Schmid-tour de force decides last Fiemme event
Not only is Jan Schmid the current leader of the World Cup, today he also proved that he can win a race from the front, all by himself. In an incredible tour de force, Schmid caught teammate and jumping leader Jarl Riiber and Mario Seidl and proceeded to ski into the finish undisputedly. In the end, 8.0 seconds separated Schmid from a big group that sprinted for the places. Lukas Klapfer had the best end and captured rank two, his second podium in three days and Fabian Rießle beat teammate Johannes Rydzek for the third rank (+8.3).
Jarl Riiber returned to a good jumping shape, including a proper telemark, and won the jumping round with by far the best jump of 131 metres. 141 points put him at the pole position with a head start of 47 seconds on Austria’s Mario Seidl. Seidl jumped 121.5 metres (129.3 p.). The yellow bib of Jan Schmid started the race from position three, +0:56 seconds behind Riiber. His toughest opponent in the overall rankings, Johannes Rydzek, had a jump of 120 metres (118 p.) and started the race with a delay of one minute and 32 seconds. Espen Andersen had originally ranked second after the jumping round but was disqualified due to a non-rule confirming jumping suit.
Except for the bigger gap to leader Riiber, the field was quite closely together with a lot of athletes securing good positions and keeping up their hopes for the podium. Yesterday’s man of the day, Vinzenz Geiger, started with bib number four, +1:13 behind Riiber, Akito Watabe followed one second later, Jørgen Graabak started at +1:21, Eero Hirvonen at +1:27 and Lukas Klapfer only one second later.
Jarl Riiber got his wish to ski in his speed for the first two laps, but by the halfway point, his advantage had melted to 6.5 seconds on Schmid, who kept pushing. Around the 40 seconds mark after Riiber, a huge group had formed, consisting of all podium favourites including Graabak, Klapfer, Rydzek, Hirvonen, Watabe and also Fabian Rießle, who had closed his gap to this group.
While this order was still intact after the third lap, the final round changed everything. Schmid kept pushing but the group got dangerously close, so close that they caught Jarl Riiber, who had been skiing 5 seconds behind Schmid at the 7.5 km point. Another good Norwegian team tactic, which had Jørgen Graabak not pushing the group towards Schmid helped but the yellow-bib-bearer had to give his all and ski fast also through the last uphills. With Schmid staying strong, the group focussed on preparing a finish line sprint that would decide ranks two and three.