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Moan captures nordic combined World Cup in Lahti

Moan captures nordic combined World Cup in Lahti{mosimage}LAHTI, Finland – Double Olympic medalist Magnus Moan of Norway ended World Cup champion Hannu Manninen’s seven-meet victory streak with a win of his own Saturday in a World Cup at the Lahti Ski Games. Of course, it was made easier by the fact that Manninen, who has already wrapped up the season title, didn’t start.

Moan topped Germany’s Bjorn Kircheisen and Austria’s Olympic medal-machine Felix Gottwald to strengthen his hold on second in the season standings.

Bill Demong was the top American finisher, moving up nine places to 17th, while Todd Lodwick advanced 15 places to 23rd in the 15 km race.

The U.S. skiers were adjusting to new jumping equipment after a break-in during the closing days of the Olympics in Italy, when their storage area at the jumps in Pragelato was broken into and some of their gear was taken.

Moan, bronze medalist in the Olympic individual (15 km) event last month, was second in jumping and finished 39.3 seconds ahead of Kircheisen. Demong, 26th in jumping, finished 2:52.9 back after producing the sixth-fastest 15 km. Lodwick, who plans to retire later this month, had the eight-fastest race and was 4:19.1 back at the finish, while Johnny Spillane moved up four places to 36th in the six-lap race.

Manninen, who has won 11 events this season, had taken seven in a row before the Olympics last month. However, he did not start Saturday as the World Cup schedule resumed following the Winter Games in Torino.

The season continues Sunday with a combined sprint event before heading to Oslo for the annual Holmenkollen Ski Festival March 11-12.

USSA

Nordic Combined
Lahti, Finland
March 4, 2006

(placings in jump and 15 km race in parenthesis)
1. Magnus Moan, Norway, 42 minutes, 15.8 seconds (2-5)
2. Bjorn Kircheisen, Germany, 39.3 seconds behind (10-4)
3. Felix Gottwald, Austria, 59.6 (27-1)
4. Anssi Koivuranta, Finland, 1:24.9 (1-31)
5. Andreas Hurschler, Switzerland, 1:37.2 (23-2)
6. Christoph Bieler, Austria, 1:46.0 (7-18)
7. Petter Tande, Norway, 1:46.8 (3-20)
8. Jason Lamy Chappuis, France, 2:12.4 (4-23)
9. Norihito Kobayashi, Japan, 2:25.9 (17-14)
10. Georg Hettich, Germany, 2:26.0 (5-30)

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