NORDIC COMBINED Preview: World Cup season starts in Ruka

The 2017-18 season in Nordic Combined was a wild one, with Akito Watabe winning the first seasonal title for Japan in 23 years and ending a five-year stranglehold on the event by Germany’s Eric Frenzel.

But this is a new year, starting with a Gundersen-style event with a 142 m hill and a 10 km cross-country race on Saturday and a team event on Sunday. The top finishers from last season’s 22-event program:

1. 1,495 Akito Watabe (JPN)
2. 1,133 Jan Schmid (NOR)
3. 1,087 Fabian Riessle (GER)
4. 849 Johannes Rydzek (GER)
5. 830 Jorgen Graabak (NOR)

Watabe, 30, served notice right away last season that he was going to be one to watch, as he won one of the three events in Ruka, along with Norway’s Espen Andersen and Rydzek (who is just 26). Watabe won eight events on tour last season, the most of any competitor.

Look for results here.