OBERHOF, Germany (Dec. 28) - For the second time in as many days, Todd Lodwick (Steamboat Springs, CO) finished second in his incredible comeback to World Cup nordic combined competition Sunday in Oberhof. Lodwick led an historic finish with three Americans in the top 10.
"We're happy and we're vindicated," Nordic Combined Coach Chris Gilbertson said. "The jumping is getting better and it's nice to know that the confidence for those guys is there."
The last time the U.S. had three men in a nordic combined top 10 was Dec. 16, 2001 when Lodwick, Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) and Matt Dayton (Breckenridge, CO) accomplished it.
"This is really a historic weekend for the U.S. Team. It's a big step," Lodwick said. "It's kind of hard not to feel good. It's a fairytale come true."
Lodwick finished second in the jumping portion of the event and had the lead over Anssi Koivuranta at the midway point but the Finn took it back a few kilometers later to win the competition.
"It was definitely a hard cross country race today. They groomed the course and it was boot-deep sugar. But, that's the way it is and we had to deal with it and make due with what we had," Lodwick said. "I am surprised with my jumping. My confidence started in Vancouver with my Continental Cup jumping. Coming to Oberhof was kind of like an old habit. I've been down the in run, I've skied here a bunch of times. I wasn't nervous about the conditions at all."
Demong finished 28th in the jumping round and second in the cross country race to end up eighth overall. Spillane was 25th in jumping and third in cross country for a 10th place finish.
"Johnny is skiing really good and we worked together to get from 28th and 30th up to the front," Demong said. "All in all I think it's really exciting that we can have the depth to put three in the top 10 and also have three different guys that can potentially come through for a podium. It's awesome."
While the Team is still focused on the World Cup season ahead, it has the World Championships set in its sights, and perhaps the possibility of contending not only in the individual, but team event, too.
"It's our goal. When Told us he wanted to come back, that made a team medal possible, but we still need a fourth guy up there," Gilbertson said.
For now, though, it's on to the next World Cup in Schonach, Germany, Jan. 3-4.
"They're strong guys and they're getting ready for Schonach next weekend," Gilbertson said. 'We're going to keep building on the momentum and surging. It's just so nice to be on the positive side."
2009 DKB FIS WORLD CUP NORDIC COMBINED
Oberhof, Germany - Dec. 28, 2008
Nordic Combined HS140/10K
1. Anssi Koivuranta, Finland, (2/8)
2. Todd Lodwick, Steamboat Springs, CO, (3/5) 6.9 seconds back
3. Jason Lamy Chappuis, France, (7/6) +14.8
4. Jan Schmis, Norway, (8/17) +40.5
5. Magnus Moan, Norway, (33/1) +53.2
8. Billy Demong, Vermontville, NY, (28/2) +55.6
10. Johny Spillane, Steamboat Springs, CO, (25/3) +58.1
40. Eric Camerota, Park City, UT, (30/37) +2:57.0
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For complete results click here.