VAL DI FIEMME, Italy (AP) — Jason Lamy Chappuis helped France to another team victory in the Nordic combined at the world championships and won an historic third gold medal in Val di Fiemme on Saturday.
Lamy Chappuis had time to grab a French flag as he skied down the finishing straight to win in 35 minutes, 37.9 seconds, beating the Austrian team of Wilhelm Denifl and Bernhard Gruber by 16.6 seconds.
Germany's Eric Frenzel beat Japan's Akito Watabe by 0.6 seconds for bronze as a late fall by Tino Edelmann cost the German team dearly.
"We feel great, it's great to be in first place," Lamy Chappuis said. "It was a lot of pleasure, beautiful weather, beautiful competition. We really wanted to be on the podium but first place is awesome.
"On the last leg I said to myself, 'I have to go for it, I have to go really fast in the beginning and go for it.' We had a really good glide and I knew that if I could make it with 10 seconds ahead of Austria, then I could win on the downhill. I had a lot of fun, having the flag and then Sebastien (Lacroix) waiting for me was great."
Lamy Chappuis became the first man to win three golds in the Nordic combined in a single world championships.
The Olympic champion came back from 11th to win the individual normal hill and also took gold in the team event, as well as bronze in the individual large hill.
"It's great," he said. "Although I have to say we have four events now and we used to have less. But it feels awesome, I can't believe it.
"It hasn't sunk in yet. I couldn't have dreamt it! It's been a really perfect two weeks. I've given everything. The best has to be the relay because there were four of us celebrating together and it was really incredible to finish so close in front of (Magnus) Moan."
Lamy Chappuis and teammate Lacroix started fourth in the 2x7.5-kilometer sprint, 43 seconds behind Edelmann and Frenzel after the ski jump on the large hill.
Frenzel, who dominated to win the individual event on Thursday, again outdistanced his rivals with a jump of 127 meters, picking up 136.3 points as Germany scored a total of 264.3 and started the sprint 12 seconds ahead of the Japanese team of Watabe and Taihei Kato.
Austria began third, 25 seconds behind.
Germany was caught just before the halfway stage by France, Austria and Japan.
Japan dropped off two laps later and it looked set to be a three-way battle for the medals before Edelmann's fall at the start of the penultimate lap.
Lacroix attacked and gave Lamy Chappuis an 11.6-second lead over Austria to take into the final lap, and he didn't disappoint.
"They are really strong athletes," Gruber said. "They're jumping really good and running really fast, it's really hard to beat them."
Lacroix was also part of the four-man French team which won on the normal hill.
"Our preparation worked very well," Lamy Chappuis said. "We were a little bit tired in January, but very fast in February. We trained a bit harder in January and then we took a two-week break and then we recovered pretty fast. It worked so we'll try and do that next year for Sochi."