what happened between Magnus and Jason behind me.
A short bottom line of the past weekend?
Rießle: It was a truly great weekend. It's just the bomb to start with a crowd like that. They are cheering on the last guy in the same fashion as the leader. They are really fair and also know the sport. I really wish we had spectators like that every weekend. Chapeau, France!
In how far does a victory like yours help now that we're going into the last weeks before Sochi?
Rießle: Now that we're approaching the Olympics, it's all about showing good results and a good shape, to get notices by the coaches. Of course a victory is also always good for your personal feeling, it makes you loosen up a little more. (grins)
Now we have another big highlight on schedule first: the Nordic Combined TRIPLE. What will be the hardest and what the best thing about it?
Rießle: If the weather conditions are in our favour, this has the potential to be a really realy cool thing because it will get really tight and exciting on the cross-country track. The hardest thing about the TRIPLE will be the 15-kilometre race, for sure. We are only used to 10 km and skiing 15 km is quite different in regards to the approach and the power needed. The best thing will hopefully be crossing the finish line with a great result on Sunday (laughs).
In order to cross the finish line first, you have to get past the really strong Norwegian team at the moment. How can they be beaten?
Rießle: Oh yes, the Norges are really on a roll right now, in regards to the jumping AND the cross-country skiing. On top of that, they are having really good material beneath their feet quite often and they sure know how to use that. But until the Olympics, we still have a little time to go through our little box of tricks. So unfortunately, I can't give away how they can be beaten right now. That would make it too easy! (laughs)