Eric Frenzel was able to extend his lead in the FIS Nordic Combined World Cup after team-mate Johannes Rydzek crashed ©Getty Images

Eric Frenzel made what could be a vital move in the International Ski Federation (FIS) Nordic Combined World Cup today in Schonach as he widened his lead in the overall standings.

The German won the men’s Gundersen race on home snow in a dramatic finish which saw his team-mate and World Cup rival Johannes Rydzek fall over near the line.

Frenzel is on the hunt for a fifth straight crystal globe and now leads the table by 54 points, an increase of 40 from before the start of today’s action.

Japan’s Yoshito Watanabe was the best in the ski jumping section of the event, with his leap of 103.5 metres earning him 128.7 points.

Just one jump was made by all the men after poor weather before the competition forced organisers to cut down proceedings, including slicing the cross-country section from 15 kilometres to 10.

Wilhelm Denifl of Austria was second best jumper with his effort of 102m earning him 126.4 while Poland’s Adam Cieslar was third after the first stage just 0.1 behind after leaping 105m.

Frenzel entered the cross-country section in seventh place while Rydzek was ninth.

Both were part of a leading group of 20 as the race element got going as windy conditions meant no-one wanted to take a lead.

Johannes Rydzek fell as he and Eric Frenzel entered the final stage of the race ©Getty Images
Johannes Rydzek fell as he and Eric Frenzel entered the final stage of the race ©Getty Images

Eventually, Denifl sprinted forward in the final lap and it looked like he would win until Frenzel and Rydzek started a battle on the last uphill section.

They both overtook the Austrian, but drama came as they reached the home straight.

Frenzel got to the lanes first and picked where he wanted to go.

Rydzek tried to move over, but in doing so clipped his team-mate’s ski and crashed.

This in turn allowed Denifl to slip back into second place, where he finished behind Frenzel.

Despite the crash, Rydzek managed to finish in third place, although he was visibly shaken by what had happened.

Tomorrow will see the conclusion of the FIS Nordic Combined season with Gundersen 10km race.

If Rydzek can win this, he will need his colleague to finish no higher than fourth to snatch the title away from him.