COC-M: Muhlethaler wins Final Ind. Gundersen
France’s Laurent Muhelthaler was the strongest man in 2 rounds of jumping and 15 km of cross-country skiing in the Final Individual Gundersen event of the season 2017/18 in Nizhny Tagil.
Muhlethaler was in the lead after the jumping rounds already and did not relinquish his hold on the first place in the final 15 km of skiing. In the end, he finished 22 seconds ahead of Germany’s Tobias Simon. Lukas Runggaldier returned to the podium after his maiden victory on Friday, finishing 36.4 seconds after the Frenchman.
Muhlethaler dazzled with 89.5 and fabulous 102.5 metres (236.7 p.) and had a head start of 21 seconds on local hero Ernest Yahin at the start of the race. With jumps of 90 and 96 metres, Yahin distanced third-placed Go Sonehara at the start line. The Japanese started with a delay of 48 seconds. Tobias Simon followed with +1:11 and Niaz Nabeev was the fifth starter at the +1:30 mark. Out of the fast skiers, Lukas Runggaldier had the best jumping performance and started with a disadvantage of two minutes and 30 seconds.
The 15 km race was demanding for all athletes after a long weekend but Muhlethaler used his advantage well to achieve his first-ever Continental Cup victory with the 29th-fastest time. Fastest man on the track was once more Hugo Buffard, who skied through the field and improved his 48th position at the start to the 17th rank at the finish line but still finished two minutes and 46 seconds after the winner.
Tobias Simon held firm in the race and overtook Sonehara and Yahin on the way to the second place. The Japanese and the Russian also had to let Lukas Runggaldier pass, as the Italian proved to be unstoppable on the way to the podium with the sixth fastest time. Sonehara finished fourth, Yahin fifth. Yesterday’s winner Bernhard Flaschberger claimed position six, Terence Weber was seventh, Lars Burås eighth, teammate Leif Torbjørn Næsvold ninth and Aguri Shimizu took another tenth rank.
COC overall leader Thomas Jöbstl finished 16th on the last day and took home the overall victory with 577 points. Martin Fritz and Sinde Ure Søtvik kept their second and third places without competing in the COC on the past weekend with 520 and 516 points respectively.