Nordic World Cup Roundup for December 5, 2004

Nordic World Cup Roundup for December 5, 2004{mosimage}Ackermann wins second straight Nordic Combined in Norway
Ronny Ackermann of Germany won his second straight Nordic Combined event Sunday, edging Austrian Michael Gruber by one second in the 7.5-kilometer cross-country ski race. American Johnny Spillane, last year’s sprint World Cup champion, finished third, 19.1 seconds behind.

Gruber won the morning’s ski jumping portion of the event with a 127.5-meter effort. He started the ski race seven seconds ahead of Anssi Koivuranta of Finland and 19 seconds ahead of Ackermann. Ackermann, one of the best skiers on the Nordic Combined circuit, caught Gruber down the homestretch and won in 17 minutes, 39.6 seconds. Koivuranta also dropped back, finishing eighth.

With the win, Ackermann took the overall lead on 360 points. Hannu Manninen of Finland, the defending overall champion, finished 10th and dropped to second place overall with 286 points.

Todd Lodwick of the United States, who was 25.4 seconds back in fifth place, is third overall with 225 points, followed by Spillane on 161. Ackermann has three wins in four meets this season. He took the season-opener in Finland last weekend and won twice in Trondheim.

Janne Ahonen wins fourth straight in ski jumping
Janne Ahonen won his fourth straight World Cup ski jumping competition with two consistent rides in northern Norway on Sunday. The 27-year-old Finn narrowly trailed home favorite Roar Ljokelsoy and Martin Hollwarth of Austria in third place after a 123-meter effort in the first round. In the second round, Ahonen jumped 124.5 meters to stay unbeaten this season. He collected 246.5 points for his series.

Ljokelsoy, who was forced to wait for his second jump because of strong winds, only managed 113 meters and dropped to fourth overall with 229.9 points. He jumped 127.5 meters in the first round. Hollwarth finished runnerup with 235.5 points after jumps of 124.5 and 118 meters. Andreas Widholz, another Austrian, also made the podium. He jumped 117 and 126.5 meters for 235.3 points.

Last year’s overall champion, Ahonen has 22 career World Cup wins. He extended his overall lead to a maximum 400 points. Last weekend, he won twice in Finland.

Norway, Russia win World Cup cross country ski races
Ella Gjomle and Marit Bjorgen earned victory for Norway in World Cup cross country ski racing Sunday. The pair edged Germany’s Stefanie Boehler and Claudia Kuenzel by just 0.2 seconds in the 6×1.1-kilometer freestyle team sprint, clocking 14 minutes, 45.2 seconds. Italians Arianna Folis and Gabriella Paruzzi were third, 2.6 seconds back.

Bjorgen maintained the consistent ski performances that allowed her to beat Kuenzel on Saturday in the individual 800-meter freestyle. Gjomle finished third in that race.

Russians Ivan Alypov and Vassili Rotchev won the men’s racing Sunday, completing their 6×1.1-kilometer freestyle sprint in 13:16.3.

Norway’s Jens Arne Svartedal and Tor Arne Hetland were 0.3 seconds back, with Italians Renato Pasini and Cristian Zorzi a further 0.8 behind.
Hetland took his first victory of the season on Saturday in the men’s individual 1.35-kilometer freestyle.

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