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Rydzek keeps on winning in Villach

Johannes Rydzek continues on his summer winning spree! After taking the Team Sprint together with Eric Frenzel and the Individual Gundersen in Oberwiesenthal, the 22-year-old also took the win at the Individual Gundersen competition in Villach, Austria, today. The German crossed the finish line a clear 13.1 seconds ahead of teammate Bjo"rn Kircheisen and 20.2 seconds earlier than Slovenias Marjan Jelenko.

The ski jumping round on Villachs HS 98 hill concluded with a surprise winner: Fabian Steindl from the Austrian national group won the ski jumping round, starting with BIB No. 3. The 20-year-old took the intermediate lead with a great jump of 99.5 metres, only half a metre shorter than Yoshito Watabes 100 metres, the longest jump of the day. With 125.5 points, this meant rank two for the Japanese, 0.2 seconds behind Steindls 125.9 total points. German veteran Bjo"rn Kircheisen showed a convincing jumping performance with 96 metres and intermediate rank three put him only 5 seconds behind Steindl for the start of the cross-country race and as the top favourite for the days victory.

Russian jumping expert Evgeniy Klimov held the intermediate fourth rank with a jump of 95.5 metres ahead of Finlands Ilkka Herola (95.5m; 122.9 p.; +0:12) and German superstar Eric Frenzel (96.5 m; 122.7 p., +0:13). The jumping Top Ten were completed by yesterdays PCR winner Franz-Josef Rehrl, Christoph Bieler, Johannes Rydzek and Marjan Jelenko who all started within 23 seconds of leader Steindl. With 21 seconds of time behind, the Summer Grand Prix overall leader Johannes Rydzek was also well set up for another good result in Villach.

The jumping part did not end so well for Jason Lamy Chappuis who had a weaker jump in difficult conditions and landed at 82 metres already, giving him two minutes and six seconds to make up for the race, a tough job, even for the French superstar. He didnt finish the race in the end.

In the roller-ski race, a big leading group consisting of about ten athletes formed on the first lap only to be left by the German train Rydzek and Kircheisen on the next lap. The leaders skied to an undisputed win with the ranks one and two being decided on the last part of the last lap where Rydzek attacked and was stronger than his teammate. Behind the Germans, the fight for the last remaining spot on the podium was on between five athletes: Jelenko, local hero Mario Seidl, Eric Frenzel, Ilkka Herola and Yoshito Watabe. The Slovenian had the strongest finish on the last uphill, his best individual result in the World Cup or Summer Grand Prix to date. Also for Seidl, a rank four meant a career best.

The two young Austrians Fabian Steindl and Franz-Josef Rehrl ended up on the positions eight and nine, also improving their career bests, completing a successful day for the Austrian development team.

FIS-ski.com 27 August 2014

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