Posted: Thu January 10, 2013 6:13PM; Updated: Thu January 10, 2013 6:12PM

Martin Fourcade carries France to victory in World Cup biathlon relay

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Martin Fourcade
Martin Fourcade shot cleanly to anchor France to victory in the men's World Cup biathlon relay.
ZumaPress.com

RUHPOLDING, Germany (AP) -- Martin Fourcade anchored France to victory in a closely contested men's biathlon World Cup relay on Thursday.

Fourcade shot cleanly and skied superbly in difficult conditions to complete the 4x7.5-kilometer race in 1 hour, 13 minutes, 11.2 seconds - 9.4 seconds ahead of Norway's Emil Hegle Svendsen.

Svendsen's hopes of a podium finish appeared to be dashed at the final shoot when he had to reload three times, but he somehow recovered to overtake Austria's Christoph Sumann and Germany's Erik Lesser, who finished third and fourth.

Lesser ran out of steam and finished 21 seconds behind Fourcade after both men had been neck and neck leaving the final shoot.

Germany led after the first leg, Norway after the second and Austria after the third, before Fourcade seized control.

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