NORDIC COMBINED: The return of Germany’s Johannes Rydzek

Germany's Vinzenz Geiger (Photo: FIS)

The 2018-19 Nordic Combined World Cup season has been dominated by Norway’s Jarl Magnus Riiber, who won six of the first eight competitions of the year.

But in Val di Fiemme, a familiar face returned to the top of the podium: Germany’s 2017 World Champion and 2018 Olympic gold medalist Johannes Rydzek. Two Gundersen-style events were held, each off the 135 m hill with a 10.9 km race following.

Rydzek won the first event, finishing ahead of Norway’s Jorgen Graabak by almost six seconds, with Riiber finishing fourth. In the second event – on Sunday – he finished second to countryman Vinzenz Geiger – just 21 – who collected his first career World Cup victory.

Rydzek now owns 17 World Cup wins in his career and Sunday’s silver medal was his 40th World Cup medal. He’s been in the top three in four of the last five races.

Riiber still leads the seasonal World Cup standings by 730-581 over Rydzek, but only 10 of the 21 scheduled races have been held. Can Riiber continue? Summaries:

FIS Nordic Combined World Cup
Val di Fiemme (ITA) ~ 11-13 January 2019
(Full results here)

Gundersen 135 m hill/10.0 km I: 1. Johannes Rydzek (GER), 26:58.4; 2. Joergen Graabak (NOR), 27:04.3; 3. Mario Seidl (AUT), 27:05.5; 4. Jarl Magnus Riiber (NOR), 27:22.9; 5. Akito Watabe (JPN), 27:28.0. Also: 20. Taylor Fletcher (USA), 29:00.4.

Gundersen 135 m hill/10.0 km II: 1. Vinzenz Geiger (GER), 26:34.0; 2. Rydzek (GER), 26:41.6; 3. Watabe (JPN), 27:14.6; 4. Franz-Josef Rehrl (AUT), 27:21.4; 5. Eric Frenzel (GER), 27:52.2.

Team Sprint 135 m hill/2×7.5 km: 1. Jan Schmid/Joergen Graabak (NOR), 34:30.9; 2. Johannes Rydzek/Vinzenz Geiger (GER), 34:31.4; 3. Eric Frenzel/Fabian Riessle (GER), 34:31.4; 4. Samuel Costa/Alessandro Pittin (ITA), 35:10.3; 5. Lukas Greiderer/Lukas Klapfer (AUT), 35:40.2.