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Lillehammer NC: Moan edges Haseney; U.S. top 15

Magnus Moan edged Sebastian Haseney by one-tenth of a second Saturday to win a nordic combined event for his fifth-career World Cup victory.
LILLEHAMMER, Norway — Magnus Moan edged Sebastian Haseney by one-tenth of a second Saturday to win a nordic combined event for his fifth-career World Cup victory. Former sprint world champion Johnny Spillane skied up 14 places in the 15-kilometer ski portion to finish ninth after completing the jumping round in 23rd. Teammate and three-time Olympian Bill Demong also cracked the top 15 by gaining 16 spots in cross-country to finish 12th.
    Competing on the track where the 1994 Olympic Winter Games were held, the Norwegian won with a superb cross-country ski race. Moan managed only 17th in the opening ski jumping portion held earlier in the day.
    Moan’s winning time was 38 minutes, 20.3 seconds in the 15-kilometer freestyle ski race.
    “It was a perfect race, tactics wise,” Moan said. “I came into the ski stadium as number two, and that’s what I like. It’s better to come from behind on the final straightaway. I had very good skis today.”
    Under a new World Cup ruling, athletes who are not in the top 35 after the first round of jumping are prohibited from continuing. A week ago in Kuusamo, Finland, neither American was a top-35 skier in the opening event of the season. Saturday, Spillane was 23rd and Demong 28th. During the race, run over a 2.5 km loop because of the lack of snow, Spillane had the seventh-fastest time and Demong was sixth fastest.
    “This was a very positive day. We’ve still got work to do on the jump hill,” U.S. head coach Lasse Ottesen said, “because it’s so tight and the boys just need to get another couple of meters on their jumps to jump into the top 10, and then really challenge for the podium. Obviously, though, their cross-country is strong, which was what we thought but couldn’t confirm last week in Kuusamo.
    “Their skis were good and they just kept moving forward today. They’re so close in jumping and when we tighten a couple of things with some more training, they’ll be in a better position to move up,” Ottesen said. “Today was a good start for them.”
    He said the two were able to take about a dozen jumps Wednesday in Lillehammer although the jumps were closed most of the week to preserve the limited snowcover.
    The World Cup has been moved to the 1994 Olympic jumps and cross-country trails from Trondheim because of poor snow conditions. Another 15 km event is scheduled for Sunday before the Americans return home for additional training. The next World Cup is scheduled in two weeks — Dec. 16-17 in Ramsau, Austria, but there is no snow there, he said, so officials are trying to sort out potential options.
    In last week’s opener in Finland, Moan also came from 17th after the ski jumping to take fourth in an event won by France’s Jason Lamy Chappuis.
    Hannu Manninen, the three-time defending overall champion from Finland, finished third in Lillehammer, 0.05 behind. Lamy Chappuis was fourth, 5 seconds back.
    Moan started the cross-country race 1.47 minutes behind fellow Norwegian Espen Rian, who jumped 132 and 139.5 meters for 253.6 points. Rian wound up 10th in the cross-country race.
    Lamy Chappuis, who finished fourth, and Moan share the overall lead after two events with 150 points.
    Haseney, a German, and Manninen are tied for third with 140 points each.

World Cup nordic combined results
LILLEHAMMER, Norway— Results Saturday from a World Cup nordic combined meet (ski jump and 15-kilometer cross country ski placings in parenthesis):

1. Magnus Moan, Norway, 38 minutes, 20.3 seconds (17-2).
2. Sebastian Haseney, Germany, 0.01 seconds behind (16-3).
3. Hannu Manninen, Finland, 0.5 (18-1).
4. Jason Lamy Chappuis, France, 5.0 (9-5).
5. Bjorn Kircheisen, Germany, 52.0 (21-4).
6. Maxime Laheurte, France, 1:02.8 (7-8).
7. Christoph Bieler, Austria, 1:10.6 (6-12).
8. Petter Tande, Norway, 1:10.9 (3-15).
9. Johnny Spillane, United States, 1:22.0 (23-7).
10. Jaakko Tallus, Finland, 1:35.5 (2-24).
11. Anssi Koivuranta, Finland 1:55.0 (4-21).
12. Bill Demong, United States, 1:56.8 (28-6).
13. Daito Takahashi, Japan, 1:56.8 (20-9).
14. Wilhelm Denifl, Austria, 1:59.5 (10-17).
15. François Braud, France, 2:11.1 (12-16).
16. Espen Rian, Norway, 2:36.0 (1-34).
17. Havard Klemetsen, Norway, 2:43.5 (18-18).
18. Bernhard Gruber, Austria, 2:44.2 (5-27).
19. David Kreiner, Austria, 2:41.1 (14-10).
20. Iver Markengbakken, Norway, 2:47.9 (24-13),
21. Jens Gaiser, Germany, 2:53.9 (25-14).
22. Michael Gruber, Austria, 3:11.8 (8-28).
23. Andreas Hurschler, Switzerland, 3:35.9 (33-11).
24. Matthias Menz, Germany, 3:37.2 (11-29).
25. Norhito Kobayashi, Japan. 3:40.1 (35-10).
26. Ola Morten Grasli, Norway, 4:02.5 (28-22).
27. Ivan Rieder, Switzerland, 4:04.5 (26-23).
28. Jouni Kaitainen, Finland, 4:19.0 (14-32).
29. Sergei Maslennikov, Russia, 4:22.1 (22-30).
30. Marcel Hohlig, Germany, 4:28.0 (32-20)

Overall standings
After 2 of 18 races
1. Jason Lamy Chappuis, France, 150 points.
(tie) Magnus Moan, Norway, 150.
3. Sebastian Haseney, Germany, 140.
(tie) Hannu Manninen, Finland, 140.
5. Christoph Bieler, Austria, 76.
6. Anssi Koivuranta, Finland, 69.
7. Petter Tande, Norway, 56.
8. Maxime Laheurte, France, 52.
9. David Kreiner, Austria, 48.
10. Espen Rian, Norway, 47.

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