Fabian Rießle outsprinted Lukas Greiderer on the last few metres to snatch the win in Team Sprint competition in Val di Fiemme. Together with teammate Eric Frenzel, Rießle claimed a 1.5 second advantage at the finish line. Ilkka Herola and Eero Hirvonen returned to the podium as well by outsprinting Germany II by 0.3 seconds.
Team Japan showed high-level jumping in the jumping part of the Team Sprint competition. The veteran – youngster duo of Hideaki Nagai and Ryota Yamamoto took the lead with two beautiful jumps on 100 and 104.5 metres and set the standard with a total of 266.8 points.
Behind this duo, the result list was tightly packed: Eric Frenzel and Fabian Rießle from Team Germany I made their ambitions for the win clear with 99.5 and 100.5 metres and started only nine second after the Japanese. Team Austria I (Greiderer/Lamparter) also threw their hat into the ring with jumps of 100 and 101.5 metres and a point total of 261.2 had them start only eleven seconds after the leaders.
Jørgen Graabak was also on the hunt for yet another Val di Fiemme podium or win for his merit list and his teammate Espen Bjørnstad supported the endeavour with a beautiful jump of 104.5 metres. The Norwegian duo started 16 seconds after Team Japan II and Team Japan I followed just three second later.
Austria II and Germany II started together with a delay of +0:33 seconds and the fast Finnish team with Eero Hirvonen and Ilkka Herola was also still in contention on rank nine with a delay of +0:38 seconds.
The Team Sprint race was an entertaining affair with its short laps and fast exchanges between the two athletes. For the first part of the race, a group of four Teams was in the lead with Germany I, Austria I, Norway I and Japan II, before Ryota Yamamoto was the first one who had to let go of the group in lap three.
While the leaders continued as a group of three, a bigger pursuing group had formed and followed at a distance of 25 to 30 seconds: Germany II, Austria II, Norway II, Japan I, Finland I and soon then also Ryota Yamamoto and Hideaki Nagai, once they had lost contact to the leaders.
On his third lap, Espen Bjørnstad of the first Norwegian team also ran out of steam and fell behind the leaders. On his fourth lap, he was caught by the pursuers and so it became clear that the fight for the victory would be between Germany’s Rießle and Austria’s Greiderer on the last lap and a bigger group would sprint for the remaining third place.
Ilkka Herola tried to up the tempo on his laps but was not able to shake off equally strong skiers Johannes Rydzek and also Espen Bjørnstad held on for dear life.
In the end, it really came down to the two sprints: Fabian Rießle beat a valiantly fighting Lukas Greiderer with timing, experience and sheer explosive strength, while Eero Hirvonen displayed an equally impressive sprint agains German youngster Julian Schmid and sprint master Jørgen Graabak.
In the end, Rydzek and Schmid had to be satisfied with the fourth place and Bjørnstad and Graabak with the fifth. Norwegian youngsters Kasper Moen Flatla and Andreas Skoglund convinced with rank six and the Watabe brothers beat Lukas Klapfer and Martin Fritz in a finish line sprint for position seven. Local heroes Raffaele Buzzi and Alessandro Pittin were ninth and the remaining Top Ten spot went to Team Japan II.