Nordic Combined - Gruber and Stecher hand Austria team victory

Austrian duo Bernhard Gruber and Mario Stecher joined forces to devastating effect to seal team victory at the Nordic combined World Cup in Kuusamo, Finland.

Nordic Combined - Gruber and Stecher hand Austria team victory

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NORDIC COMBINED Bernhard Gruber at the FIS Nordic Combined World Cup in Liberec

Gruber and Stecher took what proved to be an unassailable lead in the ski jumping section of the competition and could not be over hauled in the cross-country skiing race.

Second place went to Norwegian pair Haavard Klemetsen and Mikko Kokslien while French duo Sebastien Lacroix and Jason Lamy Chappuis ended up in third spot.

Stecher was the stand-out performer in the ski jumping, racking up 132.8 points, and that, combined with Gruber's 113.2, gave the Austrians a 28-second lead over their nearest rivals Norway going into the cross-country.

Gruber and Stecher were tenth fastest in the cross-country in 34.54.3 minutes and while Klemetsen and Kokslien were seventh quickest, they had left themselves too much to do as Austria sealed the win by 5.4 seconds.

The French pair, fourth after the ski jumping, were also fourth in the cross-country and that was good enough to complete the top three while Germany's Bjoern Kircheisen and Eric Frenzel were quickest in the cross-country 7.5km sprint in 33.25.8, but they paid the price for a poor ski jumping performance, ranking 13th.

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