Ski flying expert Robert Kranjec takes his first win this season
Robert Kranjec took a surprising win in the first of three individual competitions on the monster-hill in Vikersund. With two outstanding flights on 236 m and 239.5 m and 432.8 points the Slovene came in ahead of local hero Kenneth Gangnes and Noriaki Kasai and celebrated his sixth win in the World Cup.
Kranjec said: "I didn't really expect that. One week it's going really well and then really bad again. I don't know why it is like that. At the beginning of the season I felt strong pain due to my injury. I wasn't able to find the fight feeling in the air, it was only training. Sometimes I have this feeling again, like today. I still have constant pain in my elbow and I can't completely straighten my arm. In April I will undergo surgery again and then it should be okay."
Gangnes defies the conditions
Gangnes showed jumps on 234.5 m and 235 m and achieved his seventh podium finish this season with 428.4 points. The Norwegian said afterwards: "Of course it would have been fantastic to win in front of the home crowd, but I'm really happy about the second place. I was able to enjoy my jumps and that was the main goal. I'm very satisfied. It was a bit challenging today because of the low speed and the wind conditions, but all in all it was a nice competition. I hope that I can jump as far as possible again on the next two days."
Kasai on the podium again
With his third place today, the 1993 Ski Flying World Champion, Noriaki Kasai, achieved his third World Cup podium in a row with 231.5 m and 230 m and 418.5 points. The Japanese told: "The conditions were difficult today, but my jumps were almost perfect. I like ski flying and I hope that I can win tomorrow."
Overall World Cup leader Peter Prevc had to be satisfied with the fourth place after jumps on 226.5 m and 220.5 m that earned him a total of 407.2 points. In the 17th individual competition this season he missed the podium only for the third time.
Stefan Kraft was the best Austrian in fifth with 212.5 m and 230.5 m and 398.4 points. 14.9 points behind, his team- and roommate Michael Hayboeck followed in sixth. Andreas Stjernen (377.8 points), Johann Andre Forfang (368.8 points) and Daniel Andre Tande (368.7 points) finished on the places seven to nine and secured a great team result for the hosts.
Last season's overall World Cup winner Severin Freund was the best of the Germans in tenth with 367.2 points.
Anders Fannemel, who set the world record on this hill a year ago with 251.5 m, had his longest jump this time with 218 m and came in 11th, followed by Richard Freitag.
Bad luck for Tepes
Jurij Tepes still doesn't have a lot of luck this season. The Slovene lost a Top 10 result today with a crash after the landing of his second jump. At the end he was 13th, ahead of the two double Olympic champions Kamil Stoch and Simon Ammann. Piotr Zyla was the second-best Pole in 18th, Cestmir Kozisek was the best Czech in 27th. Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes was 29th and scored two World Cup points for Canada.
On a side note: The Poles were the minimalists today. Dawid Kubacki in 23rd and Stefan Hula and Maciej Kot in 26th and 30th scored World Cup points on the world's largest hill without flying over the 200 m mark.
The second individual competition in Vikersund follows on Saturday at 4:00 pm CET.