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SCHONACH, Germany (Jan. 5) – The U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team charged onto the World Cup podium Saturday, finishing third.

It was an historic first World Cup team event podium for the U.S. Ski Team, which won a silver medal at the Vacouver Games. It was the first ever USA World Cup podium in a Nordic Combined team event.

The USA started the cross country leg in sixth, 57 seconds behind Norway, which ultimately won. Taylor Fletcher (second leg) and Demong (anchor) each won their respective relay legs.

“Today was a one of those days where you don’t have too many expectations but as a team we knew we could break up the podium if we focused on the process and all did what we could,” said Demong, who gave his team a good launching pad thanks to a strong 94.5 meter jump. “It was super exciting and tactical as we moved through the field. It was never clear that we would podium until it was over but each guy picked up time and places and did the job necessary. It is an historic first relay podium for the U.S. in a World Cup and a great way to get a first podium for the year.”

The USA slowly moved up through the pack with Bryan Fletcher, Taylor Fletcher, Todd Lodwick and Billy Demong pacing to pass Austria to take third.

“It feels very good to get this result. Our team had the proper expectations going into the event and were ready to compete,” said Taylor Fletcher. “We all had good jumps on the hill and Billy showed he can jump amazing whenever he wants. Everyone has very strong leg in the cross country with Bryan holding the time to the skiers in front, Todd moving up and giving Billy a good shot at the podium. For myself I have been in good shape all year with it getting better after each race. I had to thank my skis as the techs killed the wax and I was able to glide very well and push the pace to catch Japan and France.”

Action resumes Sunday in Schonach with an individual event.

Image by Gepa

Rank Bib Name Nation Result
 1 Norway      NOR 51:59.8
    KLEMETSEN Haavard     
    MOAN Magnus-H.     
    KOKSLIEN Mikko     
    GRAABAK Joergen     
 2 Germany      GER 52:48.3
    RYDZEK Johannes     
    EDELMANN Tino     
    KIRCHEISEN Bjoern     
    FRENZEL Eric     
 3 United States      USA 53:03.1
    FLETCHER Bryan     
    FLETCHER Taylor     
    LODWICK Todd     
    DEMONG Bill     
 4 Austria      AUT 53:10.3
    SCHNEIDER Sepp     
    BIELER Christoph     
    DENIFL Wilhelm     
    GRUBER Bernhard     
 5 France      FRA 53:41.0
    LACROIX Sebastien     
    BRAUD Francois     
    LAHEURTE Maxime     
    LAMY CHAPPUIS Jason     
 6 Japan      JPN 54:22.9
    MINATO Yusuke     
    NAGAI Hideaki     
    WATABE Yoshito     
    WATABE Akito     
 7 Czech Republic      CZE 56:06.5
    CHURAVY Pavel     
    VODSEDALEK Ales     
    DVORAK Miroslav     
    SLAVIK Tomas     
 8 Finland      FIN 56:07.7
    LEINONEN Mikke     
    HEROLA Ilkka     
    RYYNAENEN Janne     
    HAERTULL Jim     
 9 Italy      ITA 56:43.1
    MICHIELLI Giuseppe     
    RUNGGALDIER Lukas     
    BAUER Armin     
    MAIERHOFER Manuel     
 10 Slovenia      SLO 58:23.9
    ORANIC Mitja     
    JELENKO Marjan     
    PLAZNIK Matic     
    BERLOT Gasper     
 11 Russian Federation      RUS
    ISAYKIN Denis     
    YAHIN Ernest     
    NABEEV Niyaz     
    PANIN Ivan     

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Eric Williams



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