24.11.2023 Press relase, News

Oftebro celebrates as Norway takes it all in Nordic Combined in snowy evening at Ruka

The men’s FIS Nordic Combined World Cup begun with the premiere of the new Individual Compact -format.

Austria’s Johannes Lamparter took the first place after ski jumping out of 57 competitors with the longest jump of the competition. The 141 m jump was enough to beat Norway’s Jarl Magnus Riiber, who hurt his shoulder in yesterday’s Provisional Competition Round (PCR).

The biggest surprise was provided by Finland’s Eero Hirvonen, who placed third to the home crowd’s delight with a 140.5 m jump. Hirvonen missed yesterday’s PCR and had only a few jumps under his belt before today’s competition.

The cross-country part started in the command of the two leading jumpers. Lamparter and Riiber kept the pace up at the front until the halfway point of the race. After that, the leading group grew to the size of six competitors, including crowd favorite Hirvonen. 

During the last lap of the race, group that fought for the win kept gathering skiers. Johannes Rydzek led the chasing group, and eventually four of them caught the leaders. A total of ten men headed to the final stretch together.

Even though there were athletes from a host of nations fighting for the win, the Norwegians managed to lock out all three podium positions.

In the end, Jens Lurås Oftebro rose to the 5th win of his career. Among the three best jumpers, Riiber was the only one to secure his place on the podium, placing second, 0,4 seconds behind the winner. Jørgen Graabak claimed the third place and completed the Norwegian dominance, only 1,1 seconds behind Oftebro. Rydzek ended up as the best non-Norwegian with a stellar rise from 12th to 4th. 

The local Nordic combined stars Hirvonen and Ilkka Herola both made the top ten in the first ever Individual Compact race. Hirvonen started the season as the best Finn with a 5th-place finish, and Herola managed to gain six places, rising from 16th to 10th.

The Nordic combined events in Ruka continue tomorrow on Saturday, with the traditional 10km Gundersen format.

Text: Laajasalon Opisto / Hiski Kosunen & Emil Untamo

Norwegian Jarl Magnus Riiber after the first race in World Cup Season 2023/2024

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