COC: Tomaz Druml keeps on winning
COC-overall leader Tomaz Druml was on track towards securing his title in the first of final three competitions in Kuusamo, Finland. The Austrian won by crossing the finish line 13.4 seconds earlier than teammate Lukas Greiderer. Wolfgang Bösl stayed on Druml's heels in the overall ranking by claiming rank three, 42.3 seconds behind Druml.
As the wind conditions were very bad, Thursday's PCR was used. In the PCR, Estonian Kristian Ilves had grabbed the lead with a great jump of 130.5 metres. This meant 129.7 points and a 13 second-advantage on Germany's Wolfgang Bösl who landed at 128 metres, followed by Lukas Greiderer at 127 metres. The two achieved 126.5 and 124.5 points respectively and Greiderer went out on the track 21 seconds after Ilves.
In the race, Druml skied the fastest time with 27:46.8 for the 10 kilometres and made up a time difference of one minute on the intermediate leader Ilves who finally ranked fifth. Greiderer and Bösl switched their ranks on the cross-country track and the German was followed by his teammate Tobias Simon who claimed a fourth rank, over one minute behind the winner Druml.
The Top Ten were rounded out by Norway's Espen Bjoernstad on six, Finns Leevi Mutru and Ville Heikkinen on eight and ten and Austrian Harald Lemmerer and Frenchman Wilfried Cailleau on seven and nine.
"It´s an amazing jumping hill. It´s one of the few jumping hills that have a special character", Druml said after the race, "but my competition jumps were not the best I had. I had trouble with the timing. The flying still was quite good, because I was able to come down quite well. The race was really difficult, because I had so much to time to catch up on the leading guys. But in general the track was good and the hill was good, so I can really say that I´m very pleased to be here at Ruka as competitor."
For the overall this means that Druml is extending his lead to 608 points over Bösl's 519 and Pichlmayer's 500. With two Individual Gundersen competitions to go on the upcoming two days in hopefully better weather, Bösl has to step it up quite much to wrench the overall win from Druml.