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Riiber secures home-victory for team Norway
© Thibaut/NordicFocus

Norway is the winner of the first FIS World Cup team competition this season.

Although the day didn’t start very well for the Scandinavians. Team Germany was in the lead after the Ski Jumping competition on the Lysgårdsbakken HS98 today. 

After a short delay of the training due to heavy snowfall over night, the Nordic Combined   men started into the first team event of the season. 
Jens Luraas Oftebro brought Norway the lead after the first group with a jump on 96.5 meters and 126.6 points. Meanwhile, Germany was in second position after a jump on 95.5 meters (125.3 pts) from Manuel Faisst.

The positions changed after Norwegian Espen Bjoernstad (91.5 m, 117.3 pts) lost points against Vinzenz Geiger (93.5 m, 120.2 pts), who took over the leaderboard for the Germans. 

The furthest jump of the day was performed by Eric Frenzel with 97.5 meters (129.7 pts) in the third group, while Joergen Graabak (94 m, 117.9 pts) made Norway fall back on third position, behind Austria. 

In the last group, Terence Weber (95.5 m, 124 pts) competed against overall World Cup leader Jarl Magnus Riiber (95 m, 121.9 pts), whose jump could not bring Norway back the lead.

Therefore, Germany, who started in the yellow bib as the current Nation Cup leader, was able to sent Frenzel into the 4x5 km race first. With a backlog of 21 seconds Norway followed with Espen Bjoernstad, ahead of Stefan Rettenegger for Austria (+55 seconds) on rank 3 after jumping. 

Manuel Faisst kept Germany in the lead as second starter and handed over to Terence Weber. 
Norway came closer with every 2.5 km lap, so by the time the third and last change came along, Joergen Graabak had reduced the distance to Germany to 1 second. 
Therefore, last years opponents in the overall World Cup ranking Vinzenz Geiger and Jarl Magnus Riiber went into the last 5 km of the race together. 
On the last climb, Riiber launched an attack that Geiger could not withstand. The German tried to keep up the high pace of the Norwegian, but in the end had to admit defeat, 5.6 seconds behind.

Meanwhile, a tough battle was fought for third place as well. During the race Johannes Lamparter from Austria and Japanese Akito Watabe tacted each other and came relatively slowly closer to the finish.

After entering the Birkebeineren Ski Stadium together, they competed in a close head-to-head race for the last few meters and reached the finish line almost at the same time.
In the end, Watabe was able to win the tight finish sprint with a lead of 0.1 seconds, so that Austria narrowly missed the podium.

Germany continues to lead the overall Nations Cup ranking and therefore keeps the yellow bib for the next team event.

Results: Team Gundersen HS98/4x5km MEN – Lillehammer, 04.12.21

 
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