Park City, Utah – Dave Jarrett, US Ski Team Nordic Combined Head Coach, is content with Demong’s result and glad to see him returning from his early-season jumping funk. Despite a less than stellar jump this morning, Demong has delivered some promising jumps since returning from Europe last weekend. And he is generally reliable on the cross-country.
“We definitely had difficult racing conditions today. Bill was leading going into the stadium, but it was so soft he didn’t have a chance to sprint,” Jarrett said.
Demong, who was 18th after the jumping, had quite a job to do on the cross-country course. After a less than stellar day on the hill, Demong started 1:40 behind Sebastian Reuschel (GER), who had the best jump and proceeded to win the competition.
“Bill came back from pretty far behind and caught the leaders on the first lap. He tried to make a move on the top of the last hill, but he just couldn’t drop anyone. They all came in together, but when they lined up to sprint it was just too soft,” Jarrett said.
“I was definitely in it to win today,” Bill Demong said. But he is not disappointed with fifth place. “I got what I wanted out of this, and it was a good hard race,” he said, noting that the conditions on the hill in the morning were difficult. At first, there was not much wind at all, while those jumping later had more wind.
“I started out behind, but I put my head down and caught everyone. I wanted to not be following anyone, so when we got to the sprint, the others were definitely going to be a bit fresher,” Demong explained.
Decent and difficult
“It was a pretty good day,” Jarrett said of the US team after Saturday’s event.
Friday’s trial round was marred by rain, and conditions didn’t set up over night, so both the hill and the cross-country course featured soft, saturated conditions.
Eric Camerota also had a good race, and landed himself a ninth place, as the only other American in the top 10.
The COC continues tomorrow in Park City/Soldier Holllow. Taylor Fletcher and Brett Camerota, who didn’t compete Saturday, will be in that event, while Demong takes the day off. Jarrett hopes that Brett Camerota can get back in business on the jumping hill. For Taylor Fletcher, the Sunday race is merely an opportunity to stay sharp and get a race in on a weekend off before he heads back to the World Cup in Ramsau (AUT) next weekend.
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Inge is FasterSkier's international reporter, born and bred in Norway. A cross-country ski racer and mountain runner, she also dabbles on two wheels in the offseason. If it's steep and long, she loves it. Follow her on Twitter: @IngeScheve.