Willi Denifl wins second competition in Chaikovskiy
The win in the second Individual Gundersen competition in Chaikovskiy went to Austria's Wilhelm Denifl. After a dominant race, he crossed the finish line first, putting 22.4 seconds between him and his closest adversary, Björn Kircheisen (GER) who claimed rank two. With rank three, Miroslav Dvorak (CZE) also made the jump onto the podium again, 22.6 seconds behind Denifl, only losing out narrowly to Kircheisen in a finish line sprint.
Due to difficult wind conditions, Friday's PCR had to be used which was won by Denifl. With a total of 125.8 points, he beat out Russian local hero Evgeniy Klimov, who followed on rank two with 98,5 metres and 118.2 points. Tim Hug (SUI) also had a great jump of 99 metres and took an intermediate rank three with a total of 117.6 points. The Top Ten were completed by Tobias Simon and Wolfgang Bösl, Russia's Niyaz Nabeev, Miroslav Dvorak, Lukas Klapfer and Karl-August Tiirmaa.
Denifl started the cross-country race with a 30-second head start on Klimov, Hug followed on a promising rank three with 33 seconds of time behind on Denifl. Strong skiers Lukas Klapfer, Björn Kircheisen and Taylor Fletcher had times of 1:00, 1:05 and 2:15 respectively to make up.
In the race, the Austrian lead the field from start to finish, never losing his advantage on Hug who did not copy his performance from yesterday. Instead, the chasing group of Kircheisen and Dvorak caught up with Hug in the second but last lap and were able to shake the Swiss before the last uphill. In a finish line sprint, Kircheisen had the stronger finish and so the podium looked like in the competition yesterday, save for the winner. Behind the Top Three, USA's Taylor Fletcher skied the fastest time again and claimed a final sixth rank, Denifl's temmate Lukas Klapfer completed a good Austrian result with rank five.
The Norwegian duo of Thomas Kjelbotn and Truls Johansen surprised on ranks seven and eight and the Top Ten were completed by France's Hugo Buffard and Italy's Armin Bauer. Johansen, Buffard and Bauer skied the second-, third- and fourth-fastest times respectively, career bests for all athletes except Bauer, who finished eighth yesterday.
For the overall, this again means no change in the top positions as most of the Top Ten athletes were not present. The next World Cup weekend will take place in Chaux-Neuve (FRA) this upcoming weekend.