Jarl Magnus Riiber continued with his impressive performances in Ruka and also won the third event of the Ruka Tour in a dominating fashion. A full two minutes and eight second separated Riiber from his competitors after flawless jumping in the PCR and a flawless race. Today' Jørgen Graabak secured the second place in a finish line sprint against Jens Lurås Oftebro, who claimed his third third place of the weekend.
Gusty winds from all directions made the jumping round impossible after 14 jumpers in the morning and so Thursday’s Provisional Competition Round had to be used. But Jarl Magnus Riiber had been the measuring stick for all other competitors in the first jumping event of the weekend already, as had his Norwegian teammates.
Riiber impressed with a jump of 144 metres and 153.6 points and took the win ahead of Jens Lurås Oftebro, who showed 138 metres and 137.7 points. The yellow-bib bearer started his race with a very comfortable lead of one minute and four seconds which made it hard to imagine another winner on the third and final day of the Ruka Tour.
Oftebro and Summer Grand Prix winner Franz-Josef Rehrl left the start gate at nearly the same time, +1:04 and +1:06 after Rehrl jumped to the third rank with 137 metres (137 p.). Jørgen Graabak had all chances to go for the podium with the fourth start position and a delay of +1:31. The elder Oftebro brother, Einar, Ryota Yamamoto, Espen Bjørnstad, Go Yamamoto and Manuel Faißt completed the group of athletes starting until the +2:00 mark.
As customary in Ruka, the PCR had also not been an easy one on Thursday and many athletes struggled with the hill and the conditions. Johannes Rydzek ended up on rank 42 and a delay of +7:44, Samuel Costa struggled to only 91 metres (+7:10) and Eric Frenzel had to be satisfied with rank 30 and 111 metres. As a consequence, Rydzek, Weber, Klapfer, Hirvonen, Mutru and Mäkiaho decided not to ski the race at all.
On a very cold afternoon, Jarl Magnus Riiber started his race with a head start of a minute and never looked back. The Norwegian came, saw and conquered and doubled his lead on his pursuers who chose to ski a tactical race among themselves and not challenge Riiber for the victory. Riiber’s advantage of two minutes and eight seconds (128.8 seconds) was the second-largest gap in the Nordic Combined World Cup (since records for this specific statistic begins in 2001). Only Hannu Manninen had a larger gap (149.6 seconds) on teammate Anssi Koivuranta in Ruka in 2005.
Behind Riiber, Rehrl, Graabak and Oftebro were fighting for the remaining podium positions. The trio began skiing together on the second lap and stayed together until Graabak attacked on the last uphill and only Oftebro was able to follow him. Franz-Josef Rehrl captured a good fourth place two seconds behind the Norwegian duo and Einar Lurås Oftebro and Espen Bjørnstad on ranks five and six turned today into another holiday for the Norwegian team and the Oftebro family. Philipp Orter, Manuel Faißt, Ryota Yamamoto and Vinzenz Geiger completed the Top Ten.
For the Ruka Tour standings, this meant Riiber was the undisputed winner with 300 points, Jens Lurås Oftebro claimed his first tour podium with rank 2 (180 p.) and Jørgen Graabak just came 5 points behind on rank three.