Norwegian duo Jan Schmid and Joergen Graabak claimed victory in the team sprint event at the International Ski Federation (FIS) Nordic Combined World Cup event at Val di Fiemme, Italy today.
Schmid and Graabak were made to work hard for the win as they finished just 0.90 seconds ahead of German pair Manuel Faißt and Fabian Rießle, while the Austrian team comprised of Sepp Schneider and Bernhard Gruber took third.
The result sees Norway close the gap on overall leaders Germany to 67 points, and Austria are third but they are too far adrift to mount a serious challenge on the Nations Cup title.
Gruber, who ended the imperious Eric Frenzel's five-event winning streak with victory in the 10 kilometres race yesterday, alongside Schneider led after the jumping round thanks to efforts of 129 and 130.5 metres which gave them 263.1 points.
With their jumping display, the Austrians ensured they would take a two second advantage ahead of Germany going in to the cross-country race, and at this point Schmid and Graabak were 32 seconds off the pace.
The cross-country section of the event began in glorious sunshine and the crowd were treated to a bright start as Germany and Austria traded the lead in the first leg.
However the race then became a much more compact affair as seven nations formed the leading group as they skied tactically, keeping a moderate pace throughout.
Gradually, teams began to drop off from the leaders as they made a decision to quicken up the speed, which left Austria, Germany and Norway in contention going into the final stages.
Gruber looked as though he was going to add to his superb win the previous day as he led towards the final stages before he was caught by Rießle and Graabak, which then left a straight shoot-out between the Norwegian and the German.
Eventually, Graabak displayed his finishing prowess as he overtook Rießle to seal a dramatic win for Norway.
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