Tim Hug conquers the cold in Chaikovskiy
It was cold in Chaikovskiy, Russia and the Nordic Combined athlete who was able to cope best with the tough conditions was Tim Hug. The Swiss claimed his first ever World Cup win in the first Individual Gundersen competition from the normal hill by passing the finish line 5,7 seconds ahead of Germany's Björn Kircheisen. Miroslav Dvorak from the Czech Republic also made the jump onto the podium. He arrived in the finish 8,3 seconds after the leader.
In the ski jumping round, local hero Evgeniy Klimov ruled supreme. With 106 metres, the Russian jumped the longest distance of the day and claimed the lead with 136.7 points and 26 seconds of head start on Wilhelm Denifl from Austria. Strong Norwegian jumper Thomas Kjelbotn claimed an intermediate third rank with 101,5 metres and 130.3 points. He started into the cross-country race 52 seconds after Klimov.
Tim Hug set himself up for his victory with a tenth place after the jumping. He showed 96 metres which gave him a time behind of 1:18 to make up. On the second lap, Hug joined forces with Wilhelm Denifl and the duo lead the field for a long time after intermediate leader Evgeniy Klimov had to let go of the lead. Behind the duo, a chasing group formed around Björn Kircheisen and Miroslav Dvorak who were joined by USA's lightning-fast skier Taylor Fletcher who stormed around the course and improved an intermediate second-but-last place (49th) into an unbelievable sixth place in the end result. With 25:15.3, he skied the fastest time by far, being followed by France's Hugo Buffard as the second-fastest skier with 25:53.8.
In the end, none of these athletes could endanger Tim Hug's victory who shook off Wilhelm Denifl in the last round and skied a dominant victory into the finish, never even having been close to lose the lead. On the last uphill, German veteran Björn Kircheisen once again showed his quality and attacked, claiming the second rank, followed by Dvorak beating out Denifl and teammate Klapfer for the rank three. Together with Tomaz Druml on rank nine and Tobias Kammerlander on rank ten, the Austrian team made a strong impression with four athletes in the Top Ten.