HINTERZARTEN, Germany (July 26) - Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) came back from seventh in the jumping round to finish second overall in the first of three FIS Grand Prix nordic combined summer competitions in rainy Hinterzarten, Germany Saturday.
The summer competition has athletes going head to head in dryland jumps and racing the cross country portion of the event on inline skates.
"Bill finished second today after it started pouring rain 30 minutes before the start of the race. It was a good course when it was dry but in the rain it brought everyone together," Nordic Combined Head Coach Dave Jarrett said. "Bill did a great job managing the race and it ended with a sprint finish for the podium."
Demong, who started 54 seconds back, finished only 1.3 seconds back of Germany's Georg Hettich, who took first. Rounding out the podium was Austria's David Kreiner.
The U.S. Nordic Combined Team's Johnny Spillane (Steamboat Springs, CO) and Alex Glueck (Steamboat Springs, CO) were also in Germany to compete in the summer Grand Prix. Spillane finished 30th and Glueck was 36th.
"Johnny jumped OK, but had the wheels for dry pavement and couldn't push at all. Alex Glueck also jumped ok but had the same problem with the wheels," Jarrett said. "Overall we are here to see the level of jumping and after the last few days we know where we are in relation to the rest of the nordic combined world."
The FIS Grand Prix continues Tuesday in Oberstdorf, Germany and wraps up in Einsiedeln, Switzerland next Friday.
FIS Grand Prix
Hinterzarten, GER - July 26, 2008
1. Georg Hettich, Germany, (7/22)
2. Billy Demong, Vermontville, (7/23) 1.3 seconds back
3. David Kreiner, Austria, (6/25) 1.5
4. Anssi Koivuranta, Finland, (4/27) 1.7
5. Petter Tande, Norway, (11/20) 2.2
30. Johnny Spillane, Steamboat Springs, CO, (22/31) 2:32.1
36. Alex Glueck, Steamboat Springs, CO, (35/34) 4:35.4