SCHONACH, Germany – Norwegian Petter Tande, second in jumping, took the victory by 11.7 seconds over Hannu Manninen of Finland, who has won the last four World Cup titles. Ronny Ackermann of Germany was third and took over the World Cup points lead from teammate Bjoern Kircheisen. Magnus Moan of Norway out-lunged Demong for fourth place while Johnny Spillane (Steamboat Springs, CO) didn't start the 15K after jumping poorly.
Demong, who skipped his trial jump before the competition because of the nasty weather, was 10th after jumping and started the six-lap race 84 seconds behind Austrian David Zauner.
He and Norway's Magnus Moan, who had the fastest 15K time, dueled over the final 200 meters with Moan out-lunging him at the finish line by one-tenth of a second. “Billy's fighting for the podium every time now,” Head Coach Lasse Ottesen said. “He skied his own race and it looked as though he had left Magnus, but coming back into the stadium he caught up to Billy and then he just out-sprinted him.”
But Demong's race helped protect his No. 3 slot in the points. After nine events, Ackermann leads with 526 points, Kircheisen – whom Demong edged for the win in Trondheim, Norway, last month – is second with 514 and Demong has 477.
“It's closer now with the points and it probably will stay this close as the season goes on,” Ottesen said.
The weather gave everyone fits. “We had every possible kind of weather situation you can imagine. It was snowing hard during the trial round – no one went far and Billy and Johnny didn't jump because there was so much shuffling and uncertainty going on. Then we had sunshine in the second round of jumping but the wind was still all over the place. And after about four laps of the race, the snow came back…and we had some hail, some more rain, a mix of everything. It was crazy, so the organizers did a good job getting the event completed,” he said.
The next nordic combined World Cup competitions are in Val di Fiemme, Italy, where Spillane won the sprint world championship in 2003.
2008 WARSTEINER NORDIC COMBINED WORLD CUP
Schonach, GER – Jan. 6, 2008
Individual (96m hill/15K)
1. Petter Tande, Norway (2/6)
2. Hannu Manninen, Finland, (7/2) 11.7 seconds back
3. Ronny Ackermann, Germany, (6/5) 19.7
4. Magnus Moan, Norway, (17/1) 51.7
5. Bill Demong, Vermontville, NY, (10/4) 51.8
Johnny Spillane, Steamboat Springs, CO
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