Magnus Moan is back. The 30 year-old Norwegian won today's prestigious competition crossing the finish line 4,3 seconds ahead of teammate Haavard Klemetsen who claimed the third second-place in a row. They were joined on the podium by Akito Watabe (JPN) who beat out third Jan Schmid (NOR) in a sprint for the finish line and finished 5,1 seconds after Moan.
Jumping sensation Haavard Klemetsen was unbeatable on the hill once more on Schonach's Langenwaldschanze, setting a jump of 103 metres. With 137 points, it meant a 11 second-lead on local hero Tobias Haug who once more was in fine jumping shape. The longest jump of the day went to Eric Frenzel who jumped 103,5 metres, giving him a total of 128,6 points and a time behind of 34 seconds on the track.
Team Austria seems to be on the rebound, placing four athletes in the Top Ten after jumping: Christoph Bieler on four, Bernhard Gruber on seven, Lukas Klapfer on eight and Wilhelm Denifl on ten. Strong jumper Evgeniy Klimov had a fall after landing at 101,5 metres which threw him back to a 47th rank after jumping.
In the cross-country race, Moan found back to old strength and was playing a central role in the chasing pack which went after leader Klemetsen. The Norwegian veteran was actually skiing alone in front of the pack for two rounds and visibly enjoyed the atmosphere in Schonach's stadium.
When the pursuing group consisting of about ten athletes around Moan and Frenzel caught up with Klemetsen, the Norwegian joined the group and showed a strong finish on the last uphill where he overtook Schmid and followed an unbeatable Moan into the finish. Watabe also proved that his sprint training has paid off and edged Schmid, off the podium who had to settle for fourth place instead.
Frenzel had to fight the hard conditions with soft snow today and was just too tired to have any true chance for the podium. He finished fifth and made the local organisers wait at least one more year for another German victory at the Schwarzwaldpokal in Schonach. With Mikko Kokslien on rank eight, another Norwegian entered the Top Ten, making it another enormously successful day for head coach Kristian Hammer's team. The light at the end of the tunnel also seems to be in sight for the Austrian team which placed three athletes among the Top Ten today (Gruber 6, Bieler 7, Klapfer 10).
For the overall Frenzel stays in the lead with 371 points, Akito Watabe is second with 281 points and Mikko Kokslien held his third place with now 238 points.
Another Individual Gundersen competition will be on schedule tomorrow. The jumping part starts at 10:20, the race at 14:40.