"It was never my intention to let it get this close!"
TUESDAY TALK: Fabian Steindl (AUT) & Terence Weber (GER)
After this year's Alpen Cup ended in the most spectacular way possible with Austria's Fabian Steindl taking the overall only one point ahead of Terence Weber from Germany, of course FISNC had to catch up with both opponents to get the inside scope on this tight finale, how they view each other and new goals for the upcoming season.
Fabian, your victory was so incredibly tight with only one point over Terence. Going into the last competition, did you think you would win this?
Fabian Steindl: I went into the competition wearing the yellow bib of the overall leader, so of course it was my goal to defend and keep it. It was never my intention to let it get this close again but with a little bit of luck it happened in the end!
Terence, you had been leading in the overall standing at the beginning of the season for quite some time with solid, strong performances. How bad was it to lose by one point in the end?
Terence Weber: I had a hard time accepting it in the beginning but there was nothing to be done about it. But still I can be quite happy with the whole season, even if the overall victory was not meant to happen.
Why is Fabian such a tough opponent?
Weber: He is really strong, especially on the hill. He is always among the best and has a good advantage for the cross-country track. So he is always in the fight for the top positions.
Fabian, the same question to you. What makes Terence into a strong competitor?
Steindl: Terence was incredibly strong during the whole season. He was so constant, be it on the hill or on the track. His strongest argument is his great jumping performance. As long as he keeps that up, I am sure he will achieve quite a lot in the future.
Terence, how do you look back on the past winter, are you more happy with your general performance or more sad because it was not the big win in the end?
Weber: I only look back with a positive feeling. I reached all the goals I had set for myself. My good individual performances, the second place in the Alpen Cup overall and the team silver medal at the Junior World Championships are proof that things went way better than expected.
And Fabian, what were your highlights during the winter?
Steindl: Next to winning Alpen Cup I have to say the team gold medal at the Junior World Championships in Val di Fiemme!
So how have you celebrated after the final win of the winter?
Steindl: Actually, I wasn't in that much of a great mood as I wasn't allowed to go the COC finals in Kuusamo after my win. So the party was the same, not quite as boisterous as it could have been.
Looking forward now, what are your goals for the next winter?
Steindl: I have to look how the preparations will be going and in which competition series I will actually be starting. But I am very positive, there have been quite some good changes by the Austrian Ski Federation and I am really looking forward to how the summer will go.
What have you actually been up to since the season ended?
Steindl: I have been training quite a lot of cross-country because I still have to catch up there. Then I have been on holiday and just relaxed for some time. Now the first cross-country training course is almost on our doorstep and after that it's not long until we return to the hill!
Three things that Nordic Combined fans should know about Fabian Steindl?
Steindl: (laughs) Well, everybody who has been following our competitions a bit will have an impression of me already. I would say, I am definitely not among the boring athletes (laughs). But on a serious note: I really do hope that I will continue to be successful so that fans can get their own personal impression of me in the future.