Demong moves into 2nd in nordic combined standings |

Demong moves into 2nd in nordic combined standings

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
Bill Demong from the U.S., front right, finishes second ahead of Germany's Bjoern Kircheisen, left, during the Nordic Combined World Cup "Schwarzwaldpokal" in Schonach, Germany on Sunday, Jan. 4, 2009. (AP Photo/Daniel Maurer)

SCHONACH, Germany ” Bill Demong of the United States finished second in a nordic combined World Cup event Sunday, giving him his third podium finish of the season and moving him up to second in the overall standings behind winner Anssi Koivuranta of Finland.

Demong, of Vermontville, N.Y., placed 18th in the jumping segment of the competition but was second fastest in the 10-kilometer cross-country race after teammate Johnny Spillane of Steamboat Springs, Colo. Demong gave the U.S. its fifth straight podium finish.

“Bill had a great race today, he was fast the whole way and in the final sprint he was able to maintain second. It was great for him,” U.S. Nordic combined coach Chris Gilbertson said.

Spillane was 12th overall, and Todd Lodwick, also of Steamboat Springs, placed 14th.

Koivuranta won the ski jumping portion of the event and was 27th fastest in the 10K in capturing his fourth win of the season.

“It was the toughest race of my career,” he said.

Koivuranta leads the standings with 643 points, Demong has 447 and Magnus Moan of Norway, who finished 11th Saturday, has 420.

Spillane skied the 10K in 21 minutes, 2 seconds after being 40th in the jump. Lodwick, who came out of a three-year retirement last month, struggled to recover from Saturday’s team competition, placing 32nd in the jumping and seventh in the 10K.

Demong said he and third-place finisher Bjoern Kircheisen of Germany worked together to try and pull in Koivuranta, but couldn’t make up the gap.

“I skied hard, I think this was the best result for me so far this season,” Demong said.

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