Demong, Lodwick 1-2 in World Cup event
Nordic combined athletes stand together on podium in Italy
January 10, 2010
1. Billy Demong, 33:49.9
2. Todd Lodwick, +15.3 seconds
3. Eric Frenzel, Germany, +24.1
22. Johnny Spillane, +2:11.2
29. Taylor Fletcher, +3:18.3
35. Alex Miller, +3:54.4
Steamboat Springs — Watch out, world.
The Nordic combined skiers of the U.S. Ski Team continued their scorching hot streak in World Cup competition Sunday. It wasn't local hero Johnny Spillane this time, but again the Steamboat Springs connections were deep, and again the accomplishment was historic.
Billy Demong won Sunday's World Cup event in Val Di Fiemme, Italy, while Todd Lodwick finished second. It marked the second consecutive week an American stood atop the podium after Spillane won his first World Cup event last week.
It also marked the first time American teammates have stood together on the Nordic combined podium at a World Cup event.
"I've been scratching my head and just trying to be patient," Demong said in a U.S. Ski Team news release.
He said he hasn't been pleased with his recent performances, but that all changed Sunday.
"From now on, it's about trusting that what I'm doing is working," he said.
The win actually came as a bit of a surprise. At the start of the day, the team set out to support Spillane, who's been on a rampage in recent World Cup competitions. After winning last weekend, Spillane was fourth Saturday and has been outside the top 10 only once this season.
He broke a pole in Sunday's race, however, and ended up 22nd. He had surged away from the pack with Demong and Lodwick in support, but he fell back after Lodwick stepped on his pole.
His teammates, though, kept charging.
Demong had started seventh in the race after the jumping portion of the day's competition was canceled. Results from a provisional Friday jump were used in place of the Sunday jump. That was good news for the United States skiers, who had all finished high Friday. Spillane was third, and Lodwick was fifth in that jump.
The cross-country section was a nine-kilometer hill climb, and Demong finished it in 33 minutes, 49.9 seconds. Lodwick was 15.3 seconds back. Eric Frenzel, of Germany, was third, 24.1 seconds behind Demong.
Taylor Fletcher finished 29th, earning the first World Cup points of his career. Alex Miller was 35th.