Tomaz Druml wins COC in Falun
After the COC competition in Falun yesterday could not take place as planned due to the wind conditions, yesterday evening's PCR was taken as the basis for a cross-country race in the Swedish World Championship venue today. The win went to Austrian Tomaz Druml who crossed the finish line a clear 33.4 second before Germany's Wolfgang Bösl and took back the COC overall lead from Marco Pichlmayer who competed in the World Cup in Oslo this weekend. Frenchman Nicolas Martin completed the podium on rank three, 58 seconds behind the winner.
A ski jumping round which counted as PCR for today's race finally took place around seven o'clock yesterday after a long day of waiting for the athletes. Norwegian Jarl Magnus Riiber who already left his mark as a strong jumpers on the Junior World Championships in Val di Fiemme and had his international COC debut at Falun this weekend won the jumping round with a strong jump of 98.5 metres, the longest jumpf of the day and a new hill record.
This meant 119.5 metres and 5 seconds of time advantage on Germany's Wolfgang Bösl who jumped 95.5 metres from one gate lower than the intermediate leader. Riiber's brother Harald Johnas grabbed the intermediate third rank with 94 metres (111.3 p.; +0:33).
Also in the jumping Top Ten were Austria's Lukas Greiderer, Poland's Adam Cieslar, Russian Niyaz Nabeev and Finn Ville Heikkinen. Tomaz Druml shared an eighth place with German Tobias Simon and went out on the track 55 seconds after Riiber.
In the race in warm spring temperatures, Druml skied the fastest time with 24.39.0 and was able to take in his time disadvantage as well as overtaking and clearly leaving the leading athletes behind.
"I wanted to start out as hard as I could because I knew there were many fast skiers behind me in the start list. When I caught up with leader Wolfgang Bösl in the race, I took it a bit easier. In the last lap I raised the speed again and saw it quite quickly that I was able to create a gap", winner Druml said.
Only Bösl was able to follow Druml at a respectful distance of over 30 seconds in the end. "It was tough to ski today. The courses are demanding, especially in these conditions. But I am very please to leave with a second place here", he explained afterwards.
Nicolas Martin from France also skied his way to the front from an intermediate 18th rank, claiming a final third rank. Martin: "It was hot out here today", the Frenchman smiled. "I am really happy with this weekend and hope that I will get the chance to come back to race here next year and the World Championships."
Philipp Blaurock ended up on the unlucky fourth place. Together with his teammates Brandner, Hochegger and Lemmerer, Druml made Austria into the strongest team of the day, claiming the win and ranks five, six and eight. Also entering the Top Ten were Geoffrey Lafarge from France on seven and Wilfried Cailleau on nine, making it a total of three Frenchmen in the Top Ten as well.
For the overall this means that Druml is back in the lead with 508 points, beating out teammate Marco Pichlmayer with 500 points and Wolfgang Bösl (459 .). There are three more COC competitions on schedule at the big Continental Cup finale at the Finnish venue of Kuusamo on the next weekend.