By Silke Tegethof, Schonach, Mar 19, 2017: Once more, Nordic Combined superstar Eric Frenzel has made history. He won the last event of the season, making it a double victory in Schonach, and also his fifth consecutive overall. In the end Frenzel beat rival Rydzek by 125 points. Francois finished second in the event, +7.7 seconds after Frenzel, Japanese Akito Watabe was third (+11.2). With this result, he also captured rank three in the overall from Fabian Rießle with 1086 over 1069 points.
Local hero Tobias Simon got to enjoy a lot of time in the Leader Board as the 24-year-old German won the jumping round with bib number three. 104.5 metres proved to be unbeatable today and 128.2 points gave Simon a head start of 27 seconds on runner-up Johannes Rydzek for the race. Rydzek did not give up on the overall World Cup and announced his intentions for the victory of the day with a 101.5 metre jump. 121.5 points meant starting position two and 30 seconds of advantage on Eric Frenzel, who ranked eighth after the jump.
Jan Schmid repeated a strong jumping result and finished third today. 101 metres and 121.3 points meant a starting time of +0:28 after Simon. Young athletes were out in full force in the top ten of the jumping part: Mario Seidl was fourth, Vinzenz Geiger fifth, Espen Andersen sixth, Samuel Costa seventh, Leevi Mutru ninth and Antoine Gerard tenth.
Local hero Fabian Rießle unfortunately fell after landing a good jump of 102 metres. He had to start from position 38 with a delay of one minute and 51 seconds, while his rival for the third position in the overall, Akito Watabe, ranked 16th with 94.5 metres and a time behind of one minute and 14 seconds. The situation before the race was tense: If Rydzek took the win, Frenzel would have to finish at least fourth to secure his fifth consecutive overall.
During the race, it first looked like Eric Frenzel would speculate to rank fourth or better as the defending overall champion let Johannes Rydzek ski away at the head of the field. First accompanied by Jan Schmid, Rydzek held the lead for the first seven kilometres of the race. After Schmid dropped off, Frenzel switched into higher gears and decided to also go for the victory of the day. Looking strong, he caught Rydzek, who had nothing left to fight against Frenzel. In the end, it was a triumphal finish for the Nordic Combined legend, while a tired Rydzek dropped back to position nine in the finish.
Francois Braud used the moment to capture the second place, beating out Akito Watabe, who still beamed with this result as it meant he secured the overall third rank. Rival Fabian Rießle finished 15th in a photo finish against Jørgen Graabak. Finland’s youngster Eero Hirvonen collected another great fourth place.
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