KUUSAMO, Finland (Nov. 30) – Defending World Cup champion Ronny Ackermann of Germany won his second World Cup nordic combined meet in 24 hours Sunday, capturing a sprint event by 22 seconds over teammate Sebastien Haseney. Todd Lodwick (Steamboat Springs, CO) was the top U.S. skier in 16th place.
Ackermann again led the 120-meter jumping phase of the competition and kept his lead through the three-lap, 7.5K race. Haseney was seventh in the one-jump portion and had the second-fastest race to close within 22.1 seconds.
Lodwick, battling a cold as is world sprint champion Johnny Spillane (also Steamboat), jumped to 13th place and held onto 16th place, finishing two minutes back. Spillane was 33rd with Bill Demong (Vermontville, NY), seeing his first World Cup skiing since the end of the 2002 season after missing last season with a fractured skull from a preseason accident, was 35th.
“I'm glad my jumping seems to be back,” Lodwick said, “but, all in all, I probably shouldn't have started the race. I'm feeling it now…but I should be okay. It's been a long time since I've had a cold.”
Head Coach Bard Elden said the jumping took place immediately after the World Cup jumping event was held to one round because of erratic winds. “It was worse than [Saturday when the jumping event was postponed overnight because of gusting winds]. It's stupid to have a competition like that. One guy's going well [Ackermann] and then it's pretty open…but the winds were dangerous.”
Elden said the team will work to boost its cross country skiing in the next few days in Trondheim, Norway. Losing a sea-level training camp in Fairbanks, Alaska, because of poor snow meant the team trained almost exclusively at elevation during the preseason, which may have accounted for the sluggish results as it came close to sea-level in Finland. “We needed more time at sea-level and we'll get that as the days come along,” he said.
The World Cup is scheduled for another individual event Saturday with a sprint Sunday at the site of the 1997 World Championships.
WARSTEINER NORDIC COMBINED WORLD CUP
Kuusamo, FIN — Nov. 30
K120 (1 jump)/7.5K
1. Ronny Ackermann, Germany, (1/11)
2. Sebastien Haseney, Germany, (7/2) 22.1 seconds back
3. Hannu Manninen, Finland, (9/3) 34.3
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16. Todd Lodwick, Steamboat Springs, Colo., (13/30) 2:00.1
33. Johnny Spillane, Steamboat Springs, Colo., (37/23) 3:49.6
35. Bill Demong, Vermontville, N.Y., (38/31) 4:01.5
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World Cup Standings (2 events)
1. Ackermann, 200 points
2. Manninen, 140
3. Haseney, 120
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14. Lodwick, 37
Source: US Ski Team