Bieler overtakes Koivuranta late to win combined sprint
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.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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