Nordic combined returned to the world stage this weekend as the world’s best men and women competed in Oberwiesenthal, Germany. The athletes jumped at the venue right above town, then raced through the cobbled streets in front of a large crowd, the atmosphere was absolutely electric.
Tara Geraghty-Moats (West Fairlee, VT) returned to the world stage and set fire to the field. On Sunday, the wind proved too fierce for jumping. This meant that the provisional jump round from Friday was used. Geraghty-Moats was the winner of the provisional round on Friday, proving that her lack of jumping at the beginning of summer had no ill effects. “I’m happy I could start where I left off last season,” says Geraghty-Moats.
Geraghty-Moats started the race 17 seconds ahead of Stefaniya Nadymova from Russia in second place. By 2.5 km, her lead had ballooned to almost a minute over Nadymova. At the finish, Geraghty-Moats raised her hands above her head and received a standing ovation from the crowd- finishing 1 minute and 48 seconds ahead of second place.
It’s fair to say that Geraghty-Moats enjoyed her effort on the streets of Oberwiesenthal. “Racing on cobblestone ribbons through huge crowds is very epic,” says Geraghty-Moats.
After the first weekend of Summer Grand Prix, Geraghty-Moats has the yellow jersey (leader bib) and has no intentions of letting it go. When asked what her goal is heading to Klingenthal, Germany with that yellow jersey, she simply responds, “To keep it.”
Geraghty-Moats will compete again Wednesday in Klingenthal, Germany then Saturday and Sunday in Oberhof, Germany. Follow the USA Nordic and FIS Nordic Combined social media pages for all the live streams, results, and news surrounding Summer Grand Prix and the exciting women’s nordic combined circuit.
Last weekend, the men’s ski jumping team flew to some impressive results in Hakuba, Japan. Kevin Bickner (Wauconda, Ill) finished 16th and 13th over the weekend. “It was definitely my best competition this year so far, but I was really hoping to squeeze into the top 10,” says Bickner. Men’s ski jumping coach Uroš Balki continued the sentiment that the weekend went well but the athletes are capable of top ten results, “We showed some good jumps but didn’t reach our goal of a top 10 result.” Within the team, confidence is high on what can be achieved.
Casey Larson (Barrington, Ill) barely missed the top 30 on Friday, only to sneak into the top 30 on Saturday, scoring the first World Cup points of his career. “Getting into the top 30 was great, training has been going really well this summer,” says Larson. He speaks of consistency, which is a word heard a lot throughout ski jumping, “Heading towards winter, I’m looking to be more consistent with my top-level jumps,” says Larson.
Bickner and Larson will now switch out of competition mode and focus on training for a few weeks before heading to a Continental Cup in Lillehammer, Norway which the women’s team will also be attending. On tap for ski jumping next weekend is a men’s ski jumping Continental Cup in Rasnov, Romania. We will be covering and providing updates for that event along with the nordic combined Grand Prix where Geraghty-Moats continues to dazzle.