Jarl Magnus Riiber continued his dominance of the Nordic Combined World Cup with victory in Val di Fiemme but only after a dramatic sprint for the line that required a photo finish.
The Norwegian superstar has now won five of the seven races this season, while taking second spot in the other two, but few of his victories have been as hard-fought as this.
On the final downhill section of the 10km cross-country, the 23-year-old overtook leader Fabian Riessle and picked the best lane for the concluding sprint, with German duo Vinzenz Geiger and Eric Frenzel shooting forward to claim the other two lanes.
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There was nothing to pick between the trio but Riiber crossed the line in 27:16.1 minutes, a mere 0.1s ahead of both his German opponents, with Frenzel eventually determined to have taken silver and Geiger bronze.
Joergen Graabak in fourth, Alessandro Pittin in fifth and Ilkka Herola in sixth were all within one second of the winner, although ultimately Riiber increased his vice-like grip on the overall standings with another triumph.
He had set himself up for victory with an impressive ski jump - leaping 100.5m to sit in third position following that element, as Ryota Yamamoto continued to cement his reputation as perhaps the best pure ski jumper in the Nordic Combined field by soaring 103.5m.
However, the Japanese youngster's cross-country skiing again let him down as he dropped from first to 23rd following the 10km race.
The Nordic Combined World Cup moves on to Lahti in Finland next weekend for a single event. Sportsbeat 2021
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