A day after Alessandro Pittin became the first Italian to win a nordic combined World Cup event, the Olympic bronze medalist repeated his success, edging Jason Lamy Chappuis of France on Saturday in Chaux-Neuve, France.
After ranking 22nd of 54 athletes in the 118-meter large hill jump, Pittin went on to catch the leaders in the 10 k Gundersen start and pulled out the victory in a photo finish with Lamy Chappuis and Fabian Riessle (GER), who was third.
Pittin posted the second-fastest time Saturday after Magnus Moan (NOR), who ranked 30th in the jump and first in the race. Not far behind the race leaders, American Bill Demong climbed his way to 12th place with the third-fastest split.
While Pittin added another achievement to the Italian history books, and Lamy Chappuis, who was born in Montana and moved to France as a kid, maintained his top spot in the World Cup standings, American Johnny Spillane lowered his season-best to ninth on Saturday.
Spillane had previously notched his best result of 2011/2012 season on Friday, when he finished 13th in Chaux-Neuve. The same day, Demong placed a season-best eighth, and Bryan Fletcher had his second-best result of the season in 14th.
“Everything has been slowly coming together, mostly on the jumping side of things,” Spillane wrote in an email after Saturday’s competition. “I have been feeling good on the skinny skis but needed to do a better job on the jump hill to have a chance.”
On Saturday, the second of three consecutive days of competition, Spillane was the ninth fastest in the 10 k after ranking 13th in the jump.
After seeing his best results in nearly two years following an injury that caused him to miss the beginning of last season, the 2010 Olympic silver medalist hadn’t met his podium expectations, but felt he was getting there.
“I’m feeling positive about the rest of the season,” Spillane wrote. “I feel like I’m in good shape but I still have work to do on the jump hill before I can be in there day in and day out.”
After Spillane, who was 7.9 seconds out of first, and Demong (+10.5), Taylor Fletcher was 31st and his brother, Bryan Fletcher, 32nd on Saturday. Both climbed from ranking a respective 49th and 41st in the morning jumping portion. Another American, Nick Hendrickson finished 41st after ranking 49th in the jump.
Alex Kochon (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the former managing editor at FasterSkier. She spent seven years with FS from 2011-2018, and has been writing, editing, and skiing ever since. She's making a cameo in 2020.