KLINGENTHAL, Germany – By: Lindsey Sine – Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) packed in the sixth World Cup win of his career Sunday, finishing seventh in the jumps and second in the cross country to take the win in the last World Cup before Nordic World Championships begins Feb. 19.
“Luckily we were able to get another round of jumping off today. It was pretty windy, but it was an awesome competition. It was pretty intense – people were going really far, really short – some of it had to do with conditions and some of it had to do with confidence,” Demong said. “It was fun and it’s a good way to end the first weekend back in Europe.”
According to U.S. Nordic Combined Head Coach Dave Jarrett, while Demong’s win is great, he sees more potential in the athlete.
“Billy won today, which is great, but it’s still not even his best. We know that he can jump better,” Jarrett said.
During Saturday’s event, weather conditions did not permit a jumping round and, instead, a provisional round was used from training. But, for Demong, having the extra jump was the turning point.
“I managed to have a better jump today and put myself in a position where I thought I could fight for the podium, but I was a ways out from the lead,” Demong said. “I felt more confidence and was able to catch the leaders on the last lap on the last hill and play a little tactics in to the finish and outsprint them.”
Demong led the way while teammate Johnny Spillane (Steamboat Springs, CO) finished 10th.
“Today confirms we are on the right track not only with Billy, but with Johnny and we’ll see where Todd is when he gets here,” Jarrett said. “Johnny jumped much better than he has been and is closer to being where he’s capable of being.”
Eric Camerota (Park City, UT) also upgraded his finish spot Sunday, landing in 25th for his second World Cup points finish of the season.
The Team now gears up for the 2009 World Championships and, according to Demong, Sunday’s finish sets the stage for him.
“It’s good for confidence, for sure, to finish on a victory here,” Demong said. “It doesn’t really change how I approach the competitions for sure other than hopefully being able, even more, to be on auto pilot.”
The 2009 FIS World Championships begin Feb. 18 and run through March 1.
“I’m psyched to keep going with this trip. We’ve got four important races coming up and then four World Cups and it’s going to be fun the whole way,” Demong said.
DKB FIS NORDIC COMBINED WORLD CUP
Klingenthal, Germany – Feb. 15, 2009
Individual Gundersen Start
(jump rank, XC rank, time back)
1. Billy Demong, Vermontville, NY (7/2) 27:04.4
2. Jason Lamy Chappuis, France (2/10) +0.6
3. Pavel Churavy, Czech Republic (1/21) +1.7
4. Magnus Moan, Norway (15/1) +11.7
5. Tomas Slavik, Czech Republic (3/15) +15.2
10. Johnny Spillane, Steamboat Springs, CO (17/4) +1:07.0
25. Eric Camerota, Park City, UT (22/30) +3:00.6