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Bieler overtakes Koivuranta late to win combined sprint

12/3/2006

LILLEHAMMER, Norway -- Austria's Christoph Bieler overtook
Anssi Koivuranta of Finland on the final straightaway to win a
World Cup Nordic combined sprint on Sunday.

Bieler finished in 17 minutes, 30.8 seconds in the 7.5-kilometer
cross-country ski race, edging the Finn by 1.2 seconds.

It was the Austrian's first World Cup win and seventh podium
finish. His previous best was a second at Schonach, Germany, last
season.

Maxime Laheurte of France was third, 4.6 seconds back, and
overall leader Magnus Moan of Norway was fourth.

Originally scheduled as a 15K race, it was cut in half after
only one ski jump could be completed earlier in the day because of
strong winds.

Bieler finished 16th in the ski jump, which was won by Petter
Tande of Norway at 138.5 meters.

Tande struggled with his skiing and finished 11th.

After three events, Moan leads the overall standings with 200
points. Jason Lamy Chappuis of France, who was fifth, is second
with 195 points while Bieler is third with 176.