The World Champion strikes back - Jason Lamy Chappuis wins in Lillehammer
And the first win in Lillehammer goes to… Jason Lamy Chappuis. The Frenchman crossed the finish line 13,5 seconds ahead of Akito Watabe from Japan. The podium was completed by local hero Mikko Kokslien from Norway who finished 18,3 seconds after Lamy Chappuis.
It was a French day on Lysgårdsbakken when Francois Braud won the jumping part with a great jump of 99,5 metres (122,6 p.). The longest distance of the day was set by his teammate Jason Lamy Chappuis who set 101 metres and received a total of 120,6 points. Japan's Akito Watabe followed in third with 98,5 metres (116,1 p.)
For the cross-country race, this meant a head start of 8 seconds for Braud on Lamy Chapouis, Watabe followed 26 seconds behind. The Top Ten of the jumping part were completed by three Czech athletes: Pavel Churavy in fourth (+0:29), Miroslav Dvorak in eighth (+0:53) and youngster Tomas Portyk in ninth position (+0:57), an excellent result for the team. Once again, the Russian team underlined their great jumping shape. This time, Niyaz Nabeev claimed a sixth position, starting only 34 seconds after Braud.
In front of the many spectators in the new Birkebeineren ski stadium, Braud and Lamy Chappuis worked together for the first part of the cross-country race. Japan's Akito Watabe also quickly closed his initial 26-second gap and went with the two Frenchmen. Behind them, Churavy, Bieler, Nabeev and Jelenko formed another group but quickly lost track of the leading trio. In contrast to that, the strong Norwegian team seems to have lost nothing of its stellar shape from last weekend and gained ground mercilessly on the leaders. In the end, it was local hero Mikko Kokslien who was pushed forward by the enthusiastic crowd. He claimed the third rank after catching up with Francois Braud on the last lap who had to let go of Watabe and Jason Lamy Chappuis on lap three.
Kokslien's teammate Jørgen Graabak claimed the fourth rank, the Top Ten were rounded out by Germany's Johannes Rydzek on fifth, Francois Braud saved a sixth rank, Magnus Moan ranked seventh and Dvorak, Bieler and Eric Frenzel eighth, ninth and tenth. The fastest time on the track once again went to Mikko Kokslien who turned an intermediate 28th rank into his final third one, followed by Graabak with the second fastest time, improving from 24th to fourth.
With this result, Lamy Chappuis also takes the yellow BIB from Eric Frenzel. He leads with 145 points ahead of Jørgen Graabak with 130, followed by Frenzel with 126.
Another Individual Gundersen competition is on schedule tomorrow. The jumping part starts at 09:30, the race is on at 14:15.