Frenzel starts where he left off - on top!
World Champion and overall World Cup winner Eric Frenzel has stared where he left off last season and won the first race of the winter 2013/14. He finished 3,5 seconds ahead of Joergen Graabak, the third rank went to Graabak's teammate Magnus Krog (+6,9).
Originally, a team competition had been planned for today but after no ski jumping was possible in the morning due to unsafe wind conditions, yesterday's Provisional Competition Round had to be used and the schedule was switched to an individual competition.
Yesterday, Russia's young jumping sensation Evgeniy Klimov wowed the crowd with a jump of 139,5 metres which meant 141,3 points and a 27-second advantage on Haavard Klemetsen on the cross-country track. Klemetsen set a jump of 132 metres (134,5 p.). The third athlete out on the cross-country track was Austria's Wilhelm Denifl who jumped 129,5 metres (129,4 p.) which meant a time disadvantage of 48 seconds on Klimov.
Frenzel set himself up in an excellent chasing position with a time behind of +01:12, a managable disadvantage for the German superstar. His biggest opponent from last year, Jason Lamy Chappuis had a slightly weaker jump and went out on the track one minute and 33 seconds after Klimov.
With Karl-August Tirmaa, Sinde Ure Soetvik and Tobias Haug, three rather surprising athletes made it into the intermediate Top Ten. In the race, they were not able to hold on to their positions, finishing 36th, 40th and 32nd.
During the cross-country race, a strong Eric Frenzel managed to catch up with the three athletes in front of him by the half-time of the race, at 5 km. From then on, he skied very confidently towards his next individual victory.
Behind him a very fast group of followers formed around Jason Lamy Chappuis and Magnus Krog and tried to close the gap towards Frenzel which almost succeeded when fellow Norwegians Mikko Kokslien and Joergen Graabak powered to the front, closing the gap to Frenzel to below ten seconds. Both started with time disadvantages of over two minutes. In the end, Kokslien was just too tired to defend a podium place against his teammates and finished fourth, followed by Jason Lamy Chappuis in fifth and Haavard Klemetsen in sixth.