The International Ski Federation (FIS) Nordic Combined World Cup Triple is set to begin tomorrow as athletes return to Seefeld for the first time since the 2019 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships.
With only the Triple trophy and the crystal globe for the overall FIS Nordic Combined World Cup winner up for grabs this winter, a stellar field is expected to line up for the three-day event in the Austrian village.
Jarl Magnus Riiber will be itching to add the trophy to his already impressive list of successes, especially given the fact that no Norwegian athlete has ever won it in the six years of its existence.
With two gold medals and one silver to his name from last year’s FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, Riiber is certainly the favourite to triumph.
Among his likely challengers is Austria's Franz-Josef Rehrl, fresh from finishing third in the Gundersen large hill HS140 and 10 kilometres event in Oberstdorf in Germany last Sunday (January 26).
Rehrl won three bronze medals at Seefeld 2019 and will be keen to put on a good performance in front of his home crowd.
The Austrian team will be competing without veteran Bernhard Gruber, who is still not fully recovered from a viral infection.
That became very apparent in the cross-country race of the team HS140 and 4x5km event in Oberstdorf last Saturday (January 25).
Also expected to be in contention is Germany's Eric Frenzel, who won four consecutive Triple trophies from the inaugural edition in 2014 through to 2017.
The Triple rules have been adapted slightly this year to include more athletes and reduce the distances between them on the third day.
As in previous years, the event will open with a one-jump, 5km individual Gundersen event, which will reduce the starting field to 50.
All athletes take their results with them, in the form of minus points, for the ski jumping round on day two and then ski 10km.
Again, all athletes take their results with them to day three, but only the best 40 athletes will be allowed to start.
They complete only one jump – not two as in previous years – and ski a final race of 15km.
Whoever crosses the finish line first is the Triple winner.
They will follow in the footsteps of Austria's Mario Seidl, who came out on top last year.