Steamboat sports briefs for Dec. 21

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Bill Demong wins World Cup event in Austria

The U.S. Ski Team's Bill Demong landed one of the best jumps of his life to win his fourth career World Cup Nordic combined event in Ramsau, Austria, on Saturday.

"On the jump hill it was tough conditions," Demong said. "It was a little bit windy and snowy. I think it was a decent competition, but in those kind of conditions you just have to have confidence and go for it. On the cross-country course, it was dumping and it was windy, but I was able to just go out and ski my own race and hang on to the victory."

"Bill did great today. He was given an opportunity and he took advantage of it," Nordic Combined coach Chris Gilbertson said. "There was some luck involved, but he jumped well, so he was able to use it."

Germany's Bjoern Kircheisen finished second, and Jan Schmid, of Norway, was third. Steamboat Springs' Johnny Spillane finished 44th.

According to Demong, who finished second in the jumping portion, his first win of the season leaves him with encouragement that, athletically, he is where he is supposed to be.

Demong said he not only plans to build on this win for other World Cup victories, but he also wants to use it to bolster him for the World Championships in February.

For now, though, Demong is focusing on today, when he will compete again in Ramsau.

"It was a way better day on the jump hill, but cross country was tough so I'll try to have a better race day tomorrow," Demong said. Today "is another day, and I hope to take another step from here."

Shane McLean wins super combined in Winter Park

Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club member Shane McLean won the inaugural super combined race of the Surefoot Colorado Ski Cup Tour on Saturday at Winter Park.

Mclean placed second in the morning's opening super-G and seventh in the afternoon slalom run for the win.

The Surefoot Colorado Ski Cup action continues today with super-G races for men and women at Winter Park.

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