Frenzel/Kircheisen with home victory in Oberwiesenthal
It was the local heroes Eric Frenzel and Björn Kircheisen who crowned themselves the first winners of the season 2016/17 with a Team Sprint win in Oberwiesenthal today. The duo crossed the finish line 18.8 seconds before their closest pursuers Jan Schmid and Magnus Moan and Norway. The third place went to Austria’s Philipp Orter and Berni Gruber.
The jumping event on Oberwiesenthal’s HS 106 was fully in German hands. The local heroes Eric Frenzel and Björn Kircheisen whose team was lovingly called the „Erzgebirgsexpress“ captured the pole position for the race thanks to fantastic performances by both athletes. Kircheisen showed strong 98 metres before his teammate set the longest jump of the day with 106 metres. Fabian Rießle and jumping expert Tobias Simon ranked second, only 1 second behind the leaders after two jumps of 96 and 104.5 metres. Youngsters Vinzenz Geiger and Terence Weber proved they can jump as well with 99 and 99.5 metres and started only 5 seconds after the top team.
Team Austria II (Rehrl/Seidl) and Norway I (Moan/Schmid) had 26 and 30 seconds to make up respectively. Also within one minute of time behind were Dvorak/Portyk (+0:32), Gruber/Orter (+0:43), Andersen/Klemetsen (+0:53), Hirvonen/Herola (+0:56) and Nagai/Shimizu (+0:57).
Kircheisen and Frenzel dominated the race and were never in any danger to lose their lead at all. At the beginning they quickly distanced the other two German teams and then skated an undisputed race at the head of the field, pushed by the frenetic applause of the local crowd. Behind the leading duo, the fight for the podium places started full throttle in the third quarter of the race when Norway I and Austria I and II and the Czech Republic I had closed the gap to the German teams II and III.
In the end, it was veteran Magnus Moan who secured the second place for himself and teammate Jan Schmid, a belated gift to himself one day after Moan's 33rd birthday. A photo finish had to decide the third place between the two Austrian teams with Philipp Orter having the better end over teammate Mario Seidl. The Czech team concluded a strong performance on rank five, Tobias Simon and Fabian Rießle of German III ended up on the sixth position.