Even though he caught a cold in the intense Summer Grand Prix week, Mario Seidl won the second competition in Oberstdorf and extended his overall lead. The Austrian reached the finish line 22.5 second ahead of Montafon winner Fabian Rießle and yesterday’s winner Eric Frenzel (+22.7).
Seidl laid the foundation for his victory in the jumping round. 140.4 metres from two, respecitively three gates lower than the rest of his competitors (coach request) gave Seidl 149.9 points and a 22-second lead on runner-up Akito Watabe, who delighted the audience with 142.5 metres. Fellow Japanese Takehiro Watanabe showed 132.5 metres and followed 44 seconds after the leader at the start of the cross-county race.
Fabian Rießle and Eric Frenzel started together with a time disadvantage of one minute and 26 seconds after jumps of 131.5 and 132 metres.
The race started and ended as a lonely affair for Seidl, who had to rely on his own strength to get through the tough six laps leading through the outrun of the Erdinger Arena and on the demanding city course. But the young Austrian paced himself well and was able to carry his advantage to the finish line.
Akito Watabe, who held the second position for a long time struggled more and had lost up to 12 seconds on the Austrian at half time of the race, only to be caught by a bigger pursuing group led by Eric Frenzel and Fabian Rießle at the 7.2 km point of the race. Frenzel and Rießle lead Estonia’s Kristjan Ilves, France’s Maxime Laheurte, Tomas Portyk from the Czech Republic and Takehiro Watanabe to Watabe but ultimately, only Watabe was able to stay with the Germans.
However, the Japanese had to concede defeat in the finish line sprint for the podium positions and ended up on the fourth place. Kristjan Ilves shone with another great result on rank five, Maxime Laheurte claimed his second sixth place of the weekend.