From US Ski Team:
KUUSAMO, Finland (Nov. 29) – Todd Lodwick (Steamboat Springs, CO) moved up six spots to 12th place despite steady rain Saturday in the opening nordic combined World Cup competition of the season while German Ronny Ackermann, the defending World Cup champion, led the jumping and finished a minute ahead of everyone.
Ackermann finished 1:00.3 ahead of Finn favorite Hannu Manninen, who posted the fastest 15K time, with Olympic champion Samppa Lajunen, another Finn, in third place, 43 seconds farther back.
Lodwick had problems with his first jump but had a strong second jump. He finished 4:15.9 behind Ackermann. Johnny Spillane (also Steamboat), who has battled a nagging cold, was 30th after jumping and stopped after two laps of the three-lap 15K. Bill Demong (Vermontville, NY), coming back from a fractured skull a year ago, did not compete.
U.S. Head Coach Bard Elden said, “It was wet snow at the start of jumping, then turned to rain and stayed that way. Todd missed his first jump but got back into it with his final jump, which was pretty good. He and Johnny have been inconsistent, though, and we obviously have to work on that. Johnny was skiing well – he was staying 20 seconds behind Kristian Hammer [the Norwegian speedster] but he said his chest was hurting when he stopped…
“This was a heavy way to start this season,” Elden said. “We've got get back on the horse. This certainly was not the way we hoped to start.”
The Nordic Opening weekend in Kuusamo, including competitions in cross country, jumping and nordic combined, concludes Sunday with the nordic combined sprint.
WARSTEINER NORDIC COMBINED WORLD CUP
Kuusamo, FIN – Nov. 29
1. Ronny Ackermann, Germany, (1/9)
2. Hannu Manninen, Finland, (4/1) 1:00.3 behind
3. Samppa Lajunen, Finland, (3/11) 1:43.2
Â Â Â Â Â –
12. Todd Lodwick, Steamboat Springs, Colo., (18/12) 4:15.9
Did not finish: Johnny Spillane, Steamboat Springs, Colo.
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