American Lodwick runner-up in 2nd straight nordic meet |

American Lodwick runner-up in 2nd straight nordic meet

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
The 2nd placed Todd Lodwick of the United States, right, skis in front of the winner Anssi Koivuranta of Finland, left, during the 10 km race at the Nordic Combined World Cup in Oberhof, Germany, Sunday, Dec. 28, 2008. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

OBERHOF, Germany ” American Todd Lodwick was runner-up for a second straight nordic combined World Cup event in his comeback from retirement, losing on Sunday to overall leader Anssi Koivuranta of Finland.

Lodwick finished 6.9 seconds behind Koivuranta a day after also placing second on his return to the World Cup circuit following nearly three years of retirement.

Bill Demong of Vermontville, N.Y., finished eighth and Johnny Spillane of Steamboat Springs, Colo., placed 10th to give the United States three skiers in the top 10 for just the second time.

“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 fairy tale come true.”

Koivuranta took second place in the ski jumping session with a leap of 125.5 meters and finished the 10-kilometer cross-country race in 27 minutes, 22.2 seconds.

The Finn’s second victory of the season gave him 543 points in the overall standings after eight of 22 events. Demong is third behind Magnus Moan of Norway, and Lodwick jumped to 13th overall.

Jason Lamy Chappuis of France was third, 14.8 seconds behind Koivuranta. Ski jump winner David Zauner of Austria struggled with the skiing part and finished 14th.

Lodwick, of Steamboat Springs, has been competing on the Continental Cup tour since coming out of retirement this month. The four-time Olympian hopes to compete at the Vancouver Games.

“The reason I came back was it was something that I wanted to do,” Lodwick said. “I told the team that I wanted to earn my spot back and show them that I’m still capable of skiing. That was a drive and motivation for me throughout the summer.”

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