Heavy snowfall caused major disruption at the International Ski Federation (FIS) Nordic Combined World Cup in Chaux-Neuve today, leading to a competition format change after the weather was deemed too problematic to hold the team sprint contest.
After finishing third in yesterday's contest, Norway's Magnus Moan climbed to the top of the pile as he raced to victory in 28:46.8, 8.4 seconds clear of team mate Magnus Krog in second.
Following an impressive PCR jump, Austria's Bernhard Gruber managed to hang on to seal third, 9.4 seconds behind Moan.
The PCR had given young Austrian Fabian Steindl a 26-second lead at the front of the pack with Japan's Yoshito Watabe sitting in second.
In fact, the Austrian team will have been happy with the decision to use the PCR as Gruber and Mario Seidl made up the top four going into the cross-country race, 28 and 30 seconds behind the leader respectively.
German World Cup leader Fabian Rießle made a good jump of 108 metres, after a longer wait in the rainy and snowy conditions, to claim 17th in the PCR, 1:25 back from the leader.
In the race, the winner-to-be, Moan, showed a strong performance from start to finish, to claim a second podium position in as many days.
While a leading group of four athletes consisting of Steindl, Watabe, Gruber and Seidl formed early in the race, Moan and Krog tore through the field, making up places and time to catch this lead pack.
American Taylor Fletcher proved fastest on the skis as he recorded a time of 27:04.6 to move from 37th to fifth in the standings.
Despite his pace, Fletcher could not catch France's Jason Lamy-Chappuis in fourth, who in turn failed to close the gap on third-placed Gruber.
Gruber had been in second place coming into the final lap but a late surge from Krog saw him drift past the French skier, who barely made it to the line from exhaustion.
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