Demong surges on last second burst, stays hot in Norway | SteamboatToday.com

Demong surges on last second burst, stays hot in Norway

Luke Graham

Steamboat Springs — Billy Demong used a last second push Saturday in Trondheim, Norway, to secure his first Nordic combined victory of the year. — Billy Demong used a last second push Saturday in Trondheim, Norway, to secure his first Nordic combined victory of the year.

— Billy Demong used a last second push Saturday in Trondheim, Norway, to secure his first Nordic combined victory of the year.

A week after finishing third in Kuusamo, Finland, Demong had the third fastest skiing time of the day to finish first with a time of 38 minutes, 54.9 seconds.

“I controlled things right from the start. I told myself I was skiing a 15-kilometer, not a 1.5-kilometer,” Demong said in a news release. “I didn’t want to start fast but not finish.”

Demong battled Bjoern Kircheisen to the finish line, edging the German skier by seven-tenths of a second.

World Cup leader Ronny Ackermann of Germany was third, 8.5 seconds back.

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Local favorite Johnny Spillane – who was battling stomach problems – finished 13th.

Demong picked up his third World Cup win. He was eighth after two rounds of jumping and took the race lead midway through the third lap of 2.5-kilometer race.

“I know Billy’s strong and I could see over the last two laps that Kircheisen tried to pull away three or four times and Billy stayed with him pretty easily,” U.S. Nordic combined coach Lasse Ottesen said. “I knew, everyone could see, it was going to be a great finish.”

Demong’s win highlights a successful start to the Nordic combined season for the Americans. In addition to the win, Demong and Spillane have two other podium finishes in three events this year.

“Johnny was sick today with some kind of stomach bug, but he still was 13th. So when he’s healthy, he’ll be higher,” Demong said. “And for me, a lot has to do with confidence. A little of it is a holdover from last season, for sure. But confidence breeds confidence.”

After three events, Ackermann is the World Cup leader with 210 points. Kircheisen is second at 198 with Demong third at 196 and Spillane fourth.