VIKERSUND, Norway (March 14) - Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) sprinted away from a huge pack in the last half kilometer to finish second behind FIS Nordic Combined World Cup leader Anssi Koivuranta of Finland. Saturday. Eric Camerota (Park City, UT) finished in a career best 24th.
Demong jumped to 16th place on the HS117 meter hill in Vikersund, and found himself with a hefty one minute, 25 seconds to make up. In typical Demong fashion, he began picking off skiers ahead of him and moved into second behind jump leader Koivuranta around the four kilometer mark. Two kilometers later Norway's Magnus Moan, who started 20 seconds behind Demong, overtook him and brought with him a pack of five. The group battled back and forth before Demong turned on the afterburners, picking up nearly 20 seconds on Koivuranta in the final kilometer.
The finish virtually locked the title for Koivuranta, who holds a 99 point edge over Moan. The World Cup season will wrapup on Sunday. Demong, despite skipping two weekends to prepare for World Championships, clinched third in the standings with his finish, matching the mark he set a year ago.
"I'm happy with my second place," said Demong. "It's the fourth podium spot in a row for me."
Despite his 1:25 disadvantage at the start, Demong thought he and Moan could catch Koivuranta. "I was just sure Magnus would come up and I thought that together we could catch Anssi."
It was the first nordic combined World Cup in Vikersund, located west of Oslo on the southern end of Tyrifjorden. The event was partnered with a FIS Ski Jumping World Cup. "The jumping hill here is nice and good for nordic combined because it tightens the field." That tightening caused quite a traffic jam, though, for Demong and Moan as they fought their way through the field to the front.
The World Cup season closes Sunday in Vikersund.
DKB FIS NORDIC COMBINED WORLD CUP
Vikersund, Norway - March 14, 2009
Individual Gundersen Start - HS117
(jump rank, XC rank, time back)
1. Anssi Koivuranta, Finland (1/23) 26:03.9
2. Billy Demong, Vermontville, NY (16/2) +16.9
3. Magnus Moan, Norway (24/1) +13.9
4. Eric Frenzel, Germany (5/7) +16.1
5. Jason Lamy Chappuis, France (10/5) +19.1
24. Eric Camerota, Park City, UT (17/28) +1:57.7
48. Bryan Fletcher, Steamboat Springs, CO (48/47) +4:34.0
49. Brett Camerota, Park City, UT (59/41) +4:41.8