Fabian Rießle sprints to the victory in Montafon
A sprint decided the podium of the second Individual Gundersen event in the summer of 2017. Germany’s Fabian Rießle proved his qualities as a finisher and set the second Summer Grand Prix victory of his career by beating local hero Mario Seidl by 0.3 seconds. Behind Seidl, Finland’s Ilkka Herola beat out Eric Frenzel by 0.1 seconds for the third place.
Mario Seidl underlined his great shape on the jumping hill with yet another jumping victory, this time on Tschagguns’s HS 108. Seidl showed 104.5 metres and the resulting 139.6 points gave him a 31-second head start on runner-up Laurent Muhlethaler. The young Frenchman had 100.5 metres in his repertoire today (131.8 p.). He was followed by PCR-winner Akito Watabe. Watabe jumped 98.5 metres and accumulated 130.6 points, which meant a delay of 36 second at the start.
The field started very closely together with 13 athletes having start times within one minute and 48 athletes within the first two minutes. Estonian Kristjan Ilves continued with good results and secured the intermediate fourth position, starting only one second behind Watabe, Harald Johnas Riiber upheld the family honour and ranked fifth, +0:38. Fast skier Fabian Rießle had a good starting position for the race on rank eight, +0:45 second behind the leader. Eric Frenzel had exactly one minute to make up.
Seidl managed to hold on to his lead until shortly after the 7.5 km point of the race. Until then, last year’s winner managed to steer clear of the pursuers but a big group banded together to give chase. After one of four laps, it was a group of eleven athletes chasing Seidl, among them Fabian Rießle, Akito Watabe, Ilkka Herola. This big group stayed together until the last lap brought the decision. Fabian Rießle entered the final stretch first and decided the race from the front. Behind him, Seidl claimed a secure second rank, while Herola and Frenzel fought for position three.
Alessandro Pittin had heads turning with a first good result in a long time. With the fastest roller-ski time, the Italian improved position 43 to the final fifth rank. French youngster Laurent Muhlethaler claimed a very respectable sixth position, the Top Ten were completed by Akito Watabe, Miroslav Dvorak, Eero Hirvonen and Terence Weber.