FIS Nordic Combined World Cup (Seefeld, Austria)
Seefeld, Seefeld, Seefeld. Last Friday through Sunday, Seefeld, Austria hosted the eponymous “Seefeld Triple” with three days of consecutive Nordic Combined World Cup competitions.
Day 1 featured an individual normal hill/5 k. The top jumping spot went to Austrian Bernhard Gruber, with Italian Samuel Costa second and Germany’s Eric Frenzel third. Starting 19 seconds back in the ski portion was fifth-place jumper from Germany Johannes Rydzek.
The 5 k was decided in a photo finish, with Rydzek out-toeing Frenzel for the win— both were given the official time of 12:00.2. Costa, who started 4 seconds after Gruber, finished third (+6.8).
Three Americans contested the day: U.S Nordic Combined’s Bryan Fletcher was the highest ranked in 31st (+1:16.7). He had been 35th after the jump, and started the 5 k race 1:24 behind Gruber. Teammates Ben Berend and Taylor Fletcher jumped to 31st and 43rd, respectively, and Berend finished 37th (+1:42.9), while Taylor skied to 40th (+1:54.3) with the 10th fastest ski time of the day.
When you’re good, you’re good. That was the case on Day 2 in the individual normal hill/10 k. These names will sound familiar. Rydzek jumped the furthest, with Gruber and Costa tied for second. Yet the difference in distance jumped by the top three was so minimal, they began the ski simultaneously. Frenzel was fourth after the jump and started the ski 4 seconds back.
Rydzek, who completed the 10 k in 24:36.5 minutes, took the win over Frenzel in another photo finish by 0.1 seconds. Costa was third (+11.3), Gruber fourth (+20.8).
Bryan Fletcher was the top American in 18th (+1:43.5). He started off by jumping to 30th, then started the 10 k race 2:11 minutes out of first. Fletcher skied the eighth-fastest time en route to the top 20. Taylor Fletcher ended up 36th (+3:21.5) after skiing the fourth-fastest ski time, moving up from 43rd in the jump. Berend jumped to 37th and finished 42nd (+4:10.5).
On tap for Sunday’s Day 3 of the Seefeld Triple was an individual normal hill/15 k. Only the top 30 skiers after Day 2 qualified to contest Sunday’s competition, and that included American Bryan Fletcher. He jumped to 23rd on Sunday and finished the long weekend in 26th overall (+5:52.2). Fletcher’s time back is partially due to a lackluster jump which had him starting the ski 4:18 behind first-place jumper Rydzek.
Running down the names who led after Sunday’s jump was an exercise in redundancy: Rydzek in first, Gruber in second, a new name — Italian Mario Seidl — in third, Frenzel in fourth, Costa in fifth.
This time, no photo finish was required as Frenzel took the victory after two consecutive second places. He finished in 37:32.2 and put 30.5 seconds on Rydzek by the finish. Frenzel had started 20 seconds behind Rydzek.
Rydzek finished second overall (+30.5), Gruber was 1:18.6 back in third, Seidl fourth (+1:19.1), and Costa (+2:18.2) fifth.
Seefeld Triple Results:
— Jason Albert