Today second Nordic combined individual Gundersen in Val di Fiemme (TN)
Eric Frenzel claims another victory, with teammate Rydzek in second place and Japanese Watabe third
“Italy’s cradle of Nordic skiing” is a real land of conquest for Frenzel, claiming his sixth season victory
The world of swimming joyfully remembers Eric Moussambani from Equatorial Guinea, aka “eel”, who took part in the 2000 Olympic Games thanks to a wild card for developing countries: He started training just eight months before the event in the rivers near his home and was able to conclude his performance with double the time of his contenders.
Today, in the Nordic combined World Cup event in Val di Fiemme (Italy), another “Eric”, Frenzel, was the protagonist of a diametrically opposed performance, yet another masterpiece, with a terrific jump (141.1) and a solo cross country race, thus honouring his name, particularly widespread in Great Britain and Sweden, and generally translated as “only ruler” or “everlasting ruler”. This is particularly true for Frenzel, who claimed his sixth season victory and won the second Individual Gundersen in three days organised in Val di Fiemme by Nordic Ski Fiemme: “I am always happy to compete Val di Fiemme, everything is perfectly organized here and I have always obtained good results. I was surprised to win on Friday, but everything went fine, also in the jumping event. Today I had no contenders and I was in extremely good shape”. “King Eric” smiled when told that his name sounded a little like that of this Trentino’s valley, “Val di F…renzel”, a valley that could give him the honorary citizenship, considered the number of victories obtained here.
Second place at the cross country arena of Lago di Tesero for another German combiner, Johannes Rydzek, after a strong recovery that enabled him not to lose much ground in the World Cup overall standing. Third place for Japanese Akito Watabe, passed just in the final sprint together with Mario Seidl. Joergen Graabak came fourth after yesterday’s win in the Team Sprint with his teammate Andersen (16th), whereas the fifth place went to Fabian Riessle.
In the morning the ski jumping event in Predazzo had determined the starting list for the cross country race. Eric Frenzel started with an advantage of 18 seconds on Go Yamamoto and 30 seconds on Akito Watabe, the “eternal rival” on the tracks all over the world. Austrian Mario Seidl ended at the fourth place, whereas Norwegian Jarl Riiber, had the best jump but was disqualified due to a suit rule infraction.
The cross country arena was again Eric Frenzel’s kingdom, who after 1.2 km increased his advantage on Watabe (+31”), Seidl (+32”) and Yamamoto (+33”); only Krog recovered a little. On the second lap, “King Eric” was safely in the lead, with Yamamoto followed by a group of pursuers. Watabe and Seidl skied together but the gap continued to increase (+ 41”). Only Rydzek and Riessle were able to recover, but at the 7th km Frenzel had a 50” lead on Watabe and, 51” on Seidl: too much to recover. The last lap is a celebratory lap for “King Eric”, who won also 16,000 CHF (over 14,900 EUR).
Val di Fiemme will host the Tour de Ski and the Nordic combined World Cup also next year, but the organising committee is seriously thinking about a fourth Nordic Ski World Championship as well.
Individual Gundersen LH / 10km
1 FRENZEL Eric GER 27:21.7; 2 RYDZEK Johannes GER +30.2; 3 WATABE Akito JPN +31.2; 4 GRAABAK Joergen NOR +33.0; 5 RIESSLE Fabian GER +33.7; 6 SEIDL Mario AUT +34.1; 7 HIRVONEN Eero FIN +37.0; 8 KIRCHEISEN Bjoern GER +40.4; 9 KOKSLIEN Mikko NOR +48.5; 10 KROG Magnus NOR +49.9;
17 COSTA Samuel ITA +1:17.5