Demong snags 2nd in Nordic Combined World Cup event

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World Cup results

2009 DKB FIS World Cup Nordic Combined in Schonach, Germany on Sunday

1. Anssi Koivuranta, Finland, (1/27)

2. Billy Demong, Vermontville, NY, (18/2) +6.7 seconds back

3. Bjoern Kircheisen, Germany, (18/3) +7.1

4. Mario Stecher, Austria, (2/23) +7.2

5. Tino Edelmann, Germany, (14/9) +8.2

12. Johnny Spillane, Steamboat Springs, CO, (40/1) +48.6

14. Todd Lodwick, Steamboat Springs, CO, (32/7) +54.1

33. Brett Camerota, Park City, UT, (22/38) +2.01.6

— It was another nice day for the U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team, and the effort again was led by a trio of skiers with ties to Steamboat Springs. Bill Demong, a long-time member of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, finished second in Sunday's World Cup Nordic combined competition in Schonach, Germany. After finishing 18th in the jumping portion of the event, Demong skied the second fastest 10K to take his third podium of the season.

"Jumping was good today. I was a little disappointed after last weekend, but today I stepped it up a little and put myself in a good position," Demong said.

Finland's Anssi Koivuranta took his fourth win of the season to secure his lead in the overall standings, while Demong moved into second place, just ahead of Norway's Magnus Moan.

"It was a pretty tight race because everyone started close together, and I was able to get into third place after the first lap," Demong said.

Demong said he worked with third-place finisher Bjoern Kircheisen, of Germany, to try and pull in Koivuranta, but they could not. Although Koivuranta finished first in the jumping portion, he was just 27th fastest in the 10K.

"I skied hard. I think this was the best result for me so far this season," Demong said.

Fellow American Johnny Spillane, a Steamboat native, skied the fastest 10K in 21:02.0 minutes, after placing 40th in the jumping portion of the event, boosting himself to 12th place overall. Todd Lodwick, another Steamboat skier, struggled after saying he went out too hard in yesterday's team competition, finishing 14th overall. He was ranked 32nd after jumping and skied the seventh fastest 10K to come in 14th.

The event was Lodwick's second since returning to the World Cup circuit after a two-year retirement. He finished second last week in his first competition back, leading the way as three Americans packed into the top 10.

Conditions Sunday were sunny and beautiful with only a slight tailwind for jumping.

"It was nice to take the wind out of the competition. A lot of guys weren't jumping that far today, so there was a chance for the fast skiers to put themselves into good position," Nordic Combined Coach Chris Gilbertson said. "Bill had a great race today. He was fast the whole way, and in the final sprint, he was able to maintain second. It was great for him."

The team now heads to Val di Fiemme, Italy, next weekend before returning to North America for the Olympic test events in Whistler, B.C.

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