RAMSAU, Austria (Dec. 16) – Bill Demong (Vermontville, NY) turned in the second-fastest 7.5K race Sunday and moved up 14 places in a World Cup hurricane start sprint event. He was sixth behind Germany's Bjoern Kircheisen, who couldn't catch Demong as he won his third World Cup in a nordic combined individual competition a week ago.
In the hurricane start, skiers form a coil at distances behind the jumping leader based on a handicap formula from their jumping. They uncoil as everyone starts together.
Kircheisen, who was third in the one round of jumping on Ramsau's 98-meter hill, finished 3.1 seconds ahead of teammate Ronny Ackermann. Demong, 20th after jumping, charged through the three-lap course and finished 11.8 seconds back in a photo finish with Austrian Christoph Bieler among a group of a half-dozen skiers.
Demong and Norway's Magnus Moan skied together most of the race, pulling each other to the front. Moan had the fastest 7.5K to finish fifth and Demong was second-fastest as he climbed to sixth place. After six events, Demong is fourth in the pverall standings behind Kircheisen.
Johnny Spillane (Steamboat Springs, CO) had his worst jumping day of the season, finishing 37th in the one round, but moved up to 28th during the 7.5K sprint.
“The race obviously went pretty well. We had some dead air during the jumping and the TD [technical delegate, who oversees any competition] decided to keep the speeds low on the in-run, so nobody was jumping far,” Demong said. “We're struggling a bit with our jumping on smaller hills, so we're going to work on that during the holidays. For me, Lake Placid has a great hill to train on, so I'm psyched to get home and get some practice jumps.”
Demong and Spillane finished 10th and 15th respectively in Saturday's mass start event.