Jarl Magnus Riiber was the undisputed King of the Winter but the season 2019/20 was actually close one when it came to the second and third places on the podium. Therefore, we’d like to cast a closer look at the dangerous fast skiers of the field, who you do not want to meet on the last 50 metres on your race: the best finish-line sprinters.
The season featured seven finish line sprints for podium places and the list of athletes involved in those sprints reveals the most menacing opponents on the last stretch of the race: Vinzenz Geiger and Jørgen Graabak sprinted four times each, while Fabian Rießle was involved three times, Jens Lurås Oftebro two times and Ilkka Herola and Eric Frenzel one time each.
For our Head to Head comparison, we picked the two most renowned sprinters of the field, Vinzenz Geiger and Jørgen Graabak, who will very likely meet on the finish straight again in the future. Both are strong cross-country skiers who get very dangerous once they hit their ski jumps. Both are absolutely deadly when it comes to the final metres of a race: they can accelerate to enormous speed on the last metres and have exquisite technique and timing in throwing one long leg forward to steal the win from a fellow sprinter. This is so much so that they are or have often been the last athletes in title event team competitions who decide about the final outcome of the races.
With a second and third place in the 2019/20 overall World Cup respectively, both have made their aspirations for the top spot of the podium known, especially for the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Oberstdorf: Olympic Champion Graabak is still missing an individual medal at World Championship level and for Geiger, the Oberstdorf championships will be home championships. We will be getting ready for more riveting last metres of the races to come.