In addition to prestige and fame, the 70th edition of the Four Hills Tournament is about 100,000 euros in prize money. Training in Oberstdorf will take place on Tuesday, December 28th. Although the comeback victories in the World Cup only came in December after a break of more than 21 months, Stefan Kraft and Co. had cleared a full set of World Cup medals in Oberstdorf in February and March. The Salzburg resident is therefore returning with good thoughts to where he won gold on the large hill, silver with the men’s and bronze with the mixed team last winter.
In the ÖSV team, however, things did not go well in the World Cup this time either. With the victories of Jan Hörl in Wisla and Stefan Kraft in Klingenthal, there were only two victories for the ÖSV-Adler. After all, the team around head coach Andreas Widhölzl was spared corona-related failures in contrast to the previous year before the tour. A year ago, Stefan Kraft went on tour from the Corona break. He also struggled with back problems.
After his world championship title last year, Stefan Kraft should also be on the bill for the Four Hills Tournament. In 2014 and 2016 he also triumphed in Oberstdorf. But the competition is fierce. The German Karl Geiger, the Japanese Kobayashi and the Norwegian Granerud are also favorites. Hopes rest on Geiger of seeing the first German victory since Sven Hannawald in 2001. Geiger’s room partner, Markus Eisenbichler, was also able to book two podium places at the first four World Cup stations. However, one shouldn’t forget the Slovenian Anze Lanisek either.
In order to achieve more consistency, the ÖSV crew collected jumps on the Innsbruck Bergisel before Christmas. Michael Hayböck was there too, but the mixed World Cup third-placed will ideally not start the tour until next Monday after his intervertebral disc operation. The three other team vice world champions – Hörl, Daniel Huber and Philipp Aschenwald – have been there right from the start. Also in the ÖSV team: Manuel Fettner, Daniel Tschofenig and Ulrich Wohlgenannt.
On January 1st, the journey continues to Oberstdorf in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Innsbruck will follow on January 4th and Bischofshofen will be the last stop on January 6th.