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Lodwick takes Gold Cup

Steamboat Springs skier on his way to Salt Lake Olympics

— There were no surprises in Saturday’s Nordic Combined World Cup at Howelsen Hill Todd Lodwick made sure of that.

Lodwick won the jumping portion of the event to take a

9-second advantage into the cross-country race. He then slammed the door shut on any thought of an upset during the

5-kilometer race, in which he crossed the finish line 48 seconds ahead of teammate Bill Demong. Another Steamboat Springs skier, Johnny Spillane, was third at

1 minute and 22 seconds off the pace.

“I came out today and felt really, really good considering that we have had so many races this week,” Lodwick said. “I just made sure that I went through the same routine and that I took care of business.”

Demong also looked strong in the competition. Demong led the first round of jumping by posting a distance of 115 meters. Lodwick was second in that round with an effort of 113.5.

But in the second round, Lodwick wasn’t going to be beaten. He soared 117.5 meters in that round to make sure he would be leaving the starting gate of the cross-country race first. Demong, however, stayed close with a jump of 114 meters.

“Today was a good day to get out and have some fun with the whole squad and give everybody a chance to go after their dream,” Demong said. “I didn’t put a lot of expectation into today to win. I wanted to win, but Todd has been really strong and Matt’s come on really strong. I just wanted to go out and focus on having a couple of good jumps and a better race and I think I did that on the jump hill.”

It was also a good day for Spillane, who was able to pull a solid result out of a week in which he struggled.

“It was a struggle. I didn’t come in skiing really well. I’ve been kind of sick and I really needed to score a lot of points. Unfortunately, I didn’t,” Spillane said. “But I got the right idea of what I should be trying to do, so I’m looking forward to having a few days to train and getting right back on track.”

Other top finishes included Steamboat’s Nathan Gerhart in fourth, Matt Dayton in fifth, Kris Erichsen (who is coming off a severe ankle injury) in sixth and Jed Hinkley in eighth. Carl Van Loan, a member of the U.S. Nordic Combined Team’s Emerging Elite group, placed seventh.

Steamboat’s Ethan Johnson was 14th and Adam Schwall was 16th in the final standings.


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