KUUSAMO, Finland – Bill Demong (Vermontville, NY) and Johnny Spillane (Steamboat Springs, CO) led the way for the U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team as they finished 27th and 28th in the first World Cup competition of the season.
The day got off to a rocky start when Spillane jumped to just 35th and Demong 39th, which put Spillane 3:16 back in the cross country start, and Demong nearly four minutes. Demong sprinted to the fifth fastest cross country time, but it only moved him up to 27th.
“It didn't start exactly the way we wanted to – it was a rough day at the office for all four of our guys. Bill and Johnny managed to salvage somewhat, but the jumping was not what it was in training,” said Nordic Combined Head Coach Dave Jarrett. “We just didn't perform on the jumping hill the way we have been in training.”
Ronny Ackermann of Germany won the event, followed by Finland's Janne Ryynaenen and Anssi Koivuranta in second and third.
Ackermann, who was on fourth spot after the jumping and had to start with a deficit of 43 seconds, was able to catch leader Janne Ryynaenen after 7.5 km in the 10-km-Gundersen race and won his 28th victory in a nordic combined World Cup.
Eric Camerota (Park City, UT) and Alex Glueck (Steamboat Springs, CO) also competed for the U.S. with Camerota finishing 39th and Glueck 52nd.
According to Jarrett, the Team, which has been training on snow for just under a week, has all the elements to be successful. It's just a matter of pulling everything together.
“Sometimes you do everything right and you don't get all the results right away. You just have to be patient and keep working,” Jarrett said. “All four of those guys have done a great job of preparing and everything is there for them. It's just a matter of executing in competition.”
The Team has a chance to do just that on Sunday as they compete in another HS142/10K event.
“We're looking forward to stepping up more tomorrow and getting back to what we should be.”
DKB FIS WORLD CUP NORDIC COMBINED
Kuusamo, FIN – Nov. 29, 2009
1. Ronny Ackermann, Germany (4, 14)
2. Janne Ryynaenen, Finland (1, 33)
3. Anssi Koivuranta, Finland (2, 29)
4. Pavel Churavy, Czech Republic (8, 15)
5. Eric Frenzel, Germany (19, 9)
27. Bill Demong, Vermontville, NY (39, 5)
28. Johnny Spillane, Steamboat Springs, CO (35, 11)
39. Eric Camerota, Park City, UT (38, 44)
52. Alex Glueck, Steamboat Springs, CO (57, 37)
For complete results click here.