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Riiber makes it five in a row
© NordicFocus

Jarl Magnus Riiber can’t stop winning. Also in the fifth competition of the season, the Norwegian stood on the top level of the podium. Teammate Jørgen Graabak claimed the silver position, +20.4 seconds after Riiber. Today, Vinzenz Geiger and Fabian Rießle switched places with Geiger conquering rank three (+47.9) and teammate Rießle four (+53.3).

Earlier in the day, Riiber had won the jumping event once more but only narrowly avoided a crash upon landing. Permanent snowfall during the round had accumulated some fresh snow on the landing slope which almost toppled the World Cup leader but he artistically avoided a crash. 139.5 metres and 152.8 points gave Riiber only a narrow 4-second-lead on Austrian jumping prodigy Franz-Josef Rehrl. Rehrl also showed 139.5 metres but had one gate more inrun speed than the Norwegian. With his 151.8 points, Rehrl was 14 seconds ahead of Espen Bjørnstad who set the longest jump of the day with 142 metres. 

A gap of 12 seconds separated the first three athletes from Jens Lurås Oftebro, who ended his jumping race on position four, followed by Jørgen Graabak on rank five with a delay of +0:55 seconds. Strong jumpers Yoshito Watabe (JPN) and Kasper Moen Flatla (NOR) were a duo starting at +1:07 and +1:09, while Vinzenz Geiger and Fabian Rießle formed a fast German train with the start times of +1:20 and +1:24.

Jarl Riiber had company on the first one and a half laps of the race with Franz-Josef Rehrl hanging on for dear life. But as so often these days, Riiber was in a class of his own, this time on the cross-country track. The 22-year-old shook off Rehrl and finished the race alone. 

Behind him, Jørgen Graabak began shaping up into Riiber’s toughest adversary. He had caught teammates Espen Bjørnstad and Jens Lurås Oftebro by that point and started his pursuit of the leader. While Graabak managed to close the gap somewhat, Riiber held firm and at the finish line, 20 seconds separated the two athletes still, including Riiber getting a Norwegian flag from the crowd and taking his time to celebrate before crossing the line.

Still, Graabak ended his race with a big jump and a telemark landing across the finish line and was visibly pleased to cement his role as the second-best Nordic Combined athlete in the world right now.

While Riiber and Graabak strove towards the places one and two in the race, a group of fast pursuers was out on the track, gunning for rank 3. Vinzenz Geiger, Fabian Rießle, Austria’s Thomas Jöbstl and from km 4 onwards also Eric Frenzel worked together to catch as many athletes as possible on their way into the finish. They overtook Lurås Oftebro and Bjørnstad shortly after the last lap started and by the 8.3 km intermediate time point and also Franz-Josef Rehrl had been swallowed up by the group.

Geiger, Rießle and Frenzel sprinted for the remaining podium spot again and this time, Geiger emerged victorious. For the 22-year-old German, this marked the second podium result of the season. Rießle had to be satisfied with position four today, Eric Frenzel was fifth, Jens Oftebro sixth, Espen Bjørnstad seventh, Thomas Jöbstl eighth and Ilkka Herola was the fastest man on the track once more, skiing from position 26 to nine.

Ski Jumping Results
Final Results

 
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