Franz-Josef Rehrl just missed second place on the podium for Austria’s Nordic combined athletes this winter. The Salzburg resident finished fourth in Ruka on Saturday (+52.6 seconds), ahead of him the winner Jarl Magnus Riiber from Norway, the German Eric Frenzel and the Japanese Akito Watabe after 10 km of cross-country skiing. As on Friday, Riiber won over half the distance, this time with a large lead of 50.1 seconds.
ÖSV talent Johannes Lamparter again showed a strong performance. The only 19-year-old, who had shown second place behind Riiber on Friday, came in sixth place 1: 09.7 minutes behind. Lukas Greiderer finished eighth. With Thomas Jöbstl (15th), Mario Seidl (17th) and Philipp Orter (26th) three other Austrians scored points for the overall World Cup ranking, which Riiber leads with a maximum of 200. Behind him is Lamparter (120) second, Rehrl (70) seventh and Greiderer (56) ninth.
After jumping, Rehrl was the best Austrian with a 137.5 m set in fifth. The 27-year-old started the trail 49 seconds behind. After the furthest jump of the competition, Riiber ran a lonely race up front, with a respectful margin behind the 23-year-old a chasing group with Frenzel, Watabe, Rehrl and Manuel Faisst, another German.
The placements of the athletes from this quartet were decided in the final meters after Frenzel suddenly picked up the pace. Rehrl lost out to Watabe in the final sprint, 1.2 seconds short of third place. Nevertheless, the Styrian was “incredibly happy”, as he later put on record.
“I ran a great race, the final sprint was really good and I lost to three people who have already won the overall World Cup. God is no shame,” said Rehrl, who had to be content with 13th place the day before. “It was nice that I was able to counter it. There are still one or two construction sites that I have to work on, but it’s already a top level and I’m back at it.”
Lamparter – seventh after jumping – enjoyed another top result for his part. “It was a cool day again. I didn’t jump quite as much on the hill as yesterday, but the race was also very, very good,” said the great young hope. “I gave the first two laps a bit of the gas, then I have to take a bit out. The last lap was very good again. I feel in great shape and I’m looking forward to Sunday. I will attack again. ”
The last competition of the Ruka Tour takes place on Sunday. Jumping from the large hill starts at 9.30 a.m. CET, the start of the 10 km cross-country ski run is scheduled at 2.55 p.m.
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