Team Norway 1 were the winners of the first ever Mixed Team Sprint event in history of Nordic Combined.
Sixteen teams from eight nations were on start for the premiere in Oberwiesenthal (GER), in which the Norwegians already took the lead after the Ski Jumping round.
In rainy conditions at the HS105 Fichtelbergschanze, Gyda Westvold Hansen (100 m) and Espen Bjoernstad (97 m) collected a total of 231.5 points and took the lead.
Rank 2 was taken by team Germany 1, with Nathalie Armbruster (92 m) and Julian Schmid (100.5 m) collecting 231.3 points. Therefore, they went into the 2x6km race at the same time as the Norwegians.
Team Germany 3 with Svenja Würth (94.5 m) and Manuel Faisst (101.5 m), who reached the furthest distance of the day, placed third with 226.8 points, only 6 seconds behind the leaders.
With 8 teams going into the race within the first minute, a tight fight for the podium could be expected.
The 2x6km roller ski race took place in the Sparkassen Skiarena in heavy rain in the afternoon and wasn’t short of excitement.
Johannes Rydzek caught up with the top 3 in the first lap, but after the first change Svenja Würth and Jenny Nowak fell back to +10 seconds due to the high speed of Armbruster and Hansen.
The men then closed the gap again so that the Norwegians, despite several attempts by Hansen, were unable to pull away.
There was a constant change at the front, so that halfway through the race there was absolutely no telling who would cross the finish line first.
The decision in the pouring rain of Oberwiesenthal was not made until the very last lap, when Hansen was able to pull a gap to Armbruster with a strong start and brought in the world premiere victory for herself and Bjoernstad. Armbruster took second place with Julian Schmid for team Germany 1 (+11.4 sec) while Jenny Nowak and Johannes Rydzek placed third for Germany 2 (+27 sec).
Header image: credit: Volk/NordicFocus