KAMAS, Utah (June 27) - From Tour de France to the streets of Kamas, UT, bike racing season is in full swing. After taking second place in the High Uinta's Classic, the U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team's Bill Demong (Vermontville, NY) showed that winter isn't the only season where he can land on the podium.
"The High Uinta's Classic is the first bike race I ever did two years ago," Demong said. "I remember watching the top level race and I was like, 'oh those guys are fast. I don't think I could ever be that fast on a bike.'"
Demong couldn't have been further from wrong. On June 24 he and two teammates swept the podium of the Classic, which has competitors riding from Kamas to Evanston, WY. According to Demong, though he has found success in bike racing, his priority remains with nordic combined competitions.
"This is my second year of taking it more seriously. It's still an outlet for me - an off-season sport that I'm passionate about," Demong said.
Though he may save the bike racing for when he's not competing around the world, Demong said that there is a surprise plus to being involved with biking during the summer.
"Luckily it has a huge training benefit. The motions of skate skiing and bicycle racing are fairly similar," Demong said. "It's a good way to get some tough workouts in at a high level and have something to push you to do it."
For now, Demong will continue to use bike racing as an integral part of his summer training program, but anticipates he will stop racing in August to focus his workouts entirely on nordic combined before the season starts.
"It's great to have this outlet," Demong said. "But I'll probably wrap things up in August so I can focus on the coming season."
Demong now heads to Steamboat Springs, CO, for a nordic combined camp.