“Yes” called Karl Geiger and laughed relieved at the camera. Even without his second podium of the winter, Germany’s best ski jumper was visibly satisfied with the home World Cup in Titisee-Neustadt.

“I’ll take a lot of self-confidence with me,” said the 29-year-old on ZDF. “It was really a great weekend for me.” At the end of three intense days in the snowy Black Forest, Geiger jumped 132 and 138 meters on Sunday and confirmed his improving form with fifth place. The Oberstdorfer is still missing something to really shine. A good two and a half weeks before the Four Hills Tournament, the trend is optimistic.

Geiger: “The field is extreme”

National coach Stefan Horngacher spoke of a “significant step forward”. Of course, he and his team would also like to jump for victories again as soon as possible. In view of the very bumpy start to the season, the Austrian knows that it can only be done in small steps. Growing trust in your own strength is worth a lot in psychologically demanding ski jumping.

The best jumper was the Pole Dawid Kubacki for the third time this season. The 32-year-old continued to extend his lead in the overall World Cup and also impressed the German team.

“Incredible,” Geiger commented on Kubacki’s performance, who won with a huge lead over Anze Lanisek from Slovenia and Stefan Kraft from Austria and was clearly in the lead after the first round. “The field is extreme,” said Geiger about the current level of the top jumpers. The Allgäu hopes that he has overcome his unusual phase of weakness at the beginning of the season.

After Geiger was eliminated twice after the first round in the first four competitions, he stabilized more and more. On Friday, the Olympic bronze medalist on the large hill finished third, giving the German team its first podium finish of the winter. Next weekend he wants to continue working on his form at the traditional Four Hills Tournament dress rehearsal in Engelberg.

Althaus WINS on the Hochfirstschanze

The way back to the top is even longer for his buddy Markus Eisenbichler than for Geiger. “Eisei”, as the emotional Bavarian is called in the team, finished ninth on Sunday with jumps of 128.5 and 135.5 meters as the second best German. “I’m not that optimistic yet. There’s still a lot to do,” said the 31-year-old after his best result of the season. However, given the lack of podium finishes, he is not yet upset. “I’m actually very relaxed considering that things aren’t going that well yet,” he said.

On the other hand, things are going really well for Katharina Althaus. About two hours before the men’s competition, the woman from Oberstdorf won at the same place. For the 26-year-old, it was the third podium finish and second win in the fifth individual competition of the season. Her teammates carried her jubilantly through the run-out at the Hochfirstschanze. Althaus also took the lead in the overall World Cup. “I’m really happy,” she said after her flights at 130 and 137 meters. “The second jump was great. I really nailed it.” The day before, Althaus had taken third place in the mixed team competition with Selina Freitag, Constantin Schmid and Geiger.