Team Austria impressed at the first season weekend of the men’s OPA Alpencup in Winterberg. Five out of the six podium places went to Austrian athletes with Slovenia’s Rok Jelen being the exception and winning the 10 km event on Saturday.
Slovenian Mateusz Malorvh was the man to beat after Saturday’s jumping event. 85.5 metres on Winterberg’s 81 metre hill had Malorvh starting the event 14 seconds ahead of runner-up Aaron Uhrmann from Germany (84.5 m). Austria’s Manuel Einkemmer started 18 seconds behind the pole position after showing an 85 metre jump.
On the longer 10 km distance, the stronger skiers started further back with winner Rok Jelen storming to the victory from position 19 and making up 52 seconds in the process. Max Teeling finished second for Austria, beaten only by 0.5 seconds in the end but made his way to the podium from the intermediate 23rd position with a time behind of one minute exactly. Teammate Florian Dagn completed the race on position three, +2.4 seconds after Jelen, coming from the intermediate 14th position. The fastest man on track was France’s Theo Rochat, who needed 22:31.8 for the city course and improved position 45 to the final 17th rank.
On Day two, the jumping win and pole position went to Fabian Hinterberger (AUT) with 86 metres. Teammate Stefan Rettenegger was second (83 m) and Gasper Brecl (SLO) third with 82.5 metres. This result meant 18 seconds of advantage for Hinterberger, who ended his competition on rank eleven in the end. Gasper Brecl started 22 seconds behind Hinterberger but also had to let faster athletes pass on the 5 km roller-ski distance.
The best Nordic Combined athlete of the day was Manuel Einkemmer, who claimed the top spot on the podium coming from position four. He finally finished a clear 8.6 seconds ahead of teammate Max Teeling, who collected his second second place of the weekend. Just beaten by 0.3 seconds was Thomas Rettenegger, who in turn beat Florian Dagn to the podium. With five athletes in the Top Ten, Austria impressed with a strong team result.