COC: Austrian double victory in Nizhny Tagil
The last three-competition weekend of the Continental Cup season 2016/17 is taking place in Nizhny Tagil, Russia and the first Individual Gundersen competition ended with an Austrian double victory.
It was Harald Lemmerer who beat teammate Marting Fritz narrowly by 0.3 seconds in the end and took the first victory on Russian soil for this winter. Fritz, the new bearer of the green COC leader bib had to concede defeat to Lemmerer but beat out Germany’s David Welde for the second place by a hair’s breadth, or 0.1 seconds. Armin Bauer from Italy was also part of the final sprint for the podium but ended up on the unlucky fourth rank, +0.8 seconds behind the winner.
Japan’s jumping sensation Hisaki Nagamine and teammate Go Yamamoto had dominated the jumping part earlier and showed 99.5 and 95 metres in changing wind conditions on Nizhny Tagil’s HS 100 hill. 118.9 points put Nagamine in the pole position with an 18 second lead on Yamamoto. Tobias Simon from Germany was third and started his race 21 seconds after the intermediate leader (91 m; 113.6 p.).
Harald Lemmerer started from position 23 with a delay of one minute and 26 seconds while his compatriot Martin Fritz fared much better: he only had to catch up 23 seconds from the intermediate fifth position. In the race, a leading group formed around Fritz while two other groups pursued and chased the podium ranks from further behind with fast skiers Lemmerer and Bauer starting together around the one minute and 20 second mark.
On the last uphill, all three groups came together and the sprint for the podium was on full force. With the two Austrians emerging the strongest, also the Austrian team performance was impressive: Lukas Greiderer ended his race on position five and with Bernhard Flaschberger on eight, there were four Austrians among the Top Ten. The rest of the Top Ten spots were taken by Lukas Runggalider (6), Hugo Buffard (7), Go Yamamoto (9) and Tobias Simon (10). Jumping winner Nagamine ended his race on position 27.
"Everything went perfectly for me today. I had a good jump and a very good race. And I like this kind of races, when the big group is coming together and you have to push hard until the finish line," Lemmerer said after his race.
Runner-up and COC overall leader Martin Fritz: "I felt very good today but the cross country race was very hard for me and on the hill it was a little bit windy. But I think it was also good competition. And yes on the third lap of the cross country race I thought I can beat these guys behind me, but they were so strong. And I’m very happy about my second place today. I am now, I think 80 points ahead of David and I hope I can win the overall. But we still have two competitions and 200 points to win. I hope I can take it."