Jonas Lenherr wins the World Cup main rehearsal
Sunday saw Jonas Lenherr leave for the ski cross World Championships in Bakuriani (GEO). His self-confidence had been strengthened after a success in the World Cup.
Perfect World Cup main rehearsal for Jonas Lenherr. Last week, the 33-year-old from St. Gallen won the World Cup race on the Reiteralm, the last test of strength before the World Championships, due to take place on February 24 in Bakuriani (Georgia). It’s the first World Cup success for the Swiss Ski men’s team, left depleted by the injury-related absences of Alex Fiva (anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear), Ryan Regez (ACL tear), Romain Detraz (slipped disc), Luca Lubasch (ACL tear) and Gil Martin (ACL tear). For Jonas Lenherr, after four years and two months and the success in Arosa, it’s a return to the top podium at a World Cup victory ceremony.
After things didn’t really work out for Lenherr on Thursday (February 16), when he had to end his race after the eighth-finals heat, they went almost ideally 24 hours later: victory in the eighth-finals, victory in the quarter-finals and runner-up behind David Mobaerg in the semi-finals. In the heat for the day’s victory, the Swede Mobaerg – on Thursday still winner on the Reiteralm – dropped out of contention early on and Lenherr was able to work his way steadily from 3rd place to the very front. Compared to Thursday, the snow was not as hard and the pace was correspondingly less fast. An advantage for Lenherr? “No. I prefer hard or slightly softer surfaces. But I’ll take what I’m given. After all, there’s nothing else!” observed Lenherr. The victory gives him the confidence he needs for the World Championships, plus it’s very important for the whole team.
Marielle Thompson (CAN) and Daniela Maier (GER) also demonstrated their World Cup form on the Reiteralm. Behind the seemingly unbeatable Sandra Naeslund, the Stöckli duo finished second and third in the first race. On the second day, Talina Gantenbein’s seventh place showed that her form curve is also pointing upwards towards the World Championships.