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Anton Schluetter of Germany was in the lead after the first part of the competition. With a jump of 131.5 meters and 114.7 points he had a 6 second advantage over the Austrian Martin Fritz (128.0 m, 113.2 p). Bryan Fletcher of USA came in third with 124.0 meters and 109.1 points and trailed 22 seconds behind the leader. The best home athlete was Rok Juvančič in seventh place (122.0 m, 100.9 p) who headed on his 10km way 55 seconds after Schluetter.
In the second part of the competition Bryan Fletcher managed to show a great performance and won by quite a margin. With the best run time his younger brother Taylor came from 14th place and took the runner-up position, completing the four 2,5km laps a minute behind. Fritz also did a good job and took the third place. The highest ranked Slovenian was Leon Šarc finishing in 20th place.
Top 3 athletes’ quotes:
I think it was a decent jumping performance. The Cross-Country course was certainly really hard which suits my strengths quite well. I went out and put on a great race. I hoped to hang on and fight off these two guys and I’m happy with the win today. The course was soft and quite snowy. We’ve got almost a meter of snow in the last 36 hours so it was definitely challenging. Poles were going through the surface a lot. It was soft but overall a great course, well prepared. It was a good race.
It was a hard day. There were challenging jumping conditions with the new snow and soft on landing. I was happy with my Cross-Country race, I was able to push hard from the beginning. The course is very hard, there’s a lot of climbing. It was important to stay smooth and try not to go too fast on the early laps. I was able to push it hard on the third lap and get on the podium.
I like this hill. I also like this track and I fought but it was a little bit too hard for me because these guys pushed so hard. At the end I had no power to bet them. At the end I’m happy with the third place. I hope I can beat them tomorrow. It will be interesting.
Planica hosted the 12th Nordic Combined Continental Cup competition of the season. 39 athletes from 10 countries competed in demanding weather conditions in the valley under Ponce mountains but took care of an interesting battle for the podium.