Eric Frenzel and Fabian Rießle claimed victory for Germany in the first team sprint event of the International Ski Federation (FIS) Nordic Combined World Cup season in Val di Fiemme.
There was a thrilling climax in the Italian resort with Rießle outsprinting Lukas Greiderer of Austria in the last few metres to snatch the win.
Rießle and Frenzel finished with a winning time of 35min 11.9sec to defeat Austrians Johannes Lamparter and Greiderer by 1.5.
The bronze medal went to the Finnish pairing of Ilkka Herola and Eero Hirvonen who finished 50.7 further back.
The Japanese team of Hideaki Nagai and Ryota Yamamoto had taken the lead with leaps of 100 and 104.5 metres in the ski jumping to set the standard with a total of 266.8 points.
Wow, what a wild ride that was today! 😳🚀 Masterful sprinting by #FabianRießle and #EeroHirvonen and what a fight by #LukasGreiderer and #Johannes Lamparter! Congrats to all six successful athletes! #fisnoco #nordiccombined pic.twitter.com/AHfEuPzUWb— FIS Nordic Combined (@fisnoco) January 16, 2021
Frenzel and Rießle made their ambitions clear by registering distances of 99.5 and 100.5, meaning they would start just nine seconds after the Japanese.
Lamparter and Greiderer also threw their hat into the ring with jumps of 100 and 101.5 to pick up 261.2 points.
It then ultimately came down to two sprints in the 2x7.5-kilometre cross-country race.
Rießle beat a valiant Greiderer with sheer explosive strength, while Hirvonen saw off German youngster Julian Schmid and sprint specialist Jørgen Graabak of Norway to secure third spot.
Competition is due to conclude tomorrow with the second individual contest of the weekend after Jarl Magnus Riiber of Norway came out on top yesterday.