COC: Podium sweep for Team Austria in Ruka
By Ari Kairala
Two competitions of the Continental Cup are being held at Ruka, Finland during this weekend. The event started on Friday with official training and PCR in Ruka HS142 hill, where windless weather made perfect conditions. Unfortunately, the weather turned to be more difficult on Saturday when the competition was postponed from morning to afternoon due to the difficult wind direction, which the newly added wind nets could not catch.
The weather conditions were little bit tricky also in the afternoon, when the ski-jumping race was finally held. Two longest jumps were made by Norwegians. Harald Johnas Riiber took the lead with 130 meters long jump in very challenging conditions and his fellow country man Sindre Ure Soetvik started his ski race 19 seconds behind after jump that carried him as far as 140.5 meters. Maximilian Pfordte started ski-race with bib number three, 22 seconds behind the leader.
The 10 kilometers long ski-race was dominated by three Austrians. Lukas Greider won the competition with a time of 26.50.3, the third best cross-country time. Martin Fritz finished 26.5 seconds behind him and Harald Lemmer crossed the finish line 43.2 seconds later and earned the third place.
"I was happy with my jumping result today, the starting position for the race was okay", the winner said. "Martin Fritz and me alternated with keeping the speed high and so we were able to catch the Norwegians on the second lap. I continued in my pace and was able to make the decisive move early on. We had amazing skis today, it was a successful day through and through. Now I hope the conditions will be a bit easier tomorrow and that I can perform according to my level again."
Martin Fritz also now wears the green bib of the Continental Cup leader. All three
athletes hoped for better conditions for ski-jumping part of the second competition, that is held here in Ruka tomorrow morning.