Demong takes 4th at event in France

Race wraps up team’s pre-Olympic competitions

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U.S. Ski Team

Bill Demong

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Todd Lodwick

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Johnny Spillane

World Cup results

1. Magnus Moan, Norway 24:10.8

2. Jason Lamy Chappuis, France +1.0 (seconds back)

3. Mario Stecher, Austria +13.6

4. Billy Demong, Vermontville, N.Y. +14.8

13. Todd Lodwick, Steamboat Springs +1:17.1

16. Johnny Spillane, Steamboat Springs +1:34.2

35. Brett Camerota, Park City, Utah +2:46.7

By the standards of this season, it may not stand out. But the U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team still recorded a strong day Sunday at the World Cup event in Chaux-Neuve, France.

Billy Demong finished fourth. Todd Lodwick, fresh off a podium performance Saturday, was 13th, and Johnny Spillane 16th.

Demong started the 10-kilometer cross-country portion of the race 50 seconds behind the leaders after having logged the ninth-best jump. About a quarter of the way into the race, he had climbed to fourth. He at one point shaved 42 seconds off that massive disadvantage.

It wasn’t enough, however, and he couldn’t get closer.

Magnus Moan, of Norway, won the day’s event, ahead of Jason Lamy Chappuis, of France, and Mario Stecher, of Austria.

Demong finished 14.8 seconds back.

“It was a solid race, for sure, but I was pretty tired at the finish and lost the sprint to Magnus, Jason and Mario,” Demong said in a U.S. Ski Team news release. “But, all-in-all, it felt like a very strong day and I think it’s the feeling I’m looking for going into this training period right before the Olympics.”

Lodwick was 1:17.1 back while Spillane was 1:34.2.

Brett Camerota was the only other U.S. finisher, crossing the line 2:46.7 behind the leader and in 35th place.

The day’s action wrapped up the team’s pre-Olympic World Cup schedule. It will now return to the states to put the finishing touches on its training for next month’s Olympic Games.

“The training program we had going into the (Olympic) Games and World Championships in the last four years is really good. It’s for fine tuning and getting those precious few seconds, especially in the finish,” Demong said in the release. “I’m looking forward to doing what we normally do and trusting it because I feel really close to some really good races and I couldn’t ask for more.”

­— To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 871-4253 or e-mail jreichenberger@steamboatpilot.com

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