COC: Tobias Simon takes second Nizhny Tagil victory
Germany’s Tobias Simon was not to be beaten in today’s second Individual Gundersen event of the Continental Cup finals in Nizhny Tagil, Russia. Simon ranked second after the jumping part and held his own on the track. 13.5 seconds separated Simon from runner-up Bernhard Flaschberger from Austria at the finish line.
The battle for the remaining podium spots after Simon was a tight one. In the end, Flaschberger and Italy’s Lukas Runggaldier proved to be the strongest ones in the finish, leaving Germany’s Martin Hahn, Lukas Greiderer, Harald Riiber and Go Yamamoto with ranks four till seven.
Simon laid the foundation for his victory in the jumping part, in which the German took the second position. Japan’s Hisaki Nagamine proved again that the is a force to be reckoned with on the jumping hill and took the intermediate lead with 92.5 metres (120.9 p.) and a 20-second lead on Simon (92.5 m., 116 p.). Go Yamamoto was third with 94 metres and 109.5 points, meaning he had to start 46 seconds after his teammate and leader Nagamine.
In the race, Nagamine was no match for Simon, however. The Japanese finished his race on position 23. Even though he his not one of the fastest skiers, Simon held his own on the track today and the 25th-fastest time was enough to hold the approaching pursuers off until the finish line.
Flaschberger, Runggaldier, Hahn, Greiderer, Riiber and Yamamoto found each other in the course of the race and battled fiercely for the remaining two spots on the podium. Flaschberger and Runggaldier were successful and also sported the second and third-fastest race times but the group of six finished within three seconds of each other. Fastest man on the track was France’s Hugo Buffard, who skied the 10 km in 23:06.3 and improved rank 36 to a final eighth position.
Simon: "I think I really like this hill because I had almost only jumps here. I was second today after jumping which was a great start position. The tracks are also really nice and we have fantastic weather, just the wind is a little bit of a problem sometimes. You have to have a little bit of luck here but I think it was a really good competition today."
Flaschberger: "First of all good, we had great conditions here in Russia and good weather except for the wind. At the hill was windy and jumping not always easy but it was okay. The cross-country skiing went very well for me, my shape was good. I'm very happy with the second place."
Runggaldier: "I was really strange on the hill and it was not so easy. Some athletes were really unlucky, thers lucky. I started from far behind and so I had to push from the first metres till the last. I don't know what happened but from lap to lap, I was moving forward. I gave my best and I really couldn't believe that I made it to the podium in the end."