Lodwick leads strong American bid in World Cup | SteamboatToday.com

Lodwick leads strong American bid in World Cup

U.S. snowboarders frustrated in World Cup event in Telluride

— Hometown favorites Todd Lodwick, Johnny Spillane and Bill Demong skied into the top 10 at a Nordic combined World Cup event in Ramsau, Austria, today.

France's Jason Lamy Chappuis won the one-jump, 10-kilometer event, which was rescheduled for an event that was canceled earlier this year. Lodwick placed sixth, Spillane was seventh and Demong placed 10th.

Lodwick, who was seventh after the jumping, started 22 seconds back in the 10-kilometer race, but took the lead with about two kilometers left. The two-time world champion and Olympian was overtaken by Austrian Felix Gottwald and Chappuis at that point, and the two Europeans battled for the victory down the stretch. Lodwick was forced to hold off a pack of about five skiers, which included Spillane, and eventually fell back to sixth in the final results.

It was a strong return to the World Cup for Lodwick, who has spent most of the first period in the United States. Lodwick competed last weekend in Park City, Utah, where he won a pair of Continental Cup meets.

The Nordic combined skiers will be back in action Saturday with the second of three scheduled events in Ramsau.

American snowboarders frustrated in Telluride

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The American snowboarders may have been hoping for a strong showing in a pair of World Cup parallel giant slalom races this week in Telluride, but it was the Canadians who stole the spotlight.

Jasey Jay Anderson topped teammate Michael Lambert in Thursday's second parallel giant slalom event, helping Canada sweep both events in Telluride this week. Canadian Matthew Morison topped Austrian Benjamin Karl to win Wednesday's race, which was a makeup for a World Cup event that was canceled earlier this season.

Adam Smith, the only American to qualify to ride in the finals on Thursday, was knocked out in the first round and finished 14th in the final results. Other American finishers included local favorite Vic Wild in 20th, Aspen's Chris Klug in 23rd and Tyler Jewell, who trained in Steamboat before the 2006 Olympics, in 25th.

"Telluride has been kind of disappointing for the Americans," said Jon Casson, the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club's snowboarding director. "I know our guys had some pretty high expectations, and it just didn't happen."

Steamboat's Justin Reiter (32nd), Zach Kay (35th) and Darren Ratcliffe (44th) also competed in Thursday's race.

Russian Alena Zavarzina won the women's race, followed by five riders from Austria. The top American was Lindsay Lloyd in 17th. Lynn Ott (27th), Erica Mueller (43rd), Madeline Wiencke (44th) and Heather Herde (45th) were among the American women who raced Thursday.

Morison and Swiss rider Fraenzi Maegert-Kohli topped Wednesday's races. Klug was the top American in the men's race, placing 15th, and Reiter was 16th. Smith raced to 20th, Jewell was 24th and Kay was 29th.

Top American women in Wednesday's race included Lowell Whiteman School graduate Michelle Gorgone in 11th, Lloyd in 20th, Mueller in 22nd and Ott in 31st.

Racing in Telluride now shifts to the men's and women's snowboardercross qualifications, which are today. Steamboat's Mick Dierdorff is expected to race in the men's event. The parallel giant slaloms will be aired on NBC at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 26 and on Versus Jan. 3 at 1 and 3 p.m.

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