ZAKOPANE, Poland (Feb. 24) – The U.S. Ski Team's Bill Demong (Vermontville, NY) came from behind Sunday, moving up 18 places after the jump to finish third in a World Cup nordic combined sprint in Zakopane. Demong remains second in the World Cup standings and is closing the gap on leader Ronny Ackermann, who was 11th.
Austria's Bernhard Gruber won after finishing second in jumping and hanging on for a 12 second victory over Swiss Tommy Schmid. Demong, who led the cross country race, was another second back in third. It was a welcomed race for the combined circuit that was rained out a day earlier, a weekend after losing two of three scheduled events in the Czech Republic.
Austria's David Zauner led jumping, soaring 132 meters, with teammate Gruber second with the same distance. Demong was 21st with a jump of 120.5, putting him 1:07 back at the start of the 7.5-km cross country.
Demong moved quickly through the pack in the cross country sprint, moving into second behind Gruber by the 5-km mark before Schmid bumped him to third near the finish.
Demong remains second on the World Cup with 841 points, to 1,040 for Ackermann of Germany with four events remaining. The circuit now heads to Lahti, Finland for a pair of events next Friday and Saturday.
2008 WARSTEINER FIS NORDC COMBINED WORLD CUP
Zakopane, POL – Feb. 24, 2008 – 134m/7.5K
1. Bernhard Gruber, Austria (2/16)
2. Tommy Schmid, Switzerland (7/9) 12.0 seconds back
3. Bill Demong, Vermontville, NY (21/1) 13.0
4. Mario Stecher, Austria (8/8) 16.2
5. Petter Tande, Norway (14/7) 19.8
40. Johnny Spillane, Steamboat Springs, CO (47/29) 3:11.2
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