Chappuis’ final sprint is golden

Good things come to those who wait.

Earlier today, France’s Jason Lamy Chappuis captured gold in the 10 km cross-country portion of the individual normal hill nordic combined event.

The world cup leader and gold medal favourite coming into the event, Chappuis continued his remarkable season by beating the United States’ Johnny Spillane by four tenths of a second, winning the event in a total time of 25:47.1 after finishing fifth in the ski jump portion.

Spillane earned himself the silver medal, barely squeaking by bronze medalist Alessandro Pittin of Italy who finished eight tenths of a second off Chappuis.

The medals won by Spillane and Pittin were the first medals of any colour for the pair’s respective countries in nordic combined.

The race was closely contested from the beginning with Spillane and fellow countryman Todd Lodwick controlling most of the course and leading the pack through the 7.5 km checkpoint. Lodwick would end up finishing fourth.

This came after the leader from the ski jump portion, Finland’s Janne Ryynaenen, had his 34 second lead erased thanks to a slight tumble contributing to the Finn’s 26th place finish.

At the 9.2 km marking, Spillane got tired of waiting and made his final push.

He sprinted up the last uphill hoping the gap he created would be enough to separate himself from his fellow competitors.

It wasn’t.

Waiting in third and fourth place for most of the race, Chappuis finally made his move taking advantage of a very tired Spillane, who may have gone too early.

Pittin also tried to take advantage of the exhausted American, but his final sprint for silver would not suffice.

Thunder Bay, Ontario’s Jason Myslicki, the only Canadian in the field, finished in 45th place.

Notable veterans of the sport, and multiple-time medalists Magnus Moan of Norway and Felix Gottwald of Austria finished in ninth and 14th place moving up a considerable amount after their disastrous 40th and 41st placements after the jump.