With individual matters completed in the Nordic combined event, Thursday gave the teams their turn to do battle, which saw four athletes from each of the nine competing nations getting their chance to shine.
Before the drama of the cross-country relay later in the day, it was the large hill stage that first took the spotlight, although Finland wouldn't play a role in the opening phase, registering a "Did Not Start."
Each of the four jumpers accumulates a total team score from their attempts, with 45 points equating to a one-minute time advantage in the relay.
Here's a full breakdown of the teams' large hill results:
|Team Gundersen Large Hill Results|
|Rank||Country||Group 1 Points||Group 2 Points||Group 3 Points||Group 4 Points||Total Points||Time Difference|
The Russian Federation stacked up an early lead in the race for bonus time at the cross country, but that was always going to be the case given that they had the honour of going first in the order.
In fact, the best was saved until the penultimate team as No. 9 Germany proved class is spread throughout their line-up.
Eric Frenzel, having won gold in the men's individual normal hill, and Fabian Riessle, proud owner of an individual large hill bronze, both impressed on the way to seeing their team score a massive 481.7.
However, Austria weren't far behind in the order, thanks largely to the stage-high score of 126.7, courtesy of veteran Christoph Bieler, not to mention team-mate Mario Stecher's similarly impressive 125.3.
CBC Montreal presenter Douglas Gelevan was quick to state the prestige that 36-year-old Stecher brings to this year's event:
Were the rest of the Austrian outfit on the same level as their seasoned peers, Germany may have been dislodged from their perch—but it was not to be.
Austria must now reduce the seven-second time advantage if they are to prevent Germany powering on to the gold medal.
It's far from an insurmountable disadvantage, especially when one considers that it's been the jumping and not the long-distance skiing that Germany have thrived in thus far at the Games.
Lower in the standings, the United States will start the relay 1 minute and 52 seconds after the current leaders, while Italy are even worse off by a distance of 2:10.
That being said, at least every team can count themselves more fortunate than Finland, who won't even compete in the cross-country phase thanks to their DNS.
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