SCHONACH, Germany (AP) — Eric Frenzel took a big step toward an unprecedented fifth straight Nordic combined World Cup overall title on Saturday with his second successive victory while closest rival Johannes Rydzek finished third.
Olympic champion Frenzel placed seventh in the ski jump for a six-second advantage over Rydzek. But Rydzek, who claimed gold at the worlds last month, fell as he tried to overtake his rival in the 10K cross-country race, dealing a blow to his hopes of a first overall title.
"It was a normal race accident and there was nothing unfair about it," German coach Hermann Weinbuch said.
Frenzel claimed his ninth World Cup win of the season in 28 minutes, 14.0 seconds — 3.4 ahead of Austria's Wilhelm Denifl and 7.1 ahead of Rydzek.
"It was an unbelievably tough race," Frenzel said of his 40th career victory. "We both wanted to save energy for the decisive stage."
Frenzel holds a 54-point lead over his German teammate going into the last event. Even if Rydzek wins on Sunday, fourth place would be enough for Frenzel.