KLINGENTHAL, Germany (Feb. 14) - The U.S. Ski Team's Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) finished fifth Saturday during a nordic combined World Cup in Germany, just missing the podium in a four skier sprint for the number three spot. Finland's Anssi Koivuranta won the competition to retain the lead in the World Cup standings.
"It was a little tough. It was the first comp back and it was OK obviously to get fifth but, generally speaking, it wasn't a very good jump and it wasn't a fantastic race," Demong said. "We're kind of getting back into the swing of it."
The venue for the World Cup experienced rough weather, making it necessary to use a provisional jump for the men as opposed to an in competition jump.
"It was my second jump in a week and was 24 hours after I got off a plane, so it was OK, I'll take it," Demong said. "But, I am definitely looking forward to a better race tomorrow."
"It was a good day for Bill, but it definitely wasn't his best race," U.S. Nordic Combined Head coach Dave Jarrett added. "He was in third for most of the race and did a lion's share of the work but they were just stronger than he was so he ended up fifth."
Following Demong in the U.S. men's results was Eric Camerota (Park City, UT) who, according to Jarrett, made great progress Saturday.
"That marked the first World Cup points for him this year," Jarrett said. "He did it now for the first time and it's a big confidence builder going in to Worlds."
Johnny Spillane (Steamboat Springs, CO) did start the race but, upon not feeling well enough to compete, decided to conserve his energy for the 2009 FIS World Championships, which begin Feb. 18 in Liberec, Czech Republic.
"I think we're on a good path for jumping and especially for cross country we had a good block of training and it's time to let all that take effect," Demong said. "A few more days of rest, some shorter more intense workouts and I think by next week and we'll be right in the money."
But, for now, Demong remains focused on his next World Cup Sunday in Germany.
"Having had a race now, I will feel better and have a little more energy and also if we do use the same provisional jump I'll be prepared to know how to come in third place and just try to get ahead of the guys who beat me today and stay ahead of them," Demong said.
DKB FIS NORDIC COMBINED WORLD CUP
Klingenthal, Germany - Feb. 14, 2009
Individual Gundersen Start
(jump rank, XC rank, time back)
1. Anssi Koivuranta, Finland (1/18) 27:16.7
2. Magnus Moan, Norway (9/1) +15.4
3. Jan Schmid, Norway (12/5) +1:04.1
4. Bjoern Kircheisen, Germany (24/2) +1:04.6
5. Billy Demong, Vermontville, NY (17/4) +1:07.1
27. Eric Camerota, Park City, UT (31/21) +2:57.7
43. Bryan Fletcher, Steamboat Springs, CO (55/33) +4:41.2
DNF: Johnny Spilland (Steamboat Springs, CO)