25-year old Mikko Kokslien (NOR) celebrated his first World Cup victory in front of overall World Cup leader Jason Lamy Chappuis (FRA) and Felix Gottwald (AUT) in Lillehammer today.
After the jumping portion, Kokslien was in 16th position — just 64 seconds behind half-time leader Francois Braud (FRA). On the track, he successfully chased the racers in front of him and broke away during the last lap.
Kokslien is the 54th winner of a FIS Nordic Combined World Cup event in the event’s history and the 17th athlete from Norway to achieve this goal. For Norway, today’s victory was # 97 in World Cup history.
“I’m very satisfied with today’s outcome! My jump was okay, and my tactic in the cross-country race worked out as well. I wanted to catch Jason, rest a little bit and then break away. And so I did.”
“It is nice to win in your home-town, with all the crowd cheering for you.”
“I don’t know if I will be the next Nordic Combined superstar, but I promise to give every day my best. let’s see what will happen tomorrow.”
Freezing weather and temperatures between -20 degree Celsius at the Ski Jumping stadium in Lillehammer and -16 degree Celsius at the Sjusjoen Skicenter — some 20 km away — made today’s competition really challenging for every athlete.
The cross-country race was dominated for more than six kilometers by the leading trio Jason Lamy Chappuis, Francois Braud (both FRA) and Bernhard Gruber (AUT). Mikko Kokslien and Eric Frenzel (GER) came nearer and nearer from behind, and at the beginning of the fourth and final 2.5 km lap, the chasers caught the leaders. Lamy Chappuis and Kokslien broke away, and with less than one kilometer to cover, Kokslien attacked with success and skied alone to victory.
Felix Gottwald achieved the fastest cross-country time (22:39.9) and jumped from mid-session rank 32 to third.
It was not Olympic Champion and overall World Cup leader Jason Lamy Chappuis (FRA/137.0 m/134.6 points/3rd) who was in the lead after the ski jumping portion, but his teammate Francois Braud (138.5 m/139.0 points). Second was Bernhard Gruber (AUT/139.0 m/135.9 points). Braud and Gruber placed 20th and 18th respectively.
In the overall World Cup standings, Mikko Kokslien moved up to third position (209) and is just one point behind Felix Gottwald. Jason Lamy Chappuis leads with 240 points.
Today’s top three:
1. Mikko Kokslien (NOR) 123.1 points (16)/23:12.6 min (6) 24:16.6
2. Jason Lamy Chappuis (FRA) 134.6 points (3)/24:07.0 min (28) +8.4
3. Felix Gottwad (AUT) 111.6 points (32)/22:39.9 min (1) +13.3
Full results: http://www.fis-ski.com/pdf/2011/NK/4026/2011NK4026ROF.pdf
World Cup Standings: 1. Jason Lamy Chappuis (FRA 240, 2. Felix Gottwald (AUT) 210, 3. Mikko Kokslien (NOR) 209, 4. Eric Frenzel (GER) 170, 5. Mario Stecher (AUT) 126, 6. Tino Edelmann (GER) 118.