Lodwick continues on win streak

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— Nordic Combined skier Todd Lodwick was expected to arrive home Monday evening after one of his best World Cup starts ever.

Lodwick has set a blistering pace in the opening session, placing in the top 10 of every World Cup event so far this season. He is currently third in the overall standings behind German Ronny Ackermann and Austrian Felix Gottwald.

Lodwick opened with a seventh-place result in Kuopio Nov. 23, followed by an eighth-place finish Nov. 25.

Lodwick won his first event of the season Dec. 2 in a two-jump, 15-kilometer event in Lillehammer.

He wrapped up the European swing with a fourth-place finish in a mass-start event and a fifth-place result in a sprint event in Strbske Pleso Sunday.

Lodwick was third after the jumping and was leading that race until the final kilometer, when he was passed by a group of skiers including the winner, Samppa Lujunen of Finland, and second-place finisher Gottwald. Current World Cup points leader Ronny Ackermann was third and Christoph Eugen of Austria was fourth.

American Bill Demong crashed during the trial round, suffering multiple facial cuts, U.S. coach Tom Steitz said.

He was taken to the team's hotel room and took things easy while the competition continued.

All of those skiers are expected to arrive in Steamboat Springs this week for the Ski Town Classic presented by L.L. Bean, which will be held at Howelsen Hill.

The athletes will compete in a K-90 Gunderson (two jumps with a 15-kilometer race) on Dec. 16 and a K-114 sprint event Dec. 18. Those will be the final two competitions before a short Christmas holiday break.

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