The Sports Examiner

NORDIC COMBINED Preview: Three races in three days in Lillehammer

A fresh look at Nordic Combined racing comes this week at the Nordic sports festival in Lillehammer (NOR), with three races on tap:

∙ Friday: Gundersen, with a 98 m hill and 5 .0 km Cross Country race
∙ Saturday: Mass Start, with a 98 m hill and 10.0 km Cross Country race
∙ Sunday: Gundersen, with a 140 m hill and 10.0 km Cross Country race

The second event will feature a Mass Start event for the first time in almost 10 years. The winner of the cross-country race will start the ski jumping round with 0 points, while everyone else with start with negative points!

The last World Cup Mass Start was in Val di Fiemme (ITA) in January 2009, with Bjorn Kircheisen (GER~retired), Jan Schmid (NOR) and Bernhard Gruber (AUT) on the podium. Could Schmid or Gruber do it again?

Last week’s season opener in Ruka (FIN) was a surprise with Austria’s Mario Seidl getting his first win, ahead of Jarl Magnus Riiber (NOR) and double 2017 World Champion Johannes Rydzek (GER) on the podium. Could we see last year’s stars – especially World Cup champ Akito Watabe (JPN) – or five-time World Cup winner Eric Frenzel (GER) re-emerge on the medal stand?

Last year in Lillehammer, Norway’s Espen Andersen led a sweep, ahead of Schmid and Joergen Graabak.

Look for results here.

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