RAMSAU, Austria (Dec. 18) - The U.S. Ski Team's Todd Lodwick (Steamboat Springs, CO) came back to the World Cup in style Saturday, finishing fourth and missing the podium by a tenth. Austria's Mario Stecher picked up the win.
It marked a return to the World Cup for the Olympic silver medalist, who took the opening two weekends off to train at home. Two weeks ago he swept a pair of Continental Cups in Steamboat Springs.
"It was strange jumping conditions with changing wind from head wind to tail wind," explained Head Coach Dave Jarrett.
During the jumping competition officials adjusted the start level several times.
Lodwick, who had been fourth in the jump and started 16 seconds back. He moved up quickly and battled for a podium spot the entire race, before losing out in a sprint with German Johannes Rydzek for third, 15.5 seconds behind Stecher. German Bjoern Kircheisen was second, just nine-tenths from the win.
"I''m happy to be up there where I was," said Lodwick. "It was a typical comp where a lot of different factors play into the results. My objective today was to go out and ski my own race and see what the speed was on the World Cup."
Lodwick was part of a large pack that went head to head much of the race and was in a strong position going into the final kilometer, passing World Cup leader Jason Lamy Chappuis of France, who finished fifth. But he was not able to hold off the hard charging Rydzek.
"It was bad tactics on my part to head into the finish stretch in fourth but I'm still happy with my result," Lodwick said.
Lodwick's teammate Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) had another good race, taking 23rd for his third points scoring finish of the season.
Lodwick and company will be at it again Sunday with the final pre-holiday competition in Ramsau.
FIS Nordic Combined World Cup
Dec. 18, 2010
Individual Normal Hill/10k
1. Mario Stecher, Austria, 25:46.4
2. Bjoern Kircheisen, Germany, 25:47.3
3. Johannes Rydzek, Germany, 26:01.9
4. Todd Lodwick, Steamboat Springs, CO, 26:02.0
5. Jason Lam Chappulis, France, 26:03.2
23. Bryan Fletcher, Steamboat Springs, CO, 27:06.9
42. Taylor Fletcher, Steamboat Springs, CO, 28:43.1
47. Nick Henderson, Park CIty, UT, 29:30.3
59. Eric Camerota, Park City, UT, 31;31.8
Click for complete results.