KLINGENTHAL, Germany (Jan. 20) – Bill Demong (Vermontville, NY) held onto his No. 2 place in the overall nordic combined standings Sunday as a rare World Cup doubleheader was held. World Cup organizers completed one carry-over event, in which Demong was fourth, and staged a sprint, as scheduled.
With weather playing a role, and forcing an overnight postponement in a mass start competition Saturday, organizers held one round of jumping Sunday morning to complete the event. A short time later, they rolled into the sprint, staging one round of jumping before a 7.5K ski race, as planned.
Germany's Eric Frenzel had the second-best ski jump and won the mass start with teammate and World Cup leader Ronny Ackermann second. In overcast, 40-degree weather, Demong, who had been third Saturday in the 10K, held onto fourth place despite an ordinary jump. Spillane, fourth in the race, slid to 14th place after the jumping.
In the sprint, Ackermann's one jump put him in second place and he skied off to an 18.3-second victory over Frenzel, who led the jumping. Demong had the third-fastest race and moved up 10 places to 14th while Spillane finished 19th.
“It was a pretty rugged weekend,” Demong said. “We were up early today to get in whatever we could complete. I was a little disappointed because I definitely jumped better in training this week than I did in the comps. But we got two competitions in, which is better than no competitions.
“I didn't even get a trial jump yesterday. They stopped the trial round once Johnny had jumped. The in-run on had rotted out from the bottom and the [jumping in-run] track was collapsing as we tried to jump. They had to stop,” he explained. “And the winds didn't help.”
With crowds of better than 10,000 each day, organizers quickly changed from the scheduled individual event – two rounds of jumping and a 15K race – to a mass start format. That's a 10K race followed by two rounds of jumping. But, once the race was over, there was no chance to hold a jump because of bad winds, so the postponement compromise was struck.
“We had huge crowds, so we still were able to give them something,” Demong said. “The winds were all over the place today – I definitely was pushed down by a tailwind on my second jump – but we held something for them, so that was good. It wasn't ideal, but at least they got to see some competition.”
The next stop for the Warsteiner FIS Nordic Combined World Cup schedule is in Seefeld, Austria, with a sprint Saturday and an individual event Sunday.
2008 WARSTEINER FIS NORDIC COMBINED WORLD CUP
Klingenthal, GER – Jan. 20, 2008
Mass start (10K/HS140 – 1 jump)
1. Eric Frenzel, Germany, (7/2) 186.6 points
2. Ronny Ackermann, Germany, (8/3) 183.4
3. Anssi Koivuranta, Finland, (12/10) 178.2
4. Bill Demong, Vermontville, NY, (3/20) 177.0
5. David Kreiner, Austria, (5/18) 176.3
14. Johnny Spillane, Steamboat Springs, CO), (4/26) 166.8
Sprint (HS140 – 1 jump/7.5K)
1. Ronny Ackermann, Germnay, (2/4)
2. Eric Frenzel, Germany, (1/13) 18.3 seconds back
3. David Kreiner, Austria, 8/6) 41.2
4. Havard Klemetsen, Norway, (6/12) 45.7
5. Bernhard Gruber, Austria, (3/21) 47.1
14. Bill Demong, Vermontville, NY, (24/3) 1:30.5
19. Johnny Spillane, Steamboat Springs, CO, (21/15) 1:53.4