Superb Geiger/Frenzel take Team Sprint victory
In a nailbiter of a finish, young German Vinzenz Geiger took the victory of his first Team Sprint for the German team together with teammate Eric Frenzel in Val di Fiemme today. He outsprinted teammate Johannes Rydzek for the win. Rydzek/Rießle finished 0.7 seconds after Geiger/Frenzel. The third place was equally contested. Only a photo finish could decide Magnus Moan and Eero Hirvonen's finish line sprint and the Norwegian veteran had the better end.
Vinzenz Geiger had already surprised in the jumping round with a fabulous jump of 131.5 metres and together with a good effort from teammate Eric Frenzel (126.5 m), Team Germany II was in the lead with a total of 261.1 points. This point total gave them a head start of 15 seconds on their teammates Fabian Rießle and Johannes Rydzek. Rießle and Rydzek continued their solid jumping performances of the last days and showed 127 and 129 metres respectively.
Team Japan I featuring Akito and Yoshito Watabe ranked third and had to combat a delay of 17 seconds at the start following 127 and 123.5 metre-jumps. The longest jump in the round went to Austria’s Franz-Josef Rehrl, who showed 133.5 metres. Together with teammate Lukas Greiderer, he ranked fourth and started with a delay of 19 seconds. Eero Hirvonen and Ilkka Herola were also still in the contention for a good result with a delay of 27 seconds and rank five. Even though having to compete with a disadvantage of one minute and 12 seconds, fast skiers Mikko Kokslien and Magnus Moan from Norway could not be disregarded for the race.
The race was a demonstration of strength from both German teams. Already after the first lap, the two German teams had formed a group and they stayed together until the finish line. At the beginning they were joined by the Watabe brothers but at the 4.5 km point, the Japanese team began to fall back and finished on a sixth place in the end.
The two German teams worked together and kept the pace high, so that none of the other teams had the chance to come closer than 10 seconds at any points. In the end, the gap had grown to almost 40 seconds on rank three.
Behind the German teams, the battle for said third rank was on in full force. Team Austria II (Rehrl/Greiderer), Finland I (Herola/Hirvonen) and Japan I skied together for the middle part of the race. When Hirvonen opened up a gap to the other two teams by the 10.5 km point, it looked like Finland could secure a podium result this time but a full throttle attack from Mikko Kokslien and Magnus Moan on each of their last two laps thwarted these plans. The worked together with Team Austria I (Klapfer/Gruber) and came within striking distance by the 12 km point. In the end, a finish line sprint had Hirvonen pitted against Moan but experience won out over youth and a very disappointed Hirvonen had to concede defeat. Austria I ranked fifth, their teammates ended up on position seven.