The 2018-19 Nordic Combined World Cup season was supposed to be up for grabs, but not by a 21-year-old from Norway. But Jarl Magnus Riiber has put his stamp on the season and wrapped up his first seasonal title with a sweep of the two races in Klingenthal (GER).
Riiber won six of the first eight races this season, then cooled off a little and has now won four more in a row. The 10 seasonal wins is the most since the 2016-17 season, when Germany’s Eric Frenzel also won 10. He has a 1,258-761 lead in the standings – 497 points – over reigning World Champion Johannes Rydzek (GER) with only four races remaining.
But it wasn’t easy. Riiber and Vinzenz Geiger (GER) were stride for stride in Saturday’s race and Riiber’s push at the finish gave him the victory by what he estimated was one centimeter! On Sunday, he was locked up with Finland’s Ilkka Herola and Fabian Riessle (GER) and managed to cross first by just 0.5 seconds over Herola and 0.7 ahead of Riessle.
There is a race in Lahti (FIN) next week and then the FIS World Nordic Championships in Seefeld (AUT) starting on 20 February. Summaries from Klingenthal:
FIS Nordic Combined World Cup
Klingenthal (GER) ~ 1-3 February 2019
(Full results here)
Gundersen 140 m hill/10.0 km I: 1. Jarl Magnus Riiber (NOR), 25:51.8; 2. Vinzenz Geiger (GER), 25:51.8; 3. Johannes Rydzek (GER), 25:53.5; 4. Ilkka Herola (FIN), 25:54.2; 5. Franz-Josef Rehrl (AUT), 25:57.5. Also: 26. Taylor Fletcher (USA), 28:40.8.
Gundersen 140 m hill/10.0 km II: 1. Riiber (NOR), 28:42.3; 2. Herola (FIN), 28:42.8; 3. Fabian Riessle (GER), 28:43.0; 4. Geiger (GER), 28:46.0; 5. Eero Hirvonen (FIN), 28:50.6. Also in the top 25: 25. Fletcher (USA), 32:14.6.