Ilkka Herola from Finland and Norwegian Gyda Westvold Hansen are the overall winners of the FIS Summer Grand Prix 2021.
The Finnish started strong with a victory at the first Grand Prix competition in Oberhof/Germany.
The 26 year-old was ranked 4th after Ski Jumping and finished his competition with a strong performance on the race course.
Soon a four-man leading group formed with Ilkka Herola, Terence Weber from Germany, Mario Seidl and Manuel Einkemmer from Austria. Short before the finish line, Weber and Einkemmer could not keep up with the high pace of Seidl and Herola who went into the finish sprint together. Despite a broken pole by Seidl at the last bend, Herola only won the finish sprint with a tiny margin of 0.1 seconds.
World Champion Gyda Westvold Hansen (94 mts, 106.2 pts) from Norway placed third after the Women’s Ski Jumping competition and went into the race 22 seconds after leader Lisa Hirner from Austria. During the race, Hirner and Hansen showed a similar picture to that of the men and formed a leading group. The two ran a lonely race at the front, in which the Norwegian was only able to prevail in the finish sprint by 0.3 seconds.
On day two in Oberhof, Herola, who placed 5th after the Ski Jumping (128 mts, 120.6 pts), had a 30 second backlog on leader Matteo Baud from France.
After being part of the leading group together with Johannes Rydzek and Vinzenz Geiger, the Finnish had to tear off from the two Germans before the final sprint and came in third.
Hansen (112.9 pts) placed third again, with a jump on 93.5 meters and started 39 seconds after Annalena Slamik into the race. The Norwegian showed a strong performance during the 5 km roller ski race again and caught up to the leading duo after 2.5 km. Showing her sprint strength one more time, Hansen took her second victory with a 12.1 second lead ahead of Ema Volavsek from Slovenia.
The next stop of the FIS Summer Grand Prix was Oberwiesenthal/Germany.
Herola, who used a lot of his strength during the roller ski race up the Fichtelberg couldn’t keep up with Vinzenz Geiger and Mario Seidl in the final uphill sprint. He reached the finish line with a 12.4 second backlog, securing his third podium position in a row.
Westvold Hansen showed the best jump of the women with 102.5 meters (116.4 pts) in the morning at the Fichtelbergschanze HS105 and took the lead. Therefore she was the first one to start into the 5 km at the Sparkasse Skiarena and defended her solid lead (+1:10.6 min) until the end, with Ema Volavsek placing second again.
The last events of the 2021 Grand Prix took place in Villach/Austria in summerly conditions.
Herola, already in the yellow BIB as Overall leader, jumped to strong 97 meters and reached a total of 117.3 points. He started with a 4 second backlog on Mario Seidl into the race and managed to pull away from the Austrian during the final lap.
With a 11.1 second lead, Herola took his second first place of this years Grand Prix, creating a 40 point distance to Seidl on rank two.
The spectators witnessed also another strong performance by Gyda Westvold Hansen, who jumped to 93 meters at the HS98 in the Villacher Alpen Arena and took the lead with 108.7 points. In the last lap Hansen was able to further expand her lead and reached the finish line 1:13 minutes ahead of the Annalena Slamik from Austria.
For Herola, a second place at the final competition in Villach secured his overall victory, while Westvold Hansen, showed the furthest jump of the day again with 96.5 meters.
She was the first one on the roller ski course and won her fifth competition in a row 22.4 seconds ahead of Annika Sieff from Italy.
With a perfect score of 500 points, the Norwegian sets the bar high for the upcoming winter season. Herola scored 400 points and will also be one of the top favorite for the upcoming Olympic winter.